Vegan Black-Eyed Peas

Vegetarian black eyed peas in white bowls

The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
257 Calories
3g Fat
45g Carbs
15g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 257
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 148mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 14mg 72%
Calcium 107mg 8%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 913mg 19%
*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 popular food around the globe. While believed to be originally cultivated in West Africa, black-eyed peas are grown in Asia, Africa, and the southern states of the U.S. Also known as buñuelo, ​​lobia, chè đậu trắng, rongi, alsande kalu, kacang, and tolo, black-eyed peas are actually beans with a misleading name.

Although traditional recipes for black-eyed peas call for salt pork to season the nutritious legume, this recipe is vegan. It's a hot dish that's delicious paired with rice or another grain.

For an extra-lucky new year, eat a helping of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day with collard greens, which is believed to bring wealth. The tradition has ties to the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, but it may go back much further. Some accounts say black-eyed peas were the only food available to newly freed enslaved people after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect on New Year's Day in 1863. There's also a story about Union soldiers leaving behind the legume after pillaging a Confederate camp. The blunder allowed the Confederates to survive winter. 

Lucky or not, black-eyed peas and collard greens are ultra-nutritious, so you'll start your year off on the right foot. Make your collard greens the traditional way or pair your black-eyed peas with vegan dirty rice and collard greens for a complete meal.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 cups finely chopped onion

  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 4 cups dry black-eyed peas

  • 5 cups water (more as needed)

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans whole tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • Kosher salt (to taste)

  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for vegan black-eyed peas gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat.

    Oil heating over hight heat in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is translucent and fragrant.

    Onion, garilc, and oil together in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  4. Add the vegetable broth, black-eyed peas, water, tomatoes, tomato paste, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil.

    Vegetable broth, black-eyed peas, and other ingredients in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  5. Turn down the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, or until the peas are tender. Add more water as needed.

    Black-eyed peas in a pot, simmering

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Salt and pepper added to black-eyed peas

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  7. Serve and enjoy.


Recipe Variations

  • This black-eyed peas dish can be eaten like a stew or served with couscous, rice, grits, or polenta.
  • While black-eyed peas are classic for this recipe, any legume can be substituted with slight variations in consistency and cooking time.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days in an airtight container.
  • Vegan black-eyed peas can be frozen for up to six months. Place leftovers in a freezer-safe bag or airtight plastic container and label.