Southern Black-Eyed Peas (Vegan)

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Enjoy this 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. Alison
    January 15, 2021

    The second time you cook the peas do you drain the water or leave it in?

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 16, 2021

      Hello Alison,
      1. I soak the peas for at least 6-8 hours in water.
      2. I drain the beans, discard the water that the peas were soaked in.
      3. Rinse the peas.
      4. 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

  2. Cefe Hyatt
    January 5, 2021

    This was great! Will make black eyed peas most likely tomorrow or Thursday! I’m a vegetarian & this recipe sounds delicious! I just bought some vegan sausage the other day! Thanks so much! I’ve never made them before as I live alone but will make it & share with my grown children. I’m trying to get into cooking more. I love produce.. & my late Father used to have a grocery store. I have a sweet tooth but would like to explore vegan style or vegetarian, low sugar or healthier alternatives for dessert!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 5, 2021

      Cefe, congrats on your move to try vegan style cooking. I hope you enjoy my recipe. That is so cool that your father owned a grocery store.

  3. Kim McIntyre
    January 3, 2021

    I’m fairly new to dried beans and peas and such and haven’t found the “thing” that just does it for me but oh-thank-you this really does! You’re a hero and I’m now a black eyed peas eater!

  4. Chrishaun
    January 3, 2021

    I made this for New Years and it was delicious. Thanks!

  5. Heidi
    January 1, 2021

    Happy New Year, Michelle! Thank you so much for your recipe! The veggie dogs were exactly what I’ve been missing from various vegan bean recipes. I first used your recipe for New Year’s 2020, and in the past year, your recipe has become the foundation for a lot of bean-based soup/stew stuff that I make now. Sometimes we have it as is, sometimes throw in tomatoes and whatever veggies we have on hand. I’ve spiced it up and down with different kinds of flavors. My kids love it! Once, I even made it too spicy for them but they powered through it drinking a lot of water because they loved the flavor of the black eyed peas. Happiness and health in the new year!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 1, 2021

      Heidi, that is awesome, I’m so happy you enjoyed it and I love how you make it your own. Thank you for your continued support, I really appreciate it. Happy New Year.

  6. Kara
    January 1, 2021

    This recipe is delicious!! My husband and I love it!! Down home goodness and healthy to boot! What more could anyone want!!

  7. Monique Dorsey
    January 1, 2021

    Loved this recipe. Never cooked blackened peas before. I added some turmeric powder and a little lemon juice with. Also added kale to the recipe… the beans was delicious and had a great flavor to it… perfect for our New Years entree….

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      January 1, 2021

      Monique, I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for sharing your adjustments with us. Happy New Year.

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Shaniqua Carter
    January 29, 2020


  13. 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.

  14. 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.