Lucky! Black-Eyed Peas

For New Year's, adopt the traditional foods of the American South, black-eyed peas to deliver good fortune in the new year. Two recipe ideas here! The first is a quick black-eyed pea salad that's packed with vegetables and fresh herbs, delivering "good health" along with good fortune. The second is a body-warming black-eyed pea soup, quick to make and packed with greens and nutrients. Happy New Year to All!

Fresh & Seasonal, Traditional at New Year's to Bring Good Luck. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real.
Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad ♥, to bring luck (and good health) in the new year, cook traditional black-eyed peas and turn into a healthful salad primed with vegetables and fresh herbs. Weight Watchers Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Vegan. Gluten Free.

The Many Names for Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas harbor so many aliases, one must suspect a crooked past.

Try cowpea, China bean, crowder pea, asparagus bean, field pea, long bean, red pea, southern pea, yard-long bean. (Whew, take a breath.)

And then there’s oea bean, marble bean, black-eyed suzie, "little nun" mogette, bodi bean, snake bean, boonchi, chain gang pea, cow gram, Tonkin pea, bung belly, cream pea, Jerusalem pea, zupper, whippoorwill pea. And lobbia. And dauguk.

But by tradition in the American South, ever-so-virtuous black-eyed peas are eaten on New Year’s Day – for luck! – and with some green – for good fortune!

Kitchen Parade readers, my New Year's wish for you is luck and fortune as bountiful (and amusing) as the many names accorded the ever-so-simple, ever-so-humble, black-eyed pea.

Do Black-Eyed Peas Need Soaking Before Cooking?

Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Soup, for good luck in the new year ♥ Fresh & Seasonal. Weight Watchers Friendly.

The short answer? No!

Okay, okay. I'm a long-time bean soaker. It's no trouble, really, to rinse some dried beans or peas and then soak overnight, letting them expand. The only trick? Remembering!

But black-eyed peas don't need what we call a "pre-soak" – just rinse and cook! I do still recommend rinsing the dried beans or peas, they're pretty dusty.

And much to my surprise, many other dried beans (perhaps all dried beans???) don't need pre-soaking either. My husband and I l-o-v-e a big pot of Ham & Beans and the last two pots, no soaking and no problem!

Until now, my understanding has always been that dried beans needn't be soaked but that soaking them first would prevent, um, flatulence and digestive issues. At least in our household? No difference, soaked beans versus unsoaked beans.

Just updated! First published way back in 2005.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time-to-table: 90 minutes
Makes 6 cups
  • 8 ounces (1-1/2 cups/225g) dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over
  • Water to cover plus 2 inches
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1 red onion, minced fine
  • 5 ribs celery, minced fine
  • 1 bunch parsley, minced fine (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh dill, minced fine (about 1/2 cup)

In a large saucepan, combine the peas, water and salt and bring to a boil on medium high. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer until the beans are cooked through (and firm, not mushy), about 30 minutes but some times longer, depending on the moisture in the beans. Drain and return to the warm saucepan.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasoning. (Warm beans will more easily soak up the flavorful vinegar and oil.) Stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or cold.

ALANNA's TIPS Nope, no need to soak the black-eyed peas first! They'll cook up fine without soaking but will cook more quickly if they are. Frozen black-eyed peas would work too, I'd use about a pound (450g) or even 1-1/2 pounds (675g). Could canned black-eyed peas work? Hmmm, yes, in a pinch though they'd definitely be my last choice, holy moly, they are so-so salty! The sodium content in canned beans is sky-high, although rinsing does help.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 50 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 74mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 2g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 2 & Freestyle 1 & myWW green 1 & blue 1 & purple 1 This recipe has been "Alanna-sized".

For extra good luck in the new year, cook an extra 8 ounces of dried peas for this quick LUCKY BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP: Sauté onion, garlic and fresh ginger in some oil, then stir in a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice powder, a couple of tablespoons of sherry and a tablespoon each of soy sauce and honey. Add 6 cups (49 ounces) hot chicken broth and a ham hock and bring to a boil. Then stir in the precooked beans and some fresh spinach or kale. Season to taste and serve!

More Recipes for New Year's

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Potato Bites with Smoked Salmon Celebration Salad (Maple-Roasted Carrots with Arugula, Dill, Cranberry Vinaigrette, Pomegranate and Glazed Pecans) Lazy Man's Ciopinno, Shrimp & Fish Stew
~ more New Year's recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

traditional 'greens' to bring financial success in the New Year
~ New Year's Turnip Greens ~
~ Braised Collard Greens ~
from A Veggie Venture

More Fresh Make-Ahead Salad Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad Wild Rice Salad Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs
~ more salad recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Dill & Basil ~
~ Fresh Three-Bean Salad ~
~ Quick Radish & White Bean Salad ~
~ more recipes with vegetables and beans, lentils and other legumes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ canned & dried beans ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005, 2007, 2010 & 2019 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/22/2007

    Oh dear, we are channeling each other again. I am doing black eyed peas (hoppin' John) for Weekend Herb Blogging, to be posted tomorrow. Your soup does sound good. One of my resolutions is to try more new veggies that I haven't cooked before, so yesterday I bought some bok choy. I thought to myself, "Alanna would be proud of me." So I will be visiting your great recipe index even more often.


  2. Charlie and I fixed your black eyed pea salad tonight and it was delicious! Thank you so much!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna