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Southern black eyed peas with collard greens is a New Year's special meal that I grew up on every year. Tasty by themselves - even better combined into one dish!
I have loaded the peas and greens with leftover ham chunks in order to heighten the flavor even more.
You could use a ham hock, alternately, or cooked bacon along with bacon fat.
It's pretty important to add some sort of pork in there, though, so give in to the delicious flavors of ham or bacon!
Supposed to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.
Although I don't believe in "good luck" by eating a particular food (or by any other means, really), it's a great hearty meal and a fun tradition.
Collard greens are mild yet flavorful. They don't have the bitter tendencies of some other greens (I'm thinking about mustard greens and turnip greens).
Southern Black Eyed Peas Tips
I used canned black eyed peas in this recipe, but you can certainly start out with dry peas if you'd like. I was wanting to save some time.
Using dry beans takes more planning, but they are cheaper, and you do have more control over the levels of salt and seasoning with dry beans.
Pork makes the black eyed peas "southern" ... so adding ham hock, ham chunks, and/or bacon and bacon fat is really all you need to give your peas a southern flare.
If you want to slow cook your dry black eyed peas, simply soak for 8-12 hours or overnight in lots of water (make sure the dry beans stay covered during the entire soaking process).
Drain and rinse the beans before adding to your slow cooker and add your liquid. For every pound of dry beans, add 3-4 cups of liquid.
Don't salt the black eyed peas yet - wait until they are almost done. Salting dry beans early on in the cooking process prevents them from softening as quickly.
Cook the beans on high about 6 hours or low for about 8 hours (or until soft). Add salt to taste, then use in your recipe. Two cans of black eyed peas equals about 2 cups worth.
Southern Collard Greens Tips
I like to start with fresh collard greens that are not yet chopped. This way I can control the process of removing the tough stem centers.
Collard greens can be quite sandy, so make sure to wash each leaf individually, rubbing gently with your hands to get off any dirt or sand.
After I cut out the stem, I then stack the half pieces of leaves and chop into about 1-inch pieces.
This recipe uses about 12-16 ounces of greens, or two medium-sized bunches.
It's really not a science, as the amount you use can be doubled or halved anyway, and you can add more flavor as desired with salt and/or more pork.
First, I like to lay the flavor foundation with garlic and onion sauteed in my Dutch oven.
Then, I will saute the greens a bit before adding the ham and liquid for the rest of the covered cook time.
The black eyed peas will be added near the end of the cook time, as they are already cooked.
What to Serve with Your Southern Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
I like to serve mine with my Easy Southern Cornbread - definitely a fabulous match.
No real need to include anything else but bread, as you're getting your greens, beans, and meat all in one bowl.
My Southern Butter Biscuits are also a great addition to the black eyed peas and collards.
Southern Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic , minced (about 2 large cloves)
- 1 medium red onion (or yellow), chopped (about 1 cup)
- 12-16 ounces collard greens , fresh, rinsed, stems removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup ham , cooked chunks (or cooked bacon)
- 2 cups water (or broth)
- ½ teaspoon salt , more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper , more to taste
- 31 ounces black eyed peas (with only salt added - 2 cans, 15.5 ounces each), drained
- Preheat cast iron Dutch oven on medium for a couple minutes.
- Add oil, garlic, and onion, stir, and cook 5 minutes.
- Add collards to pan, stir, and cover 5 minutes.
- Add ham, salt, black pepper, and water or broth. Lower heat to 3-4. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
- Add drained beans and stir together. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Serve right away with corn bread or biscuits.
I just love collard greens but I never tried them with black eyed peas. Thanks for the recipe. It sounds delicious with some corn bread.
Yes, Scarlet - they are delicious combined together! Thanks for stopping by!
This is such a perfect southern side dish! Just add some cornbread and I am good to go. 🙂
Yes, me too, Carrie! Thanks!
What a great and unique combination. I hav never tried these together. Sounds delicious
We Southern gals eat the two together on a plate often, so I decided to just combine them into one dish and see what happened (along with the lovely ham bits). Was a hit at my house! Thanks for commenting, Kushigalu!
Jas @ All that's Jas
Fantastic comfort food! Perfect to cozy up with on a cold winter night.
Yes it is! Thanks Jas!
I love black eyed peas but I've never made them with greens before!! This recipe looks absolutely delicious - can't wait to make it for my family this week!
A perfect combination! Let me know how you and your family like it!
I have been on the lookout for more ways to cook with collard greens! This sounds amazing as a healthy yet filling side!
This is how my mama God rest your soul used to cook them I still cook them the same way thanks
Glad to hear it Frank!
Hi! Can I use frozen black eyed peas? Also can this be doubled and cooked in a crockpot? Thanks so much!
Hi Michelle! Yes, you can use frozen black eyed peas. I would add them when you add the collard greens instead of at the end, since the frozen ones need to cook and not just heat up like the canned. You can also double the recipe without a problem and cook in the slow cooker. For the slow cooker, I would add everything and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours (or until peas are done). Enjoy, and let me know how yours turn out!
Thanks so much! So everything in the crockpot at the same time even the greens? This is my first time making this.
Yes - everything, even the greens. Make sure to wash your greens thoroughly, and I like to cut out the main stem while chopping them up. I would add the oil, onions, and garlic to the bottom of the slow cooker before adding everything else. Keep in mind that I haven't done this exact recipe in the slow cooker, but I have done many slow cooker recipes over the years. The cook times I gave are estimates - it's done when the beans and greens are tender. Let me know how it turns out for you!
Happy 2021!!! Oh I am making this delish dish today!!! Thank you!!!
Happy 2021 to you too, Jennifer! Hope you love the black eyed peas and collards!
I wished I had a ham hock, as I think it would have given much more flavor. Alas, all I had was a few strips of bacon(my one and only for 2021). Needing a bit of kick, I added crushed red pepper, old bay seasoning, and a bay leaf. With homemade cornbread, it was okay. I know it will taste even better a day later. I think I’ll make a side of southern potato salad. Not that deli stuff, mind you.
Alexandra - Yes, the ham definitely takes the flavor over the top. Sorry you didn't have any available. Homemade potato salad would be great with it!
This dish was incredible! Made this recipe as is (with bacon) to pair with Nashville hot chicken and it was the perfect side dish. Will go to bed dreaming of these greens! Thank you for sharing, Sally! 🙂
Thank you Connie! That's wonderful to hear and made my day!
This was a staple in my home for New Year but served separately. Instead of ham hocks I used smoke turkey necks and flaky biscuits went with the recipe. I looove this!!!
You said we could use dried beans, but then you mentioned a slow cooker. Do we need to use a slow cooker for the dried beans?.....or once soaked can we do the stove top? thanks so much:)
Thanks for your question, Trish! If you want to use dry beans, you can use the slow cooker or stove top methods. Just keep in mind that they are not cooked like canned beans are, so they will take longer. You will need to cook the beans before adding the other ingredients, whether you use the slow cooker or stove top for the recipe. Hope that answers your question. I will try to clarify better in the directions.
yes, that dawned on me just a while ago, lol, and I reread the directions, thanks so much:)!
Would a smoked Turkey leg be ok instead of ham I’m cooking for people that don’t eat pork?
Using a smoked turkey leg would probably be delicious! Give it a try!
Cooked country ham prices with the dry black eyed peas then shredded it up and added to the recipe. Very good. Never thought of combining collards and black eye peas. Thank you!
Yes! Country ham in there would be fabulous, Andy!
I love mixed greens,kale and collard greens and putting the black-eyed peas in them with meat is just a great comfort food and all you need to do is add your cornbread and what a meal 🥰😋😋
I couldn't agree more, Penny! Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback!
I have never had collard greens or black-eyed peas but, decided I could use a little good luck and prosperity this year so I found your recipe and gave it a go. I followed your recipe exactly and really enjoyed it. I used broth instead of water which I always opt for when given the choice. This recipe was delicious and I also made cornbread as my side. I signed up to follow you now and looking forward to making other yummy dishes. Thanks so much!
Awesome Elisha - so glad to hear! Wishing you a Happy New Year full of prosperity!