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15 Flavorful (and Possibly Lucky) Black-Eyed Pea Recipes

Serve stews, salads, succotash, and more with the bean that's said to bring prosperity.

<p>Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Shell Royster</p>

Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Shell Royster

You don't need to live in the South and it doesn't need to be New Year's Day to enjoy savory, earthy black-eyed peas. Like chickpeas and pigeon peas, black-eyed peas are actually beans, a versatile ingredient that's perfectly suited for stews, salads, succotash, and more. Here, we've rounded up some of our favorite black-eyed pea recipes, including a couple variations of Hoppin' John, curries with the flavors of India and Ethiopia, and a chili from chef Michael Symon.

Hoppin' John with Turnips and Turnip Greens

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Todd Richards spices up his family recipe for this Southern favorite with harissa for extra heat. Richards makes the traditional ham hock optional so that vegetarians can enjoy the dish, adding smoked paprika and cumin to deliver a similar savory depth. Turnips become soft and tender after a quick braise, adding body to the dish.

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Maryland Summer Succotash with Fish Pepper Vinaigrette

<p>Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell</p>

Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Tossed in a tangy vinaigrette and topped with fried pickled okra, this colorful dish showcases black-eyed peas, bell peppers, tomatoes, and corn. Fish pepper adds a fiery heat to the sweet sautéed vegetables.

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Vegan Hoppin’ John

<p>Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Shell Royster</p>

Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Shell Royster

Classic versions of this stew include bacon or ham hock, but this recipe is vegan, omitting the meat. Ingredients like garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder, and tomatoes add savory, nutty, spicy flavor notes to each bowl.

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Black-Eyed Peas with Coconut Milk and Ethiopian Spices

© Paul Costello
© Paul Costello

This creamy, complex-tasting dish from chef Marcus Samuelsson relies on assertive African flavors like berbere (an Ethiopian spice mix) and coconut milk. Don’t leave out the habanero — it’s not too hot because it’s seeded, and it adds a fruity, tropical flavor.

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New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas

© Rob Howard
© Rob Howard

"My mother, a Yankee, insisted that it was good luck to have black-eyed peas on New Year's Day," says chef Ryan Hardy, who has childhood memories of them simmering on the front burner (and collards on the back burner) at his Southern home. He's adapted his family's recipe over the years; he now serves the hearty peas with garlic-rubbed toasts and garnishes them with generous amounts of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Squash and Black-Eyed Pea Coconut Curry

Eric Wolfinger
Eric Wolfinger

In her cookbook Fresh India, Meera Sodha shows us how fast, fresh, and exciting the vegetable dishes of India can be. Here, garam masala–roasted acorn squash joins a very lightly simmered coconut curry with fresh tomatoes and black-eyed peas.

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Marinated Black-Eyed Pea Salad

© Quentin Bacon
© Quentin Bacon

Star chef Emeril Lagasse usually serves this salad at room temperature as a first course with slices of smoked ham and cheese, and crusty bread — Portuguese or not.

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Black-Eyed Pea Salad

© Frances Janisch
© Frances Janisch

Chef Kevin Gillespie often serves this simple bean salad over thinly sliced tomatoes. "They act like a plate underneath," he says. In late summer, look for fresh black-eyed peas for salads.

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Pork Cheek and Black-Eyed Pea Chili

© Maura McEvoy
© Maura McEvoy

Chef Michael Symon defines himself as a "porketarian," saying he can't get enough of the meat. For his luscious chili, he uses incredibly flavorful and succulent pork cheeks — an unusual cut worth seeking out. If pork cheeks aren't available, pork shoulder can be substituted.

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Squid and Black-Eyed Pea Salad

© David Tsay
© David Tsay

"Whenever you go to Spain, you always have beans," says chef Gerald Hirigoyen. "And squid is everywhere in Basque country, where I grew up, and in California, too." Hirigoyen combines earthy black-eyed peas and quickly boiled squid with red wine vinegar and fresh herbs to create a bright-flavored, satisfying first-course salad.

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Million Dollar Stew

Abby Hocking
Abby Hocking

It’s said that eating collards and black-eyed peas on New Year’s will bring good luck, so former F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple includes both in his hearty and rich pork stew.

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Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Sausage

© Lucy Schaeffer
© Lucy Schaeffer

Top Chef judge Gail Simmons' hearty recipe yields a thick, luscious stew loaded with tender peas and spicy Italian sausage.

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Black-Eyed Pea and Watercress Salad with Cornbread Croutons

© Christina Holmes
© Christina Holmes

Chef Sean Brock seasons his black-eyed peas with hot sauce, lemon juice, and vinaigrette before tossing them with crackling cornbread and peppery watercress for a Southern main-course salad.

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Collard Greens with Black-Eyed Peas

© Michael Crook
© Michael Crook

This marriage of two Southern classics — collard greens and black-eyed peas — is not only delicious but super smart: Chef Bobby Flay uses canned chipotles in adobo to give the dish a smoky flavor.

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Minestrone with Black-Eyed Peas and Kidney Beans

© Quentin Bacon
© Quentin Bacon

With lots of legumes and veggies, this robust soup from the late Campanile chef Mark Peel is satisfying as a meal all on its own. Omit the pancetta for a vegetarian dish.

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