Vegan Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed pea soup
Alexandra Grablewski/Digital Vision/Getty Images
  • Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 8-12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
121 Calories
3g Fat
21g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8-12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 110mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 5g
Calcium 65mg 5%
*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. It's a misnomer to call them peas, as they are actually beans. It was said to have been domesticated originally in West Africa, black-eyed peas are grown in Asia, Africa, the southern states of the U.S., and in many other countries. Some of the names black-eyed peas are called include buñuelo, ​​lobia, chè đậu trắng, rongi, alsande, kalu, akara, kacang, and tolo, just to name a few.

Although traditional black-eyed pea recipes call for the use of salt pork to season the nutritious legume, this recipe is vegan. As a savory meal, this dish is served warm, but there are recipes for black-eyed pea salad that are served cold.

Eating black-eyed peas are a New Year's Day tradition that is said to bring you luck in the New Year. You may have heard about its ties to the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, but it turns out the practice dates back to Ancient Egypt. In the United States, many southerners considered black-eyed peas a crop for animal feed.

It was also said to be the only food available to newly freed slaves after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect on New Year's Day in 1863. There's also a story about Union soldiers leaving behind the food after pillaging a Confederate camp. The blunder allowed the Confederates to survive winter. 


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups finely chopped onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 4 cups dry black-eyed peas
  • 5 cups water, plus more, if needed
  • 2 15-ounce cans whole tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat.

  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring constantly until onions are translucent and fragrant.

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

  4. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, adding more water as necessary, or until the peas are tender.

  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.


  • Canned black-eyed peas are available and can be substituted for dried, but the cooking time should be shortened.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for up to six months.
  • Canned vegetable broth is a good option as are vegetable cubes or homemade vegetable stock.

Recipe Variations

  • This black-eyed peas dish can be eaten like a stew or served with couscous, rice, or dairy-free baked polenta.
  • While black-eyed peas are classic for this recipe, any legume can be substituted with slight variations in consistency and cooking time.
  • Another dish made popular in the American South called Hoppin' John joins black-eyed peas with rice and pork.