Southern Black-Eyed Peas (Vegan)

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Enjoy flavorful and classic Southern black-eyed peas dish, seasoned with onions, garlic, peppers, and thyme. This recipe is so comforting on cold winter nights or all year long.

Southern Black-Eyed Peas (Vegan)

Since moving to Florida, I noticed that fresh peas are very popular in grocery stores.  These fresh peas like field peas, butter peas, and black-eyed peas can be prepared quickly and they taste buttery when done.

This easy southern black-eyed peas recipe is my favorite, it has bold flavors. Make a big pot for your next gathering, it is delicious served with Cornbread and Southern-Style Green Beans And Potatoes. 

Overlay southern-style black-eyed peas with a wooden spoon, garnished with thyme in a white bowl with cornbread on a white background

For the purpose of this recipe, I will use dry black-eyed peas instead. Check out my Curry Black-Eyed Peas Recipes.

Southern Black-Eyed Peas (Vegan) Ingredients

  • Dried Black-Eyed Peas – if dried black-eyed peas aren’t available, substitute with dried pigeon peas or cowpeas. 
  • Onion – white or yellow onions work great. 
  • Garlic – gives a great flavor, add extra if you are a garlic lover.
  • Bell Pepper – I used red bell pepper but you can use any color you choose.
  • Thyme – my herb of choice for this dish but you can substitute with your favorite herbs.
  • Cayenne Pepper – adds a little kick to your peas, add to taste. 
  • Sea Salt – add salt to suit your own taste.
  • Smoked Paprika or Vegan Sausage – add’s the smokey flavors. 

ingredients for vegan southern black-eyed peas on a white backgroundHow To Cook Black-Eyed Peas Southern Style

Soaking is not a must for your black-eyed peas but it helps to shorten cooking times, increase digestibility. Sort peas, remove debris and wash and soak in water in a large bowl.

Allow the water to be at least 2-3 inches above peas because peas will swell. Soak peas overnight, discard water, rinse and add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil and cook until tender.

For a Southern flavor, I substituted the traditional ham hock with tofu pups hot dog to add a smoky flavor but you don’t have to at all, other options include liquid smoke, smoked paprika, even chipotle pepper or whatever you desire. 

Bowl of vegan southern black-eyed peas being held with one hand and the other with a. spoon in the bowl on a white bowl on a white background

What Do You Serve Your Southern Black-Eyed Peas (Vegan) With?

I enjoyed my black-eyed peas with Cornbread and Vegan Southern-Style Collard Greens and it was so delicious,  comforting, and hearty. Hmmm, the perfect dish to enjoy during these wintry days! You can also serve it with my Cornbread Casserole.

overlay southern black-eyed peas in a white bowl with a wooden spoon, being held with hands on a white background

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(Per portion)
  • Energy: 122 kcal / 510 kJ
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Carbs: 11 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 1 h 36 min
  • Ready in: 1 h 51 min
For: 8 servings



  1. Add peas to 6 cups of water in a large bowl and soak overnight. Drain peas and rinse. Place peas in a large pot with 6 cups of water and bring to boil on medium-high. Cover and reduce heat to a  simmer for about 45 minutes or until peas are tender. If they are drying out before being tender then add extra water or vegetable broth.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium, cut each hot dogs into coins and saute until golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Stir in onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, cayenne, hot dog coins or smoked paprika and salt into the peas and continue to cook until sauce is thickened. Delicious served with cornbread and collards greens.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Bridgette CodlingNunn
    July 6, 2020

    My first time making black eyed peas. It was delicious, simple to make and very flavorful. Thank you for creating such yummy recipes

  2. Kathryn Donangelo
    June 26, 2020

    I love how flavorful this is and wholesome! I could eat this as a meal and can’t wait to try it!

  3. Lenora Ross
    June 14, 2020

    Sounds great! Do you add the garlic, onion, etc. after the beans are cooked? Or during cooking?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      June 16, 2020

      Lenora, I first cook the peas in water until tender. Then I add the garlic, onion etc. and cook until you reach the desired thickness that you enjoy.

  4. Melina
    February 17, 2020

    Very tasty even though I had to use black eyed peas from a can since I couldn’t find the dry ones. I combined it with the Southern Style Collard Greens and the Cajun Quinoa Pilaf and we had an excellent meal.

  5. Shaniqua Carter
    January 29, 2020


  6. Cheryl
    January 3, 2020


    This dish is delicious! I added thinly sliced collard greens right to the pot at the end and cooked till wilted. Used 1/2 tsp of smoked salt and 1/4 tsp of plain sea salt. After plating I added just a dash of homemade Worcestershire! Perfect! Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish.

  7. Brooke
    January 1, 2020

    Absolutely delicious! I did not use the tofu dogs or oil, but the spice mixture took these black-eyed peas to another level ❤️ For the salt, I used smoked salt. I will definitely be making this again! Thank you for your recipes.