This thick and hearty black-eyed pea chili will make a black-eyed pea lover out of you. Vegan, oil-free, and perfectly seasoned, it’s like health in a bowl!
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.
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
- 2 large onions I use a food processor, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 24 ounces fresh black-eyed peas or 1 pound dried peas that have been soaked in water overnight and drained
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 1/2 tablespoons mild chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, red pepper, or hot smoked paprika adjust to taste
- 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes fire-roasted preferred, with juice
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: wedges of lime and slices of avocado to serve
- Heat a large, non-stick Dutch oven or chili pot. [For the Instant Pot, press the Sauté button.] Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the black-eyed peas, broth, and everything up through the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the peas are tender. The time will vary depending on the age of the peas, but count on at least 75 minutes, and add more broth if it looks like it’s getting dry. [In the Instant Pot, stop the sautéing by pressing the Off button. Lock the lid in place and make sure the vent is set to pressure. Press Manual and use the minus button to set the time to 10 minutes. When the time is up and the pot chimes, press Off. Carefully turn the pressure release knob to steam, making sure your fingers are not above it.]
- When the peas are tender, check the seasoning and add more to taste (this is a good time to increase the heat by adding more chipotle powder). Add the corn and quinoa and cook until the quinoa is tender, at least 20 minutes. (If the chili seems too “soupy,” uncover the pot; otherwise, keep it covered.) [In the IP, use the Sauté setting and adjust the heat to low by pressing the Adjust button. Keep the lid off.]
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice or slices of avocado, if desired.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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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!
MelissaJanuary 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Just made this for dinner and it was a hit! Thank you and happy New Year!
ValJanuary 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.
MichelleJanuary 19, 2015 at 3:13 pm
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!
LynnFebruary 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!
Erik WFebruary 10, 2015 at 7:27 am
Best regards from Copenhagen, Denmark. This chili was a success here as well. 🙂
ShellieMarch 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.
Susan VoisinMarch 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.
ShellieMarch 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. 🙂
Susan VoisinMarch 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!
ShellieMarch 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.
ShellieMarch 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.
DumbdumbAugust 30, 2015 at 1:05 pm
Mental note to self: read the dang recipe before starting cooking while hungry at 7.30pm. 😛
TeresaOctober 7, 2015 at 9:35 am
Can this receipe be cut down to 2 or 3 servings? I would love to try in instant pot using can vegies but Serving for 8 is to much for single person. Thank you!
VibekeJanuary 20, 2016 at 2:10 pm
This recipe is delicious, even better the next day!
denise condreayApril 25, 2016 at 1:39 pm
I love black-eyed peas…they are my favorite! I’m making this tonight!
PrincyJune 27, 2016 at 6:01 pm
Holy cow! My husband just made this recipe and it’s amazing! I love black eyed peas but have never had them in a chili before. I love the earthiness they add to the meal and they go so well with the sweetness of the corn. Thanks for an awesome vegan chili recipe!
MarciaJanuary 3, 2018 at 10:34 am
This was just stellar! I’ve never been a fan of BEP because in my youth, I think my mom used canned or something because I always didn’t like whatever BEP dish was served up on New Year’s. We decided to try them one more time, for posterity’s sake, and having recently turned veg/vege, we tried this recipe I stumbled on. It is great! We feel the beans, after soaking overnight and cooking first 8 hours in the crock, then another 2 hours the next day, never really got DONE, but I’m unfamiliar with BEP and maybe they stay a little tooth resistant. They weren’t tough, just not mushy. We didn’t have any veg broth, our veg chicken broth having gone south in the refrigerator, so I used a contained of mushroom broth; and I added Aleppo chili powder having been out of cayenne powder (aleppo are kind of a taste mix of cumin and chili). Anyway, this dish was excellent and we ate it two days in a row and probably will have it again tonight. Maybe I’ll add a couple more hours of crockpot heat to it, too!
nira tellerJanuary 10, 2018 at 10:36 am
This looks tasty. I’m making it right now. I’m sure my family will love it. Thank you Susan!
Eileen VanTasselJanuary 22, 2018 at 1:46 pm
I just discovered this recipe, made it this morning and am having my first bowl for lunch. It is DELICIOUS! I did not have regular smoked paprika, just plain and hot smoked paprika. So I added a tsp of liquid smoke to compensate. The flavor is just a perfect blend to make a party in your mouth! Thank you for sharing this, and for all the work you do!. This is a keeper-like everything else you do that I have made.
Alli MFebruary 5, 2018 at 6:28 am
Delicious! Used two cans of mild Rotel tomatoes with chilies and it turned out great. The chili didn’t need any additional salt, plenty of flavor going on for the vegetarians in my group.
Ginny McNamaraDecember 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm
I just got an Instant Pot for Christmas….YAY!!!
Both my daughters and I have gone vegan & this recipe looks amazing!! I love Black Eyed Pea (& I’m not even from the South!!) and all the other ingredients sound awesome!! Going to make it New Years Eve & serve it New Years Day for a better year ahead!!
Thank you so much for sharing!!
CourtneyJanuary 7, 2019 at 6:37 pm
This was my second time using this recipe. I have now named it my New Years Good Luck chili because this is how I eat my black eyed peas for the New Years. Thank you for helping me create a new tradition. This chili is so wonderful.
DorotaFebruary 27, 2019 at 8:06 pm
OMG we Love this recipe, absolutely delicious. Made it once and forgot to save and now was looking like crazy, so happy to find again. will do it again tomorrow. thank you sooooo much 🙂
SusanApril 20, 2020 at 9:06 pm
This is absolutely my favorite chili recipe EVER. At first, I was reluctant to put in the cocoa powder, but it is in there and not a problem. I must admit, I add zucchini, carrot and greens. The more vegetables, the better.
SydMay 10, 2020 at 11:14 am
How would you adjust the recipe if your black eyed peas are already cooked? I have a ton of cooked black eyed peas to use up, and this recipe looks like it would be perfect!
Susan VoisinMay 10, 2020 at 11:49 am
Do step one. In step two, add about 24 ounces of cooked black eyed peas and enough water to cover (about 3 cups?) and bring to a boil. Then proceed with step 3 and the rest of the recipe.
AliceMay 12, 2020 at 10:59 am
This is hands-down one of my favourite recipes and one that I have now made many times – thank you! It is always a crowd pleaser. Just wondering, do you think it would be possible to freeze it??
Susan VoisinMay 12, 2020 at 1:10 pm
I’m so glad you like it! I think it would freeze just fine.
ShannonSeptember 9, 2020 at 11:06 am
I made this with BEP, navy and kidney beans and it was very good. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us. and I like that you use dried beans.
HalinaJanuary 11, 2021 at 12:37 pm
Can I make this recipe with canned black eyed peas
Susan VoisinJanuary 11, 2021 at 2:17 pm
You can try using 3 cans of black eyed peas, drained, and just enough broth to make a thick chili. You won’t need to cook it as long.
Dr. JAugust 31, 2022 at 6:37 am
Made this last night and it was fantastic! I used dried black-eye peas and prepared the recipe in our Instant Pot. I used quite a bit more quinoa than was called for, but otherwise followed the ingredient list to the letter. It was delicious and so satisfying ~ we’ll definitely be making this again!