Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas With Greens & Ham

I was born in Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico in Mobile. At the age of 5 my family moved to East Tennessee. During my childhood, we often had a pot of beans or peas with collard greens and homemade corn bread. Really beans and cornbread was historically an inexpensive meal for people with little money, but most folks who grew up in the American south love it.

Every culture has its lucky food that are traditionally eaten on holidays, like New Year’s Day. In the American south, it was black-eyed peas and collard greens. I was told black-eyed peas are for luck in the new year and that collard greens are green like money. The customs and sayings vary by area and states as well as the dishes cooked with black eye peas. You can cook a pot of greens, a pot of peas and cornbread. You could add ham or pork as a meat or just serve peas and cornbread with greens as a meatless meal (if you don’t add meat to the pot of peas.) You can even make gumbo with black-eyed peas.

A favorite among some Gulf coast folks is a dish of Hoppin” John, a dish made with black-eyed peas (aka cow peas) rice, and pork (bacon or ham). The meal can also include collard greens and corn bread. John was originally a Lowcountry food before spreading to the entire population of the South. Again there are variations to the recipe but can include bacon, Andouille sausage links, jalapeno pepper, bell pepper, and spices like Cajun spices. It’s not just black-eyed peas and rice like some folks think.

Today I’m sharing a simple crock pot meal with the ingredients for southern luck. I will give you options on the spices to meet your needs. Remember my recipe for slow cooker ham? I’m adding left over hambone and ham to the mix for great flavor, but you can choose bacon, ham hock, or another meat like smoked turkey. This healthy black-eyed pea soup is loaded with fiber and is relatively low carb. Black-eyed peas, which are legumes, are an excellent source of fiber and protein and full of vitamins and minerals. Plus, you get extra protein from the ham and plenty of nutrients from the collards. Using a crock pot frees you to enjoy the games on New Year’s Day with a great southern meal later on.

If you purchase whole collard greens from the store, they are usually already in a bunch. This is about 20 leaves. Then you must wash, wash, wash with great patience to remove the sand. Then remove the stems and chop. A great time-saver is buying prewashed chopped fresh collard greens. Buy a lb bag or one bunch of fresh collards.

Slow Cooker Black-eyed Peas with Greens & Ham

Use organic when available. Serves 8


Slow Cooker Black-eyed Peas with Greens & Ham

A New Year's dish of black-eyed peas with collards and ham is guaranteed to bring you southern luck in the new year.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword black-eyed peas, black-eyed peas with ham & greens, collard green, collard greens, crock pot black-eyes peas ham & greens, crock pot recipes, ham, peas, sauteed collard greens, slow cooker black-eyed peas ham & greens, slow cooker recipes
Servings 8


  • 1 lb dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 ham bone or 1 lb smoked ham hocks
  • 1 lb fresh, chopped collard greens or 1 bunch
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 8 oz diced ham
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 can (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Pour water into a slow cooker
  • Add chicken broth
  • Add black-eyed peas, hambone or hocks, and greens
  • Stir in onion, celery, garlic, and carrot
  • Add bay leaf, thyme, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper
  • Stir in tomatoes and salt
  • Cover and cook on Low until beans are tender, 6 to 8 hours
  • Carefully remove ham bone or hocks
  • Shred meat on hocks if using & discard bones
  • Add meat back to pot
  • Serve over rice with cornbread

For those in the U.K., I found this online about collard greens:

Spring greens are probably the closest thing we commonly get in the UK, followed by kale. Collard, kale & spring greens are all very closely related botanically, being members of the same branch of the brassica family, and have very similar but not identical flavours.

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

19 thoughts to “Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas With Greens & Ham”

  1. I do like back-eyed beans but had never heard of collard greens although I’m sure there is a European equivalent. I guess it will be on Google! Looks delicious Carol.

    1. thanks Phil – Merry Christmas!

      found this online:
      Spring greens are probably the closest thing we commonly get in the UK, followed by kale. Collard, kale & spring greens are all very closely related botanically, being members of the same branch of the brassica family, and have very similar but not identical flavours.

  2. Pinning as this looks delicious. I love both beans and collard greens! I recently began eating low carb and I saw a suggestion to use steamed collard leaves as wrappers for burritos instead of tortillas, which I am going to try the next time I make them.

    1. Yes they are good as wrappers, just be sure and steam them as they are too chewy otherwise. I would also remove large rib.

  3. Looking so extremely good and delicious.
    Thank you for visiting and sharing your links with us at SSPS #291. See you again on Monday, January 8th, 2024.

    1. No it was my error and no one else noticed! Add the greens at the beginning with the black eyed peas. I do apologize for the mistake. Happy New Year!

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