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These cook up in just 17 minutes — no need to soak them first!
Making Instant Pot black eyed peas lets you enjoy a Southern tradition in no time. Enjoy them any time you’d like — not just for New Years!
Instant Pot black eyed peas seasoned with the leftover Christmas ham bone is real good eatin’ for any New Year’s Day feast — and might even bring you good luck! These spotted beans cook up to a wonderfully soft texture in no time. Plus, they don’t require any extra time to pre-soak.
Hearty and comforting, a bowl of pressure cooker black eyed peas chock full of ham bites is a meal in itself. All it needs is some skillet cornbread to make it extra delicious! You might also enjoy this copycat salad from Hattie B’s! The beans are simmered with broth and bacon, then tossed with bell peppers and scallions in a tangy vinaigrette.
Key ingredients & substitutions for Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
- Black eyed peas — You will need one pound of dried beans, not the canned variety which are already soaked. Be sure to rinse them well under cool water to remove any rocks and debris.
- Ham — Using a leftover Christmas bone adds so much “cured ham” flavor, you may not need any additional salt. If your holiday tradition is prime rib instead, use country-cured pork meat or ham hocks from the meat counter at your grocery store.
- Onion — Stick with a regular yellow onion for savory flavor, and dice it up small so it blends into the beans.
- Apple cider vinegar — This adds a touch of acidity to cut through the richness of the pork.
- If there’s not much meat left on your Christmas bone, purchase additional ham to add at the end. Or, enjoy it without — it’s up to you!
How to cook black eyed peas fast?
STEP 1 | Combine the ingredients
Add the rinsed beans to the inner pot with the ham hock, onion, water, and apple cider vinegar. Give everything a quick stir so most of it is submerged.
STEP 2 | Seal and cook
Add the lid and set the vent to closed, then set to Pressure Cook or Manual for 17 minutes. It can take up to 15 minutes to come to pressure.
STEP 3 | Do a natural pressure release
Once the timer goes off, leave it alone until the float valve drops. Then, flip open the vent and remove the lid.
STEP 4 | Finish and serve
Carefully transfer the ham hock to a cutting board and remove any meat still on the bone. Stir the meat into the pot, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Since different pressure cooker models can vary, don’t be alarmed if it takes longer for yours to come to pressure. Just be sure the lid is locked and the vent is sealed or you’ll be waiting forever!
Frequently asked questions
While these are done in a mere 17 minutes, the total time required is closer to 45 minutes. That’s because the pot has to come to pressure first, as well as naturally release that pressure once the time is up.
Yes! Replace the water with vegetable broth, leave out the ham and bone, and add some garlic.
Once cooled, transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Warm them back up in the microwave, or use them for other recipes!
You can mash them into fritters for frying or bake them into a casserole with extra meat and cheese. They are even delicious in a dip with some veggies and tangy dressing!
To ring in the New Year, we often feast on a traditional meal of collard greens, candied sweet potatoes, a skillet of buttermilk cornbread, and these flavorful beans.
If I don’t feel like cooking a full spread, we’ll dish these Instant Pot black eyed peas with ham into bowls with my Mexican Cornbread Muffins instead! I bake and freeze batches of those muffins all the time to reheat for soups and stews.
Growing up, I was told I would enjoy “a day of good luck during the next year” for each pea eaten during my New Year’s supper. I always thought my mom was just trying to trick me into eating them!
According to tradition, these beans symbolize prosperity in the New Year since they swell when cooked. They are often served with collard greens to symbolize money, pork as a sign moving forward, and cornbread to represent gold.
Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas
- Instant Pot
- 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
- 1 8-oz ham hock or left over ham bone
- 1 medium onion diced
- 5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups ham in large chunks
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Place black-eyed in a colander and rinse with cool water to remove any debris. Remove any small rocks that may be in the beans.
- Add the peas to the pressure cooker along with the ham hock (or salted pork), onion, water, and apple cider vinegar.
- Lock the lid and make sure the vent is closed.
- Set to PRESSURE COOK for 17 minutes.
- When finished, allow the cooker to natural release — waiting to open the lid until after the float valve drops.
- Open the pressure cooker and remove the pork. Remove any meat from the bones and return to the pot (or stir in other ham chunks).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.