Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Smoky, Spicy Black-Eyed Pea "Chili"

Black-eyed peas chili
This isn't a traditional chili but the spicy, smoky flavors are similar to those in chili, and it's just as satisfying on a cold winter day. My recipe is vegan/vegetarian if made with vegetable broth, but you can certainly make it with chicken or beef broth and even add browned ground or cubed meat (beef, chicken, pork, venison) if you're not vegetarian or vegan. Likewise, you can serve it with any of your favorite chili toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, etc.

This recipe will easily serve 6 to 8, and if you have leftovers simply store them in the refrigerator -- the flavors will develop overnight and it'll be at least as tasty (if not more) the next day. It's a great "chili" to serve for the Big Game or anytime you're craving a hearty, spicy-smoky meal.

sweet peppers
1 lb dried black-eyed peas, picked over & rinsed
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small onion, chopped,
4 small sweet peppers OR 1 bell pepper
3 dried ancho chiles, toasted*
6 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups broth (vegetable, beef or chicken)
28oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
2 to 4 tsp (to taste) chipotle hot sauce (I use 4 tsp Dog-Gone Chipotle Sauce)
Salt to taste (I added 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt)

recipe for vegetarian chili
*You can skip this step if you wish, but toasting the dried peppers brings out a rich depth of flavor that's well worth the few minutes it takes. If you've never toasted dried chile peppers before, read my post on how to toast dried peppers.

Place all ingredients except the salt in your crock pot and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High or 8 to 10 hours on Low, until the black-eyed peas are tender and nearly all the liquid has been absorbed. Taste and add salt if desired and/or more hot sauce.  FYI when I made this with 4 teaspoons of Dog Gone Chipotle Hot Sauce, the chili had a nice warm, mildly spicy kick without being fiery-hot.

Dog-gone chipotle hot sauce
Zestfully yours,

PS:  Dog-Gone Sauces are all-natural gourmet barbecue and hot sauces created by a foodie and animal-lover. One hundred percent of the after-tax proceeds from each sale of Dog-Gone Sauces is donated to animal rescue groups, shelters and other resources to help save homeless pets. You can buy Dog Gone Sauces from the Carolina Sauce Company as part of our Sauce for a Cause program.


  1. Love the recipe! never heard of a chili from black-eyed peas...but definately gonna try this one!

    1. Thanks Cindi! I hadn't either, which is why I decided to try to make it :-) If you make the recipe, please let me know what you think - and feel free to share any modifications, etc.
      Zestfully yours,