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Black-eyed Peas and Collards {Instant Pot pressure cooker option}

Richly seasoned with onions, celery and garlic, a flavorful tomato broth is the base for this thick stew of black-eyed peas and collards. Enjoy this dish any time of the year, but for health, wealth and luck, be sure to ring in the New Year with black-eyed peas and collards! 

Black-eyed peas and collards with soy-sage in soup bowl

With a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, you don’t have to soak the black-eyed peas beforehand. 16 minutes under pressure, and your black-eyed peas and collards can be done and ready in 40 minutes.

dried black-eyed peas

If you don’t have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, it’s best to soak the black-eyed peas. Plan on 2 hours cooking time.

You can speed up the whole meal by using canned beans. One New Year’s Eve I shopped so late there were no fresh collards to be found. Lucky for my money the frozen section bore chopped collard greens. Canned black-eyed peas and frozen collards–easy-peasy!

collard greens washed and ready to cut

how to cut collard ribbons

Eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day is a Southern tradition dating back to the Civil War.

The idea is that black-eyed peas symbolize good luck and fortune, and collard greens represent money and wealth. I wouldn’t call it superstition, but just to be safe, I always make black-eyed peas and collards on New Year’s Day.

Tradition calls for some sort of pork, like bacon or ham, to symbolize a healthy new year. But this is a vegetarian blog, so … for a meatless stew, skip the pork, create the intention for a vibrant fit healthy body and add sautéed chunks of pretend pork, sausage flavor!

Gimme Lean imitation sausage "soysage"

What if you don’t have collard greens?

You can substitute another leafy green vegetable, like kale or chard. Like for the collards, strip the leaves from the stems and chop the leaves into ribbons or small squares. The kale will take a bit longer simmer to be tender, and the chard, less time. If using chard, chop the stems and add them to the sauté with the onions and celery.

What to serve with black-eyed peas and collards:

Hot cornbread or cheesy buttermilk cornbread muffins are a wonderful complement to flavorful beans and greens.  When you stir rice into the pot you have Hoppin’ John, another Southern US original. Or simply spoon this thick stew over steamed brown rice.

You might enjoy these Hoppin’ John fritters with collards for your New Year’s Day dinner. Or this easy Mexican black-eyed pea salad.

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Nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and any substitutions. The numbers do not include the imitation sausage.

Nutrition Facts
Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens
Amount Per Serving
Calories 196 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 732mg32%
Potassium 682mg19%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 1480IU30%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 132mg13%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Dennis Halloran

    Site looks great, you have the right camera set up Reply · 30 December, 2013

    • Letty

      Thanks Denny,
      The photos will be even better in 2014. Sending love for 2014! Reply · 31 December, 2013

  • I will be making a very similar dish tomorrow! Reply · 31 December, 2013

  • Michael

    When do you add the tomatoes? Reply · 1 January, 2019

    • oh my gosh Michael–thank you! You add them along with the water and spices. I fixed the recipe! Enjoy! Reply · 1 January, 2019

  • CJH

    Hi! You might want to add soaking time and the 2 HOUR SIMMER to the “40 minute” total time… Reply · 2 January, 2019

    • Thank you for the note–I appreciate your feedback and so updated the recipe to clarify times for pressure cooking, regular stove-top cooking, and if using canned black-eyed peas. Reply · 2 January, 2019

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