Black Eyed Pea Salsa with Cheese Quesadillas

Quick and EasySalsaTexMexVegetarian

Black-eyed Pea Salsa with green chiles, onions, red bell pepper, served with jack cheese quesadillas

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

It’s New Year’s and an excellent reason to make a dish with black-eyed peas, a good luck tradition for the new year. Black-eyed peas are great any time of the year, but sometimes a celebratory excuse is all we need.

This is a straightforward dish, black-eyed peas prepared in a salsa to be served with lightly browned flour quesadillas filled with melty jack cheese. Perfect for lunch.

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The recipe can be as simple as you want. You can use canned black-eyed peas, roasted bell peppers, and green chiles, or you can cook the peas or roast the chiles and peppers yourself.

Black Eyed Pea Salsa

In the batch I’ve prepared here, I used canned black-eyed peas, and roasted my own poblano and red bell peppers. The chiles were mild, so I added some chopped pickled jalapeños.

Happy New Year!

Black Eyed Pea Salsa with Cheese Quesadillas Recipe

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

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.


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 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons 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


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 Assemble the salsa: 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.

2 Make the quesadillas: 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.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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10 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBlack Eyed Pea Salsa with Cheese Quesadillas

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Barbara - TX

    Absolutely delicious! I made the salsa according to the recipe and served it with spinach mushroom quesadilla. Yum!


  2. Helen

    I made this tonight. Very, very nice. I also did a batch of your cheesy bread. Five adults fed!


  3. 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

  4. 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.

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  5. 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!!

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