Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas & Greens (Vegan)

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas & Greens (Vegan)

Holding a cube of cornbread above bowls of vegan Black Eyed Peas & Greens

Happy New Year, friends! What better way to kick off a new year than with a big bowl of Black Eyed Peas & Greens? Not only is it incredibly delicious, but this dish is also believed to bring good luck and prosperity, and we could all use a little more of that in our lives.

This plant-based version is incredibly comforting and delicious. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make with a little help from the Instant Pot.

Collard greens, black eyed peas, vegetable broth, bell pepper, onion, bay leaves, garlic, coconut aminos, and spices

History of Black Eyed Peas & Greens

Black eyed peas (also called cowpeas) are native to West Africa. And they’ve been enjoyed for centuries as a symbol of good luck for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Black eyed peas have been grown in the Southern US since at least the 18th century.

The tradition of serving black eyed peas with greens on New Year’s Day is believed to have originated in the South. The black eyed peas are thought to represent good luck and the greens to represent money or prosperity. You can learn more about the history of black eyed peas and greens here and here.

Our version is not traditional but is our plant-based take on the concept. Find a more traditional preparation for Southern black eyed peas and greens from Immaculate Bites.

Bowl of black eyed peas next to an Instant Pot of sautéed onion and bell pepper

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas & Greens

As we shared in our Instant Pot Guide, the ability to make perfectly cooked beans (quickly!) is one of the major advantages of the Instant Pot.

Black eyed peas have become one of our favorites because they turn out tender and buttery and cook in just 15-17 minutes (no soaking required!). They’re also packed with nutrients such as folate, calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and so much more. And when paired with collard greens — woah, hello nutrition goals!

To make this dish equally flavorful as it is nutritious, we started with sautéing onion, bell pepper, and garlic as the flavor base. Then vegetable broth is used to maximize flavor, bay leaves add earthiness, and cayenne adds heat. For a smoky, bacony element, we went with both smoked paprika and liquid smoke. And for the salty element, we used both coconut aminos and sea salt. Black pepper adds a final spicy touch!

Instant Pot with black eyed peas, broth, and seasonings

We hope you LOVE these black eyed peas & greens! They’re:

Quick & easy
SUPER flavorful
Subtly spiced
& SO delicious!

It’s the perfect dish to serve for New Year’s Day, especially with rice, cornbread, or a baked sweet potato! But it’s also equally delicious any day of the year and would be great for meal prep, easy weeknight dinners, and beyond!

Chopped collard greens in an Instant Pot over seasoned black eyed peas

More Collard Green Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Instant Pot and bowls of vegan black eyed peas and greens

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 38 minutes

Total Time 48 minutes

Servings 4 (Servings)

Course Entree

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Southern-Inspired, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 3-4 Days

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil (if subbing water or broth for oil, start with twice this amount and add additional 1 Tbsp as needed to prevent sticking)
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ cups dry black eyed peas (no need to soak)
  • 3 ½ cups vegetable broth (DIY or we like Pacific brand)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (omit for less heat)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or sub tamari but reduce amount by half as its saltier)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (adds a smoky “bacon” flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 small bundle collard greens, bulky stems removed, leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces (~6 cups chopped)
  • Press “SAUTE” on the Instant Pot. See notes section if you don’t have an Instant Pot. Once hot, add oil and onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and translucent.
  • Add bell pepper and minced garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute, then press “CANCEL”.

  • Add all remaining ingredients except collard greens and stir to combine. Then top with collard greens, but don’t stir (this helps keep the beans submerged in the liquid rather than some winding up on top of the greens).

  • Cover with lid, press “PRESSURE COOK”, and cook on high for 17 minutes. Allow to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.

  • Remove bay leaves and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more paprika and/or liquid smoke for smokiness, cayenne pepper for heat, salt to taste, or coconut aminos for depth of flavor. We added a bit more of each!

  • Serve beans and greens on their own, over rice, baked/roasted sweet potato, or with cornbread (linked above). Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.

*If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make this recipe on the stovetop using canned or dry black eyed peas. Sauté onion, pepper, and garlic over medium heat as suggested in steps 1 and 2. If using canned black eyed peas, drain them slightly and add them at the same time dried beans are added in the Instant Pot method (you shouldn’t need to change the cooking time). If using dry black eyed peas without an Instant Pot, soak them in cool water for 12-24 hours, then drain. Do not add collard greens in step 3. Instead, use 1/2 cup (120 ml) more liquid (vegetable broth or water), bring black eyed peas to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if needed to fully submerge peas. After 30 minutes, the black eyed peas should be al dente. At this time, add the collard greens, stir, and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender and the greens are wilted and darker green. If there is too much liquid, remove the lid, increase heat, and allow some of the liquid to evaporate off.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
*Adapted from Simply Happy Foodie and the Good Luck Black Eyed Peas from the Sweet Potato Soul Cookbook.

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 242 Carbohydrates: 39.9 g Protein: 12.7 g Fat: 5.5 g Saturated Fat: 0.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.43 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.48 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 945 mg Potassium: 604 mg Fiber: 10.6 g Sugar: 7.4 g Vitamin A: 1398 IU Vitamin C: 41.21 mg Calcium: 186.32 mg Iron: 3.75 mg


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