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Two bowls of Southern black eyed peas recipe topped with bacon
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5 from 5 votes

Black Eyed Peas with Bacon

Serve these easy black eyed peas as a budget-friendly main course with a side of cornbread, or offer them as a side dish on your lucky New Year's table!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword black eyed peas recipe, black eyed peas with bacon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Soaking Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 7 cups
Calories 369kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Water
  • 8 oz. bacon, diced
  • 1 cup finely-diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely-minced or pressed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or about 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Creole (or Cajun) seasoning
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley, sliced green onions, chives or additional thyme


  • Rinse and sort black-eyed peas. Place peas in a Dutch oven. Add chicken broth and (if necessary) enough water to cover the peas by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with a lid, and let the peas soak for 1 hour. Do not drain.
  • In a large cast iron skillet (or other heavy skillet), cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving rendered fat in pan. Add onion to the drippings and cook over medium-high heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute.
  • Transfer onion, garlic and drippings to the Dutch oven with the black-eyed peas and broth. Stir in bay leaves, thyme, and 1 additional cup of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and simmer (covered) until the peas are tender – about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add extra water to the pot, as necessary, to keep the peas moist (but not too soupy). By the end of the cooking time, the peas will have absorbed most of the liquid in the pot. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves, stir in vinegar and Creole seasoning. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Garnish with crispy bacon and fresh herbs or sliced green onions. Serve with hot sauce on the side.


  • Keep an eye on your pot as the peas simmer, adding more water, as necessary, to keep the pot moist.
  • For a spicier pot of beans, add crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne, extra Creole seasoning, or plenty of hot sauce on the side.
  • For a thicker, creamier consistency, use the back of a spoon to smash some of the cooked peas against the inside of the pot. Stir them into the mixture. Alternatively, puree about 1 cup of the cooked peas with warm water or broth in a blender or food processor until smooth, then stir the puree back into the pot of peas.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 717mg | Potassium: 926mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 6mg