What Do Black-Eyed Peas Taste Like?

Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Having ventured into the flavorful world of black-eyed peas, I can assure you that these little legumes hold a delightful surprise for your taste buds. 

With an earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet taste, they bring a unique charm to your plate. Let’s unravel the wonders of their versatile flavor and discover why they’re a true culinary gem.

What Do Black-Eyed Peas Taste Like?

Black-eyed peas have an earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet taste. They’re tender yet firm when cooked and versatile in various dishes. 

They absorb flavors well, especially in classic Southern recipes with onions, garlic, and ham hock. 

Black-eyed peas add a delightful and comforting element to any meal, whether in salads or curries. 

What is Black-Eyed Peas?

Black-eyed peas, also known as cowpeas, are a type of bean that comes from the legume family. 

Despite their name, they’re not peas but beans, featuring a distinctive black spot on their beige skin, giving them a unique appearance.

These peas are widely popular in Southern cuisine and are celebrated as symbols of good luck and prosperity, especially when consumed on New Year’s Day.

Ways to Cook Black-Eyed Peas

  • Classic Southern Style: Simmer the peas with aromatics like onions, garlic, and ham hock for a soul-soothing, comforting dish that pairs perfectly with cornbread.
  • Black-Eyed Pea Salad: Toss them with colorful vegetables, herbs, and a zesty vinaigrette for a refreshing and nutritious salad perfect for summer gatherings.
  • Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Curry: Add heat and flavor with Indian spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric, creating a warm and satisfying curry.

Where to Buy Black-Eyed Peas?

Pouring Water on a Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are widely available in grocery stores, both dried and canned. 

Look for them in the dry beans or canned goods section, and choose the option that suits your cooking style and convenience.

If you want to explore specialty stores or farmers’ markets, you might find heirloom varieties that offer unique flavors and textures.

What Bean Is Similar To Black-Eyed Peas?

If you cannot find black-eyed peas, you can substitute them with other beans, like navy beans, Great Northern beans, or even black beans. 

While the flavor may vary slightly, you’ll still enjoy a hearty and satisfying dish.

Do You Soak Black-Eyed Peas?

Soaking black-eyed peas before cooking can help reduce their cooking time and make them more digestible.

You can soak them overnight in water or use a quick-soak method by boiling them for a few minutes and then letting them sit for an hour.

While soaking is not strictly necessary, it can enhance your black-eyed peas dishes’ overall texture and flavor.

Health Benefits Of Eating Black-Eyed Peas

  • Rich in Fiber: Black-eyed peas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and helping keep you full and satisfied [1].
  • Packed with Protein: As a plant-based protein, black-eyed peas are a great addition to vegetarian and vegan diets, providing essential amino acids.
  • Abundant in Vitamins and Minerals: These peas are brimming with vitamins like folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as minerals like iron, potassium, and magnesium.


In conclusion, my first-hand encounter with black-eyed peas leaves no doubt that these little legumes are a delightful addition to any culinary repertoire. Their earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet taste brings comfort and versatility to various dishes. 

From classic Southern recipes to vibrant salads and hearty curries, black-eyed peas shine with their unique charm. 

So, don’t hesitate to explore their flavorful world and let these beans work their magic in your kitchen. Embrace the goodness of black-eyed peas, and elevate your dining experience with their wholesome and delightful taste. Happy cooking!


Lauren Beck
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