Black-eyed Pea Chili with Quinoa and Corn

by on January 1, 2014
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Black-eyed Pea Chili with Quinoa and Corn

Happy New Year!

In my newsletter this week, I asked my subscribers what they would rather have, a new semi-healthy dessert recipe or a new black-eyed pea recipe. I received a handful of replies, and all but one of them voted for the black-eyed pea dish (the other wanted both!) Well, I didn’t have time for both, so I put all my energy into coming up with the black-eyed pea recipe, which turned out to be a bit of a challenge because I’ve made them so many different ways already. But I think I’ve come up with another winner. (Side note: If you don’t already, subscribe to NewsBites, so that you, too, can tell me what to cook.)

I’m a big believer in starting off the new year with a meal of black-eyed peas and greens. It’s one of the few holiday food traditions that is actually healthy and vegan, if you do it right. The legend behind this Southern tradition is that a meal of peas and greens will bring prosperity and luck in the coming year, but I like to think of it as a great way to get off on a good foot nutritionally, with basic, whole foods replacing the excesses of the holiday season. And besides, in the chill of January, few things are as comforting as a hot bowl of black-eyed peas.

Fresh Blackeyed Peas

This year, I decided to shake off the January chill with a bowl of black-eyed pea chili, and I added quinoa and corn to make it extra thick and hearty. Instead of using dried beans as I usually do, I used two packages of these “fresh” black-eyed peas my husband picked up at the grocery store. I say “fresh” in quotation marks because I believe these are really just dried peas that have been pre-soaked; I’ve seen fresh black-eyed peas, and they are green rather than tan. Anyway, they cook just like soaked, dried black-eyed peas, so I’ve included the measurements for both dried and fresh below.

This chili was a big success. Even my daughter E, who doesn’t like black-eyed peas since she grew into a picky teenager, liked the chili. Something about the chili powder and other seasonings balances out the normally strong flavor of the peas (I call it earthy), so I think this would be a great dish to serve to someone who isn’t a big fan of the pea.

Black-eyed Pea Chili with Quinoa and Corn

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!


This post contains an Amazon affiliate link to a product I actually use, Muir Glen Organic Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, yum! These tomatoes give chili and other dishes a great flavor, and Amazon’s price for a case with Prime shipping makes them less expensive than what I would pay locally. When you buy something through my Amazon links, I receive a commission that helps support this site. Thanks for your purchase!

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 moonwatcher January 1, 2014 at 11:53 am

Happy New Year, Susan!

This looks great. I’ve already cooked some black-eyed peas last night, so I might use their flavored cooking liquid to cook the quinoa and corn with the tomatoes and sauteed onions, peppers and seasonings and then add the peas back in. It’s right along the lines of what I was thinking of doing anyway! Lime and a bit of avocado sound like great condiments. You’ve done it again! We are indeed lucky you’re around to offer us such good-for-us delicious good luck!!




2 Susan Voisin January 1, 2014 at 7:03 pm

That sounds like a great re-purposing of the black-eyed peas, and a time-saver, too. Thanks for your kind words–I’m so lucky to have this outlet for my cooking mania. 😉 I hope you like the chili!


3 Dana January 1, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Hi Susan, I just wanted you to know I made your dressing and green bean casserole to go with the Christmas Dinner and they turned out GREAT everyone loved them, Thank you for posting all of these recipes I appreciate it.


4 Susan Voisin January 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Hi Dana, I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for letting me know!


5 Jill January 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Susan…what if I want to make this tonight, but I have dry peas and no pressure cooker?


6 Susan Voisin January 1, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Oh Jill, sorry I didn’t see this earlier! You can do a “quick soak” by boiling the peas for 5 minutes and then letting them sit for an hour before proceeding with the recipe. It won’t be fast and probably won’t work for tonight, but for next time….


7 Christine January 1, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Another option is canned black-eyed peas. After reading many labels, I found a salt-free and bacon-free brand called Parade. The only ones left at my local store had jalapenos, which had some preservatives for the jalapenos. I rinsed the beans and used them in another recipe; it turned out fine. I’ll bookmark this recipe for next year!


8 Michelle January 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm

This is what I do – I am NOT a big cook and do not enjoy it so soaking beans overnight? Simply never going to happen in my lifetime. The canned beans were perfect and the chili is incredible.


9 Jill Wilson January 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm

thanks…I actually did just that, but I put them in the fridge…making tonight.


10 Jess January 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Looks great! I am making your Creole Black eyed peas dish today, but have this pinned to make soon! Thank you!


11 Susan Voisin January 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Hope you like the Creole beans, Jess. They’re probably my favorite, but this chili is right up there with them.


12 Jane January 1, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I made this today – it was excellent! I loved it. Thank you. I don’t know what rock I’ve been under, but this is the first year I’ve heard about black eyed peas on New Year’s day…and I’m seeing it everywhere this year.


13 Susan Voisin January 1, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I’m so glad you liked it! I’ve been trying to get out the word about black-eyed peas for years, and then suddenly, a whole bunch of mainstream (non-veg, non-Southern) bloggers started talking about it this year. Peas and greens have hit the big time! :-)


14 Sharon Herbitter January 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Beautiful! I bought the ingredients for your Creole Black-Eyed Peas but ran out of time to cook the rice, so I made the Turkish Ragout with Quinoa instead (my husband gives it two thumbs up!). Creole Black-Eyed Peas tomorrow. This on the list. Made your Thai Black Pepper and Garlic Tofu yesterday. We would starve without you!!!


15 Heather January 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm

This looks very tasty. I doubt I can get fresh black eyed peas here, but will look for dried ones. Thanks.


16 Jen January 1, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Happy New Year! I saw this on your fb post and decided it would be a perfect dish for watching the bowl games today. My husband who never cooks, decided he wanted to make it- and he doubled it so we could enjoy it longer. I’m glad he did. It was delicious!!! And all the spicy heat in it kept us warm on this very chilly day! Thanks for the recipe!


17 Kate January 1, 2014 at 11:05 pm

This looks PERFECT. I could make a big batch of this and eat from it over many weeks. =]


18 Barbara January 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Susan, thanks for all your wonderful recipes! I appreciated your view of “fresh” black eyed peas, as I was wondering if they were really just soaked. My local grocery had “fresh” black eyed peas and collard greens on sale so I made your Spicy Collards and Black Eyed Pea Soup for our New Year’s day meal. It was great over brown rice and we will be enjoying it over a few meals. You really make eating healthy easy and fun will all your helpful hints and tasty recipes. I really appreciate your sharing!


19 Dana January 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I always thought Blackeyed Peas tasted like dirt when I was growing up. I begrudgingly ate a bowl every New Years Day just to make my mother happy. I have learned since that if you actually add something to the blackeyed peas they taste pretty good. This is definitely a recipe I’ll try. I also like the blackeyed pea hummus you have. Yum.


20 Christine (The Raw Project) January 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm

This looks wonderful, must try in my pressure cooker. Thanks!


21 Sandy January 2, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Cooking this now. Maybe didn’t leave enough time to actually eat it before I have to go teach a class…but I will look forward to it!

Question: how “old” are peas/beans before they are bad? If they get bad/old…why doesnt my bag (purchased in last month or two) have an expiration date?


22 janet @ the taste space January 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm

You just popped my bubble, Susan. I thought they were fresh black eyed peas! I bought the same package recently and scratching my head wondering whether they could really be fresh from Texas, in this weather. I had fresh black eyed peas (or so I thought) in the summer and while they looked the same, they honest-to-goodness, tasted like peas. It is definitely worthwhile searching out the fresh ones. In any case, I love adding to my BEP recipe collection. This looks delicious. :)


23 Mary Montanye January 3, 2014 at 9:40 am

I made this last night — had some leftover black eyed peas from New Year’s Day and it was delicious. I cut the recipe in half because there are just two of us and after we had finished it all, my husband said, “Next time don’t cut the recipe in half!” I was a bit afraid of putting in the chocolate powder as I’m not a fan of mole sauce, but this was perfect. I figured, “What the heck, Susan never steers us wrong,” and I was right. Thank you for a great start to 2014 and happy new year to you and your family!


24 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today January 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I’d never guess that it’s a dessert. What an interesting idea.


25 Susan Voisin January 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm

It’s not a dessert. Why would you think it was?


26 sarah January 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Dang! I just got a slow cooker and this seems super easy to make in one! I love beans in just about everything.


27 Amallia January 4, 2014 at 3:12 am

Happy new year too…. I love black eyed peas , thanks for sharing.


28 Sue Bair January 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Today my daughter told me that she didn’t know what she was going to do when there was no more Black-eyed Pea Chili left – especially since it’s going to be sub-zero for a few days. Guess what I’m making tomorrow???


29 Michelle January 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Susan, I have been a big fan of your blog for a while now and regularly make many of your recipes. I made this today and OMG, it could be an all time favorite. It is just crazy good!!!! I’m thrilled it makes such a big batch – lunch for me all week and then some!

Happy New Year!


30 Yvonne January 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Hello Susan,

Wonderful chilli. This is a keeper.
I didn’t have any canned tomatoes, so used a can of spicy pasta sauce instead. Otherwise followed the recipe.
Thank you so much for ‘inventing ‘ it.


31 Julie January 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm

The spices in this soup had a familiar taste to me. Have you used them in another tomato-based soup?

Anyway, made this the day it came to me in my email. It was if you looked in my refrigerator and pantry and said, here is what Julie and Jack will be eating today.

Nice and full bodied flavor. Especially like the use of cocoa as it gives the soup a what is that I’m tasting effect.


32 Judy January 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Another great recipe. I made this today and did a little substitution on the spices as I did not have exactly what was listed AND it turned out great. This is a very accommodating recipe, also fail proof. My husband really enjoyed this as wee. Definitely will continue to make this one.


33 Laurie January 14, 2014 at 11:00 am

My husband and I (fairly new to the vegan lifestyle) decided to give this recipe a go this past week-end. It was fantastic. We both declared it the best chili – vegan or not, that we had ever eaten. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.


34 Susan Voisin January 14, 2014 at 11:01 am

I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for letting me know, and welcome to veganism! :-)


35 Stephanie January 19, 2014 at 6:45 am

I made the chili last night for a dinner party with some non-vegan friends. I usually spend New Year’s with them, but was out of town this year. It’s still January, so I was hoping the black-eyed pea luck would hold. The chili was delicious and everyone went back for seconds. There were six of us and I still had left-overs, which I love.

So far, besides this recipe, I’ve made your shepherd’s pie, layered vegetable casserole, lasagne, and applesauce ginger cake (twice). All for non-vegans and all delicious. I even made the layered vegetable casserole for my book club’s Christmas party and they devoured it.

Thank you so much for being such a fantastic resource. Your blog and newsletter have helped me transition to a much healthier diet and I truly appreciate the time, effort, and thoughtfulness you put into sharing with all of us.


36 Manda January 22, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Thanks for the recipe, exactly what I wanted for tonight!


37 Amy January 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm

This recipe is yummy! I have made it twice for potluck and everyone loved it. I can honestly say that your recipes always turn out well. Thanks for sharing your how to put food together to taste good! Look forward to trying others.


38 Corrin Radd January 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Made this today. Yummy, thanks!


39 Tracie February 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm

I made this today and it was awesome! I never ate black eyed peas before. My store didn’t have “fresh” so I got dried and soaked them overnight. They’re good! Now this Northerner has a new bean in her repertoire! :) Thanks for the great recipe.


40 Angela February 17, 2014 at 5:39 am

My husband made this on Saturday in the slow cooker and it turned out amazing. It’s one of the best chilis I’ve tasted.


41 Toni February 21, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Hi Susan, I just made this dish for the third time since January. It has become my husband’s favorite Chili dish. This time I added a bunch of frozen Kale to the pot with about 20 minutes to cook. (Just because I like to add greens to any dish when I think it will work. ) The kale worked really well here. I served it with a side of garlic mashed Yukon gold potatoes…. YUM! Thanks for helping to keep us healthy.


42 Haylee June 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Hi! Can I use canned black eyed peas instead?


43 Jo July 31, 2014 at 2:48 am

Hey Susan, I tried this recipe and this is really yummy!! Thou I only added 2 tbsp of chili power, I’m on fire! Will try again with less chili powder next time. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


44 Susan Voisin July 31, 2014 at 7:34 am

Sorry about that! The chili powder I use isn’t spicy at all, so look and see if you can find some mild chili powder for next time. It’ll give a deeper flavor without any heat.


45 Wendy1211 August 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

I just made this chili again today. I’d forgotten how good it is! I cooked it 30 minutes in the Instant Pot without soaking the dried Black Eyed Peas first. It’s perfect and so delicious!


46 Linda Cantave September 14, 2014 at 6:31 am

Thank you for this amazing dish. Everything turns out exactly as it look in the picture, I used dry black-eyed peas- cook separately. I brought it to my meditation group for brunch reception afterward.


47 keeg September 17, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Does this recipe freeze well? I would like to double the recipe and freeze half.
I put mushrooms in it since I only had one red pepper. Delicious and really easy. This was my first time using dry beans and it turned out great.


48 Susan Voisin September 18, 2014 at 6:48 am

It should freeze just fine. I’m so glad you liked it. Welcome to dry bean cooking! :-)


49 holly November 7, 2014 at 11:54 am

I made this yesterday for my family and I t was amazing!! We all are it and loved it and today I made vegitarian tacos to use the left overs. Recipe as follows:

Corn tortillas (heat in oven or microwave)
Use this chilli for filling
Put your favorite toppings on
I did othan it shredded romaine, cilantro, black olives and avacado!


50 holly November 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

Sorry for all the typos… my phone was wet and went crazy! I hope you all get the idea though =)


51 Linda Cantave December 28, 2014 at 7:28 am

This is a wonderful meal. I am not a fan of chilly; however I enjoy bringing a warm home cook dish to gathering and I like to bring something new. couple months ago I brought this exact chilly to a Gathering at Saratoga Lake , Saratoga Springs NY. Everyone there praise me and ask for the recipe. didn’t get a chance to relate this or thank you for this master piece. we had more than 20 people there, this is a lot of chilly. today I am in the process of making for my 11:30 am, Sunday brunch, it lovely warm and rich, perfect for family get together. Thank you,


52 Linda Cantave December 28, 2014 at 7:47 am

Dry black eyed pea takes 40 minute to cook,; I don’t soak mine, I just wash and put them in a large pot to boil. I would recommend boil the beans a part ,while preparing the fresh vegetable and other ingredients for the chili. this recipe is elegant with the touch of grated chocolate,it’s gourmet.


53 Melissa January 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Just made this for dinner and it was a hit! Thank you and happy New Year!


54 Val January 1, 2015 at 11:57 pm

I just want to thank you for this recipe. I did a search for black eye peas recipes, and this one appealed to me the most. Since we are not fat free, I did saute’ the onions and peppers with some olive oil, but otherwise used the recipe just as is. The spices were just exactly right. This will now be an official go-to recipe for New Year’s Day, but also likely for anytime we want a flavorful vegetarian chili.



55 Michelle January 19, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!


56 Lynn February 4, 2015 at 10:02 am

Absolutely delicious Black-eyed Pea Chile! First time I’ve tried Black-eyed Peas! Looking forward to more yummy recipes!


57 Erik W February 10, 2015 at 7:27 am

Best regards from Copenhagen, Denmark. This chili was a success here as well. :)


58 Shellie March 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Following step 3 as written, making this in the Instant Pot, do I just saute’ for the 20 mins. with the corn and quinoa? Thanks.


59 Susan Voisin March 28, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Yes, but in the Instant Pot, you will have to keep it uncovered. Use the lowest setting. It may take less than 20 minutes.


60 Shellie March 28, 2015 at 7:28 pm

I figured lid off. When you say low setting, I can never seem to change the saute’ number to anything other than medium. I’ll play around with it. I’ts on it’s NPR now. Can’t wait to try this. :)


61 Susan Voisin March 28, 2015 at 7:42 pm

If you have an IP Duo, you can change the temp by pressing the Adjust button right after you press Saute. The Lux only has one setting, so that may be what you have. I hope you enjoy the chili!


62 Shellie March 28, 2015 at 7:50 pm

I have the Duo. I’ll try it again once it’s ready to add the quinoa and corn. I did saute the onions, peppers & garlic first, and I couldn’t lower it then.

63 Shellie March 29, 2015 at 8:30 am

Found out what I was doing wrong as far as lowering the saute’. When the screen says 30, I hit the adjust button. I wasn’t doing that before. I added the corn and quinoa, and shortly after the screen said Hot, everything was boiling away. In any case, outstanding recipe.

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