Hands-down the BEST black eyed peas recipe with loads of veggies and bold Greek flavors. Even meat lovers come back for this delicious vegan black eyed pea stew! Low calorie and gluten free. Be sure to grab my tips for how to cook black eyed peas + watch the quick video below.
This easy black-eyed peas recipe comes together in a flash using simple pantry staples, and is filled with loads of fiber and nutrition! It's a winner in my book!
Like my earlier chunky lentil soup, this bean stew is super budget-friendly for a family meal and is ideal for meal prep for lunches during the week!
This is not your typical black eyed peas and ham recipe, this one-pot situation takes on a bit of a Greek twist with loads of aromatics, delicious seasonings, and a good drizzle of Greek extra virgin olive oil.
In fact, this recipe is considered a part of the Greek Lathera food category, which literally means “one with oil.” This term describes an entire category of Greek dishes (like these green beans) where delicious veggies are meant to swim in rich, high-quality extra virgin olive oil. In my opinion, there is hardly anything better than that!
It is entirely vegan but even my meat lovers are always coming back for more!
What are black-eyed peas?
Black-eyed peas are smallish beans with a dark spot on them that looks like an eye, that's where the name came from. They are hearty and have great texture and a subtle nutty flavor. They also have tons of health benefits--soluble fiber, folate, magnesium, vitamin A, iron, and more! And like other beans and legumes, they are definitely on the list of Mediterranean diet foods.
And because of their fiber, protein, and healthy carb content, these cute little beans will keep you full for a while.
But if you haven't cooked with them before, this Greek-style black eyed peas stew is a great place to start!
Ingredients you need to make this recipe
- Veggies: Onion, Green Bell Pepper, Carrots & Tomatoes – These are the main veggies in this vegan black-eyed peas stew. I like to chop them up nice and small so that they soften up and soak up all of the flavors and spices in the stew. And for a short-cut, I used diced tomatoes from a can. Of course, garlic and onions make an appearance since they provide so much delicious depth of flavor.
- Seasoning – A few Greek spices like dry bay leaves, oregano, cumin and paprika give the dish so much warmth and depth of flavor. If you like things spicy, you can add in a dash of dried red chili flakes to give this black-eyed peas recipe a spicy kick!
- Lime or lemon juice– Adding juice of one lime or lemon, although a final step, is so important to round out flavors and bring some brightness. The acidity cuts through that rich broth and really makes the dish pop.
- Black-Eyed Peas – For a shortcut, I used 2 cans of black-eyed peas, but you can definitely start from scratch with black eyed peas, if you have the time.
How to make this black eyed peas recipe?
This weeknight black eyed peas recipe is a quick one that uses canned beans which saves you time on soaking and cooking. Here is how to make this recipe:
- Saute the chopped vegetables. First, cook your chopped onions, garlic, bell peppers and carrots in some good extra virgin olive oil for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they are fragrant and somewhat tender.
- Add canned tomatoes, 2 cups of water, and 2 cans of drained and rinsed black eyed peas. Season with 1 bay leaf, 1 ½ tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp dry oregano, ½ tsp paprika, Kosher salt and black pepper, and if you need a little kick, a dash of red pepper flakes.
- Simmer for 25 to 40 minutes! Bring the pot to a rolling boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the beans and veggies are tender and the flavors have melded beautifully (it will take about 25 minutes or so).
- Finish with lemon juice and fresh parsley. The splash of lemon juice stirred at the end brightens this stew in the best way possible.
- Serve with your favorite crusty bread, orzo pasta, or even over some rice.
If you prefer, you can totally go the slow cooker route and let the black eyed peas and veggies marry in the crock pot for 8 hours or so (see below)
How to cook black eyed peas from scratch?
If you have some dry black-eyed peas and you'd like to use them in this recipe, you will need just over 1 cup of dry black-eyed peas to give you the equivalent amount of 2 cans of black eyed peas used in this recipe. Like all beans, dry black eyed peas require soaking for several hours or overnight before cooking. Here is how to cook black eyed peas from scratch:
- Soak them– Ideally, you will want to soak them overnight, but they can also soak for a minimum of 6 hours. To do this, place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with 3 cups of water. Cover the beans and place in the fridge.
- Cook them – Once soaked, drain the water. Give them a quick rinse. Place them in a large pot and cover with water (about 4 inches of water.) Bring the black-eyed peas to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for about 1 hour. Begin to check if they are soft and tender after 45 minutes. If the water simmers off too quickly, simply add more water to the pot.
Once they are cooked, drain and use the cooked beans in place of canned ones.
Slow cooker method
Yes, this Greek vegan black-eyed peas recipe can be made in your slow cooker! These are the instructions for how to do it:
- Chop the onions, garlic gloves, carrots, and bell peppers and put in the slow cooker.
- Add in the canned diced tomatoes, olive oil, water, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, and black-eyed peas. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Cover and turn the slow cooker setting to low and simmer for 8 hours (4 hours or so on high.)
- Finish with the lemon juice and parsley, mix in, and enjoy!
Note for using dry beans in the slow cooker method: You can also use dry black-eyed peas in the slow cooker method without soaking the beans overnight! Just rinse them well and add them in the slow cooker and add an additional 1 cup of water to what the recipe states. The dry beans will have a good 8 hours to soften in the slow cooker.
What to serve along?
When you go to serve the black-eyed peas stew, I recommend you add a healthy drizzle of Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil. Makes such a difference adding an extra measure of richness.
You can serve the stew with some delicious and chewy Greek pita bread or you can top cooked rice, orzo, quinoa, or any other grain with the black-eyed peas scooped generously over the top.
To start, try my traditional Greek salad!
If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. You also have the option to freeze for later use! Let the stew cool completely and store in zip baggies or airtight container in the freezer.
When you are ready to reheat, remove from the freezer the night before and put in the fridge to let thaw. When you want to eat, heat in a pot or pan until warm and bubbly.
More black eyed peas and bean recipes to try:
Greek-Style Black Eyed Peas Recipe
- Extra virgin olive oil, I used Early Harvest Greek EVOO
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 15- oz can diced tomato
- 2 cups water
- 1 dry bay leaf
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 15- oz cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 lime or lemon, juice of
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat till shimmering but not smoking. Add onions and garlic. Saute briefly until translucent and fragrant. Add bell peppers and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing regularly.
- Now add diced tomatoes (with their juices), water, bay leaf, spices, salt and pepper. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Add in the black eyed peas. Boil for 5 minutes, then lower heat. Cover part-way and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes (occasionally check to stir. If the black eyed pea stew looks too dry, add a tiny bit of water.)
- Finally, stir in lemon juice and parsley.
- To serve, transfer to bowls. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy with a side of warm Greek pita or on top of orzo, rice, or your favorite grain.
- Dry black eyed peas option: To make this recipe from scratch using dry black eyed peas, start with just over 1 heaping up of dry black eyed peas. Soak them in plenty of water overnight or up to 6 hours. Cook them in a large pot, adding enough water to cover the black eyed peas by 4 inches. Let simmer for about 1 hour. Begin to check if they are soft and tender after 45 minutes. If the water simmers off too quickly, simply add more water to the pot.
- Slow Cooker Method: Add the onions, garlic gloves, carrots, and bell peppers in the slow cooker. Add in the canned diced tomatoes, olive oil, water, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, and black-eyed peas. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the slow cooker on low and simmer for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours or so. Finish with the lemon juice and parsley. (You can also use dry black-eyed peas in the slow cooker method without soaking the beans overnight! Just rinse them well and add them in the slow cooker and add an additional 1 cup of water to what the recipe states. The dry beans will have a good 8 hours to soften in the slow cooker).
- Leftovers and Storage Instructions: Store in fridge in tight-lid containers for up to 1 week. You can also freeze for later use. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Visit Our Online Shop to browse our extra virgin olive oils and all-natural spices including cumin and paprika.
*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in January of 2020 and has been updated with new information and media for users' benefit.