Black-Eyed Pea Salad

It’s May 3 and I’m wearing a sweater. A sweater, y’all. We should have sunny skies and temperatures in the 80’s. What we have is wind, clouds, rain, and mid-50’s. What the heck is going on with the weather! I want blue summer skies with warm days and summer food. I want to picnic by the lake and stroll through the farmer’s market. Instead, I’m thinking of starting a fire in the fireplace. This is just nuts.

But I’m keeping my hopes up and I know that we’ll have a beautiful, warm summer soon. And when that first really pretty warm day comes around, maybe we’ll fill our picnic basket (or at least our dinner table) with delicious recipes like this one.

This black-eyed pea salad is very similar to the traditional three-bean salad that is a staple at Southern picnics, pot-lucks, and church dinners, although it’s a lot lower in sugar than that recipe. It’s easy to make, easy to transport, and almost everyone likes it. Even the little ones enjoy it, though they may pick out the onions :-)

I made this recently and took it to Uncle J’s house for an impromptu family get-together. Uncle J served us fried chicken, potato salad, and green beans and this salad complimented that menu quite nicely.

Rinse and drain peas for Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Start by rinsing and draining two cans of black-eyed peas. I really do recommend the canned black-eyed peas for this recipe. They’re cooked to just the right texture and hold their shape very well in the marinade. And, too, they’re just so convenient!

Slicing onion for Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Now slice a small onion very thinly.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Put the black-eyed peas and onions in a medium bowl along with some chopped, fresh parsley.

Add marinade to Black-Eyed Pea Salad

In a small saucepan, add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture just to a boil. Pour the warm mixture over the peas and onions.

Cover and let stand for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, for flavors to develop.

I prefer to strain the salad before serving, but it’s not necessary. If you do strain it, save the marinade and put any leftovers back into it for storage.


Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Black-eyed peas and onions combine in a tangy dressing for a perfect summer salad.
  • 2 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tblsp. sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  1. Place the black-eyed peas and onions in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the remaining ingredients and bring just to the boil. Remove from heat and pour over the peas and onions.
  3. Cover and let stand at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, for flavors to develop.
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A few more bean and pea salad recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:

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  1. says

    I discovered black eyed peas a few years ago and have never looked back! Always looking for new ways to use them and this salad is right up my alley!! I am jealous… Uncle J’s menu sounds sooooo good!!!

    • Lana Stuart says

      They’re a very Southern product, Nancy, so of course I’ve been eating them all my life! They’re a fantastic protein source, too. And yes, Uncle J’s menu was delicious! But the company was even better.

  2. says

    It’s just barely starting to warm up here – but I can’t wait for summer! This looks like the perfect salad to bring to a potluck!


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