Instant Pot Southern Black-Eyed Peas

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My Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas recipe is a great way to pack all the flavors in half the time for your new favorite black-eyed peas recipe.

Instant Pot Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Growing up in a New Orleans, LA home, red beans are king! So if black-eyed peas were served on my dinner table growing up, it happened very few times. My earliest memory of eating black-eyed peas was the scene on Crooklyn when they were forced to finish eating them. Watching that made me think they were horrible. So I put them in the same bean bucket as lima beans.

As a matter of fact, the first time I vividly remember eating black-eyed peas was in college when we made Hoppin’ John in class. So I was an adult the first time I truly tasted the creamy, earthy, smokey flavor of black-eyed peas. Since then, I’ve been hooked.

I was used to making black-eyed peas in a big pot with onions, celery, bell pepper, smoked meat like smoked turkey necks, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, and tender love and care. However, my schedule doesn’t always allow me to spend hours cooking them.

That’s why I’m so grateful for pressure cookers they do all the heavy lifting, especially an instant pot. I can pressure cook black-eyed peas, leave the house, and the instant pot will keep them warm until I get home, just like a slow cooker. Why spend 2 hours when I can make them from start to finish in under an hour?

One of the major benefits of using this instant pot recipe is that you don’t have to soak black-eyed peas to soften them before cooking.

It’s a shame that black-eyed peas don’t get love all year round but only on New Year’s day.

Black-Eyed Peas

Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are actually dried beans. They are believed to have originated in West Africa and were brought to the United States by slaves. Black-eyed peas are a common ingredient in Southern cuisine and are often served as a side dish alongside collard greens, ham, and cornbread. They are also popular all over the world. China, Egypt, Colombia, Portugal, India, and Indonesia, to name a few, all have cultural dishes celebrating the versatility of black-eyed peas.

Black-eyed peas are high in protein and fiber and are a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin A. They also contain antioxidants, which can help protect against disease.

Why are Black-eyed peas popular in the South?

There are several legends about why black-eyed peas are so popular in the south. There are stories about why these beans became associated with special days that are supposed to bring good luck. These stories date back to the American Civil War when some felt lucky that food was left behind or was a symbol of emancipation.

The obvious one is that the south is heavily populated by the descendants of the slaves brought to the Americas. Food has always been a great way of celebrating culture, regardless of where you are in the world, and it’s no surprise that they’re still enjoyed in the African-American community generations later.

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Key Ingredients

Before you start cooking your black-eyed peas in a pressure cooker, look at this list of ingredients to make sure you have everything you need.

Dried Black-Eyed Peas

1 pound of dried black-eyed peas will feed a family of four several times.

Beef Bacon

I know it’s an uncommon ingredient but let me tell you, I don’t eat pork, and this bacon is incredible.

Aromatics

Onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and bay leaf will add depths of flavor to your pot of black-eyed peas.

Cajun Seasoning

I love using Savory Cajun Seasoning because it’s low-sodium and loaded with herbs and spices.

Worcestershire Sauce

I always add Worcestershire to my beans, especially if there’s smokey meat involved.

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How to make Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas recipe?

I want my instant pot black-eyed peas recipe to be easy, flavorful, and a crowd-pleaser!

Step 1: In a large skillet, add bacon oil; this helps render the bacon fat, fat that we’re going to put to good use. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until bacon is crispy. Set bacon aside.

Step 2: Add butter. Once melted, add onions, bell pepper, and celery cook for 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, bay leaves, and thyme, and cook for 30 seconds. You can do the first two steps in the pressure cooker on sauté for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Transfer the mixture to a 6-quart pressure cooker or instant pot. Add Worcestershire and washed black-eyed peas, cover with 3 inches of water, cover with lid, and turn the instant pot or pressure cooker on high pressure for 35 minutes. Once the timer goes off, allow it to naturally release for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.

Step 4; Stir in Cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot over white rice. I find that beans of all kinds absorb more flavor when seasoned.

Black-Eyed Peas

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are the best practices, techniques, substitutes, and flavor builders you’ll need for black-eyed peas.

  • Feel free to use smoked turkey wings or ham hocks.
  • You can use your favorite bacon instead of beef bacon.
  • Goodshalls and Wellshire Farms make my favorite beef bacon.
  • I don’t like the saute function on the instant pot. I only do this because I cannot control my temperature like I can on the stove.
  • Make sure you wash your dried black-eyed peas and discard any damaged peas.
  • Canned and frozen black-eyed peas will turn mushy when cooked in the instant pot.
  • You can use chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water.
  • Creole seasoning will work as a swap for Cajun Seasoning.
  • If you use a Cajun seasoning that’s not Savory Seasoning, omit the salt in the recipe.
  • If you like your food on the spicy side, add cayenne pepper.
  • You can use this recipe to cook in a slow cooker on low for 7 hours.
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FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about cooking black-eyed peas in an instant pot.

Do you have to soak dried black-eyed peas before cooking?

Traditionally, it’s best to soak dried black-eye peas so they can soften up. Some people actually soak them for days, so they sprout. Sprouting beans removes the gassy side effects some beans have on folks since they have difficulty digesting them.
 
If you follow my instant pot recipe, you can skip soaking them.

What spices go with black-eyed peas?

Some great spices that I always pair with black-eyed peas are bay leaf, Creole seasoning, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

What goes well with black-eyed peas?

Traditionally black-eyed peas are served over rice, but the spread doesn’t stop there. You can usually find collard greens and cornbread near when a pot of cooked black-eyed peas is served.

Are black-eyed peas healthy?

Yes, black-eyed peas are a nutritious option. They’re high in fiber and protein and low in calories, with plenty of vitamins A, C, and K.

How long should you cook black-eyed peas?

It should only take 35-40 minutes for 1 pound of black-eyed peas to cook in the instant pot.

Why do you put a penny in black-eyed peas?

Superstition and traditions are why people put a penny in black-eyed peas to bring good luck. It’s said that the peas will be prosperous all year long if you find a shiny new penny and add it to the pot.

How to store?

Black-eyed peas are excellent immediately, but they will remain fresh if kept in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge. They will freeze well for 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw for 24 hours before reheating.
 
Reheat black-eyed peas in a pot over medium heat until hot.

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More Instant Pot Recipes I Love

If you love black-eyed peas as much as I do, then I know you’ll love these recipes too!

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Before getting started, get organized. 

Step 1: Take all ingredients out for these amazing instant pot black-eyed peas on the counter.

Step 2: Put everything into individual bowls.

Step 3: Follow the recipe and get ready for the best black-eyed peas you’ve ever served.

These instant pot black-eyed peas are delicious and so easy to make! You’ll definitely make them again after you try this recipe. Please leave a comment and let me know how you liked it. And don’t forget to rate the recipe once you’ve tried it.

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Instant Pot Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Kenneth Temple
My Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas recipe is a great way to pack all the flavors in half the time for your new favorite black-eyed peas recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Servings 12 persons
Calories 223 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. dry black-eyed peas rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3 slices beef bacon chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion chopped medium
  • 1 small green bell pepper chopped medium
  • 3 celery stalks chopped medium
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Savory Cajun seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups cooked rice

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, add bacon oil; this helps render the bacon fat, fat that we’re going to put to good use. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until bacon is crispy. Set bacon aside. Add butter; once melted, add onions, bell pepper, and celery cook for 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, bay leaves, and thyme, and cook for 30 seconds. You can do this in the pressure cooker and sauté for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer mixture to a 6-quart pressure cooker or instant pot. Add Worcestershire and black-eyed peas, cover with 3 inches of water, cover with lid, and turn the instant pot or pressure cooker on high pressure for 35 minutes. Once the timer goes off, allow to naturally release for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
  • Stir in Cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot over white rice. I find that beans of all kinds absorb more flavor when seasoned.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are the best practices, techniques, substitutes, and flavor builders you’ll need for black-eyed peas.
  • Feel free to use smoked turkey wings or ham hocks.
  • You can use your favorite bacon instead of beef bacon.
  • Goodshalls and Wellshire Farms make my favorite beef bacon.
  • I don’t like the saute function on the instant pot. I only do this because I cannot control my temperature like I can on my stove.
  • Make sure you wash your dried black-eyed peas and discard any damaged peas.
  • Canned and frozen black-eyed peas will turn mushy when cooked in the instant pot.
  • You can use chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water.
  • Creole seasoning will work as a swap for Cajun Seasoning.
  • If you use a Cajun seasoning that’s not Savory Seasoning, omit the salt in the recipe.
  • f you like your food on the spicy side, add cayenne pepper.
  • You can use this recipe to cook in a slow cooker on low for 7 hours.
Storage:
Black-eyed peas are excellent immediately, but they will remain fresh if kept in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge. They will freeze well for 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw for 24 hours before reheating.
Reheat black-eyed peas in a pot over medium heat until hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 11gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 446mgPotassium: 499mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 248IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 4mg
Keyword black eyed peas instant pot, black eyed peas recipe, instant pot black eyed peas, southern black-eyed peas
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