A perfectly seasoned Instant Pot Spicy Southern Black Eyed Peas Stew is a great way to end a good year and begin a great new one. Serve this with a bowl of rice or crusty bread. A vegan, nut-free, gluten-free recipe, can be soy-free and made without any added oil.
New Year’s or not, I always have a jar of black eyed peas in my pantry.
Not just because I am superstitious — unless you count my firm belief that black cats and the people who get to live with them are awfully lucky :).
Not just because black eyed peas have, to my mind, the most unique flavor of all beans — and a rather cute look.
No, it’s also because I’ve eaten black eyed peas for as long as I can remember, and I rather believe I cannot live without them.
In Indian cuisine, black eyed peas are a staple. We sprout them, saute them, boil them, pressure cook them, and when we have nothing else left to possibly do to them, we smother them in spices and make a curry.
Over the years I’ve shared with you many black eyed pea recipes, but the one I have for you today is rather special. For one, it’s easy and quick because it all comes together in the Instant Pot. You basically just throw in the ingredients one after the other, click the lid shut, and let the magic happen.
For one, it’s a recipe meant for the New Year’s. Based on the southern Hoppin’ John, this recipe packs in all the flavor minus the ham hocks that usually are part of southern black eyed peas recipes. Instead of the animal fat, I throw in tons of flavorful ingredients to add umami to this recipe.
Umami is that elusive fifth flavor that usually comes from animal ingredients. But there are ways and ways to add it to a vegan recipe, and for these Spicy Southern Black Eyed Peas I use a few of them:
- Tomato paste
- Soy sauce (you can skip this if you want a soy-free recipe)
- Vegetable stock
- Roasted red peppers
Other ingredients that create the perfect chemistry with these umami ingredients are:
- Black eyed peas, of course
- Bell peppers
- Cajun seasoning
- Kale (you can sub collards)
- Ground black pepper
Here are some tips on making the perfect vegan spicy southern black eyed peas stew in an Instant Pot:
- Make sure to use the umami ingredients. Try not to skip them because you really want that flavor. If you hate mushrooms (and why would you?), you’ll hardly even notice them because there are so few here. Or use mushroom stock instead of vegetable stock if you absolutely don’t want the mushrooms. You can skip the soy sauce if you want a soy-free recipe.
- Use vegetable stock. A great trick in any vegan stew or soup is to use a flavorful stock that adds depth, and this stew is no different. It takes just minutes to make a great vegetable stock at home or use storebought, but choose low sodium.
- You can make this recipe free of added oil by using 1/4 cup of vegetable stock to saute the onions, celery and bell peppers.
- The roasted red peppers might seem a bit redundant because you already have bell peppers in the recipe (I used green), but the roasting adds wonderful depth.
- The great thing about cooking in the Instant Pot is, you don’t need to presoak your beans. You can also use frozen black-eyed peas or canned black eyed peas in this recipe. If you do that, set your IP to pressure cook for 10 minutes, instead of the “chili” setting.
- For a perfect dinner, serve the spicy southern black eyed peas with rice or crusty bread.
Here’s the recipe. If you make it, be sure to let me know in the comments below. Or take a photo and post it on Instagram with the tag @Holycowvegan.
Make these belly-warming vegan stews next:
- 1 1/2 cups dry black eyed peas (soaked for 30 minutes and drained before use)
- 1 tsp avocado oil (or any vegetable oil). For a version with no added oil, use 1/4 cup vegetable stock to saute.
- 4 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
- 1 large onion (finely diced)
- 2 green bell peppers (diced)
- 2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 2 roasted red bell peppers (chopped)
- 4 large crimini mushrooms (finely diced)
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos. Skip for a soy-free version and just use more salt to your taste)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Parsley (optional, for seasoning)
Set the Instant Pot to saute and add the oil or 1/4 cup vegetable stock for an oil-free version. When it's hot, add the onions, celery and green bell peppers along with the garlic and salt and black pepper to taste. Saute for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomato paste along with the thyme, Cajun seasoning, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, kale and soy sauce and mix well. Add the black eyed peas and the vegetable stock. Give everything a good stir and add more salt and ground black pepper if needed.
Place the lid on the IP and set it to the "chili" function. When the stew is cooked, you can either release the pressure manually after 10 minutes, or leave the IP alone until all of the pressure has released. Check for salt, and add more if needed. Stir in the parsley if using.
Serve hot with crusty bread or rice.