It’s a lofty statement to make, I know. But, I’ve only adopted this fun New Year’s Day dish since 2004. Supposed to bring good luck, this typically Southern tradition is also celebrated at Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

This is an updated recipe from one posted in 2014. I especially like this one because of the many layers of flavors.

Warmth. Sweetness. Spicy.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: IP – 7 minutes, stove top 30-45 minutes

Makes 4 cups


  • 2 ½ cups raw, organic black-eyed peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chopped Italian seitan sausage (optional, but….)
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smokey paprika
  • 3 Tbls. liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbls. maple syrup
  • Several dashes of Cholula or hot sauce of your choice
  • 1-2 cups no salt vegetable broth
  • Several dashes of ground black pepper and salt to taste


Cooking the BEP’s

It’s not necessary to soak them. Just rinse, and sort through to discard funny looking peas.

  1. If using an Instant Pot, add your (unsoaked) peas, bay leaves  and enough water to cover them by an inch. Manual setting for 8 minutes should do it. Check after natural pressure release and cook for another 2-3 minutes if necessary.
  2. If cooking them on the stove, add peas and 4 cups of water to a large pot. Bring to a boil, add the bay leaves and reduce heat to simmer. Cover pot and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until BEP’s are tender.
  3. Transfer tender, cooked BEP’s to a large bowl and remove the bay leaves.
  4. Using the same stove pot, heat to medium and begin to cook the onions. Add small amounts of broth to keep them from sticking.
  5. When they start to soften, add the garlic, red pepper, and celery with a 3/4 cup broth, or more if necessary.
  6. Cover the pot and cook on a simmer for 8 minutes, until other vegetables are softened.
  7. If using the seitan sausage, this is where you can add it to the pot, along with the rest of the spices, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Mix in well, and cook uncovered until all liquid has been absorbed.
  8. Add the hot sauce, pepper, salt and mix in well.
  9. Cover and remove from heat.

These peas are best the second day, but we couldn’t stop eating them right from the pot after they were done!

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