Black-Eyed Pea Salad

You can substitute canned black-eyed peas for the dry peas. Use approximately two 15-ounce cans. Rinse thoroughly. Skip step 1 and step 3 in the method instructions.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10


  • 2 cups dry black-eyed peas
  • Salt
  • 1 package of feta cheese, about 7 ounces
  • 1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, about 8 ounces
  • 1 cup black olives, preferably Kalamata or oil-cured
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 large bunch of spinach, about 1 pound, washed, chopped
  • Zest and juice of a lemon


1 Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to make the water taste like the sea. Turn the heat down to low and add the black-eyed peas. Let them cook slowly, uncovered, until they are done, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how old the peas are. Don’t let the water simmer.

2 Add the spinach to a large bowl. Crumble the feta cheese into the bowl and add all the other ingredients except the lemon juice. Mix well.

3 When the black-eyed peas are done, pour them into a colander and spray them with cold water to stop the cooking. Pick through and discard any loose skins or mashed peas; you’ll find a few, but hopefully not many.

4 Add the black-eyed peas to the salad, mix well and serve. Squirt some lemon juice over each serving before you take them to the table.

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  • kathy caldwell

    I tried steaming a pound of black eyed peas. The ones on the bottom were done and the ones on the top were hard. Please give more detailed info on steaming. I used a large pot with a steamer basket in the bottom and water just below the basket.

  • Linda

    Made this for a family get together yesterday and everyone loved it! Took some to my vegan neighbor and she came over today to get a copy of the recipe!

  • Corrie

    Had this for dinner tonight and really enjoyed it. So did my 16mo old! It took a lot longer for the beans to cook, but I might not have had the temp right. Eventually they softened up though. Very simple & easy.

  • Charlene

    Made this for supper tonight using canned peas. Very good! I had cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden on the side. Then I got the bright idea to mix them in the salad. Even better! And the crunch from the cucumbers was just what the texture needed. Can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for a great recipe, Hank!


  • Glenda Thomas

    Greek combined with black-eyed peas- (one of my favorites) This is genius! I love Greek food so this a great twist that will please my palate.
    How creative!

  • km

    great recipe! but just one thing I’m curious about: why does nobody in this country use a pressure cooker? it cooks things like these beans in 15 min, saves so much time and energy.

  • Matthew

    I made this tonight. It was really good. I’d been waiting for a good black-eyed peas recipe to come along. Very interesting mix of flavours and textures. Thanks.

  • Jackie

    This was delicious! The Black Eyed Peas were perfectly al dente. I added some fresh tomatoes along with the sun-dried. The only thing I may add next time is some chopped red onion.

  • Emily Elizabeth

    Just made this for lunch using canned beans as part of my keep-the-kitchen-cool-for-Summer-2010 initiative. Delicious!

  • Alicia*

    This recipe was so good despite my modification of parmesan bits it deserves a 2nd comment! It went well with garlic bread. Sweetie-pie LOVED it and we fought over leftovers. His comment, “Next time, can you use chickpeas?” (Though, I had to add a bit of salt as the parmesan is not as salty as the feta.)

  • Carol

    Hi..looked so good made it for a party for 40 that same night. Guests loved it! Thanks.

  • Sadie

    I just made this salad ~ it was amazing. The beans took a about 1.5 hours to get soft using the technique described above. It is a perfect combination of flavors. Thank you for the recipe!

    Glad you liked it! That’s a long time for black-eyed peas to cook. You may have had very old peas, which can indeed take that long. Crazy how variable it can be… ~Hank

  • gardenpoet

    Tried to discern from the recipe and the comments if we are to add the oil from the bottle of sun-dried tomatoes? Perhaps as part of the dressing? Although sometimes that is quite a lot in an 8-oz jar…

    Yep, you add the oil from the jar. Greeks use a lot of olive oil in their dishes, and I like the flavor from the tomato-infused oil. That said, add only as much oil as you want. ~Hank

  • Georgia Pellegrini

    Sounds great! Would you suggest doing this with other beans too?

    No reason not to, Georgia. Black-eyed peas are a major part about what makes this Greek, though. Good alternatives that “keep it Greek” would be chickpeas or gigandes beans. Of course, I am pretty sure the Greek Police will not knock on your door if you use Great Northern or Pinto beans… ~Hank

  • Richard Coons

    Thank You. I have eaten some sort of bean twice a week for yrs, hot,cold,meat or meatless it all works. Appreciate the “new” method on bean cooking and will use it next and have a crock pot that is set to high and maintains a low boil it may be the new ronco cooker for “perfect” legumes every time! HERVE may want residuals though.
    “Taste like the sea” was great but from Kansas it will be a bit to far to walk.
    Poor memory has left me following recipes and I love a few things I read here. My last salad with these was black eyed peas and black beans it had a great look on the plate. Budget and limited travel will have me modify this by using fresh yellow pear tomatoes(mmm) and mustard greens,and the fresh cheese from the Mexican market. I also just took canned olives (I know) and rinsed them, but am soaking them in the garlic with the olive oil. Yummm! Thx Rick

  • ATL Cook

    I cook beans and grains in a small Crock Pot; no soaking required. Either overnight or during the day works.

    Personally, I like frozen black eye peas much better than canned; bought some last week. It is to be 98 today in Atlanta; almost there. Ate the last of the quinoa salad so it is time to use those frozen black eye peas.

  • Alicia*

    That’s it! I’m making this tomorrow! Perfect for this unusual heatwave (and thank the food gods for canned black eye peas). Since sweetie-pie doesn’t like feta, I think I can get away with some Parmesan shreds and freshly picked basil.

  • Renee

    Lol! Hank always likes cooking water to taste like it’s “from the sea.”

    Sounds like a good dish to take to a get-together – especially since I do live in the South. I love giving Southerners different twists on food!

    Ha! Guilty. I guess I am just an ocean kid at heart. ~Hank

  • Anna

    In Cyprus, we make a similar salad with boiled black-eyed peas and boiled chopped chard. The dressing includes chopped onion, fresh tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Simple and tasteful.
    We don’t add salt in the boiling water as it makes the peas harder..

    Salt will help keep the peas firmer, but I am not a fan of beans or peas that have not absorbed any salt. You can, if you are concerned about firmness, add the salt in the last 10 minutes or so. ~Hank