This simple Clean Eating Vegan Slow Cooker Black Eye Pea recipe uses only 3 basic ingredients, is made in a slow cooker or crock-pot, and can be made in a large quantity so you can freeze the leftovers and have another quick meal for another day.
A quick internet search will provide numerous black-eye pea recipes, most of which include meat.
Some people, like myself, have a specific preference on the taste and texture of their black-eye peas, much like personal preferences for salsa and guacamole.
I like my black eye peas to be soft and mushy with a thicker, creamy-type gravy to them.
So if that’s how you like yours, then this recipe is just for you!
In the South, it’s a tradition to have a New Year’s Day dinner with black eye peas and cabbage to bring in the New Year.
This recipe is the one my mother makes every year and that I grew up with as a child.
And now that I’m an adult, it’s the same one I make for my family.
Since everyone has different tastes, I’m just posting the basic recipe/foundation and you can add whatever ingredients you like to season and spice it up.
There are plenty of things you could add in…diced jalapenos, garlic, diced carrots, bay leaves, hot sauce, black pepper or even cayenne pepper. Be creative!
I like to serve my black-eye peas over fresh, steaming hot brown rice and you can even round it out with some warm, fluffy Vegan Cornbread for the perfect vegan meal!
Black-eye peas are super nutritious and are an excellent source of vegan protein, fiber and iron.
I buy my organic dried black-eye peas from the bulk section at Whole Foods, but if you don’t have access to a Whole Foods, you can buy organic black-eye peas online here from Amazon.
So start with this basic version and customize it to the way you like it!
Tip #1: Don’t forget…this is just the basic recipe to get you started, but it won’t have much flavor unless you add your favorite seasonings to it. I decided to share the basic recipe and let you add your own since there is so much variation and everyone has difference preferences. Some ideas are diced jalapenos, garlic, green onions, shallots, diced carrots, bay leaves, hot sauce, black pepper or even cayenne pepper.
Tip #2: Even though you may read that soaking black-eye peas is not necessary, I prefer to soak them overnight to enhance digestibility and increase nutrient absorption. Put them in a large pot or bowl and make sure you have as much water as you do peas because they will soak up most of the water.
Tip #3: During the first hour of cooking (and before adding the onions and salt), use a large spoon and try your best to remove the white, bubbly foam that rises to the top. After about an hour or so of cooking and doing this, you can then add the onions and salt. I used to add all the ingredients in at the beginning (before doing this step) and it was hard to avoid scooping out some of the onions and seasoned gravy.
Tip #4: Not counting the soaking time, it will take approximately 6 – 12 hours for them to cook to the consistency in the photos. I set my timer on high (6 hours) once, checked them, then set it a 2nd time on high (6 hours) for a total of 12 hours cooking time. You may need to adjust the cooking time and setting depending on the type of slow cooker you are using. After the initial 6 hours, just keep checking them until they are cooked the way you like. Check the taste and adjust your seasonings as necessary.
Tip #5: This recipe is for a double-batch, so you can freeze some for a later meal. If you don’t need a double-batch, just divide all the ingredients in half. Also, I used a large-sized slow cooker so if you will be using a smaller crock-pot or slow cooker, you may have to make a single batch so it will all fit. Even with the large crock-pot, mine was filled almost to the top, but everything cooked well and I was able to stir it periodically without any trouble.
Tip #6: I know that the whole idea of a cooking in a slow cooker is to put everything in there and forget about until it’s ready and it seems like there is a lot of stirring and checking on it as it cooks. I happened to be able to check on mine throughout the day and stir it periodically. I’m sure if you set the timer on high/6 hours, leave them unattended while at work, etc and came back without all the stirring and checking, they would be fine. Just adjust the seasonings prior to serving.
Tip #7: If you want to make these, but don’t have a slow cooker or the time to wait, here’s the instructions for making them on the stove-top:
Option 1: If you have soaked the beans: put them in a large pot with 1 1/2 – 2 inches of water covering the beans. Cook on medium heat (slow boil) for approximately 1 hour checking on them periodically, stirring and adding more water if needed. They will be ready when the beans are soft.
Option 2: If you didn’t soak the beans: put them in a large pot with 2 – 3 inches of water covering the beans. Cook on medium heat (slow boil) for approximately 2 hours checking on them periodically, stirring and adding more water if needed. They will be ready when the beans are soft.
Since you already soaked your beans, you won’t need as much water or to cook them as long so you can just go with the directions for option 1.
For both options though, you will need to season them to your preference (my recipe is just a basic recipe, you will need to add extra spices, onions, bay leaves, garlic, carrots, jalapenos, pepper, etc.) Also, add a little more water as you check on them, if needed. I like mine a little mushy but if you like yours with a little gravy, just add a little more water to them as they cook.