Southern Skillet Black-Eyed Peas and Cauliflower

Skillet Black Eye Pea and Cauliflower

The New York Times does a beautiful roundup of vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes every fall. It’s rare that I get around to utilizing any of these ideas before Christmas, but they generally serve just as well for the days that follow. Regardless of the time frame, I strive to produce a couple of these each year in my own kitchen, even if it’s just for a self-serving dinner. This year, I started with this saucy black-eyed pea and cauliflower dish. Considering New Years Day already passed, I guess that makes me extra late on making this, but I’m putting my faith in the fact that black-eyed peas can bring be good luck all year around.

I was really impressed with the results of this recipe. Once again, the New York Time’s Well blog doesn’t fail. The dish reminded me of a slightly lighter, tangier version of baked beans, which surprisingly worked really well with the black eyed peas. I upped the cauliflower in this too, which lightened it up a bit further.

I’m not sure the combination reminded me of the holidays, or at least the dinners that are traditional in my family, but it did hold a spicy heartiness that definitely spoke of wintertime. I love the sweet variance that just a small dose of cinnamon can lend to a dish.

NYT’s suggests serving with biscuits. I would conquer, or a crusty slice of bread. Although, the recipe’s sauciness could lend itself to everything from rice to grains, too. A dab of yogurt on top also makes a nice compliment to the dish.

Skillet Black Eye Pea and Cauliflower

Southern Skillet Black-Eyed Peas and Cauliflower


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 (15-oz) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. white or apple cider vinegar


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions and green peppers until soft. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring frequently, until it is lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt, and cook a few more minutes.
  2. Stir in black-eyed peas, tomato sauce, water, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve in soup bowls with biscuits and whipped maple “butter” on the side.

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  • Reply
    January 5, 2013 at 6:19 am

    A beautiful bowl of food! It’s true, the NYT is a great source of vegetarian recipes. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Lovely, I’ll try it these days. Have a nice day.

  • Reply
    January 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    This looks delicious!!

  • Reply
    Janet @ the taste space
    January 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    It definitely looks like an unusual but tasty dish. Thanks for sharing. I am loving all the recipes with black eyed peas coming out for the new year. 🙂

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      January 7, 2013 at 10:31 am

      Me too! I don’t use black-eyed peas nearly enough.

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