These Southern Soul Food Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas are made using your pressure cooker and perfect for Sunday dinners and the New Year’s holiday. This no soak recipe uses dried beans and seasoned with smoked turkey.
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here.
For all of my life my family has eaten black eyed peas to bring in the New Year. We would also eat them for typical family dinners alongside a nice pot of collard greens. A pound of peas costs about $1. Making the entire meal is less than $10 in cost. It’s very economical and we ate this dish quite a bit!
The Southern Tradition for New Years surrounds the belief of luck and prosperity. The tradition states this dish should be your first meal of the year.
And though they are called peas, they are actually beans. Like most beans, these are very nutritious and loaded with fiber and protein.
Do You Need to Soak Them?
You don’t need to soak these thanks to the Instant Pot! If you do soak your beans you can try cutting the cook time in half. What’s the best way to cook them? Pressure cooking for sure.
Traditionally, these are soaked overnight in order to reduce the cooking time. If you’re worried about gas, soaking beans has been said to assist with that. In general, black eyed peas are a lot less gassy than pinto beans and black beans.
What Meat is Used to Season the Peas
My family switched from using salt pork and ham hocks to season our beans years ago. We now use either a smoked turkey leg or turkey wing. I love to use turkey wings, too, but sometimes they are harder to find. I find it in the meat section of my grocery store. You may have to ask around for it or use another option listed below.
You can of course still use ham hocks, salt pork, country ham, or even bacon. If you are planning to use bacon I recommend that you cook the bacon in the Instant Pot on the Saute’ function, and omit the olive oil used in this recipe. Cook the onions in the bacon fat.
Remove the bacon and crumble. Set aside until after the black eyed peas have cooked. Sprinkle the bacon throughout once cooked.
How to Make Southern Soul Food Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Saute onions and garlic in the Instant Pot on the saute function.
- Add in rinsed black eyed peas, broth, a turkey leg, Creole Seasoning, and a bay leaf.
- Pressure Cook.
How Long to Cook/Cook Time
Cook them for 30 minutes and then allow steam to release naturally for 10 minutes prior to release.
How to Double the Recipe
You can double the black eyed peas and use the same amount of smoked turkey or opt for one slightly larger. The cook time will remain the same.
How to Make the Dish Vegetarian
Omit the smoked turkey. Use vegetable broth. Add in 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes for flavor.
How Long Will They Last in the Fridge
They will last 3-5 days in the fridge, tightly covered.
These will freeze for up to 9 months. I often freeze my batch for New Year’s in advance! This is a great hack. Be sure to store them tightly sealed. I like to leave them in the broth so that when I defrost they are loaded with flavor.
I like to use the slow cook function for a couple of hours to defrost.
Mushy Black Eyed Peas
Overcooking can result in mushy peas. Be careful not to leave the cooked peas in the covered pot for too long. This may alter the texture.
Peas That Are Too Firm
If your black-eyed peas are too firm, it’s possible they didn’t cook long enough. Add a few more minutes to the cooking time and check the texture after that.
Check the age of the peas. Older beans may take longer to cook and may never become as soft as fresher ones. Using fresh black-eyed peas can make a significant difference in the final texture.
If you love rice and peas, pair this with Instant Pot Brown Rice.
More Ways to Cook Black Eyed Peas
More Instant Pot Recipes
More Southern Recipes
Southern Style Soul Food Baked Mac and Cheese
Southern Homemade Cornbread
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes
Southern Mustard Greens
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Southern Potato Salad
Instant Pot Baked Beans
Southern Soul Food Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound bag dried black eyed peas rinsed
- 1 smoked turkey leg About 1 pound to 1 1/2 pounds, fully cooked, You can find turkey legs and wings at most grocers. See notes for substitutions.
- 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
- bay leaf
- Place the Instant Pot on the saute function and add the olive oil.
- When hot add the onions and garlic. Saute until translucent and fragrant.
- Add in the chicken broth, black eyed peas, smoked turkey leg, Creole seasoning, and bay leaf. Stir.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal. Cook for 30 minutes Manual > High Pressure.
- When the pot indicates it has finished, allow steam to release naturally for 10 minutes.
- Open up the pot and remove the bay leaf and smoked turkey leg. If you like meat in your black eyed peas, use 2 forks and shred the turkey and return it to the pot. Taste repeatedly and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Serve the black eyed peas using a slotted spoon.
- Rinse the black eyes peas first to remove any surface dirt.
- I find smoked turkey in the meat section of the grocery store. Ask around if you can’t find it or use a substitute noted below.
- You can use ham hocks, salt pork, country ham, or even bacon to season the greens. If you are planning to use bacon I recommend that you cook the bacon in the Instant Pot on the Saute’ function, and omit the olive oil used in this recipe. Cook the onions in the bacon fat.
- You can substitute Creole Seasoning for 1/4 teaspoon of paprika, dried thyme, dried oregano, and dried basil.
- You can double the ingredients in the recipe. The cook time will remain the same.
- To make these without an Instant Pot, soak the beans overnight. Add all of the ingredients to a large pot or Dutch oven. Cover and simmer on low for 3-4 hours until soft.