This Greek-style Mediterranean black eyed pea stew is a healthy vegetarian, vegan black eyed peas recipe for the stovetop or Instant Pot. It’s a wonderful one-pot meal packed with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals. Perfect for New Year’s or any day. 

A bowl filled with healthy vegan stewed black eyed peas with tomatoes, broth, spinach and lemon.


For the past several years I’ve shared lentil recipes for New Year’s, as they are an Italian tradition thought to bring prosperity and luck in the new year. This year I wanted to share another traditional lucky New Year dish: Black Eyed Peas. In the southern U.S., eating black eyed peas, especially in the form of Hopin’ John, is thought to bring the same luck. 

Since I’m not from the south, and Mediterranean cooking is more my thing, we’re going with this Greek/Mediterranean inspired vegan black eyed peas recipe. There’s a similar recipe for Ikarian Longevity Stew in my second cookbook, Vegan in an Instant. For more on Ikaria, and healthy Greek cooking, visit Diane Kochilis, and don’t miss our Greek Lentil Soup. Black eyed peas are common in Greek cooking, especially plant-based Greek cooking. 

These black eyed peas are stewed with tomatoes, broth, and greens, and finished with a bright fresh pop of lemon. The zingy note reminds me of another favorite, Lemony Lentil Soup. It’s a hearty vegetarian/vegan dish that works as a main dish or a side. 

Do I Need to Soak Black Eyed Peas? 

A small olive wood bowl filled with about a cup of dried black eyed peas. How to cook black eyed peas.

You can buy black eyed peas fresh, dried, canned, and even frozen! This recipe is written using dried beans that have been soaked. I find this produces the nicest results, with tender beans that mostly stay intact, as they expand slowly. The other benefit of soaking beans is that they become more easily digestible.  You can also use canned beans if that’s what you have in the pantry. 

One reason I love dried black eyed peas is that they cook faster than most other beans. Rinse and pick over the dried beans, discarding any shriveled beans or debris. 

You don’t have to soak your black eyed peas overnight, however. If you forget, you can quick soak them by adding the picked over beans to a large saucepan and covering with water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover the pot, then let soak for an hour or two. 

Can I Make These Black Eyed Peas in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker? 

A vegan black eyed peas recipe in an Instant Pot pressure cooker. The black eyed peas have been stewed with tomatoes and greens.

Yes! This black eyed peas recipe works beautifully in an Instant Pot pressure cooker. I liked this recipe best in the Instant Pot, both in terms of ease and taste. The only difference is that you’ll need less liquid when pressure cooking, as there is very little evaporation. You can also make this in the slow cooker, though I find it the least flavorful method. 

Other Healthy Instant Pot Soups & Stews

Yield: Serves 4

Black Eyed Peas with Greens

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

A hearty vegan black eyed pea stew recipe with tomatoes, greens, and lemon that's easy to make on the stove, Instant Pot, or slow cooker. This Greek-inspired Mediterranean black eyed pea stew is hearty, warming, and healthy and can be made with dried or canned beans. Enjoy thinned out with broth like soup or stew, or scoop out with a slotted spoon.

Black Eyed Peas with Greens


  • 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight (or 2 15-oz. cans)*
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 oz. baby spinach or chopped kale
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley


  1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a soup pot. Sauté onion over medium heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute longer. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper, broth, and drained soaked beans.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until beans are tender, about 40 minutes. Simmer uncovered to thicken, or add more broth or water as needed to thin.
  3. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Season with a few squeezes of the fresh lemon juice, the remaining olive oil, and more salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately garnished with parsley.

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Select sauté (medium) and add 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sauté onion over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano and sauté another minute longer.
  2. Add 2 cups of broth and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom. Add the drained (soaked) beans, then tomatoes. Do not stir.
  3. Lock the lid, with valve set to sealing. Set to manual (high pressure) mode for 3 minutes. Naturally release the pressure for 15 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
  4. Carefully remove the lid. Check that the beans are tender. If not, select "saute" mode and simmer until tender. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Season with a few squeezes of the fresh lemon juice, the remaining olive oil, and more salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve immediately garnished with parsley.


*Always rinse and pick over the dried legumes, discarding any shriveled beans or debris before using. To soak your beans, place in a large bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Let sit at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. To "quick soak" beans, bring to a boil in a pot of water, then turn off the heat and let sit, covered for 1-2 hours.

Serve this black eyed pea stew as a main dish with a chunk of crusty bread or as a side.

If using canned beans, drain and rinse them. Reduce the stovetop cook time to about 25 minutes.

Slow Cooker Instructions

Add all ingredients except for the spinach, lemon, and parsley to a slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Then stir in the spinach, and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1124mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 10gSugar: 9gProtein: 17g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.