Not Just for New Year’s Black-Eye Peas

Not Just for New Year’s Black-Eye Peas

Think you don’t like black-eyed peas?  My Southern family recipe will change your mind.  Black-eyed peas are good for you, easy to prepare and budget friendly.  And, with the Instant Pot, you can have a pot ready in no time for supper.  These peas aren’t just for New Year’s, growing up my mom would cook them year-round.  She would serve them with a hot, cast iron skillet of sweet cornbread with butter and a cold glass of milk for supper.  I’ll admit that as a kid I only ate the minimum amount that we thought would bring you good luck for the next year – and that amount was debatable from just a spoonful to 365 peas, one for each day of the year.  When she served them throughout the year, I would only eat the cornbread.  Now as an adult, I still don’t love black-eyed peas, or any pea for that matter (it’s a texture thing), but I will say that a little smoked ham hock goes a long way toward helping me get my required black-eyed peas in for good luck. Pea eater or not, you’ll like this one.

Here’s my very traditional Southern recipe for black-eyed peas.  I’ve included alternate cooking methods if you prefer to use the Crock-Pot or Instant Pot.  Although, I have to tell you, there’s something about the way the house smells with a pot of black-eyed peas with ham hocks cooking on the stove that will always remind me of home.

Pea Prep – I buy the one-pound bag of black-eyed peas.  Rinse them in a colander and swish them around with your fingers under running water.  Remove any stones or peas that look shriveled up and dark.


1 lb bag of black-eyed peas, washed and picked

2 cartons of 32oz chicken broth, (some for the initial soak and then the rest for the cooking process, varies with method)

1 package of smoked ham hock

1 medium onion, diced

1 TBSP granulated garlic or a few smashed garlic cloves

Salt and Pepper


Empty your colander of washed and picked peas into a stockpot and cover with chicken broth.  Add the smoked ham hock, diced onion, garlic and a little salt and pepper.  Cover your peas and put them in the fridge overnight.

Stove Top

The next morning, take your pot out of the fridge and simmer, covered, on the stove on low for 4-6 hours or until they are fork tender or reach your desired tenderness.  Remember to skim the foam off your beans and stir occasionally.  It’s important to keep your beans covered in chicken broth or water.  The ham hock will season your peas and fall off the bone to give you delicious little bites of smoked ham with your peas.


Prep your peas the same as above and load them in your Crock-Pot with the ham hock, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Add about 4-6 cups of chicken broth making sure the peas are covered in liquid.  Put the lid on and set your crock temperature on low for 6-8 hours or until they are fork tender or reach your desired tenderness.

Instant Pot

Prep your peas the same as above and load them in your Instant Pot with the ham hock, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cover your beans with 1 inch of chicken broth or water.  Put on the lid and lock it in place for sealing. Use your Instant Pot settings for beans or if using the manual setting, use high pressure for 20 minutes with natural pressure release.

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