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Black-eyed Peas and Collards–A Happy New Year

For health, wealth and luck, be sure to ring in the New Year with black-eyed peas and collards!  Richly seasoned with onions, celery and garlic, the tomato broth is a delicious base for this thick stew of the traditional black-eyed peas and collard greens! Eating these foods together on New Year’s Day is a Southern tradition dating back to the Civil War. Must do!

Black-eyed peas and collards in soup bowl

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.

dried black-eyed peas for Black-eyed peas and collards

collard greens washed a ready for black-eyed peas and collards

Because tradition calls for some sort of pork, like bacon or ham, symbolizing a healthy year, this ripens an interesting discussion, especially for vegetarians. Everything I know says the more healthful route is to skip the pork, so I go with what feels best. I create the intention for a vibrant and fit healthy body and mix in chunks of pretend pork, sausage flavor.

Gimme Lean imitation sausage for black-eyed peas and collards

If you don’t have the time, open a can of black-eyes. A can of beans, a can of tomatoes, some fake sausage, and a punch of spice and frozen collards–easy-peasy. 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!

cutting collard ribbons for black-eyed peas and collards

Serve your greens and beans with hot cornbread or green chile corn muffins. Stir rice into the pot and you have Hoppin’ John, another Southern US original. Or spoon these black-eyed peas and collards on top of 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.

Wishing you a healthy, wealthy and lucky new year. It’s going to be the best year, so far!

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5 from 1 vote
Black-eyed Peas and Collards–A Happy New Year
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Traditional for New Year's Day, these black-eyed peas and collard greens are sure to bring you health, wealth and luck for the coming year! This recipe is made from dried black-eyed peas, but you can substitute canned beans to save time. Estimated time is for cooking the black-eyed peas in a pressure cooker. Plan on an extra 2 hours if you cook the beans regular stove-top. Makes about 6 servings.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: black-eyed peas, collard greens, New Year's Day meal
Servings: 10 servings.
Calories: 136 kcal
Author: Letty Flatt
  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 stalks celery , chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces imitation sausage e.g. Gimme Lean, optional
  • 1 bunch fresh collard greens, stems removed and discarded (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  1. Rinse the beans and put them in a bowl, covering them amply with cold water. Let soak at least 6 hours or ideally, overnight. (If you use a pressure cooker, you can skip this step.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion and celery; cook and stir until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook the vegetables a few more minutes.
  3. Rinse the black-eyed peas and add them to the pot, along with the water, bay leaves, oregano and red pepper flakes. The water should just cover the beans. Bring to a boil; reduce to a slow simmer and cover. Cook two hours or so, topping with water as needed, until the beans are tender to a bite.
  4. (Alternatively, using a pressure cooker, cook 11 minutes under pressure, remove from heat and allow pressure to release naturally.)
  5. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a skillet. Cook the imitation sausage, breaking it into chunks with a spoon, until the “meat” is brown on several sides. Set aside.

  6. Stack the collard leaves one on top of the other and roll into a tube shape. Slice ¼-inch thick into ribbons. Or simply chop into one-inch square pieces. Bring a second pot of water to boil, add a pinch of salt and the collard ribbons.

  7. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are tender. Drain and stir into the cooked black-eyed peas. Add the reserved sautéed “sausage”, salt and apple cider vinegar. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Nutrition Facts
Black-eyed Peas and Collards–A Happy New Year
Amount Per Serving
Calories 136 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 245mg 10%
Potassium 431mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 2g
Protein 8g 16%
Vitamin A 19.4%
Vitamin C 10.1%
Calcium 8.7%
Iron 16%
* 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

  • […] Imagine me, Ms. Frugal, letting free coupons for (really good organic) graham crackers go unused. Three of them almost got away–it didn’t happen but it was close, nope, I found and handed one of the paper freebies to Robbie just before he went shopping for collards and black-eyed peas. […] Reply · 4 January, 2014

  • […] Here’s another recipe featuring collard greens: Black-eyed Peas and Collards […] Reply · 16 September, 2014

  • […] adapted from black bean cake recipe in The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. My recipe for Black-eyed Peas and Collards includes photos of cutting the collard […] Reply · 30 December, 2014

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