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

Make these black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year!

  • Author: by Serena Ball, RD


  • 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

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This recipe is brought to you by The Recipe ReDux and this month’s theme of “Putting the ‘Pea’ in Potluck.”
Bacon and beans


We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

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