Beans, Vegan, Vegetable Main Courses, Vegetarian

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.
One Pot Greek Black Eyed Peas

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.

One Pot Greek Black Eyed Peas

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: entree, beans,

Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegan, Vegetarian

Yield: 2

One Pot Greek Black Eyed Peas


  • 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


  1. Soak the black eyed peas in water for about 30 minutes. After that rinse in plenty of water.
  2. In a pot, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and the carrot until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the black eyed peas to the pot and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato, the bay leaf, dill and pepper and mix well.
  5. Add hot water until the beans are covered (about 1 inch over).
  6. 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.
  7. The beans are ready when they are soft.
  8. Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf, add salt to taste and mix.
  9. Serve as is or with a sprinkle of parsley. You may also accompany it with a piece of feta.


One Pot Greek Black eyed peas

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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  • 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 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 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 cecilia December 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I am so sorry to say , the right is black eyed pea it belongs to pea family their scientific name Vigna sp. which is belongs to pea family, athough the shape looks like bean, and many laguages named to bean.
    their taste when seed is green like pea too, and leaf and stalk has pea smell.
    so black eyed pea name is correct.

  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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!

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