Creole Smoky Black-Eyed Peas

Growing up in a southern family, eating black-eyed peas was a part of every Sunday meal at our house. I don’t remember, but I’m sure Grandma opened a can of beans, threw in a ham bone, added some salt, and called it dinner! My recipe has evolved over the years, and this one is my favorite! This vegan version pays homage to my New Orleans side of the family, and its creole influence lends a rich, creamy, and super-smoky deliciousness!

Though called a pea, black-eyed peas are a variety of cowpea and are technically a bean. In the South, this dish is referred to as Hoppin’ John, and while a traditional Hoppin’ John is made with bacon, a ham hock, or fatback, this vegan version uses liquid smoke.

It is customary to make black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck and prosperity for the New Year in southern culture. Served with greens (collards, mustard, or turnip greens, which vary regionally), the peas represent coins, and the greens represent paper money. Cornbread is often served with black-eyed peas and greens, representing gold.

Serve over rice with a piece of cornbread, and enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget the hot sauce!


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Creole Smoky Black-Eyed Peas

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


I like to use dried beans because most canned black-eyed peas are simmered in a ham broth. Or they contain Disodium EDTA, which is a preservative used to promote color retention. It is synthesized from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde, and sodium cyanide. EEK! But you can use canned beans in a pinch, or if you don’t want to wait! When I used canned beans of any kind, I like to use the Eden Organic brand.


  • 4 cups dry black-eyed peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes 
  • 5 cups vegetable stock 
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp voodoo magic spice mix*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Tabasco, parsley, and green onions, for garnish


    • Rinse dried black-eyed pea beans, pick through and discard any debris or bad beans. Add beans to a stockpot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 1-2 hours.
    • Warm a large, heavy skillet (I use cast iron), add 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is shimmering, add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and jalapeños, sauté the mixture for 3-5 minutes. Add voodoo seasoning mix. Sauté until mixture has softened, about 3 minutes. 
    • Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf.
    • Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and add the beans to the pot. 
    • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
    • At this point, if using, add collard greens, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally,
    • Cook until beans are tender and slightly thickened.
    • Add more stock or water if the mixture becomes dry and thick. The texture of the beans should be thick, somewhat creamy but not watery.
    • Remove the bay leaves.
    • Taste and adjust for seasonings with pepper, seasoning, and salt if needed. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onion.
    • Add lots of Tabasco and enjoy it! 


  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 210


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