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The 5 Best Substitutes for Black-Eyed Peas in Recipes

Have you ever wondered what makes Black-eyed peas such a staple in South-Eastern U.S.

cuisine? As a legume, they are not only highly nutritious but also rich in protein content, making them a great alternative to meat entrées.

Understandably, many cooks find themselves perplexed as to how to prepare this unique ingredient for their favorite recipes.

And should you never be able to find it in your grocery store, then there is always the possibility of substituting it with other readily available options.

Discover below the top five substitutes that can make any dish featuring Black-Eyed Peas reach its flavor peak.

What are Black-Eyed Peas?

Black-eyed peas are a small, creamy-colored legume packed with flavor and nutrition.

They are a popular go-to for home cooks looking for something simple yet tasty.

Native to West Africa, these beans have been cultivated in the United States since the 1700s and have become an essential ingredient in many countries throughout the world.

When cooked, Black-eyed peas have a hearty texture and taste slightly sweet with earthy undertones.

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In addition to enjoying them on their own as a side dish, they can be added to salads and soups for added texture and flavor or spiced up with onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for a delicious main meal.

These peas pair well with grains like rice and cornbread or can be added to soups, stews, or salads.

They also make fantastic roasted chickpeas when cooked with a sprinkling of spices.

There’s no shortage of ways to enjoy this unique and flavorful little bean.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Black-Eyed Peas in Recipes

If you’re a fan of Southern cooking, you know that black-eyed peas are an essential part of the cuisine.

But what if you want to make a recipe without them? There are plenty of substitutes for black-eyed peas, so don’t worry.

Here are the five best substitutes for black-eyed peas in recipes that will give you a delicious and authentic result.

1 – Purple Hull Peas

If you are an avid cook or gardener, you may be familiar with purple hull peas.

This unique type of pea has a gorgeous and deep lavender color, making it distinct from other types of beans or legumes, such as black-eyed peas.

They have a rich and creamy texture when cooked and a nutty flavor that can add a reliable earthiness to any dish.

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To substitute for black-eyed peas, simply replace them in equal measures.

These purple hull peas can also be shelled and frozen for up to six months if needed, so they make an ideal ingredient to always keep around the kitchen.

2 – Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are one of the staples in any Tex-Mex kitchen.

Aside from being nutritionally beneficial, they have a unique flavor and texture that make them perfect for a variety of dishes.

These medium-sized beige beans boast an earthy taste and firm yet creamy texture after cooking.

While some people associate pinto beans with black-eyed peas in certain recipes, they can easily be substituted in soups, salads, and other dishes.

To use pinto beans instead of black-eyed peas, the soaking time is longer, but with the right preparation instructions, you can enjoy the rich flavors of these Texas treasures.

3 – Lima Beans

Lima beans are an under-appreciated veggie that is bursting with flavor and texture.

Packed with vitamins and minerals, these beans are a great addition to any meal.

They have a slightly starchy taste and smooth, creamy texture when cooked properly.

People often substitute lima beans for black-eyed peas in certain recipes.

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When using it as a substitute, you can either replace the black-eyed peas in equal amounts or add limas half a cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Limas beans offer an amazing depth of flavor to dishes that everyone should enjoy.

4 – Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans, otherwise known as cranberry beans, are an incredibly versatile type of legume.

The creamy-white color with distinctive reddish-brown streaks makes them a nutritious addition to any dish.

Boiled, the beans are tender and nutty-flavored, and when ground into a paste, they become starchy with a slightly sweet taste.

Furthermore, borlotti beans work well as an alternative to black-eyed peas in bean-based recipes such as salads or soups.

As canned borlotti can be hard to come by, you can use fresh, dried ones instead.

All that’s needed is to soak the dried beans overnight before boiling them, and they’re ready to be enjoyed.

5 – Romano Beans

Romano beans are an incredibly unique type of long, flat bean that can easily draw the eye to question what they are.

Romano beans have a mild flavor, remarkably similar to string beans.

They are slightly sweet and subtle in flavor but with a stronger bit of nuttiness than regular string beans, making them just as delicious overall.

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Texture-wise, romano beans are denser and slightly harder in comparison to their green bean siblings.

Even after cooking them for an extended amount of time, these sturdy legumes still hold up their form admirably.

If substituting for black-eyed peas is desired, romano beans make for wonderful replacements as they carry almost identical flavors with a longer shape when cooked.


In conclusion, there are a variety of great substitutes for black-eyed peas in recipes.

If you’re looking for something similar in flavor, purple hull peas and pinto beans offer an earthy taste with a creamy texture.

For more unique flavors, lima beans add a subtle sweetness and nutty notes, while borlotti beans boast a slightly sweet starchy taste and romano beans are surprisingly mild with a hint of nuttiness.

All these options offer healthy nutrition and delicious flavors so you can find the perfect substitute for black-eyed peas in any dish.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Black-Eyed Peas in Recipes

The 5 Best Substitutes for Black-Eyed Peas in Recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Purple Hull Peas
  • Pinto Beans
  • Lima Beans
  • Borlotti Beans
  • Romano Beans


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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