Beans, Vegan, Vegetable Main Courses, Vegetarian

One Pot Greek Black Eyed Peas

October 11, 2018
One Pot Greek Black Eyed Peas

This is the classic way black eyed peas are prepared in Greece: stewed with onion, tomato and herbs until thick. This One Pot Greek Black Eyed Pea dish is hearty and good. It is often combined with spinach or other greens.

While we often see black eyed peas in salad recipes, cooking them as a stew really brings out the flavor and that thick sauce. We often associate this bean with southern and Caribbean cuisine, but in fact they are quite a traditional food in Greece, we call them mavromatika. When we look at this recipe, it has many things in common with southern style black eyed peas (minus the meat): cooked on the stovetop with onions and herbs, these black eyed peas are very versatile, as you can add other greens, or other herbs depending on the season.

Nutritional Value of Black Eyed Peas

Although it is called a “pea” it is actually a bean, and one of the healthiest ones. I find that it is underestimated in regards to its health benefits. Black eyed peas are full of nutrients, let’s see how much: 1 cup of cooked black eyed peas contain about 220 calories, 15 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. That in itself makes these beans a perfect food for those wanting lose weight, maintain balanced blood sugar levels and feel full and satisfied. But that’s not all, a cup of these wonder beans also contains high amounts of folate, iron, magnesium, copper and thiamin fulfilling over 20% of our daily needs for these vitamins and minerals. Black eyed peas are also a source of protective antioxidants. In addition to all this , they are better tolerated than other types of beans.

One pot black eyed peas

How to Prepare Black Eyed Peas

One of the reasons black eyed peas are so great apart from their flavor and nutritional value, is that they very easy to prepare. You do not need to soak them overnight and they cook quite quickly. Since they are so easy to prepare, I recommend using dried beans rather than canned.

If you intend to use them in a salad, you can soak them for 30 minutes. Then you rinse and simmer in plenty of water (make sure they are covered by 4 inches or 10 cm). They should be ready in about 30-40 minutes. If you are using them for a cold dish/salad you do not want to overcook, you do not want them mushy.

For this particular one-pot recipe, we will cook the black eyed peas along with tomato and water until they are stewed as you will see in the recipe below.

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One Pot Greek Black Eyed Peas

One Pot Greek Black Eyed Peas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: beans, Entree
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 2
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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  • 1 cup dry black eyed peas 7 ounces/200 grams
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots sliced thinly
  • 1 ½ cup crushed tomatoes may use canned- 12 ounces/360 grams
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • parsley for serving
  • salt/pepper


  • Soak the black eyed peas in water for about 30 minutes. After that rinse in plenty of water.
  • In a pot, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and the carrot until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the black eyed peas to the pot and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato, the bay leaf, dill and pepper and mix well.
  • Add hot water until the beans are covered (about 1 inch over).
  • Simmer for 30-40 minutes checking the water levels, add a bit of hot water as needed (about 2-3 tablespoons each time), you do not want this to be watery or like a soup, but thick. I prefer to add less water in the beginning and add as needed later.
  • The beans are ready when they are soft.
  • Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf, add salt to taste and mix.
  • Serve as is or with a sprinkle of parsley. You may also accompany it with a piece of feta.
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One Pot Greek Black eyed peas

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply sara October 11, 2018 at 11:28 am

    How is bread typically made in Greece? is it with wheat, spelt, barley? What would be the healthier choice? Thanks!

  • Reply Michael Petersen October 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for your delightful blog, I’ve prepared many of your recipes and they’ve all been delicious!

    Small correction in step 3 – black eyed peas instead of chickpeas (sorry, I was an editor in a former life).

    This sounds delicious, I love black eyed peas!

  • Reply Dolores October 11, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Hi elena, this recipe sounds lovely & I’m going to try it!
    Do you know how many carbs is in a portion? Thank you..

  • Reply Sam George October 11, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Hello Elena
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes. Being the son of emigrant Lebanese parents, I very much enjoy Greek food because the the similarity in many of the dishes. Keep up the wonderful work of sharing your suggestions with us. An avid fan, Sam George

  • Reply lagatta à Montréal October 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Very interesting about digestibility. I love beans, but they don’t love me. I do find I have an easier time digesting old-world beans (like this family of beans) than new-world varieties – though I love black beans.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN October 11, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      Yes some varieties are easier on our digestive system than others.

      • Reply beshira November 19, 2018 at 8:21 pm

        What other peas/beans are easier to digest? Love black eye peas of course.

  • Reply Lisa Radinovsky (Greek Liquid Gold) October 11, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Elena, as I just said on my Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Facebook page, where I shared a link to this, I have made white beans much like this, but never black eyed peas, which I’ve only used in salads. Now I want to try this, since its health benefits are even greater than I’d thought! I appreciate your letting us know about that. You suggest serving this with feta. However, I have heard that eating calcium and iron sources together inhibits iron absorption. Is that incorrect?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN October 11, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks Lisa. Yes calcium can hinder absorption of iron, although feta has moderate amounts of calcium. However studies show that in the long run this does not result in iron deficiencies.

  • Reply Lucinda Abbott October 14, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Thank you for your website! I made this for dinner; the fridge was almost empty as we are headed out of town for a week. But I had canned tomatoes and fresh herbs growing on my porch plus a couple of carrots that would have been composted otherwise. I had a container of previously frozen cooked white beans that also was destined for the compost, so I used those instead of black-eyed peas. My daughter doesn’t like dill, so I used oregano and rosemary; we ate it with rustic sourdough from a local bakery, drizzling extra olive oil over the top. Simple and utterly delicious!

  • Reply Nick October 17, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    This dish represents the best of Greek comfort food! Not only that, but it’s also very healthy and makes for a nice vegetarian meal.

  • Reply Lisa Anderson-harrell October 20, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    I’m making this recipe tonight. The black eyed peas have now been cooking for two hours and a half hours and they’re still not done. We’re mighty hungry…

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN October 21, 2018 at 7:25 am

      Thanks for sharing, although it should not take that long for these particular beans to cook.

  • Reply Elizabeth A Giatras November 2, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Can I use black beans as a substitute?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      You could, but you would have to pre-soak them longer (at least 4-5 hours) as they take a bit longer to cook.

  • Reply Steve Smith November 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Elena, I made this dish the week after you posted the recipe, and it was delicious! Turned out to be quite sweet, and I think that’s because the carrots from our gardens had already gone through a few frosts (we’re in New England), which increases the sugars in the roots. Such a simple dish and so satisfying. One of our immediate favorites. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Reply Punam @ Indian Recipes January 2, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Being Indian am new to Greek food. I have cooked black eye peas many time but this Greek style pea recipe was was delicious. Will cook again and again.

    This recipe provoked me to try more Greek recipes.

  • Reply Lauren April 14, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Well I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised! I’ve made (and thrown out) many bean dishes in the past because the flavours fell flat and I felt sad having to eat them haha. This was so simple, and so good! I used what I had on hand, parsnips instead of carrots and green lentils instead of black eyed peas. I only used 1 tablespoon of oil to cook because I knew I wanted to put a tablespoon on top of each bowl, and served with feta. I love this! I will be making it every week 🙂

  • Reply The Complete Guide to The Authentic Mediterranean Diet | Olive TomatoOlive Tomato June 27, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    […] Keep cooking simple. A mistake a lot of people make when they start a Mediterranean diet is finding various “Mediterranean” complex recipes that require numerous and special or exotic ingredients, long preparation or recipes with foods that they don’t usually eat. Traditional Mediterranean recipes are usually easy and simple to make with real, seasonal ingredients that you most likely have on hand. Three starter recipes I recommend are: Greek Spinach and Rice, Traditional Green Bean casserole and One-Pot Black-Eyed Peas.  […]

  • Reply Mediterranean Diet Good for Gut Health: Here's What to Eat | Olive Tomato October 24, 2019 at 8:55 am

    […] 2 servings a week of beans as a main course, some easy ideas include Greek lentils and one pot black-eyed peas. The next day you can repurpose them like I did above: I mixed yesterday’s lentils with […]

  • Reply Mairi October 24, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Louvi aka.. black eye beans are incredible … may I suggest another cooking method…
    using a pressure cooker… the old fashioned type…
    I cover washed beans with hot water about 1 inch above beans.. no need to soak.. when it comes to pressure .. steam for 3-4 mins…
    now de pressurise pressure pan
    You will see that the water is a darkish colour… take out most … NOW is the time to add chopped (2 inch pieces of Swiss Chard ..about a bunch
    cover with hot water to about 1inch above chard.
    bring back to pressure.. then count down about 2-3 mins.
    when time ends .. de pressurise.. open lid…
    you will see , once again , a lot of liquid…Very Important to REMOVE 3/4 of that liquid, then
    Immediately add juice if 1 lemon+ salt to taste….and gently mix to infuse flavours.
    ❤️Now comes the fun part… when preparing each plate, serve the beans with wedges of lemon+ lashings of EXTRA Virgin Olive Oil.. salt once again to taste, also,on the side, here in Cyprus we will have some homemade tuna salad
    (flaked tuna+ finely chopped spring onion+fresh or dried mint chopped, olive oil,lemon juice, salt mix all together)
    also a plate of Sliced tomatoes cucumber.. some black olives and slices of red onion..and crusty village bread, to mop up juices. phew!!! That’s it…

    NB Here in Cyprus we have the largest, freshest ,best quality dried and fresh black eyed beans… abroad you will most probably find that they are quite small in size… please note that cooking times therefore will vary.. so just adjust a little…also if you don’t have a pressure cooker.. just boil in saucepan -lid on 3/4 of way… until ready!softish , pressed between two finger… you may need to change and adjust with hot water.

  • Reply Julie January 12, 2020 at 12:15 am

    Than you for sharing this recipe. I have made it twice now and its always been a hit with my family. It is now becoming a go to recipe.5 stars

  • Reply Chelsea February 14, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    This was wonderful. I tripled the recipe for my family of 7 and added fennel in place of dill simple because I was out of dill. We added kale because I was too busy with the baby to chop up a salad. My family ate it over couscous with your olive and feta bread on the side. We have plenty left over for lunches today and to take for a church potluck Sunday evening. Also this is much more flavorful the next day I’ve discovered.5 stars

  • Reply Greek Black-Eyed Peas and Spinach | Olive Tomato February 20, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    […] Mediterranean but in many parts of the world. And what a delicious and healthy combination it is! Black-eyed peas and spinach, stewed together with tomato sauce, bright red pepper and carrots, resulting in a thick […]

  • Reply Carla P White February 23, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    I just made this using canned pinto beans because that’s what we had. So I did not add water, as the consistency seemed just right (didn’t change anything else about the recipe) and it’s absolutely wonderful.5 stars

  • Reply May July 29, 2020 at 1:14 am

    Has anyone found the cook time to be accurate? I’ve made this a couple times now with soaked and unsoaked beans. At 40 minutes they are still incredibly undercooked.

    • Reply Wendy August 27, 2020 at 6:58 am

      I’m skeptical myself about dried beans cooking that quickly. I think I might just use canned, not black-eyed, as I don’t have those. Maybe pinto. But then I don’t have those either right now, lol. Perhaps I’ll just stick with my usual baked black beans 🙂

  • Reply Anna September 12, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    Thanks for the yummy recipe. The simple no-fuss ingredients really are the most flavoursome. My young adult son kept coming back for more! As for the beans taking so long to cook, I found that soaking them for a few hours with a teaspoon of bi-carb soda does the rick. Wash and rinse them thoroughly though before cooking. A simply delicious recipe 🙂

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