Crock Pot Black Eyed Peas With Smoked Turkey Leg

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This two-ingredient meal of crock pot black eyed peas and smoked turkey leg cooks low and slow in the slow cooker for the most tender and flavorful dish.

Bowl of crock pot Black Eyed Peas and smoked turkey.

Today I’m going to show you how to make black eyed peas, from dried beans, using your slow cooker. These beans cook perfectly and all you have to do is toss ’em in and go about your business!

With a new year upon us, Southerners start thinking about that special first big dinner, with all of its symbolic dishes that tradition tells us will bring wealth and good fortune in the coming year.

Here’s a little history for you…Back in the days of the Civil War, Union troops swept through the South, confiscating crops and livestock to use as provisions for their troops. Southerners who weren’t off fighting were left with precious little, save for peas and greens. These dishes became cherished and appreciated as what saved many a family from starvation during those times and the tradition of celebrating these dishes on the new year was born.

So there you have it, black eyed peas for good luck (the amount of good luck is supposed to be directly related to how many peas you eat) and collard greens or turnip greens for wealth, again with the amount eaten directly proportionate to how much wealth you will receive.

Of course, I don’t believe that because I’m not a believer in luck and I know a pot of greens isn’t going to bring me money, but I’ll sure stick with this meal as a means of honoring tradition – and getting a plate full of my favorites, to boot!

If you love beans make sure to check out some of my other bean recipes like Make Pinto Beans and Ham, Southern Butter Beans Recipe, Red Beans and Rice Recipe, Beefed Up Baked Beans, and Creamed Beans and Taters.

Let’s get cooking!

This crockpot black eyed peas recipe is ridiculously easy. All you have to do is add them to the slow cooker with a smoked turkey leg and some salt and then let them slow cook on low for up to 10 hours. In the end, you just know they’re going to be as tender and flavorful as ever. Now, I know traditional New Year’s Day meat is some type of pork. However, we don’t eat pork anymore and we’ve found smoked turkey to be an excellent substitute.

For another favorite and vegetarian black eyed peas recipe, check out my Hoppin John post.


ingredients for black eyed peas and smoked turkey leg

Recipe Ingredients

  • Dried black eyed peas
  • Salt
  • Smoked turkey leg

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Crockpot Black Eyed Peas

Place peas and turkey leg in the slow cooker.

Place the turkey leg and dried peas into your slow cooker.

I am using a 6-quart slow cooker here.

It is always a good idea to “sort” your beans before adding them to the crockpot. Sometimes you’ll find a small stone in the bag. Some brands have several. To sort them, just pour them into your hand a bit at a time, look at them to make sure they’re all beans, and then toss them in the pot.

Add salt to slow cooker.

Add salt.

It takes a good bit of salt to make beans. I add a tablespoon for this whole crockpot.

Add water to slow cooker so it covers everything.

Add enough water to cover everything.

Cook black eyed peas and turkey on low for up to 10 hours.

Put your lid on and turn that puppy on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Overnight is fine if you want to have them for lunch the next day.

Shred turkey and place it back in the slow cooker.

The turkey will be very tender and easy to pull off and shred before adding it back to the crockpot. 

Large spoonful of black eyed peas and turkey.

Oh goodness, that is some good stuff! 

bowl of black eyed peas

If you are making these slow cooker black eyed peas for New Year’s Eve dinner (usually served around lunchtime), you can put them on before you go to bed at night and let them cook on low until you’re ready to serve.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw and then reheat either on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Recipe Notes

  • Feel free to substitute the turkey leg for 1 large ham hock.
  • You can also use a combination of diced ham and cooked bacon, kielbasa, or chicken thighs.
  • If you want to speed things up, you can place the slow cooker on high for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Want to add more flavor? Here are some suggestions:
    • Add 2 chicken bouillion cubes, which will combine with the water to make a delicious chicken broth.
    • Add 1/2 a chopped yellow onion and 2 minced garlic cloves.
    • For more heat, add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
    • Add a can of diced tomatoes.
    • Instead of meat, add in more veggies, like 1 cup each of chopped carrot and celery, and 1 diced bell pepper.
    • Add your favorite seasoning, like 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, or 1 teaspoon of oregano.

Recipe FAQs

Do black eyed peas need to be soaked before cooking?

Normally I would soak my black eyed peas. However, because they’re cooking for so long in the water in the slow cooker, for this crock pot recipe there’s no need to soak the dried beans beforehand.

What happens if you don’t soak peas before cooking?

Usually, if you don’t soak peas before cooking they take longer to cook. But seeing as we’re slow-cooking them for an extended amount of time for this recipe, this isn’t an issue.

Can you overcook black eyed peas?

Yes, you can overcook black eyed peas. You want to slow-cook them until they’re creamy but retain their shape.

Are crockpot black eyed peas healthy?

Black eyed peas are relatively healthy. They’re a great source of protein and fiber, so keep you feeling fuller for longer. When paired with meat, this is a simple filling meal.

What goes with crock pot black eyed peas for dinner?

Serve your Southern black eyed peas as a main dish with a combination of Southern favorites, like cornbread, dinner rolls, mac and cheese, steamed rice, and a serving of collard greens or turnip greens.

You may also enjoy these other bean-based dishes:

Make Pinto Beans and Ham

Southern Butter Beans Recipe

Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Beefed Up Baked Beans

Creamed Beans and Taters

bowl of black eyed peas

Crock Pot Black Eyed Peas

This two-ingredient meal of crock pot black eyed peas and smoked turkey leg cooks low and slow in the slow cooker for the most tender and flavorful dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crockpot, peas, slowcooker, turkey
Servings: 4
Calories: 294kcal


  • 12-24 ounces dried beans of your choice
  • 1 smoked turkey leg for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • Place the turkey leg in the slow cooker. Sort the beans and pour them on top of the turkey, then add the salt.
    12-24 ounces dried beans of your choice, 1 smoked turkey leg for seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt
  • Completely cover with water and fill the slow cooker to within one inch of the top.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or overnight if having for lunch the next day.


Calories: 294kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

Complete your meal by adding the following:

Stop expecting YOU from other people.

“Do not take to heart all the things that people say.”

~Ecc 7:21

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  1. Thanks for the recipe Christy. It’s a great way to cook them. By, the way, I made your Apple Dapple cake yesterday and as usual it’s delicious!

  2. For some reason, today I am out of ham or bacon. Should I add a little bit of cooking oil (or something else) to take their place?

    1. I am not a meat eater so I use either liquid smoke and oil or some hickory smoked salt plus oil as well as onions, bell pepper and cele ry and sometimes canned tomatoes. All good anyway you do it.

  3. Thanks for the recipe. It came at a perfect time for me as I cracked my smooth cooktop on Christmas and my new one won’t be here for several more days. I was wondering how we would get our black eyed peas ready for New Years dinner. No worries now, we are all set!

  4. Did you have any trouble finding dry black-eyed peas this year? I did. Not a single grocery store in my area had any. I finally settled for frozen. They have snaps! 😀

    Happy New Year!

    1. Not in the South! We had large display full of black-eyes in every store that I went to this week!! Ha!! Everyone down here loves this tradition about good health and wealth!!!

  5. Yes, I’d rinse (pronounced “ranch” by some folks) the beans first as well as pick over them. Rinsing will remove any dirt or other debris.

      1. You should add some chopped carrots, celery, onions, and tons of garlic. My uncle brought this recipe home when he was working in Louisiana. My aunt said when you think you added enough garlic, add a little more. My house smells so good right now. I have greens, cornbread, and fried potatoes with it. Of course theres hunks of ham in the peas. It is delicious. Happy New Year.

          1. Just made your version in the crockpot overnight and the delicious aroma actually woke me up in the middle of the night!!! It’s good enough to make you slap your Grandpappy!

        1. Oh i almost forgot , i love them greens , now with some fried potatoes and dont forget the cornbread , now you got a nice meal that will surely fill you up , ok ty sweetie gotta run.

          1. So Christy, just to be sure, I dont need to soak the peas, right? Im making them this year & I can’t WAIT! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU! <3

      1. I found smoked turkey legs in 2 lb packages at Grocery Outlet in Pensacola Florida today for $4.79. This was my first time to go there & I was very pleasantly pleased with the quality of food & the prices.
        A Jones

    1. 5 stars
      Absolutely. I always rinse my beans and blackeyed peas that I buy in bags (I don’t like to buy them from bins).

    2. I had quit cooking dried black eyed peas because mine always turned out mushy. When I saw your post on Facebook for cooking them in the crockpot I decided to I try it today. I cooked them on low for 8 hours and they where perfect! Thank you for teaching me this new method!

  6. Christy: Your salt comment just cracked me up, and made me smile. It was great! For singles or couples, a 3-1/2 Qt. crockpot, 2 cups of sorted and rinsed beans, 6 cups of water, 1 tsp salt, optional onion and garlic, works really well. Cook on high and they are done in about 3 hours, maybe less. I’ve never had to add water. I grew up cooking beans and setting a timer for every 20 minutes, checking them, generally adding water, and this is much easier. Now it’s the only way I do them.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

      1. Thank you Christy , these look really good , and since i cant use turkey , i will use ham , which i forgot to get at the store this morning, so thats another trip back to town.Hope you and your family had a nice Christmas , ok sweetie i got to run , never enough hrs in the day for me.Have a very blessed day my dear.

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