BBQ Black-eyed Peas

These peas make quick friends. Guaranteed, every time we serve these black-eyed peas, we get recipe requests. Tangy, smoky, and sweet, they even made a seven-year-old boy a fan – he promised to make them for his parents.


  • 1 1/2 c. dried black eyed peas, sorted, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed [or use Anson Mills Sea Island Peas, like we used at Bonnaroo Music Festival]
  • 3 T. plus 2 t. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. yellow onion, diced
  • 1 c. red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1/2 c. tamari soy sauce
  • 1 c. canned tomato sauce
  • 1 Large chipotle chile
  • 1/4 c. agave nectar/sugar/maple syrup or other sweetener
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 t. dried thyme


saute pan, large pot or cambro to soak/cook beans, blender, casserole dish to bake, electric roaster [if applicable]


  1. Combine the soaked and drained black-eyed peas enough water to cover them by 2 inches in a medium size pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until just tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking water.
  2. While the beans are cooking, combine 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, the onions, and bell pepper in a medium size saute pan over medium heat. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional couple minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a blender, combine the vinegar, lime, tamari, tomato, chile, agave, cumin, cayenne, thyme, and 1 c. of the reserved bean water and the remaining olive oil. Puree for 30 seconds until smooth. Combine the cooked beans with the sauteed vegetables, bbq sauce and stir well. Bake, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
This is adapted from Bryant Terry’s excellent Vegan Soul Kitchen.

What can I do?


Whip up the sauce while the beans cook. Come up with a good name f0r it: maybe it’s [Adjective] Uncle/Aunt [Your Name]’s Special Sauce.



Did you know you can cook beans in an electric roasting oven? We made beans for a hundred people at Bonnaroo Music Festival solely in two electric ovens. You won’t reach rolling boil, but the beans will be silky and tender. Just give yourself double the time to cook the beans. Soak overnight, and then put peas and fresh water in an electric roaster with salt. Turn to high, cover, and check in an hour. Stir occasionally, add water if necessary.