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easy vegetarian black eyed peas recipe - vegan hoppin john on a white plate
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5 from 15 votes

Vegetarian Black Eyed Peas Recipe

This vegetarian black eyed peas recipe for Hoppin' John is a healthy and meatless version of the southern classic. Onions, bell pepper, celery, and kale are sautéed in spices with black eyed peas and a smoky finish served with brown rice. It’s a complete meal in one pan!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 383kcal
Author: Anjali Shah


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 red bell peppers diced
  • 4 celery sticks diced
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt more to taste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp regular paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 6 oz box baby kale chopped
  • ½ cup uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 3 15-ounce cans unsalted black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 chopped tomato
  • chopped green onions for topping


  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add oil; swirl to coat.
  • Add onion, bell pepper, and celery; sauté 10 minutes.
  • Add garlic; cook 2-3 more minutes.
  • Cook brown rice according to package directions.
  • Add spices (salt through black peppeand kale to skillet, cook another 5-10 minutes until combined.
  • Add black eyed peas and cook another 5-10 minutes.
  • Add in cooked rice, stir until combined.
  • Serve with diced tomato and green onions for topping


Top Tips for Making this Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas Recipe
  • You don’t need a lot of oil to sauté the vegetables. Adding too much oil increases the fat and calories. You need just enough to coat the vegetables, 1 tablespoon.
  • Add the garlic after the other vegetables have sautéed. This will keep the garlic from burning and enhance the garlic flavor.
  • Brown rice can take 45-55 minutes to cook. Start cooking the brown rice before you begin chopping your vegetables for the Vegan Hoppin' Johns so that is ready when it’s time to add it to the sauté pan. 
  • Drain and rinse the black eyed peas before adding them to the pan.
  • The smoky paprika is what gives this dish a smoky flavor with using bacon. You can increase this spice if you like a smokier finish.
  • Cut back or remove the crushed pepper and smoked paprika if you want to make it subtler for the kids.
Adapted from this recipe


Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 1104mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 12g