Lucky Black-Eyed Peas for an Auspicious New Year (With 5 Recipes)

Updated on January 3, 2019
Becky Puetz profile image

Over the years, I have met people who tell me they don't like black-eyed peas. After they try my recipe, they change their minds!

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's is believed to bring good luck in the coming year.
Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's is believed to bring good luck in the coming year.

Folklore and Traditions

The traditional New Year's Day meal typically consists of black-eyed peas, a dark, leafy green (e.g., collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, or spinach), ham or pork, and cornbread. Folklore has it that eating this meal on New Year's Day will bring you good luck, good fortune, and success throughout the coming new year.

Each of these foods symbolizes a wish for the coming year:

  • Black-eyed peas: prosperity
  • Dark leafy greens: wealth
  • Ham or pork: positive actions and success
  • Cornbread: gold and prosperity

5 Recipes for Black-Eyed Peas

In this article, I will share five different ways to prepare this dish. Whether you're preparing it for a lucky New Year's meal or for any other day of the year, each of these recipes is sure to please!

  1. Basic Black-Eyed Peas
  2. Traditional Southern Hoppin' John
  3. Semi-Homemade Black-Eyed Peas
  4. Super Time-Crunch Black-Eyed Peas
  5. Guaranteed Crowd-Pleasing Black-Eyed Peas (my personal favorite)

Recipe #1: Basic Black-Eyed Peas

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound) bag dry black-eyed peas
  • Water (for cooking the peas)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a pot.
  2. Cook as directed on the back of the package.

Recipe #2: Traditional Southern Hoppin' John

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound) bag dry black-eyed peas
  • Water (for cooking peas)
  • Chicken broth
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 smoked ham hock (or 2 cups smoked ham, cubed)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can green chiles, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil of your choice
  • 4 cups cooked long grain rice

Instructions

  1. Prepare the back-eyed peas according to the package directions. However, instead of using only water, use 50% water and 50% chicken broth.
  2. In a separate pan, saute the onions and celery in oil until they are tender and transparent. Add garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. In a Dutch oven, add all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 1 hour, or until the peas are tender.
  4. Serve over cooked rice.

Recipe #3: Semi-Homemade Black-Eyed Peas

Ingredients

  • 4 cans black-eyed peas
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced (optional)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage (e.g., Hillshire Farms), sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil of your choice

Instructions

  1. In a frying pan over medium heat, add the oil. Add onion (and optional bell pepper). Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add sausage slices and toss to coat in the onion mixture. Continue to cook until the sausage is lightly browned.
  3. Add the black-eyed peas, salt, and pepper into the sausage mixture. Bring to a soft, low boil and then remove the frying pan from heat. Cover until ready to serve.

Recipe #4: Super Time-Crunch Black-Eyed Peas

Many of us are so busy these days, and we don't always have time to cook the meals we would like. Even though you may be pressed for time, here's a very quick way to enjoy your New Year's Day lucky meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans seasoned black-eyed peas
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated minced onions
  • 1 large slice of ham, cubed and warmed in the microwave
  • 1 cup of instant rice, cooked according to package directions

Instructions

  1. To a pot, add all of the ingredients.
  2. Heat on the stovetop until the mixture has reached the desired temperature.

Recipe #5: Guaranteed Crowd-Pleasing Black-Eyed Peas

Over the years, I have met a few people who tell me they don't like black-eyed peas and never eat them. I have made this recipe for just these people and guess what—they've all loved it. It's so popular that I actually make this recipe year round. It's always a hit. So even if you're not a fan of black-eyed peas, you should give this recipe a try this. Bonus... it's fast and easy to make.

Get your colander ready: You will be thoroughly draining all of the juices from these cans.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Italian salad dressing (store-bought)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cans black-eyed peas
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut in quarters, and thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, shredded

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, add the Italian salad dressing and sugar. Stir with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and let stand.
  2. Place your colander in a clean sink. Empty the contents of all of the canned goods (peas, beans, and corn) into the colander. Rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Set aside and allow to fully drain.
  3. In a large mixing or salad bowl, add the drained peas, beans, and corn. Add the celery, onions, and carrots. Whisk the dressing again for about 15 seconds and pour over all ingredients. Toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Toss again before serving. Serve cold.

Best Wishes for an Auspicious New Year!

I hope you've enjoyed learning about culinary traditions for the new year. Give one (or more) of these black-eyed pea recipes a try, and let me know what you think in the comments section below!

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