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Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon

A real Southern favorite, black-eyed peas are traditionally served on New Year's Day to bring good luck. The bacon and thyme in my mom’s recipe make them extra special. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + soaking Cook: 40 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh thyme leaves and additional cooked and crumbled bacon, optional


  • Rinse and sort black-eyed peas. Place peas and bacon in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let soak, covered, 1 hour. Do not drain.
  • In a cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in thyme.
  • Stir into pea mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until peas are tender, stirring occasionally, 30-40 minutes. Sprinkle with salt to taste. If desired, garnish with fresh thyme leaves and additional crumbled bacon.
Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 361 calories, 19g fat (7g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 228mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 11g fiber), 15g protein.

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  • moonlinq
    Jan 22, 2017

    I tweaked this recipe a bit and it was a huge hit! I now make this once a month, it's that delicious! Thank you!

  • sueyoung
    Jan 3, 2017

    Almost perfect, I added/topped finely chopped parsley and finely sliced chives.

  • delowenstein
    Nov 19, 2015

    I tried this recipe for the first time! I used 1/2 lb. turkey bacon to cut down on the fat (9 slices, cooked 10 minutes in a 10" skillet until crisp). I'd sauteed the onion and crushed garlic in 1 Tbsp. butter until tender, then added the ground thyme. I did cook the peas after bringing to a boil for 2 minutes; allowed peas to soak 1 hour-I'd added about 1-1/2 to 2 cups water while cooking peas at a boil for 2 minutes. I'd added cooked and diced turkey bacon after cooking the peas for the 2 minute boiling time. When simmering the entire mixture, I'd added the onion mixture to the soaked pea mixture; added 1-3/4 to 2 tsp. salt to taste and 1/2 tsp. ground pepper along with the cooked onion mixture. I'd also added 2 more cups of water, brought pea mixture to a boil on medium heat setting. I then reduced heat and simmered, covered, 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. I think that this dish was quite tasty! I'm sure that the other reviewers also had very good input on how they prepared this dish! To me, this dish is something to make again!delowenstein

  • billybrycebennett3
    Sep 29, 2015

    I have made this three times now and this 3rd time I saut?ed my onion and garlic in my left over bacon fat and bwutter for more flavor. But I have always loved the recipe the way it is!!!! Such a comforting meal!

  • Summy
    Feb 19, 2015

    I agree with another reviewer that this is quite bland, but it's a good starter recipe. Instead of butter I use some of the bacon fat to saute the onion. Gives it a bit more smoky and salty flavor. I also add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar for a sweet and sour flavor that my Mom used to give black eyed peas. And, I think the thyme is overwhelming, and will reduce that by half next time.

  • cindytoy
    Jan 1, 2015

    Followed the recipe exactly and the beans were wonderful.

  • leslie1966
    Feb 9, 2014

    I added some of the bacon grease to the beans while they were cooking. This added some extra flavor. They needed salt but otherwise they were delicious!

  • edbx3471
    Jan 4, 2014

    best black eyed peas I have had.

  • auntiegps
    Dec 30, 2013

    I'm from Wisconsin & my Mom made this but not often enough ! Sometimes she would add green red or peppers, grilled/carmelized onions at the last minute, always garlic right from the start. Sometimes a bay leaf or two, a few all depended on what the meat entree was. You can also cook the beans in vegetable, chicken or beef broth which adds its own flavor. All you have to do is USE YOUR IMAGINATION.

  • drakemail1
    Dec 30, 2013

    To get more salt flavor, use salt pork intsead of Bacon. Slice the salt pork thin and fry just like bacon. Salt pork is very salty so taste often for flavor. I like to used season salt if I feel it needs more salt.