Black Eyed Peas with Tomatoes and Onions

Black eyed peas are not only rich, earthy delicious pulses–they are considered lucky! And for good reason, as this plant food is packed with nutrition, affordable, and versatile. This simple, rustic recipe for Black Eyed Peas with Tomatoes and Onions (which is also vegan and gluten free) gives a nod to Southern regional foodways. My Arkansas-born mother loved to cook black eyed peas year round. She would simply soak them overnight, and then simmer them with just a touch of salt the next day. These beans were so yummy served over cornbread. This black eyed peas recipe is almost that simple–all it contains is a bag of dried black eyed peas, onion, garlic, smoked paprika, Cajun seasoning, black pepper, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, lemon, and parsley. You can prepare it in only 10 minutes, then set the pot to simmer until the peas are tender. You can use this recipe for crock pot black eyed peas or instant pot black eyed peas, too. Just serve it with cornbread (like my mom used to) or whole grain bread and a side salad. 

Black Eyed Peas Nutrition Notes 

With a modest 160 calories per serving, black eyed peas are packed with nutrition, including a good source of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Including pulses–beans, lentils, peas–in the diet at least a few times a week can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and certain types of cancer. This recipe is low in fat and sodium, and is added sugar, added sodium, and added oil free (the salt and olive oil is optional). 

How to Cook Black Eyed Peas

It’s super easy to cook these from scratch. Just open the bag of dried beans, dump them in a large pot, and cover them with water so that you can see at least two inches of water on top of the beans. Then place the lid on the pot and let them soak about 8 hours or overnight. The next day, drain off the water and add fresh water or vegetable broth (about 8 cups per pound). Cover and cook until tender (45-60 minutes). You can also cook your presoaked black eyed peas as directed above in a slow cooker or crockpot on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. For the instant pot version, skip the soaking and add the water and ingredients to your Instant Pot and cook on the “bean” setting. You can add your favorite seasonings and veggies to your black eyed peas, such as with this recipe. Learn more about cooking with black eyed peas here


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This gluten free vegan recipe for Black Eyed Peas with Tomatoes and Onions is simple, earthy, delicious, and downright affordable.

Black Eyed Peas:

  • 1 pound black eyed peas, dried, uncooked
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (learn how to make this seasoning here)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 34 cups water 
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)


  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)

  1. Place black eyed peas in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cover with 2 inches of water, cover with a lid, and soak overnight (about 8 hours). Drain off water, keeping re-hydrated peas in the pot or Dutch oven. 
  2. Add onion, garlic, smoked paprika, Cajun seasoning, black pepper, broth, and 3 cups water. Stir well, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. If mixture becomes dry, add a small amount of water to keep from burning. 
  3. Add tomatoes with liquid and lemon juice. Stir well. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, until peas are tender yet firm on the outside, stirring occasionally. May add additional water if needed. Should make a thick, stew-like texture. 
  4. Taste and add salt if needed (optional). 
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil (if desired, optional). 
  6. Serve immediately. 


Slow Cooker Instructions: Follow step 1, but place re-hydrated peas in the slow cooker. Add all ingredients in step 2 to slow cooker. Cook over high heat 4-6 hours or low heat 8-10 hours. Add ingredients in step 3 right before serving. Follow steps 4-6 as directed. 

Instant Pot Instructions: Do not follow step 1. Place black eyed peas and all ingredients in steps 2 and 3 to Instant Pot. Cook using the “bean” setting. Follow steps 4-6 as directed.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 213
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 263 mg
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 12 g
  • Protein: 13 g

Keywords: black eyed peas recipe, how to cook black eyed peas, canned black eyed peas, crock pot black eyed peas, how to make black eyed peas

For other vegan entrees featuring pulses, check out some of my favorites:

Fresh Cranberry Beans with Pasta and Greens
Ratatouille with White Beans
Chipotle Black Bean Burger
Vegan Stir Fry with Chinese Long Beans and Tofu
Jackfruit Black Bean and Quinoa Tacos

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