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"smoke on the water" instant pot black eyed peas recipe

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Fast cooking and flavorful Instant Pot Vegan Black eyed peas recipe for a quick way to get a meatless southern staple on the weeknight dinner menu.

The Instant Pot is a lifesaver. Especially when it comes to cooking quick and easy vegan black eyed peas during the week or for that New Year's Day good luck! This traditional Southern dish can be made with just a few simple ingredients in your pressure cooker, and it's perfect for feeding a large crowd. Whether you're celebrating the new year at home or bringing a dish to a potluck party, this recipe is sure to be a hit!

Vegan, Southern-style black-eyed peas are a cinch to make in the Instant Pot. No soaking is required! Just rinse the peas and add them to the pot with some vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and spices. Set it and forget it! In just minutes, you'll have a delicious, hearty, and healthy vegan meal that is sure to please everyone at the table. Serve over rice or quinoa for a complete meal. Add some hot sauce for a little extra kick!

This version is delicious without the addition of pork ham hock. The natural flavor of the black eyed peas is enhanced by a smoky vegetable broth I made beforehand.

meatless instant pot vegan black eyed peas recipe in a white bowl


This recipe is the one I served for a traditional New Year's Day meal along with vegan collard greens. I know you're probably thinking this recipe is a little late, but it also doubles as a go-to meatless Monday menu item. Instead of the usual smoked pork pairing, I went heavy on the smoked paprika and dried chipotle chili pepper to replicate that delicious smokiness.

Ingredients Needed To Cook Black eyed Peas In An Instant Pot

From a flavor perspective, it can be hard replacing the deep smoky flavor provided by smoked meat. It's doable but requires a few more ingredients. The smoked paprika and dried chipotle add depth, earthiness, and smokiness. The thyme adds fresh herbal elements, while the tomatoes add both brightness and acidity which helps balance things out.

Black Eyed Peas Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Bell Pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Cumin powder
  • Fire roasted tomatoes
  • Vegetable broth
  • Bay Leaves
  • Dry Black eyed Peas

Vegetable Stock

  • Water
  • Dried Chipotle chil peppers
  • Celery stalks
  • Onion
  • Ear of corn
  • Carrots
  • Bay Leaf
  • Fresh thyme
  • Black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt

How To Make Instant Pot Vegan Black eyed Peas (step by step)

Make the stock

Homemade vegetable stock is one of the best ways to add deep, complex flavors to a dish. It's also rather easy. Choose your veggies, chop them, add water, cover and simmer. Bam! My vegetables of choice include staples like carrots, celery, onions, herbs, and bay leaves plus non-traditional including ears of corn and dried chipotle chilis.

Pre-Heat a large pot on the stove top at medium high heat. Add the dried chilis and toast briefly (1 minute) to release the chilis' natural smoky flavor. Add the water and vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow the stock to cook for 30 minutes to an hour. Be patient, a longer cook time isn't a bad thing. More time allows the flavors to come together. Just don't forget to remove the dried chili before it disintegrates fully into the stock.

Set the stock aside until needed.

Make the Peas

Turn the Instant Pot on and set to "Saute" high settings. Once the display reads "Hot" add the olive oil. Saute the onions, garlic, and peppers stirring occasionally until onions become translucent. Add half the spices and mix in well.

Cancel saute function. Add the homemade broth, bay leaves, fresh thyme, and tomatoes. Mix well then stir in the dried beans. Add the lid back and lock, turning the valve to sealing position. Cook at high pressure for 17 minutes. Use natural pressure release for 20 minutes then turn the pressure release valve to venting until all remaining pressure is removed.

Unluck the lid and remove the thyme and bay leaves. Stir the pot, taste for flavor, and adjust seasonings as needed.

instant pot vegan black eyed peas recipe in a white bowl

Vegan Black Eyed Peas Cooking Tips and Considerations

If going meatless, it's important to add flavor/season at every step.

  • Make your own homemade enriched veggie broth instead of relying on store-bought. My recipe is more flavorful and less salty.
  • Saute the aromatics aka onions, garlic, and peppers first to release more flavors
  • Use your vaorite dry spice seasonings for flavor. Cajun seasoning is a great add.
  • Many vegan recipes for Southern cooking call for liquid smoke as an alternative to smoked pork meats like ham hock, neck bones, etc. I prefer to rely on more naturally smoke flavors from paprika and dried Mexican chili peppers like chipotle or morita peppers.
  • Don't be so quick to release pressure manually. Rely on natural release and you will end up with both more flavor and better texture.
  • After adding the black eyed peas add the enriched homemade stock plus additional seasonings
  • After cooking I like to add a little acidity to open things up. Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc. are great for this. Add after pressure cooking - just stir in and allow to jell for 10-15 minutes or so.
  • To make these a more hearty side dish add greens like swiss chard. They are a great way to enhance an already delicious recipe.
  • Season and serve: Discard the bay leaves and thyme, then stir the pot. Taste and add more pepper and salt as needed.
  • For a more creamy bean recipe, cook a bit longer on the saute settings after pressure cooking. Alternatively, you can also remove a cup or two of the peas and smash/puree them then add them back to the pot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Cooking Instant Pot Black-eyed peas

Are black eye peas the same as field peas?

Field peas are the umbrella name/term for most peas. Black eyed peas are actually a varietal of field peas as are crowder peas and purple hull peas. It's just that black eyed peas are the most popular type of field pea, but there are so many other lesser known ones.

Can This Black eyed Pea Recipe be Made in a Crockpot or Slow Cooker?

Yes, but the flavor will not be as intense. While slow cookers are very convenient, you do trade-off flavor to a certain degree depending on what you're cooking.

Does this recipe work with other legumes?

Yes, try the same approach with pigeon peas or any of the field peas I mentioned earlier.

Do You Have To Soak Black Eyed Peas?

For instant pot use, you actually do not have to soak the peas, but admittedly for me old habits die hard so I most often do unless I remember not to.

More Black Eyed Pea Recipes

I'm a big black eyed peas fan and have lots of recipes. I made a list of ten of my best, but feel free to try a few others below:

Fried Blackeyed Peas

Blackeyed Pea Falafel

Hoppin John

Blackeyed Peas and Collards

Blackeyed Pea Soup

Blackeyed Pea Salad

Classic Southern Black-eyed Peas

Making This Instant Pot Black eyed Peas Recipe

So, if you are looking for a delicious and easy vegan dish to add to your New Year’s feast, look no further than this Instant Pot Vegan Black Eyed Peas recipe. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, this dish can be on your table in no time. You might also want to add it to your weeknight regular rotation too. Will you give it a try?

If you make these quick vegan black eyed peas, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

meatless instant pot black eyed peas recipe in a white bowl

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Recipe

Fast cooking and flavorful Instant Pot Black eyed peas recipe for a quick way to get a southern staple on the weeknight dinner menu.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: southern
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 238kcal
Author: Marwin Brown


Black Eyed Peas Ingredients

  • tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion chopped
  • Bell Pepper seeded and diced
  • cloves Garlic chopped
  • sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • ½  tbsp  Black Pepper
  • 1 /2 tablespoon kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 ½ cups homemade vegetable broth
  • 2 small Bay Leaves
  • 1 ¼ cups  Black-Eyed Peas  dry

Vegetable Stock

  • 8 cups Water
  • 3-4 Dried Chipotle chilis
  • 3 Celery stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 large Onion roughly chopped
  • 1 ear of corn halved
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt


Black Eyed Peas Instructions

  • Turn the pressure cooker on to the Saute function. When the display reads Hot, add the oil.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  • Add the thyme, smoked paprika, pepper, cumin, and salt. Stir.
  • Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Add the broth, bay leaves, and tomatoes.
  • Stir in the black-eyed peas. Add the lid twisting to lock it, and turn the valve to sealing. Cook at high pressure 17 minutes.
  • Turn the valve to venting. and then let the pressure release naturally undisturbed for 20 minutes. Unlock lid, and remove thyme and bay leaves with tongs. Stir the pot. Test for taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Vegetable Stock Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for an hour. Remove the dried chilis after about 20 minutes as you don't want them to break down and release the spicy heat from the seeds into the broth. 
  • Remove from heat, Strain and store until ready to use.


Be sure to remove the chipotles from the broth after about 15-20 minutes. Otherwise you'll have some fiery broth after it breaks down and release seeds into the broth.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 832mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 8045IU | Vitamin C: 56.3mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 4.8mg
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Recipe Rating


Monday 17th of February 2020

Absolutely love this recipe although I use low sodium organic broth from the store.. My grandson started eating this at 1 year old and still loves them at 18 months. Easy, healthy and delicious!

Marwin Brown

Monday 17th of February 2020

Thank You! Glad you enjoyed the recipe