These Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas are the easiest way you'll ever cook dried black-eyed peas. With bacon and seasonings added to the pot, they're delicious and ready in a hurry! They are the perfect solution for your New Years Day meal (or any meal - any day)!
First, let me tell you about this Instant Pot craze I'm on. Probably around a year ago I saw blogger after blogger and even a few real-life friends going on and on and on about the Instant Pot Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker.
But because I have a small kitchen and not a lot of storage space, I'm always hesitant to buy any new appliances or gadgets - especially things that I will only use occasionally.
Also, I'm an avid slow cooker user. So much so that I have 4 of them... one really huge one, two medium/small size ones and one really small one (I use to melt chocolate in for cake pops). I really couldn't imagine that I needed the Instant Pot.
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But as often happens with me, I guess I finally let all the hype get to me and back in July there was a really great sale and before I knew what hit me, I found myself ordering one. And then sticking it under the bar and not using it.
For months. Ugh!
Finally using my Instant Pot...
Fast-forward to December when I was doing a little pre-Christmas decluttering and I came across the Instant Pot under the counter. I made up my mind then and there that I was going to use it or sell it.
I wasn't willing to continue to sacrifice the storage space for something I wasn't going to use. So I ordered an Instant Pot cookbook online (and within days got another Instant Pot recipe ebook for free on my Kindle) and when I had spare time, I started browsing the books.
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The first recipe I made was a Beef Stroganoff (using chunks of roast). I was blown away by the fact that the roast went from raw to falling-apart tender and delicious in under an hour. Next, I saw someone on Facebook talking about "boiling" eggs in the Instant Pot. So I tried that. It was crazy easy.
Then I tried pasta. So, so easy. And it took 4 minutes after pressurizing. 4 MINUTES. Next, I cooked chicken breasts... from FROZEN to DONE in 18 minutes. I.WAS.HOOKED. Where in the world has this appliance been all of my life?!
Oh and about that storage space? I made a place for it on the countertop... I don't foresee actually putting it away at all. I might use it every day!
Instant Pot Black-eyed Peas with Bacon
Fast forward to today - New Years Day - and I woke up late for church. I knew we were supposed to eat pork, black-eyed peas and cabbage (I don't know why - I just know that's "the" traditional New Years Day meal), along with ham, cornbread, and greens.
But that wasn't happening. We had already thawed steaks to cook today (not at all traditional) and I had cornbread dressing thawed from the freezer (also not traditional).
To try and do at least a little bit of tradition, I had planned to soak black-eyed peas last night and simmer them all day today. But I forgot.
About 10 minutes before walking out the door for Sunday school, I thought I'd do a quick check-in the recipe book (that came with it) and see if I could do dried peas in the Instant Pot. I was so excited to see I could!!
I had everything I needed already on hand (see main ingredients above) and I was able to set the Instant Pot to cook just before walking out the door. WIN!!
Should I soak the peas?
- Do I have to soak the peas? While normally dried peas/beans do require soaking before cooking, it really doesn't make a difference in this recipe. I've cooked them countless times without soaking and cannot tell a difference at all.
- If I want to soak them, can I? Absolutely! If you'd like to soak them overnight, rinse them off and cover them with water. Allow them to soak at least 6-8 hours. If you'd like to do a quick soak, you will need about a 3:1 ratio of water to peas (3 cups of water per 1 cup of peas). Add the peas and water to a small pot, bring them to a boil, then immediately turn them off, put a lid on them and soak for one hour.
Can I use something other than bacon?
- Can I use pre-packaged bacon pieces? YES! I have absolutely grabbed a bag of real bacon bits or pieces and used that when I didn't want to fry fresh bacon and crumble it. Works like a charm!
- Do I have to use bacon? While I believe the bacon provides a huge flavor boost, if you're a vegetarian, or don't eat pork, or don't want bacon for any other reason, you can skip the bacon.
- Can I use something other than bacon? Yes, if you just don't like bacon or don't have any, you can use ½ cup cooked, crumbled sausage, ½ cup cubed ham or throw in a ham hock. Leftover ham is perfect for this recipe.
Can this recipe be Vegetarian or Vegan?
- How can I make Vegetarian Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas? I am not an expert on vegan or vegetarian recipes but I'm fairly certain you can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth, then use other seasonings that you love in place of the bacon. I recommend chopped onion, minced garlic, thyme, paprika, salt, and/or pepper.
Can I use frozen black-eyed peas?
- Can I use frozen black-eyed peas instead of dried black-eyed peas? Yes! I cook frozen peas on high pressure for 15 minutes, then let them naturally release for 12-15 minutes, depending on how firm/soft you want your peas. I prefer softer peas and lean toward 15 minutes.
Okay - did I miss any questions? If you have more, leave me a comment. Also, black eyed peas are not a New Years tradition for you, I'd love to hear what you do eat on New Year's Day!
Here's how I made them (and they were perfection):Print