Black-eyed peas and greens, vegetarian style

Most recipes for this traditional New Year’s Day dish call for ham, or at least a ham hock or some lard. But last year, I adapted a recipe from my sister-in-law into a veggie version, and it came out delicious.

I’ll be making this today, and it will be a good start for the pantry challenge since there are only two of us and it makes quite a lot.

You can adapt this to your own schedule, tastes, and cooking implements.

BEANS: Rinse and soak for 2 hours. Cook in crockpot for 2 hours on high and 4 hours on low. Transfer to a large ceramic pot on stove and add 1Tb sugar, 1Tb salt, 1Tb black pepper, and 2Tb vegetable oil. Bring to a boil and simmer until done (about 30 min or until soft). This can be done in 2 stages, if you want to cook the beans one day and then refrigerate and then add the other ingredients on the stove the following day.

GREENS: Clean and trim greens. Cover w/water in a large pot. Add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and a lot of salt, about 2 tsp. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for at least an hour, up to an hour and a half. Greens should be soft. You can use mustard, turnip, or collard greens, beet tops, chard, or kale, or any combination. Use the equivalent of at least 2 bunches of greens.

Serve with your favorite cornbread recipe.


Do you cook black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day?  Maybe you have another traditional dish for the occasion. Please share your thoughts in the Comments section.


  1. says

    We always eat Hoppin’ John and Greens on New Year’s Day, but we also eat it through out the year. It is frugal and too delicious to limit it to a once ayear meal. I like your adaptation – I’m always looking for more meatless meals.

    • Angela says

      Alea- It came out delicious! My husband was grumbling that he didn’t really like those kind of beans, and then I told him to just have a small plate and he ended up having 3 helpings! So did I, I love the veggie style flavor.

      I think I will make it more often than once a year, I only started making it last year because I don’t cook ham and I thought I had to.

  2. Marie-Josée says

    I didn’t cook beans for the New Year celebration; I wasn’t aware of this tradition until I read about it on your blog. In Quebec, generally, Christmas is spent with family and New Year with friends. There are many traditional dishes served during this period such as turkey with stuffing, a special minced meat pie called ”tourtière” and a stew made with potatoes and meatballs and pork legs (I really don’t like this stew). It’s called ”ragout de pattes”. We serve an ice cream log for dessert and there are a lot of traditional desserts made with brown sugar and nuts. We also have baked beans, but they aren’t served during the holidays as a main course.

    • Angela says

      Marie-Josee- I think the black-eyed peas tradition for good luck comes from the South. It’s supposed to give you good luck throughout the year. It doesn’t work, because I only started doing it last year and it was my worst year in 19 years. But obviously I’m not very superstitious, because I like the beans so much I wanted to do it every year I was home. And now I think I might make it a bit more often.

      ice cream log- wow! Since ice cream is my favorite food, I’ll bet I would like that.

      We also spend Christmas was family and New Year’s with friends, most of the time.

      Happy New Year to you!

  3. says

    This sounds delish! I will have to try.
    As a Texan, I always be sure to down some black eyed peas for luck on JAN 1, but I usually just end up with soaked beans maybe cooked with onion & spices because I forget until the last minute. ha

    • Angela says

      I’ve only made them the past two years, and both times we ended up eating them on Jan.2nd. I hope that wasn’t the problem last year… ha.

      this is actually really easy, just takes some patience with the soaking and cooking of beans. The greens are the only things that need to be prepped, chopped.

      Let me know if you try it. They’re kind of addictive for me, the beans are SO delicious because of the added salt, sugar, and oil. It’s impossible to have one serving!

  4. says

    Blackeyed peas on New Year’s Day is a Southern thing. However, I eat blackeyed peas all through the year because I love, Love, LOVE them. Many people in the South eat them year round. However, about 29+ years ago, I decided to not season them at all–no salt, no nothing! Same with the greens, except for a smidgen of salt sometimes. I love ham, but I don’t miss it. One of my favorite meals is salmon croquettes, blackeyed peas, turnip greens, sweet potato, and cornbread. Only the croquettes and cornbread have any salt or other seasonings.

    • Angela says

      Practical parsimony- Yes, I’ll be eating them more often as well. The ham is SO not necessary. And that is one of my favorite meals as well- salmon patties with greens, sweet potato and cornbread. I’ll have to add the black-eyed peas!

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