Black Eyed Pea Salsa with Cheese Quesadillas

If starting with dry beans, use 2 cups, put in a pot, cover with a couple inches of salted water, bring to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer, and cook uncovered until done, anywhere from 30 to 90 min. Rinse with cold water and drain.

I used a combination of freshly roasted poblano chiles and pickled jalapeños. This is because the poblanos I had were exceptionally mild and I wanted more heat, which I was able to get from the pickled jalapeños. Use some combination of cooked green chiles, either canned or fresh. Taste for heat and adjust to your preference.

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6.


Black-eyed Pea Salsa

  • About 3 1/4 to 4 cups cooked black-eyed peas (2 15.5-ounce cans, rinsed, drained)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cups of chopped, cooked, mild green chiles (2 large poblanos or 3 anaheims, roasted, seeded, and chopped) AND/OR 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños (to taste)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cups of chopped roasted red bell pepper (can use jarred marinated or roast fresh red bell peppers by charring over a gas flame or under a broiler, placing in a covered bowl for a few minutes, wiping off the char, seeding, and chopping)
  • 6 to 8 green onions, thinly sliced including at least half of the greens, about 1/2 to 2/3 cup total
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped, tender stems included (about a cup)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • Large pinch of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 dozen flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, sliced or grated


black-eyed-peas-salsa-quesadilla-5 black-eyed-peas-salsa-quesadilla-6

If you haven't already done so, prep your ingredients. Char and peel your chiles and/or red bell peppers if using fresh not jarred or canned. Cook your black-eyed peas if not using canned.

1 Place the drained cooked black eyed peas in a large bowl. Add the chiles, red bell peppers, and most of the chopped onions and cilantro (reserving some for garnish). Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with crumbled, dried oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Toss and let marinate while you prepare the quesadillas.

black-eyed-peas-salsa-quesadilla-1 black-eyed-peas-salsa-quesadilla-2 black-eyed-peas-salsa-quesadilla-3 black-eyed-peas-salsa-quesadilla-4

2 Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. If you are using something other than a well-seasoned cast iron pan, add a small amount of oil or butter to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add a flour tortilla to the pan. Let it heat up on one side for half a minute. Flip it over and place a light layer of cheese over the tortilla. If you are using grated cheese, you can just sprinkle it all over. If using sliced cheese, lay the slices down on only one side of the tortilla. When tortilla begins to form air pockets or the cheese begins to melt, use a spatula to lift up one edge of the tortilla and turn it over to the other edge, as if you were making an omelette. Let cook until lightly browned, and then flip the whole quesadilla over to the other side and let cook until lightly browned on that side. Remove from the pan and prepare the other quesadillas in the same manner.

3 Cut the quesadillas into pie-shaped wedges and serve with the black-eyed pea salsa.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Liz

    Thank you for lovely recipe. Happy New Year!

  • a

    blue plate complements food-great image!!

  • KimH

    YumMM!! I cant wait for tomorrow.. haha.. I spent most of my life in Texas, both south & north.. but up in North Central Texas (60 miles north of Dallas) we ate Black Eyed Peas topped with a relish called Slang Jang that winds up being very very much like what you have here, though prepared separately.
    There are lots of variations for Slang Jang but the one we use is diced tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, green onions, (maybe celery or celery leaves) jalapenos if you like them, AC vinegar, a little water, salt & pepper..

    The dish Slang Jang supposedly came from East Texas but as far as I know, our family had no ties to East Texas in Grove City I think is where it is supposed to have come from.

    Regardless.. your version looks & sounds amazing & Im gonna have to make your version soon… yum!! Happy New Year!!

    • Elise

      Wow, that’s a new one (for me). I just looked up “slang hang” – tomatoes, pickles, onion, oysters, tabasco, vinegar. What a great idea to mix with black eyed peas! The beans really love the vinegary-ness of the salsa I’ve prepared, so I’m guessing they would go great with slang jang too.

    • Elise

      Here’s an interesting audio interview I just found about slang jang.

  • Mitchell

    It is almost midnight on the West Coast and frankly, since Thanksgiving, Christmas, and now New Year I am tired of eating. However, throughout 2013, every time I see your posts and read about your recipes I get hungry again. Your recipes and website has inspired me not only to eat good food, but to learn how to cook it, talk about it, and share it with good friends but most importantly with my girlfriend whom I love more than food. Happy New Year Elise and thank you for a good year filled with great recipes and such beautiful pictures to go with it.

  • Maura Buchignani

    Hi Elise,
    I have been following your blog and making your recipes for many years. Your recipes are simple, healthy, and consistently delicious. The pictures are beautiful and true to the recipes, what you see is what you get. If the instructions are followed the recipes are fail-proof!
    Thank you very much for the last 10 years and a Happy and Healthy 2014 to you and your loved ones!

    • Elise

      Thank you Maura, I’m so glad you like the recipes. A very Happy and Healthy 2014 to you too!

  • Judith - Texas

    Happy New Year Elise!!! Thanks for this recipe; just filed it away to try later in January. My Black Eyed Peas for Hoppin’ John are cooking as we speak – baked ham on the menu also.

  • Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    Happy New Year! Thank you for always posting such amazing yet simplistic recipes. I cannot wait to see what 2014 has to bring!

  • Gina

    This recipe looks great! I’ll have to add it to my new dishes next week :)

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    Happy New Year! Beautiful pictures and a yummy recipe to go into 2014th :)

  • CAH // TheCarboholic

    Happy belated New Year, Elise!

    This dish looks great, and I love quesadillas with just jack cheese. I grew up eating them as an after school snack and still prefer them over quesadillas with lots of fillings.

    Looking forward to another year of awesome recipes from you.

  • Bronwyn

    Was randomly googling for something to do with cooked black eyed peas and came across your blog. I live in London and black eyed peas are not much used in mainstream cooking but I like the fresh taste – for a dried bean, if you see what I mean!

    Loved the sound of your salad so I made it last night using hot Hungarian pickled chillies, wood smoked Spanish peppers and fresh red pepper dice with sherry vinegar in the dressing and it was gorgeous! Thank you for the inspiration