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Southern-style Black-eyed Peas for #SundaySupper

Southern-style Black-eyed Peas | Magnolia Days

Money is tight for a lot of folks these days. So many are watching their budgets closely and cutting spending. One of the ways I have been able to cut expenses is to cook at home more often. Going out to eat adds up even if it is only a couple of times a week. Getting back to basics is important. One of those basic recipes I have always enjoyed is Southern-style Black-eyed Peas.

Dried peas and beans are a staple in the South. They are inexpensive and make a filling contribution to a meal. Sometimes the meal is the peas or beans. A one pound bag of dried black-eyed peas cost about $1 and makes 8 to 10 servings (or more if you stretch it). Additional cost is for salt pork or bacon to flavor it although it is not necessary. A 12 ounce package of salt pork is about $3.50 and you only use 8 ounces of it. There is a tiny bit more cost with water, salt, and pepper. In total it is less than $5.00 for the whole batch.

To soak or not to soak? That was the question. I usually soak beans and peas overnight like for pinto beans or minestrone soup. I’ve heard black-eyed peas can be made without soaking. I wanted to be sure so I went directly to my experts; my mom and my mother-in-law. Both prepared them the same way. They do not soak them overnight. They both cook them low and slow for about 2 hours. They both use salt pork (also called fatback or streak-o-lean). After consulting with the experts, I knew I would have a winning recipe to share. Oh, and both serve them with chopped onions or chow chow on the side.

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Southern-style Black-eyed Peas

A recipe for black-eyed peas prepared Southern-style with salt pork. A budget friendly recipe for a side dish to go with pork, chicken, or beef.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American Southern
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Author Renee


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas 16 ounces
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 pound sliced salt pork* 8 ounces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. Rinse peas in a colander. Pick out and discard any discolored peas along with any small stones.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a large pot. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer (do not let get to a hard boil). Turn the heat to low or medium-low to maintain a slow simmer. Partially cover and cook until the peas are tender, about 2 hours. Check occasionally and add more water if needed. Remove and discard salt pork. Serve immediately. Optional serving condiment/topping: Chopped onion or chow chow.

Recipe Notes

*You can omit salt pork for a low-fat version. You can also substitute bacon if salt pork is not available.

Recipe Rating


Saturday 13th of April 2013

YUM! One of my all time favorites and I grew up on a recipe very similar to this one.

Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories)

Saturday 13th of April 2013

I've never cooked with salt pork, but very curious about it now. These sounds really quite wonderful...and even better that they are budget friendly.

Cindys Recipes and Writings

Monday 8th of April 2013

In love black-eyed peas, Renee. Thanks for reminding me about them.


Wednesday 10th of April 2013

You are welcome Cindy!

Conni @FoodieArmyWife

Monday 8th of April 2013

Beautfully simple :)


Monday 8th of April 2013

Funny how something so simple can be so delicious!