Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Background and History

Black-eyed peas, also known as cowpeas, are a staple legume in Southern cuisine with a rich history dating back thousands of years. Believed to have originated in Africa, they made their way to America through the transatlantic slave trade. Today, black-eyed peas are enjoyed worldwide for their nutty flavor and nutritional benefits.


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 6 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: ham hock, bacon, or smoked sausage for added flavor


  • Rinse the black-eyed peas under cold water and remove any debris or stones.
  • Place the peas in the Instant Pot along with the water or vegetable broth.
  • Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, diced bell pepper, and chopped celery to the pot.
  • Sprinkle the smoked paprika, dried thyme, salt, and pepper over the ingredients.
  • If using, add the ham hock, bacon, or smoked sausage for extra flavor.
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
  • Select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” setting and set the timer for 20 minutes on high pressure.
  • Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully switch the valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure.
  • Carefully open the lid of the Instant Pot and stir the black-eyed peas.
  • Serve hot as a side dish or main course, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.

Nutrition Facts

  • Black-eyed peas are a nutritious source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.
  • One cup of cooked black-eyed peas contains approximately:
    • Calories: 200
    • Protein: 13 grams
    • Fiber: 11 grams
    • Fat: 1 gram
    • Carbohydrates: 35 grams
    • Iron: 20% of the daily recommended intake
    • Vitamin A: 15% of the daily recommended intake
    • Vitamin C: 10% of the daily recommended intake


  • For a richer flavor, consider using vegetable broth or adding a ham hock, bacon, or smoked sausage to the Instant Pot.
  • Black-eyed peas can also be seasoned with Cajun or Creole spices for a Southern twist.
  • Leftover black-eyed peas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for longer storage.

Allergy Warning

  • Black-eyed peas are legumes and may cause allergic reactions in individuals with legume allergies. If you have a known allergy, consult with a healthcare professional before consuming black-eyed peas or any legume-based dish.