Happy New Year friends! We love celebrating and rolling in the new year with black-eyed peas. The southern tradition is that black eyed peas bring you, prosperity, good luck, and fortune in the New Year. Maybe we are a little superstitious, but we love this tradition and they taste incredibly delicious! These black-eyed peas have deep, fabulous flavor from the sautéed mirepoix known as, onions, carrots, and celery, a little bit of sweetness from tomatoes, salty ham, and some freshness from the kale! A pot full of very lucky nourishment you could say. 

Black eyed peas and ham in white bowls.

Ingredients for Black Eyed Peas with Ham 

These are also ingredients that you might have leftover from you holiday dinner!  

Dried black eyed peas: The main component of course! These legumes vary in size and the color of eye may very as well. Thought to bring prosperity and good luck in the New Year! 

Vegetables: The base is simply just onions, celery and carrots cooked in butter or oil to coax the flavors out without caramelizing them. We also use fresh tomatoes here for a bit of sweetness and kale for lots of fresh greens. You could use collard greens in place of kale too, as that is very common to eat with both ham and black eyed peas. 

Ham Bone, Smoked Ham Hocks, Diced Ham: You might have these leftover from your holiday dinner! These lend fabulous salty flavor to the black eyed peas and make for an incredibly delicious combination. If you don’t have a ham bone, any pork bones will work great here!

 ingredients for black eyed peas with ham infographic.

How to Make Black Eyed Peas with Ham

  1. Quick soak your black eyed peas by placing them in a pot covered with water. Bring them to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat. Let soak for 1 hour covered, then drain. 
  2. In a large pot, sauté onions, celery and carrots in olive until veggies are softened, then add you garlic and stir for another few minutes. Once the veggies are sautéed, add the ham bone and ham hocks, beans, and top everything off with water. Simmer for an hour. 
  3. After an hour, remove ham bone and ham hocks and fold in diced ham and fresh tomatoes and simmer for another 30-40 minutes. 
  4. Fold kale leaves into the black eyed peas and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste and you’re done! 

If you wish to use collard greens or turnip greens, add them the same time as the diced ham and tomatoes as these need a bit longer to cook. 

Mirepoix of celery, carrots, and onions in a satué pan. Uncooked black eyed peas in a white bowl.

Low Waste Kitchen Tips When Cooking Black Eyed Peas with Ham

1. Reserve carrot peels and tips, celery ends, and onions ends to add to your stock bag in the freezer. You can also add these to your ongoing stock, like we do! Here is a recipe for our ongoing stock. 

2. Don’t throw away your ham hocks and ham bone! You can keep them to make ham stock in a pressure cooker or you can give them to your dogs and they will definitely be thanking you later. 

3. When removing you kale leaves from the steams, just rip the leaves off and add the steams to your stock bag as well. These thin leaves pack a punch of nutrients and add a lot to your homemade stocks. 

4. Make black eyed peas to have ready at all time! Do a longer soak and rinse them off really well. Freeze them in 1-2 cup portions in freezer friendly bags of containers. Be sure to label the amount and date! 

black eyed peas with ham in white bowl on table with spoon.

Hungry for more New Years food? Check out some of our favorites here:

We hope you enjoy the recipe and may you have a prosperous, healthy and joyful new year!

Black Eyed Peas with Ham Recipe

You can soak the black eyed peas overnight, or use the quick soak method I've outlined in the recipe, which cuts the soaking time down to 1 hour. This is also a perfect recipe for the slow cooker -- just make sure you don't add the greens until near the end to keep them vibrant green (and not dull, lifeless green which you wouldn't want for the new year anyways).
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1/2 pound dried black eyed peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 ham bone (or use any pork bones)
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 3 cups diced ham
  • 1-2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 5 handfuls torn kale leaves (tough stems removed)
  • salt to taste


  • Rinse the black eyed peas, pick through and discard anything that's not-bean. Soak in water overnight or place in pot with water, bring to rolling boil. Turn off heat and let sit in hot water for 1 hour. Drain, discard water.
  • In large, wide stockpot, heat olive oil. Saute carrots, celery, onion on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes. Take care not to burn the vegetables. Add the garlic and saute additional 2 minutes. Add the ham bone, hocks, drained beans and water to the pot. Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Remove the hocks and ham bones. Add the diced ham and tomatoes and simmer for additional 30 minutes. Add in kale leaves and cook until leaves are done (kale leaves only require 10 minutes). Salt to taste (the ham and hocks add quite a bit of salt, so taste as you salt)


Recipe adapted from Food Wishes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!