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Hands down, this is the only thing we’ll eat over the new year! We swear by this!

Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon: A Taste of Southern Comfort

Embrace the rich history and flavors of Southern cuisine with this slow cooker black-eyed peas with bacon recipe—an embodiment of warmth, tradition, and hearty goodness. Whether enjoyed on New Year’s Day for luck or any day for a comforting meal, this dish promises to satisfy both palate and soul.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Black-Eyed Peas:
  • Sort and rinse the black-eyed peas, removing any debris or stones.
  1. Combine Ingredients in Slow Cooker:
  • In the slow cooker, add the black-eyed peas, chicken broth (or water), diced ham, onion, garlic, bay leaf, smoked paprika, dried thyme, and cayenne pepper (if using).
  1. Crisp the Bacon:
  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to the slow cooker, reserving a tablespoon of bacon grease for added flavor.
  1. Slow Cook:
  • Stir the contents of the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 6-7 hours or on low for 10-12 hours, until the peas are tender.
  1. Season and Serve:
  • Remove the bay leaf and season the peas with salt and black pepper. Stir well to combine flavors.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness.
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Serving Suggestions:

  • Pair with Cornbread: Serve alongside freshly baked cornbread to complement the savory notes of the peas.
  • Add Greens: Sautéed collard greens or Swiss chard with garlic and olive oil make a nutritious and flavorful side dish.
  • Refresh with Salad: A simple garden salad dressed with vinaigrette offers a refreshing contrast to the hearty peas and bacon.

Variations & Tips:

  • Meat-Free Option: Omit bacon and use liquid smoke for flavor. Substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian-friendly version.
  • Enhance with Vegetables: Add diced bell pepper or celery during cooking for added flavor and texture.
  • Time-Saving: Use pre-cooked or canned black-eyed peas, adjusting cooking time accordingly.
  • Storage: Leftovers store well in the refrigerator and can be frozen for future meals.

Indulge in the comforting flavors of slow-cooked black-eyed peas with bacon—a dish that celebrates tradition, flavor, and the joy of Southern cooking. Whether shared with loved ones or savored solo, this recipe promises a taste of home and a touch of culinary nostalgia with every bite.