There's nothing like a big ol' bowl of richly-spiced black-eyed pea chili on a cold winter evening, and this easy, one-pot, meaty vegan stew doesn't disappoint.
Creamy black-eyed peas make a delicious, nourishing change from regular beans and cook in less than half the time. They're filling and pair beautifully with traditional chili spices in this hearty, saucy bowlful complete with chunky plant-based beef.
🏆 Top tip
Ditch the can. Canned black-eyed peas are bland and mushy. But fresh-frozen, shelled black-eyed peas are a whole different ball game!
⭐ Why it works
- Power food - black-eyes have fewer calories and more protein, fiber, and iron than pinto and black beans.
- No soaking beans - Frozen black-eyed peas are ready to cook and extra convenient.
- Vegan ground beef - makes a completely plant-based, meaty entree.
- Easy comfort food - perfect for cold winter nights.
- Stove-top or Instant Pot - recipe instructions include both methods for a fast meal.
- Black-eyed peas - frozen black-eyed peas cook up buttery and flavorful. Avoid canned black-eyed peas.
- Sweet peppers - a mixture of red, yellow, green, and orange bell peppers.
- Onion - yellow or white are both good.
- Tomato - Romas are meatier than other tomatoes and are delicious in this chili.
- Jalapeno - the recipe makes a medium-spicy chili. Feel free to adjust the amount of jalapeno or use spicier chilis to your taste.
- Spices - include all the dry spices for a robust stew.
- Vegan ground beef - see the options listed below.
- Olive oil - a mere two teaspoons help the onions brown and caramelize.
- Prep vegetables.
- Saute onions with garlic, peppers, and dry seasonings.
- Cook chopped tomatoes with seasonings until they break down.
- Finish chili by adding black-eyed peas, broth, and vegan beef and cooking in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop.
🌱 Vegan ground beef
Are you wondering what you can use for vegan ground beef in the chili? I always recommend all-natural ingredients, which is why you might like to try my seasoned Homemade Seitan Ground Beef.
I like to make extra and keep it on hand in the freezer for recipes just like this black-eyed pea chili.
However, if you need to grab something ready-made at the market, fortunately, larger grocery stores carry many options these days in the freezer case not far from frozen black-eyed peas.
Beyond Burger Patties are Non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free. They are best browned before cooking in black-eyed pea chili and can be chopped into nice meaty chunks, just like homemade seitan.
🍽 What to serve with black-eyed pea chili
Wow, there's really no limit to how you can scarf down this flavorful, hearty chili. Simple and satisfying, just like it comes out of the pot or fully loaded over a baked potato, it's your choice.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Sides - Black-eyed pea chili is delicious served over baked potatoes, rice, and pasta.
- Toppings - Everyone has their own favorite toppings, so I like to place small bowls on the table for diners to pimp their individual bowls. Try sliced avocado, chopped onion, red salsa fresca, or fire-roasted green salsa, cilantro, sour cream, sliced jalapenos and black olives.
- Bread - Thick, crunchy tortilla chips are a natural with chili, but we also like crusty rolls and homemade whole-wheat tortillas.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Frozen black-eyed peas - Take peas from the freezer and let them thaw while chopping vegetables and gathering spices.
- Saute and roast the dry spices with the onion and garlic before adding juicy tomatoes.
- Tomatoes - Cut tomatoes in halves or quarters and remove seeds before chopping them. Discards the seeds and the extra tomato juice. Chop the tomatoes into small, ¼-inch dice, so they become saucy in the chili.
- Beyond burger - If using beyond burger for the vegan beef in this recipe, use two burger patties. Brown them lightly and chop them into coarse chunks before adding them to the cooking pot.
Yes, despite the name, black-eyed peas are actually beans. They belong to the Vigna unguiculata species in the cow-pea family and are related to adzuki and mung beans.
Black-eyed peas cook faster than other beans. Generally, dried black eyes that have been soaked overnight will cook in 30-45 minutes on the stovetop. Frozen black-eyed peas don't require soaking and will cook in 30 minutes on the stovetop or 10 minutes in an Instant Pot. Overcooking black-eyed peas will make them mushy.
Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is a tradition that has endured since the U.S. Civil War days. Believers anticipate good luck, health, and prosperity in the coming year, especially when eaten with other foods like collard greens that symbolize money.
🍲 More hearty vegan entrees
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Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Chili
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 3 cups tomato chopped, 1 lb. before removing seeds
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 cup mixed red, yellow and green pepper sweet chopped
- 1 TB jalapeno seeded and chopped
- 1 TB garlic chopped
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 3 cups black-eyed peas frozen, 1 lb.
- 3 cups ready-made vegan beef broth Or substitute 2 Not Beef Bouillon cubes dissolved in 3 cups water
- 1 ½ cups pre-cooked vegan beef crumbles or 2 Beyond Burger patties
- Remove black-eyed peas from the freezer to begin thawing.
- Slice tomatoes in half, and remove and discard the seeds. Then, chop tomatoes into ¼-inch dice. Chop peppers and onion into ¼-inch dice as well. Chop garlic and seeded jalapeno.
- Brown vegan beef if it is not pre-cooked. Chop into coarse chunks.
- Measure spices into a small bowl.
- Use packaged vegan beef broth or make your own by dissolving 2 Not-Beef Bouillon cubes in 3 cups of water.
Cook chili - Instant Pot
- Put Instant Pot on saute setting and heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add chopped onions and cook until softening.
- Add chopped peppers, garlic, jalapeno, and spices, and cook for a couple of minutes while stirring.
- Add chopped tomatoes and continue sauteing for 10 minutes until the tomatoes break down.
- Cancel the saute mode on the Instant Pot. Add the black-eyed peas, vegan beef broth, and vegan beef. Stir and taste the broth, adjusting salt if needed.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, close the steam valve, and set the Instant Pot to high-pressure cook mode for 10 minutes.
- When pressure cook is done, allow the Instant Pot to sit for 10 minutes in natural release mode with the steam valve closed. After 10 minutes, open the valve and release any remaining steam.
Cook chili - stove top
- Heat a soup pot with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Saute chili ingredients as per the Instant Pot instructions.
- After the tomatoes have broken down, add the black-eyed peas, vegan beef broth, and vegan beef. Stir to mix and taste the broth, adjusting salt if needed.
- Bring the chili to a boil, lower the heat and cook with a loose lid on the pot for 30-45 minutes.
- Black-eyed pea chili can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for a week or for three months in the freezer.