15 Best Substitutes for Black-Eyed Peas

Black eyes peas can be a savory and delicious treat accompanied by steak, red proteins, or even pasta salad. When you finally run out of your black-eyed pea supply, you can use plenty of substitutes for black-eye peas out there.

However, the best substitutes for black-eyed peas are Southern Pink Lady peas, purple hull peas, crowder peas, white acre peas, pinto beans, fresh lima beans, Romano beans, Borlotti beans, Kentucky wonder beans, Oklahoma game bird cowpeas, Dixie lee peas, Yardlong Beans.

Read on to learn more about these 15 best substitutes for black-eyed peas!

What Are Black-Eyed Peas?

Black-eyed peas, also known as southern peas, are a member of the legume family and are highly popular in many parts of the world, especially in the southern United States. Their name comes from their distinctive black spots, the plant’s seeds.

Black-eye peas originated in North Africa; they are now grown in many parts of the world and have become popular with a dense, creamy consistency and earthy flavor; black-eyed peas can be eaten on their own or as a side dish.

However, black-eyed peas are often used in soups, stews, and rice dishes. They can also be eaten on their own as a side dish. Some popular black-eyed pea recipes include Hoppin’ John, a dish made with rice and black-eyed peas, and collard greens with black-eyed peas.

Black-eyed peas are available in fresh, dried, and canned  forms. Also, like other beans, black-eyed peas are full of nutrients such as fiber and protein.

Why Do You Need Substitutes for Black-Eyed Peas?

Black-eyed peas can serve as a main dish or a side dish, they are easy to find in stores, but if you can’t find them or are looking for a different flavor, you need substitutes that will work just as well in your recipes.

Best Substitutes for Black-Eye Peas

You may think that black-eyed peas are difficult to replace, but sorry to burst your bubbles, we have the best 15 substitutes for black-eye peas.

1. Southern Pink Lady Peas

Southern pink lady peas, also known as pink-eyed peas, are a cowpea popular in the Southern United States. They are named for their pale green body and pinkish eye and have a nutty flavor and a tender texture.

They have different color and look, but they will mix up in your cooking. They work well for any recipe and look good on your dinner plate. In many recipes, southern pink lady peas can be used as substitutes for black-eyed peas.

Also, they will turn a deep purple color when cooked, making them an attractive addition to any dish. In addition, southern pink lady peas are also packed with nutrients. They are a good source of protein, iron and fiber.

Use southern pink lady peas in a 1:1 ratio to replace black-eyed peas.

2. Purple Hull Peas

Purple hull peas are type of legume closely related to black-eyed peas. They have similar taste and texture with black-eye peas and can be used as substitutes for black-eye peas in most recipes.

The two beans look very much alike, as purple hull peas also have an “eye,” but their eye is slightly pink compared to black-eyed peas’ black eyes. Their taste is said to be slightly earthier, although it is not as noticeable.

Purple hull peas can be cooked the same way as black-eyed peas, and they are a unique addition to soups, stews, and rice dishes. They can also be eaten as a side dish, which goes well with cornbread, collard greens, and ham.

Purple hull peas are easy to find in stores and less expensive than black-eyed peas. You can grow them at home, making them an excellent option for people who cannot lay their hands on black-eyed peas.

 Use purple peas in a 1:1 ratio to substitute black-eyed peas.

3. crowder peas

In almost every recipe, crowder peas are great substitutes for black-eyed peas, especially for dishes like Hoppin’ John and Brunswick stew. They are easy to find either fresh, dry or in cans and have a similar flavor.

They are green in color when fresh, with a white center and an appearance that will add colors to your dish. Also, the main difference between crowder peas and black-eyed peas is their size, as crowder peas are slightly smaller than black-eyed peas.

In terms of flavor, they are subtly sweeter. However, crowder peas are your best option if you are looking for a substitute with a similar texture. They can be used interchangeably in most recipes and can be boiled or slow-cooked.

Crowder peas can be used as a 1:1 ratio substitute for black-eye peas.

4. White Acre Peas

White acre peas are substitutes for black-eyed peas commonly used in Southern cooking with similar taste and texture to black-eyed peas. Still, they are slightly smaller and sweeter than black-eyed peas, making them a good option for an alternative with a different flavor and taste.

White acre peas are primarily available in frozen and canned form; white acre beans are full of nutrients that make up a balanced and healthy meal. These peas have a lot of fiber and protein.

 You can substitute white acre for black-eye pea at a 1:1 ratio.

5. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a type of common bean that is widely used in Southwest American and Mexican cuisine. Their name comes from their color, and they are often used as substitutes for black-eyed peas in various dishes.

They have an oval shape, and their color ranges from greenish to yellow, purple, white, and pink. The most common variety comes in reddish. Pinto beans have a creamy texture and nutty flavor, making them a perfect addition to dishes like chili and stew. 

They have a similar nutritional profile to black-eyed peas and can easily be substituted in soups, salads, and other dishes. When Using pinto beans instead of black-eyed peas, the soaking time is longer, but with the proper preparation instructions, you can enjoy the rich flavors of these medium-sized beige beans.

They are normally available in most grocery stores and are they easy way to add protein to your diet.

6. Fresh Lima Beans

Fresh lima beans, also called butter beans, are another close substitutes for black-eyed peas. It is often a substitute for black-eyed peas in certain recipes. They are large and flat, which is quite different from black eyed peas.

However, they have a sweet, nutty taste and are creamy and waxy in texture when cooked properly. Lima beans are white and light green. They can be cooked in several ways, like boiling, roasting, and steaming. It also pairs well in varieties of dishes like soups, stews, casseroles, and side dishes.

Also, ensure you don’t overcook them so you won’t lose the taste. When using lima as a substitute for black-eye peas, you can use equal amounts of black-eye peas or half a cup of lima at a time until you achieve what you are looking for.

7. Romano Beans

Fresh Romano beans are a variety of unique Italian types of long, flat beans that can replace black-eyed peas. While they may differ in flavor, they offer the same benefits and work well as a substitute for black-eyed peas. 

Romano has a slightly nutty flavor which pairs well with other Italian flavors like garlic, tomatoes, and basil. Also, they are Commonly used in recipes like pasta Faggioli  and minestrone soup; their unique flavor adds a nice element to the dish. They are not easy to come by.

However, make sure not to overcook them as they can quickly become mushy, and they might start to dissolve. The colors will match the other ingredients to create an excellent dish, but the taste is not the same but more delicate and sweeter. 

8. Oklahoma Game Bird Cowpeas

Oklahoma game bird cowpeas, also known as Catjang, are a version of the cowpea native to Africa and other old-world tropics. It has spread out to the world’s warmer regions but is primarily used in the US as fodder.

Catjang is not the most accessible substitute for black-eyed peas because of its availability and the US climate not being tropical, so they can be hard to grow domestically. So, they can be challenging to find in regular grocery stores.

However, if you can lay your hands on it, it is a suitable replacement with its perfect flavor profile similar to the black-eyed pea. Substituting it with black-eye peas in any dish will give you the same flavor result.

9. Dixie Lee Peas

Dixie Lee peas taste highly similar to pinkeye and purple hull peas, with a richer flavor. When using it as substitutes for black-eyed peas, make sure to add salt to the water you are cooking it with, which will make the peas taste similar to black-eyed peas.

Dixie lee peas can hold their texture more than other cowpeas. Whether you blanch, freeze, or refrigerate them, they will regain their texture, unlike other legumes.

Meanwhile, these peas add a vibrant flavor to the dish, making you yarn for some more.

10. Yardlong Beans

Yardlong beans, also called asparagus beans, its green pods that look similar to green beans. They are cultivated in Nepal and are a variety of the same cowpeas from which black-eyed peas come from but with a different genus than most beans.

Like the Catjang plant, yardlong beans are hard to come by due to their need for a tropical region. It is commonly found in Nepal, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China. The pods also grow slowly, which can increase the price in the long term.

Also, they have a different texture from black-eyed peas, more like edamame, but have the same flavor profile as black-eyed peas, making substitutes for black-eyed peas surprisingly. Paring this with steak will balance out the richness and savory nature of the steak.

11. Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans, also called cranberry beans, are a variety of common beans often used as substitutes for black-eyed peas. But they are difficult to find.

They are from Italy and have a distinctive red-and-white striped look. The beans are large, meaty, with a creamy texture and nutty flavor. You can use them in any dish to substitute black-eyed peas, like soups, stews, salads, and sides.

12. Kentucky Wonder Bean

Kentucky wonder beans are common beans that were once grown in Kentucky, and they are now worldwide and can be used as unique substitutes for black-eye peas. Kentucky has a creamy texture and nutty flavor; it can be used in soups, stews, and chilis.

However, Kentucky can also be mashed and used as a side dish or dip! It has the same nutritional profile as black-eyed peas.

 13. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans, also called white kidney beans, are a family of white beans that work as an excellent black-eyed peas alternative. They are large and oval in size and have a nutty flavor and creamy texture, and they are not difficult to find in any grocery store.

It replaces black-eye peas in many Mediterranean dishes like salads, soups, and stews. But remember that they may alter your dish’s texture since they are more significant than black-eyed peas.

14. Fava Beans

Fava beans, also called broad beans, are grown and eaten worldwide; they can be used in can salads, soups, stews, sauces, and more. They have a delicate, buttery, and nutty flavor with sweet and slightly bitter undertones.

Meanwhile, its texture is similar to lima beans, and they also pair well with bread, vegetables, and ham hocks.

15. Green Beans

Green beans, also called string beans, are another option, they may not work in the same way as the other substitutes, but they will surely add an element of freshness to any bean-based salad.

They have a starchy and muted taste when raw and can be roasted, boiled, fried, sautéed, steamed, and microwaved. They have more nutrient than black-eye peas and also gives your salads an extraordinary appearance.


Many suitable substitutes for black-eye peas will also give you what you are looking for in black-eye peas. Are you tired of black-eye peas and want to change the taste of your dish, or can’t lay your hands on the black-eye peas?

Don’t worry; opt for any of the abovementioned alternatives; you are good to go depending on your recipe and what you want.

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