New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas Recipe

December 28, 2014
Honor Southern tradition by enjoying this New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas recipe, along with collards and pork.  It may just bring you luck and good fortune for the upcoming year!

New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas Recipe image

In the South, the traditional New Year's Day meal consists of collard greens, some form of pork, and black-eyed peas.  According to lore, a New Year's meal of these three things brings you luck and good fortune for the upcoming year.

In our house we honor this Southern tradition, including this New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas recipe in our New Year's meal.

But just exactly why does New Year's tradition focus on these three foods as harbingers of good fortune?

According to legend, collards and black-eyed peas represent money ~ the collard greens meaning dollar bills and the peas, coins.  Eating these on New Year's day ensures wealth and luck.

Some form of pork is traditional for New Year's Day according to because "pigs have also long symbolized progress. A pig can't turn his head to look back without turning completely around, so it's believed that pigs are always looking to the future."  Eating pork on New Year's Day, therefore, symbolizes making forward progress in the upcoming year.

For our traditional meal, my husband Mark prepares a pot of his pressure cooker collards and I make a big pot of this New Year's Day black eyed peas recipe ... including good ol' fat back and hog jowl bacon to season both.

Fat Back and Hog Jowl Image to make New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas

Hey, we've got to get the traditional pork into the New Year's Day meal, right?

A word of caution when seasoning your New Year's Day black eyed peas recipe with fat back ... a lesson I learned the hard way ...

Rinse your fatback.  And if it's really salty on the surface, soak it in cool water for about 15 minutes to draw out some of the salt.  Believe me, your taste buds will thank you.

Salt in food to season it = yummy.  Way  too much salt in food to over season it = not good.  Not good at all.

See all the grains of salt on the surface of the strips of fatback in the photo below?

Fatback image for making New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas Recipe

Well, I made a big cooking error.  And threw those fatback strips just as they were ... unrinsed ... into my pot of New Year's Day black eyed peas.

Unfortunately, because of all that salt, this rendered them pretty much inedible.

So if you see all that salt?  Rinse.  Or soak.  For sure.

When preparing this New Year's Day black eyed peas recipe, you may think it's too soupy when everything is first put in the pot ... looking about like this ...

Making New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas Recipe image

But as the black eyed peas simmer, the liquid cooks down ... looking about like this at the end of the cooking time ...

How to Make New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas image

And yielding the perfect bowl of New Year's Day black eyed peas, all ready to help bring luck and good fortune for the upcoming year.

New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas photo

New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas Recipe
Source:  No real source ... this is just the way I've learned to make 'em!
(Printable recipe)
  • 2 (16 oz.) packages frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3 or 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 (3-inch) hunks fatback, rinsed {or about 1/4 lb. hog jowl, or 2 strips regular bacon}*
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice {1/2 of a lemon}
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and fat back; saute until veggies are soft, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.
  3. Taste. Add a bit more black pepper or a touch of salt, if needed. Most likely, the fat back will add enough seasoning and salt won't be needed ... but adjust seasoning as needed to your liking.
*If your fatback is super salty ... as in, you can see and feel the salt crystals on the surface, be sure to rinse the fatback.  You may also want to soak it in cold water for about 15 to 20 minutes to remove some of the salt.  If you use hog jowl or bacon, cut it into large pieces.


Please enjoy these other New Year's Day tradition-worthy dishes from The Kitchen is My Playground...

Pressure Cooker Collard Greens

Slow Cooker Apple Pork Loin

Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin



  1. This looks so good that my mouth is watering! Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you taking the time to stop by our party. We love partying with you! I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  2. We have to have our Black Eyed Peas to get our New Year started off right. Your peas and collards look wonderful! Thanks so much for starting your 2015 with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Happy New Year!
    Miz Helen


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