Black-Eyed Peas: Smoky Sweet Instant Pot Recipe

No ratings yet

This recipe is the perfect way to celebrate with family and friends. It's simple to prepare and the Instant Pot makes cooking a breeze.

smoky sweet goodness!

Traditionally, this dish is known as a good luck recipe that brings prosperity and good health to the new year. We prefer to think of this black-eyed pea dish as the perfect way to start the year with a reset. In fact, I like to make this recipe when I’m in the mood for a delicious bowl of legumes that’s a little more on the smoky sweet side, and, when I need a reset! And don’t we all from time to time.

While “world-famous” might be a bit of a stretch, in my apartment building, my Black-eyed peas are an annual tradition that sparks anticipation among friends and neighbors. It’s not just a feast; it’s a chance for people to reconnect, share laughter, and forge new connections.

Since it’s an annual event, I keep my time-tested tradition of black-eyed peas, cornbread, and greens on the menu. However, I like to shake things up a bit and provide a slightly different variation from year to year. It keeps things interesting and people on their toes trying to guess what this year’s change up will be. Plus, it’s fun for me.

Last year, I made traditional southern-style black eyed peas, but wanted to mix it up with the cabbage dish. I decided to make my Sweet and Sour Roasted Cabbage instead of traditional boiled cabbage. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so naturally, this year called for another shake-up.

Enter the star of this year’s show: Black-Eyed Peas, with smoky sweet goodness. Imagine the earthy taste of black-eyed peas, with a hint of smokiness and a touch of sweetness. It’s a flavor explosion that’s bound to steal the spotlight at any gathering, whether it’s New Year’s Days or the middle of June.

This dish can be prepared in advance or easily adapted for a one-pot meal, allowing you to spend more time with loved ones and less time in the kitchen. This convenience makes it well-suited for a relaxed and enjoyable celebration.

Black-Eyed Peas: Good Health Recipe

this satisfying dish will engage all your senses!

This delicious, and easily prepared dish is perfect for those looking for a smoky sweet dish that’ll nourish their bodies and hearts. With the benefits of being nutrient-rich, promoting heart-health, providing a boost in energy and overall well being – you can’t go wrong with this recipe!

Smoky Sweet Black-Eyed Peas: A Toast to Great Health!

Not only does it look good, but it's great for the body!

My recipe is one for the books when it comes to the incredible health benefits packed into this dish. Beyond its mouthwatering flavor, each spoonful offers a nutritional powerhouse that contributes to your overall well-being.

Black-eyed peas take center stage as an excellent source of plant-based proteins. These proteins are crucial for muscle repair, immune function, and overall cellular health. The absence of saturated fats in plant proteins also makes them heart-healthy, promoting cardiovascular well-being.

Digging into a bowl means treating your digestive health to a fiber-filled feast. The combination of peas, vegetables, and tomatoes provides a hefty dose of dietary fiber. Fiber aids in digestion by supporting a healthy gut microbiome.

Embracing Smoky Sweet Black-Eyed Peas as part of a balanced diet may aid in weight management. The combination of protein and fiber promotes satiety, helping you feel full and satisfied, potentially reducing overall calorie intake throughout the day.

The inclusion of black-eyed peas in this dish contributes to its relatively low-glycemic index. This means it has a slower impact on blood sugar levels, providing a sustained release of energy. For individuals managing blood sugar, incorporating such low-glycemic foods can be beneficial.

Substitutions for Protein

plant-based recipe

If you’re looking for a healthy way to add some protein in your Smoky Sweet Black-Eyed Peas, consider incorporating lean meats or plant-based iron sources. Here are several options:

  1. Lean Turkey: Choose lean ground turkey or turkey breast as a substitute for ham. Turkey is a good source of iron and provides a leaner option compared to some other meats.
  2. Chicken Breast: Opt for skinless, boneless chicken breast. It’s low in fat, high in protein, and contains a moderate amount of iron. Grilled or baked chicken breast can be a flavorful addition to your dish.
  3. Lean Beef: If you prefer red meat, choose lean cuts of beef such as sirloin or tenderloin. These cuts provide iron along with protein without the higher fat content found in some other beef cuts.
  4. Tempeh: For a plant-based alternative, consider tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented soy product that is rich in iron and protein. It has a nutty flavor and a firm texture that can complement the dish.
  5. Ham: Black-eyed peas and ham together provide a substantial amount of iron. A well-maintained iron level supports energy production and overall vitality.

Considering Dietary Preferences

By preparing this dish at home, you have control over the sodium content. Choosing low-sodium or no-salt-added canned tomatoes and mindful seasoning allows you to enjoy the flavors without excessive sodium intake, promoting better heart health and blood pressure management.

Whether you follow a vegetarian, vegan, or omnivore diet, Smoky Sweet Black-Eyed Peas can be adapted to suit your preferences. It’s a versatile dish that accommodates various dietary needs, making it a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.

As you savor the robust flavors of this dish, just know that each bite contributes to your health and well-being. Smoky Sweet Black-Eyed Peas not only make for a great tradition but also serve as a reminder that indulgence can coexist with nutrition. So, as you usher in the new year with this delicious dish, you’re not just celebrating; you’re nourishing your body from the inside out.

What’s Needed for these Smoky Sweet Black-Eyed Peas

smoky sweet black-eyed peas

To prepare this dish you’ll need an instant pot, of course, and these ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 7.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces canned tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby bella or white mushrooms, sliced thin

This is just the basic formula for this recipe, experiment and add your own spin on this hearty bowl of goodness!

Recipe Details

Once you’ve prepared chopping and slicing the ingredients and unpacking the assortment of spices, it’s time to pull out the instant pot and get to work!

These ingredients come together to create a wonderful tasting and nutritious dish that combines smokiness, sweetness, and savory notes. It is up to you to adjust the quantities according to your preferences and the number of servings you plan to prepare.

Frequently Asked Questions

smoky sweet black-eyed peas

Q: Why Black-Eyed Peas?

A: Black Eyed Peas are a New Year’s tradition in many households in the Southeastern United States. Superstition has it, that eating some form of this dish just after midnight, or sometime on New Year’s Day will bring good luck for the coming year.

Q: Can I use a different bean?

A: Certainly! If you are not superstitious, make the recipe your own. I always encourage people to experiment with my recipes and put their own unique spin on them. Go for it!

Q: How can I make mine a little spicy?

A:  If you aren’t a vegetarian, try adding some spicy smoked sausage! I have made variations of this recipe using chili oil drizzled over the top, a pinch of cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or red chili flakes. The options are endless!

Q: What are some good accompaniments with this dish?

A: For my world-famous annual New Year’s Day Brunch, I serve them with either collard greens or cabbage, cornbread, and smoked ham. Along with selections of Champagne, Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas, of course!

No ratings yet

Black-Eyed Peas: Smoky Sweet Instant Pot Recipe

Start a new tradition with these flavorful black-eyed peas!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 10 people
Serving Size 0.5 Cup
Course Dinner
Cuisine American


  • 1 pound black-eyed peas dried
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon thyme leaves dried
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 7.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces tomato paste canned
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter salted
  • 1 onion medium, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms baby bella or white, sliced thin


  • Set instant pot to "pressure cook", "high", and set timer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove rack from inner pot and set aside. Combine first 9 ingredients in instant pot and stir. Cover and lock lid.
  • Set pressure valve to "sealing". Timer will start once pressure level is reached.
  • While peas are cooking, prepare the onions & mushrooms.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter and add onions and mushrooms. Saute, but do not stir often, to allow caramelization. Do not crowd the pan, and work in batches if necessary. Set aside and keep warm.
  • When timer goes off on instant pot, allow a 15 minute natural release before moving pressure valve to "venting" to release remaining pressure. Check peas for doneness, and if not done, seal and cook on high for another 5-8 minutes before checking for doneness again. Be sure to allow a natural release to avoid burns.
  • Spoon beans in bowls and top with caramelized onions and mushrooms. Happy New Year!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5Cup | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 1050mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 989IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg |
Keywords Holiday, Instant Pot, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian

Have you made this recipe?
Tag @skinnyms on Instagram or hashtag it #skinnyms

Before you take a bite of this wonderful dish, I want to hear about your New Year’s Day traditions. What’s the dish that steals the spotlight on your table? Share your stories and recipes in the comments below; let’s create a virtual potluck of traditions that bring joy to the start of the year.

From all of us at, we wish you a New Year filled with happiness, prosperity, and, of course, delicious culinary adventures. Cheers to a year of good food, good company, and good times!

Enjoyed this post? Check out more:

Liking our content? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and eNewsletter for the latest from SkinnyMs! Be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to join our community!

This post may include affiliate links.

Chef Sallie

Chef Sallie is a personal chef, recipe developer, cookbook author, and culinary instructor. She specializes in providing healthy meals for athletes, designed to prevent injury, promote healing and provide fuel for peak athletic performance. Her recipes are designed to use seasonal, whole ingredients. Her in-home and virtual cooking classes show her clients which ingredients can be used to help treat specific health issues and improve their quality of life. She is dedicated to the idea that delicious, healthy meals can be easily prepared and accessible regardless of budget.

More by Chef

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating