The Recipe Redux: Black-eyed Peas and Bacon

black eye peas and bacon
Black-eyed peas brought us a fair amount of luck in 2011. These ‘magic’ beans just appeared in our garden this year; and as coincidence would have it, this season we had the most bountiful garden in our gardening history!

While our home-grown supply of black-eyed peas has long since been turned into salads, soups and even hummus, I thought it can’t hurt to start 2012 with a little black-eyed pea luck. Black-eyed peas are a typical Southern dish served on New Year’s Day. When served along with collard greens and ham, each meal component is to bring luck in the new year: The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion forward.

I adapted (and ‘healthified’) this recipe from several I found. And while I plan to serve it to a crowd with greens on January 1st, when I tested it, the smokey spicy beans made a hearty and warming side dish for speedy homemade sub sandwiches. The leftovers would be delicious thrown into a soup pot with leftover greens and ham.

Black-eyed Peas and Bacon


  • 2 cups dry black-eyed peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 6 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Rinse beans. In a large saucepan, combine beans and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Drain and rinse beans. Return beans to pan and add bay leaves, salt and 6 cups fresh water. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15-25 minutes until tender. Drain; discard bay leaves.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon till crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving about 1 1/2 tablespoon bacon drippings in skillet. Crumble cooked bacon; set aside.
  4. Add sweet pepper, onion, garlic, carrot, thyme, oregano, red pepper and black pepper to skillet. Cook and stir til vegetables are tender. Stir in beans and bacon; heat through.
  5. Makes 12 servings

This recipe is brought to you by The Recipe ReDux and this month’s theme of “Putting the ‘Pea’ in Potluck.” Check out all the fantastic bean, pea and lentil recipes below.
Bacon and beans

Never miss another recipe or giveaway!
Sign up to get Teaspoon of Spice posts by email.



  1. Looks delicious! I’m thinking hard, but I don’t think I’ve ever eaten black eyed peas before. I’d love a little extra luck in 2012, so I definitely need to make these :-) Best of luck to you too, and thanks to both of you for all the work you’ve done with the Recipe ReDux!!

  2. You know, I have never had this traditional dish! I know, I know, I must have to worst luck, right!?! I think I will have to try it for the New Year!

  3. You grew the BEP? So cool.

  4. Love me some black eyed peas! They have such a distinct flavor and are perfect with greens. Love that they “appeared” in your garden. So cool!

  5. Great way to use black eyed peas. That is so cool you were able to grow them in your garden. I will have to look into that. :)

  6. Thanks for the black eyed peas lesson Serena. We are not very familiar with them in Australia, only the band with the same name. Wishing you a fab festive time.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing