Crock-Pot Southern Black-Eyed Peas With Ham Hock

Southern crockpot black eyed peas recipe

The Spruce / Nita West

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 9 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 8 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
246 Calories
4g Fat
37g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 246
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 170mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 78mg 6%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 765mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Black-eyed peas are a classic New Year's Day meal that many believe brings luck and wealth in the year to come. Although it's impossible to prove if your luck comes from a tasty bowl of peas, what's true is that our easy crock-pot recipe makes these peas doable at any point in the year, no need for a special occasion. You need one hour of hands-on cooking, and then let your slow cooker do its magic. Bacon, ham hock, and seasonings bring out all the earthy flavor of black-eyed peas.

Black-eyed peas are high in fiber and folate, filled with protein, and low in fat. Just a 100-gram serving of dried black-eyed peas has 24 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, and just 1 gram of fat.

A perfect dish for when you need to feed many, this recipe makes excellent leftovers that also will freeze beautifully for when you need a bean fix. Serve this tasty meal with collard greens for a traditional New Year's Day meal or with white rice or cornbread for a flavorful dinner.


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas

  • 1 large smoked ham hock

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 to 4 strips bacon, diced and fried

  • Cayenne pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1 minced clove garlic

  • 3 cups water

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Southern black-eyed peas
    The Spruce / Nita West
  2. Place the peas in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with water to at least 3 inches over the peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer for 15 minutes, drain, and reserve.

    Put black-eyed peas and water in a Dutch oven to boil
    The Spruce / Nita West
  3. Place the ham hock, onion, celery, carrots, bacon, cayenne pepper, and garlic in the slow cooker. Add 3 cups of water.

    Place ham hock in crock pot
    The Spruce / Nita West
  4. Cover the ingredients and cook on high for 1 hour.

    Cover pot
    The Spruce / Nita West
  5. Add the drained peas to the slow cooker.

    Drain peas
    The Spruce / Nita West
  6. Set the crock pot on low, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 hours, stirring halfway.

    Set crock pot on low, cover, and cook
    The Spruce / Nita West
  7. Once the cooking time is done, remove the ham hock from the pot, pick the meat, and shred it or chop it depending on your preference. Add the meat back to the peas.

    Remove ham hock from pot
    The Spruce / Nita West
  8. Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed. Stir well.

    Taste and add salt
    The Spruce / Nita West
  9. Serve the peas with your favorite sides and enjoy.

    Southern black-eyed peas
    The Spruce / Nita West

Do I need to soak the black-eyed peas?

Many people have difficulty with peas and beans becoming tender in the slow cooker. This can be caused by salt or acidic ingredients, the hardness of the water used for cooking, or the age of the peas or beans. An overnight soak isn't essential for black-eyed peas, but if you regularly have trouble with peas and beans becoming tender in the slow cooker, soak them for 8 to 12 hours or overnight covered in water. Discard the soaking water and use clean water to start the cooking process; during a long soak, the beans and legumes release undigestible sugars that cause gas during digestion.

Additional Seasonings and Spices

Mix and match one or two of the following suggestions to give your beans a different flavor profile:

  • Add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes instead of cayenne pepper.
  • Add 1/2 cup of chopped green or red bell pepper to the crock pot along with the onion.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of jalapeño peppers to the crock pot.
  • Add a meaty ham bone along with leftover or purchased diced ham instead of the ham hock.
  • Add a teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin to the crock pot.
  • Replace the ham with about 12 to 16 ounces of sliced or diced smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Black-Eyed Peas, Raw. FoodData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.