These Vegan Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas are an easy southern recipe. With no soaking necessary, these black-eyed peas are meatless and full of flavor!
These vegan pressure cooker black-eyed peas are ready in 30 minutes from start to finish. No soaking needed! Made with a savory broth, you won’t miss the meat in this southern staple. Add them to your New Year’s Day menu or any day of the week!
New Years Foods for Good Luck
It’s a tradition to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day for good luck. I’m sharing my personal recipe for New Year’s Day Black Eyed Peas.
Black-eyed peas are a staple in the south. Vegan black-eyed peas are not. But I get requests for about vegetarian soul food often. I’ve been making the peas this way for years and even my meat-eating family loves them.
How to Make Black Eyed Peas from Scratch
A key first step in making black-eyed peas from scratch is looking through the peas. Remove any stones or damaged peas. Rinse them.
Can I use frozen black-eyed peas for this recipe?
You could. You would need to adjust the cook time because frozen peas have been blanched or parboiled – cooked a little bit so they’ll finish quicker.
I do not recommend canned ones. The peas are already too soft. You’ll end up with soup!
Ingredients for vegan black-eyed peas
This easy recipe requires just a few ingredients. You’ll need black-eyed peas, thyme, broth, oil, and an onion.
TIP: If your supermarkets are anything like mine, buy your black-eyed peas now. Or at least a week before the New Year’s holiday. They fly off the shelves around here.
A note about meat…
To make black-eyed peas in the traditional southern or soul food style, you can use meat. I don’t find it to be altogether necessary.
Black-eyed peas have a natural earthy, meaty flavor that only gets better over time. This recipe is good for your non-meat eating, vegetarian and vegan family and friends. It’s a dish everyone will love.
About the broth…
The broth will infuse flavor into the peas. So it’s really important. I used Pacific brand vegetable broth for testing purposes. Swanson Natural Goodness is another one that works well.
To make this recipe with meat, you can use smoked turkey necks or turkey wings. Or go traditional with a ham hock. For that, let the meat cook in water to pull out the flavor. This creates a savory broth and the traditional flavor you expect from southern dishes.
Once it’s done, you can add pieces of meat back to the pot of peas. The other option is to saute a few slices of center cut bacon, drain and add back to the pot without the drippings.
To make this recipe on the stovetop
Use the same ingredients and the same procedure but with a little less liquid. It will just take twice as long and require a bit more checking in.
Saute the onion in a 4-6 quart pot. Add the dry peas, 4 cups broth, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer. Cook about 45 minutes on medium-low, until the peas are cooked to your preferred tenderness.
NOTE: If you use frozen black-eyed peas on the stove, it will shave off at least 20 minutes. They work great. Just buy plain black-eyed peas.
TIP: My people don’t like the peas to be too mushy. If you want more of a “gravy” on the peas, here’s a tip.
Take a ½ cup of peas and mash them with the back of a spoon. Stir throughout the peas to create a thicker consistency. If you go too far, the peas will be goopy the next day. So don’t mash too many.
Tips for the best black-eyed peas
Mind the broth. The type of broth you use can make a difference. If it’s saltier, then you will need to use less salt. Taste the peas before adding the salt so you can determine what else you need.
Feel free to make these ahead. No matter how you cook these peas, they will taste better on day 2. So feel free to cook these a day ahead!
Don’t overcook the peas. Black-eyed peas will cook to mush quickly. If you use canned or frozen ones, that will happen quicker.
What to eat with black-eyed peas?
I eat black-eyed peas with greens and cornbread. Rice is optional but it helps complete the meal.
Growing up, my family would have field peas and rice with greens. You could cook field peas using this recipe but they harder to find dried. We usually had them fresh and frozen from the summer. The greens were typically collard greens but sometimes mustard greens or turnip greens.
Got leftovers? If you have leftover black-eyed peas, use them to make my Hoppin John Patties. Or freeze them for later!
Instant Pot Vegan Black-Eyed Peas
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (about 2 cups)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½-1 tsp coarse salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Set the multicooker to saute mode on medium heat. Add the oil to the inner liner. Saute the onion until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Switch to manual. Add the black-eyed peas, broth, and thyme.
- Close lid. Turn the vent to sealing and set to high pressure for 15 minutes. (It takes 8-10 minutes to come to pressure.)
- Turn the pot off. Allow natural release for about 15 minutes. Release any remaining pressure.
- Open the lid facing out - allowing the steam to escape away from your face. Taste and add 1/2 or 1 tsp salt based on how they taste. I added a full teaspoon because I used a low sodium broth.
To make this recipe on the stovetop:Use the same ingredients and the same procedure but with a little less liquid. It will just take 2-3 times as long and require a bit more checking in. Saute the onion in a 4-6 quart pot. Add the garlic, dry peas, 4 cups broth, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer. Cook about 45 minutes on medium-low, or until the peas are cooked to your preferred tenderness.
Tips for the best black-eyed peas
- Mind the broth. The type of broth you use can make a difference. If it’s saltier, then you will need to use less salt. Taste the peas before adding the salt so you can determine what else you need.
- Feel free to make these ahead. No matter how you cook these peas, they will taste better on day 2. So feel free to cook these a day ahead!
- You can double this recipe. Do not double the cooking time. This recipe yields a lot of peas so you probably don't need to make double. If you do, I recommend using a large pressure cooker to avoid issues with the liquid. This current recipe was tested in the 6 quart Instant Pot.