Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe (2024)

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Delicious savory Black-Eyed Pea Cakes are the perfect Southern-inspired appetizer or side dish.

This week we’re packing up our daughter for her second year in college, and getting our baby ready for his senior year in high school. Our time (and my brain) are stretched a bit too thin so I’ve been updating and cleaning up some older posts to share with you until I get back into my routine cooking schedule.

Our last week or so of summer break has been filled with snagging time in between the washing and packing and more washing to spend time together in our nuclear family unit before all of what the back-to-school schedule brings. This recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Cakes is one of the early recipes shared here back in February 2010. These crispy savory cakes are sneaky good. Let me tell you all about them.

Black-eyed peas and me, we go way back – truly one of my oldest comfort foods. A while back a trip to Grits and Groceries introduced me to Black-Eyed Pea Cakes, and whoa Nellie! Crazy good. They remind me of falafel, only slightly flattened, and better.

I purchased the Grits and Groceries cookbook, as well as a calendar packed with more recipes, but no Black-Eyed Pea Cake recipe to be found. After a quick search online, tons of recipes for this southern dish were found, but I didn’t have all the ingredients for any of the recipes that looked good, especially the one Ezra Pound Cake adapted from Martha Hall Foose’s “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea.” So I did what any southern-black-eyed-pea-lovin girl would do, I improvised, using what we had on hand. I was quite happy with the results. Quite happy indeed. And when served with Comeback Sauce they are out of this world! Be sure to check out our recipe for Comeback Sauce. It’s like our homemade version of Zaxby’s Zax Sauce.

How to MakeBlack-Eyed Pea Cakes

To make these delectable drool-inducing little cakes, begin by warming drained black-eyed peas, while you prep the other ingredients. Saute the onion and garlic together in a little olive oil until softened. In a food processor, pulse about half of the black-eyed peas, bacon, onion, garlic, cilantro, basil, cumin, cayenne, and salt a few times until blended. But not too much! It doesn’t have to be totally smooth.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the remaining whole black-eyed peas and heavy cream. Chill mixture until cool. This is an essential step. When it cools, the mixture stiffens so cakes can be formed, otherwise you’ll have floppy cakes that will fall apart when battered. And no one wants floppy cakes. That’s another thing I love about this recipe, you can make the mixture a couple of days ahead and refrigerate.

After the mixture has cooled, gently form the cakes and set aside. We made ours about 3-inchesin diameter and 3/4-inches thick, but you can make them smaller if you’d like. Just be sure to adjust cooking time.

Prepare three separate bowls for battering. Flour goes in the first one. Beat an egg with half and half together in the second one, and bread crumbs go in the third one.

Batter the cakes by coating first with flour, then the egg mixture and finish with the bread crumbs, being careful to keep the shape of the cake intact while battering. Set aside after coated.

Line a plate or cooling rack with paper towels ready for cakes when cooked. Prepare the skillet by heating 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Fry cakes in small batches, cooking approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. While frying the cake monitor the oil for overheating.

Serve Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with a heaping serving of comeback sauce and be ready for everyone to come back for more!

Black-Eyed Pea Cakes Recipe

Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe (7)

Black-Eyed Pea Cakes Recipe

Yield: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A delicious savory dish made with black-eyed peas.


  • 2 (15.8 oz.) cans of black-eyed peas; drained
  • 1 slice of bacon; fried and crumbled
  • 4-8 tablespoons olive oil; divided
  • 1/2 cup onion; chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 2 cups panko or fresh bread crumbs


  1. Begin by warming the black-eyed peas, while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic together in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until softened.
  3. Add half of the black-eyed peas (about 1 1/2 cups), bacon, onion, garlic, cilantro, basil, cumin, cayenne, salt to a food processor and pulse a few times until blended. Not too much. It doesn’t need to be totally smooth.
  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the remaining black-eyed peas and heavy cream.
  5. Chill the mixture until cool – about an hour or so.
  6. After the mixture has cooled, gently form the cakes and set aside.
  7. Prepare 3 separate bowls for battering. Flour goes in the first one. Then beat an egg and the half and half together in the second one. And the bread crumbs go in the third one.
  8. Batter the cakes by coating first with flour, then the egg mixture and finish with the bread crumbs. Set aside after coated.
  9. Have a plate or cooling rack lined with paper towels ready for cakes when cooked.
  10. Prepare the skillet by heating 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  11. Fry cakes in small batches, cooking approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Be sure to watch the oil for overheating, and, if needed, add additional oil or start with new oil if it gets too dark.
  12. Remove cakes, let cool on paper towel lined plate.
  13. Serve with Comeback Sauce.


Makes about 8-12 cakes.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Originally posted February 2, 2010. Updated August 14, 2015.

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Black-eyed Pea Cakes Recipe (2024)


How long do you cook black-eyed peas for? ›

Soaked black eyed peas take about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours to cook, depending on the age of the beans, how long they were soaked for and how soft you prefer them. If you're starting with frozen black eyed peas, microwave until thawed before adding them to your dish.

What does baking soda do for black-eyed peas? ›

Your Beans Will Cook Faster

Well, creating an alkaline (or basic) environment by adding a small amount (about 1 teaspoon per cup of dry beans) of baking soda to your soaking/cooking water can actually help your beans cook faster.

How many cups of dried black-eyed peas in a pound? ›

Black-eyed peas are often packaged in 1- or 2-pound bags. One pound of dry peas is about 2 cups. One cup of dry black-eyed peas makes 3 cups of cooked peas (6 servings).

Do black-eyed peas need to be soaked before cooking? ›

The black-eyed pea, which is also known as a cowpea, doesn't necessarily need to be soaked. But if you find yourself short on time, soaking black-eyed peas can make a true difference in regards to cooking time. So if time is ever your enemy, this simple method will make your day!

How do you know when black-eyed peas are done? ›

Be sure to test a black-eyed pea to make sure they are cooked thoroughly. A properly cooked black-eyed pea should be tender but still have a bite, not mushy. Canned black-eyed peas are best in recipes that don't require slow cooking or a long cook time, which can make them mushy.

Why won't my black-eyed peas soften? ›

There are three primary reasons why dried beans do not soften despite extensive cooking time: 1) they are old; 2) hard water; or 3) the presence of an acid. If you don't think your beans are old, then perhaps your water is the problem. Beans cooked in hard water will never soften properly.

Why are black-eyed peas still hard after cooking? ›

It can be a number of factors. If you have hard water that can help keep them hard the calcium ions tend to bind to the beans and keep them hard. Sodium ions from water softeners don't do that. So if you have a water softener, you should soften the water you use to soak and cook them.

What meat goes good with black-eyed peas? ›

- Tender and flavorful braised pork, like pork chops or pulled pork, goes wonderfully with black-eyed peas.

Are black-eyed peas good for your liver? ›

Catechins: Are a plant antioxidant that can help liver function. Top foods: Green tea, grapes, apples, lentils and black-eyed peas.

Is black-eyed peas good for diabetics? ›

The soluble fiber in black eyed peas slows digestion, which helps the body regulate blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of blood sugar spikes. This lowered risk makes black eyed peas a healthy food choice for people with diabetes.

How long can you keep black-eyed peas in the refrigerator? ›

Black-eyed peas that are already cooked should be allowed to cool then stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Cooked dried black-eyed peas can be frozen in a re-sealable freezer safe bag. Frozen cooked beans will last for about 6 months.

Can you overcook black-eyed peas? ›

Drain them the next day and bring them to a boil in cold water, then reduce the heat so the water barely simmers: dried black-eyed peas can overcook, and a rolling boil could cause them to break apart. Taste the peas often to check their doneness: They should be creamy but retain their shape.

What happens if you soak black-eyed peas too long? ›

It is possible to soak beans for too long before cooking. Beans should soak for 8 to 10 hours overnight. If they are soaked for longer than 12 hours, they can lose their familiar flavor and become overly mushy. For the best result, refrain from soaking them for too long.

Do you just boil black-eyed peas? ›

Place 1 cup black eyed peas and 4 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the beans are tender. This will take about 45 minutes.

How long does it take to cook peas? ›

How to cook peas. Boil (2-3 mins - use the minimum amount of water needed, and don't add salt, as they'll toughen up. A pinch of sugar will bring out their sweetness). Steam (1-2 mins).

How do you cook dried black-eyed peas? ›

Add them to a pot over the stove and cover with at least two inches of water or stock. Add any salt or aromatics. Simmer until the beans are tender, about an hour. You can test them for doneness by either tasting them or mashing them against the side of the pot.


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