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These Instant Pot black-eyed peas are the best ever, coming from a Southerner! They’re easy to make, thanks to the Instant Pot, and are absolutely loaded with flavor from easy-to-find ingredients. Perfect for New Year’s Day or anytime you’re craving delicious black-eyed peas.

White bowl holding instant pot black eyed peas with ham, bacon, and onion

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • It’s rich, hearty, flavorful and the perfect warm meal for those cold-weather months.
  • The Instant Pot makes this the easiest black eyed peas recipe you’ll ever make! Other than the occasional stirring and mashing, you’ll have a delicious dinner with minimal effort.
  • It’s great for freezer meals! Freeze prepared black eyed peas in covered, airtight containers for up to 6 months.
  • No soaking necessary! This recipe uses dry beans and they still come out perfectly tender, which means less prep work for you!

Key Ingredients

Black Eyed Peas – Hailing from West Africa, black eyed peas are actually beans, and they are a staple in Southern soul food. A traditional New Year’s meal in the South consists of black eyed peas and collard greens – the beans symbolize prosperity and eating them on New Year’s Day supposedly brings good luck and good health in the new year. Of course, they’re perfect to eat any day – they’re a great source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants.

Bay Leaves – These herbs have a scent similar to oregano and thyme, and help bring out the other flavors and spices in a dish. Dried bay leaves have a more intense flavor than fresh bay leaves.

How to Make It

Making Instant Pot black eyed peas could not be easier! Start by sautéing bacon, onion, and garlic in oil in the Instant Pot, then add in everything else and cook on manual high pressure for 25 minutes.

Once the cooking is done, release the pressure naturally for 15 minutes and then vent the rest. Mash them with a potato masher until you’ve got the desired consistency, then sauté them again to thicken up.

Ladle a helping of black eyed peas into a bowl. Garnish with black pepper, olive oil, and Tobasco, and serve with cornbread and collard greens!

Chef’s Tips

  • The age of your dried beans can affect your cook time. If you’re using black eyed peas that have been in the pantry for a while, you may need to add a few more minutes to step 2 of the cooking instructions.
  • Don’t worry if there’s a lot of liquid in the pot after the beans cook – that’s what gives them the ideal texture! As you stir and mash the beans, they’ll combine with the liquid to form a creamy sauce.
  • As good as they are fresh, they’re even better the next day. Reheat them on the stove top over medium heat until heated through. Add a little water if needed.
  • Serve your black eyed peas on top of rice for an easy Hoppin’ John dish.
Instant pot black eyed peas served with a piece of cornbread in a white bowl

More Instant Pot Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
4.98 from 45 votes

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas

Prep 10 minutes
Cook 55 minutes
Total 1 hour 5 minutes
These Instant Pot black-eyed peas are the best ever, coming from a Southerner! They're easy to make, thanks to the Instant Pot, and are absolutely loaded with flavor from easy-to-find ingredients. Perfect for New Year's Day or anytime you're craving delicious black-eyed peas.


  • Instant Pot


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 strips thick sliced bacon cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper plus more for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 ounces smoked ham diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • Tabasco or hot-pepper vinegar as desired
  • cornbread for serving, optional


  • Set Instant Pot to sauté mode and add oil. Once heated, add bacon, onion, and garlic to the pot. Cook, stirring, until the onion and garlic are lightly browned, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Add black pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder. Cook until entire mixture is coated in spices, approximately 2 minutes.
    Onion, garlic, and bacon in instant pot
  • Add chicken stock, ham, water, bay leaves, and black eyed peas. Stir to combine. Secure lid and cook on Manual High Pressure for 25 minutes at high pressure. It will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
    Instant pot black eyed peas with bacon, ham, chicken stock, and bay leaves
  • After cooking is finished and Instant Pot beeps, allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then vent to release remaining pressure. Remove bay leaves, stir in salt. Using a potato masher, mash peas until desired consistency is reached.
    Instant pot black eyed peas with wooden spoon
  • Turn Instant Pot to sauté mode. Let simmer 5 minutes or until desired thickness is reached. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and Tabasco to taste.
  • Serve with cornbread and collard greens for a truly Southern meal.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking. Store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.
  • Make it Vegetarian: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock, and leave out the ham and bacon. It won’t have quite the same flavor, but your beans will still be great!

Approximate Information for One Serving

Calories: 378calProtein: 24gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 1084mgPotassium: 899mgTotal Carbs: 41gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gNet Carbs: 35gVitamin A: 87IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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  1. These turned out really well, very good actually. I added a chopped Jalapeno to spice it up a bit. Thanks so much Cheryl, this will be my go to for next year also.5 stars

  2. I’ve made this twice and it was a hit both times. I had 8 neighbors and friends over on New Year’s Day and everyone raved about these peas – 2 people asked me for the recipe and one has already made them herself! I think the cayenne is the key ingredient here. This is definitely my black-eyed pea recipe into the future! Delicious!5 stars

  3. This is a basic recipe, & seasoning, etc was fine. Only issue I have is that 25 minutes in the instant pot wasn’t enough. I normally always soak my beans, but did not in this case (& the recipe didn’t seem to call for it. Other instant pot recipes have said it isn’t necessary, but I think I will as a default in the future to guarantee creamy beans. These had just a bit of graininess without the soak. Or, maybe increase cooking time by 5 minutes4 stars

  4. Ate this at a neighbor’s house for New Year’s. As a southerner I’ve always eaten black eyes and more often than once a year. This is hands down the best dish of them I’ve ever eaten. My neighbor mostly followed the recipe exactly except she did not have ham so omitted that. This will now be in year round rotation at my house!5 stars

  5. Absolutely delicious and so easy! All of our guests raved about them. I’m going to try this with black beans too!5 stars

    1. Thanks, Casie! Let us know how you like it with the black beans. We’ve got a recipe specifically for Instant Pot Black Beans but it’s pretty different from this one since it meets a different need. Happy new year!!

  6. Recipe was perfect and seasoning was just right. I omitted the bacon and ham and used smoked turkey necks.5 stars

  7. It’s New Year’s Day and I needed a black eyed pea recipe. Not something I ever cook. Only once a year…and today was the day. I searched the net and came across this recipe. I was not at all prepared for how good this came out. I even packed some for my work lunch for tomorrow!! Great flavor. Didn’t change a single thing!5 stars

    1. Thank you for your kind review, Stacie! I’m so happy you loved the recipe so much. Happy New Year! I hope the black-eyed peas bring you lots of luck and prosperity this year!

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