This recipe for Instant Pot black-eyed peas and ham takes a slow cooking southern stew and speeds it up without losing the flavor. Perfect as a main course or as a side for BBQ or roasted chicken. This black-eyed peas and ham recipe also makes a great potluck dish for a picnic.
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What Are Black Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are a legume with a creamy white color and a distinctive black dot. The black dot makes them look like they have a little black eye. They originated in North African cuisine and made their way to the US and became a staple of Southern US cooking.
I didn’t grow up in the south, so I won’t pretend that this recipe is going to taste like your grannie’s black-eyed peas. I do love southern cooking, though, and it is something we just can’t get overseas. I’m surprised I can even buy black-eyed peas in Ireland. Even then, I need to get them from a South Asian supermarket.
But this recipe, particularly cooked in an electric pressure cooker, is so easy to make!
Cooking Black-Eyed Peas In An Instant Pot
When making dried black-eyed peas in an Instant Pot, there is no need to soak the beans ahead of time. Just rinse them in cool water and drain the water. This is what makes using an electric pressure cooker for beans is such a good idea.
Typically, a recipe like black-eyed peas and ham hocks would take hours to slowly cook on a stovetop, even after soaking the beans for a few hours. Cooking the beans in an electric pressure cooker speeds up this recipe enough that it can even be made for a mid-week meal.
We have the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1. It has a six-quart capacity, which is more than enough to cook for two people or for a small group. There is also an 8-quart option for families. For dried beans recipe, use the bean function or the pressure cook function.
Check out our other Instant Pot Bean Recipes:
Ingredients For This Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Recipe
There are some modifications in this recipe that makes it a little bit different than a traditional recipe for hoppin’ john or something similar. Hoppin’ John is a Carolina recipe made of black-eyed peas, ham, and served with rice. This recipe is closer to a black-eyed peas soup or stew, without the rice.
The modification I recommend from a more traditional Southern black-eyed peas recipes are the modifications that other people might need to do because they can’t get the ingredients. It also makes the recipe a little more easy to make.
Cooking With Ham, Ham Hock, And Bacon
First, it’s often difficult for people to find ham hocks at their local supermarket, particularly if they live outside of the south. Ham hock is the part of the leg above the foot and is always on the bone.
The goal of the ham hock is to infuse the flavor from the pork, the bone, and all of the bits attached to the bone into the black-eyed peas. Unlike other bean and meat dishes, the star here are the beans, not the meat. When cooking hoppin’ john or black-eyed peas and ham hock, the hock is removed before serving.
I use a piece of smoked ham, off-the-bone, if I can’t find a ham bone. It still adds all of the porky goodness to the dish. In the end, it means there is more actual ham meat in the beans, or pieces of ham to serve alongside, and I can’t complain about that.
Black Eyed Peas And Collard Greens
Traditionally a black-eyed peas recipe would incorporate collard greens. Although it is increasingly more common to find collard greens at supermarkets outside of the south, it’s still not a guarantee you will find them. Mustard greens work, but I think the best substitution is just simple kale. It adds the greens to the peas, without disintegrating like a spinach will. Plus, you get all the healthy benefits of kale.
Other Ingredients For Black Eyed Peas And Ham In An Instant Pot
The rest of the ingredients for his dish are pretty simple pantry items and vegetables. This includes cooking yellow onion, garlic, and red pepper in vegetable oil. Seasoning comes from salt and pepper as well as smoked paprika and bay leaves. Sweet paprika is also fine, but means the dish won’t be as smoky. I also add a bit of crushed red pepper for a bit of heat, but you can skip this if you are sensitive to spice.
The black-eyed peas are cooked with a few strips of thick bacon, the ham hock or ham steak, chicken broth (or vegetable broth), and a touch of red wine vinegar. The vinegar adds a bit of acidity to the dish, to offset the richness of the beans and the two types of pork.
How To Make Black Eyed Peas In An Instant Pot
Add the oil, onion, garlic, and pepper into the Instant Pot. Place on the sautee mode and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften. Turn the Instant Pot off.
Add the black-eyed peas, paprika, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper if using. Stir to blend the spices. Add the bacon, ham, vegetable broth, bay leaves, and red wine vinegar and stir well. Remember how many bay leaves you add to remove after.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it. Set the electric pressure cooker to pressure cook for 20 minutes. Once the time is up, allow the pot to naturally release the pressure for about 10 minutes.
Use an oven mitt or towel to press the release button to release the rest of the pressure. Carefully remove the lid away from the face.
Stir the black-eyed peas and taste. Add a bit more salt, vinegar, or crushed red pepper to taste. Leaving the stew on the warming function, start to stir in the greens until they wilt. Serve on their own or with warm corn bread.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 red or green pepper, diced
- 2 cups dry black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 2-3 slices of thick bacon, diced
- 1 small ham hock or smoked ham steak
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2-3 cups of mustard greens, collard greens, or kale
- Add the oil, onion, garlic, and pepper into the Instant Pot. Place on the sautee mode and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften. Turn the Instant Pot off.
- Add the black-eyed peas, paprika, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper if using. Stir to blend the spices. Add the bacon, ham, vegetable broth, bay leaves, and red wine vinegar and stir well.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it. Set the electric pressure cooker to pressure cook for 20 minutes.
- Once the time is up, allow the pot to naturally release the pressure for about 10 minutes.
- Use an oven mitt or towel to press the release button to release the rest of the pressure. Carefully remove the lid away from the face. S
- tir the black-eyed peas and taste. Add a bit more salt, vinegar, or crushed red pepper to taste.
- Leaving the stew on the warming function, start to stir in the greens until they wilt.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 1033mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 11gSugar: 7gProtein: 33g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications And Variations
It’s really easy to turn this into a black eyed peas and kale soup. Just add an extra cup of chicken broth to give the stew a little more liquid. When serving, these black eyed peas go well with cornbread or can be served over rice.
When re-heating, add a teaspoon more of red wine vinegar or spritz with some fresh lemon juice to revive the stew. If planning on making and freezing, then skip the greens. Add the greens fresh when taking them out of the freezer.
FAQs – Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
If the beans are not soaked, it takes 20 minutes on the pressure cook function. It will take about 5-10 minutes for the electric pressure cooker to warm up, plus an additional 10 minutes to allow the pressure to release. In all, it takes about 35-40 minutes.
Black eyed peas are a type of cowpea, which are legumes. That means they are beans more than peas. They are also a type of pulse. This makes them more similar to a black pean or a pinto bean than a green pea.
Black eyed peas have a lot of the same healthy benefits of other beans. They are high in protein, low in fat, and are sustainable foods. They are also high in vitamins and minerals.