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Substitute For Black-Eyed Peas: Top 12 Choices

Black-eyed peas are a versatile ingredient you can use as the main or side dish. We’ve got you covered if you need something to substitute for black-eyed peas.

If you do not have them available, choose one of the black-eyed peas alternatives from our list.

Wooden scoop filled with black eyed peas

What Are Black-Eyed Peas?

Black-eyed peas are a legume that people widely cultivate for their edible seeds.

They are called “black-eyed peas” due to the black spot or “eye” on their inner curve where they attach to the pod.

These peas have been an important food source in many cultures for centuries due to their nutritional value and versatility in cooking.

They originated from North Africa and became a staple in Southern cuisine in the United States.

People often prepare them as a dish every New Year’s Day as a traditional symbol of good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year.

These beans are great for soups, stews, salads, and side dishes.

Additionally, these peas are well-loved for their nutritional value. They are low in fat and rich in dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins. 

Best Substitute For Black-Eyed Peas

Here is a list of the best 12 alternatives for black-eyed peas.

1. Butter Beans

Wooden bowl with dry butter beans.

Butter beans are also known as fresh lima beans. They have a light green or white appearance.

They are large in size and have a flat shape. Butter beans look different, but they offer a similar texture and flavor.

The flavor of these beans is sweet and nutty. They make a fantastic pair with other ingredients in dishes like salads, soups, and stews. 

Cooking Tips:

Use lima beans in the same way and amount you would use black-eyed peas. Make sure not to overcook them. Otherwise, they will lose the taste and will end up getting mushy. 

2. Fresh Romano Beans

Fresh Romano beans, close up mage.

Fresh Romano beans are also known as Italian string beans. They are the Italian variety of the common beans we know. 

This alternative has a similar texture to black-eyed peas; only they are a little firmer.

These Italian beans also have a slightly nutty flavor that complements other ingredients like tomato, garlic, and basil. 

Cooking Tips:

You can use Fresh Romano beans in the same amount and way you would use black-eyed peas. However, make sure not to overcook them because if you do, they will completely dissolve in the dish. 

3. Pinto Beans

Above image of cooked Pinto beans.

Pinto beans are one of the best replacements for fresh black-eyed peas. 

These beans have a nutty and earthy flavor and a soft texture. These beans are oval and come in several colors, the most common being reddish.

They also have almost the same taste.

Cooking Tips:

Use them as you would use black-eyed peas in any recipe. 

4. Southern Pink Lady Peas

Although the Southern pink lady peas are different in color and look, they will give justice to your dish.

Despite having a sweeter and less earthy taste, they are among the best black-eyed peas substitutes. 

Cooking Tips:

To avoid having an overly sweet dish, you can start with a lesser amount than the black-eyed peas your recipe calls for.

5. Purple Hull Peas

Purple hull peas are your best option if you’re after the texture of black-eyed peas.

These peas taste slightly earthier, but the flavor difference becomes less evident once you use them in the recipe.

The two peas are very similar because purple hull peas also have an “eye.” However, the “eye” of purple hull peas is slightly pink instead of black. 

Cooking Tips:

Prepare and cook in the same way as black-eyed peas. They’re less expensive, so you can use them instead if your recipe calls for a lot of beans. 

6. Crowder Peas

For stews and Hoppin’ Johns, you shouldn’t look anywhere else but at crowder peas. They are the best substitute for dishes like these.

These beans have a light brown or green color with a white center. When it comes to appearance, they will add a nice touch to your dishes. 

Crowder peas have a similar texture; you can use them interchangeably in most cases.

Cooking Tips:

Crowder peas are smaller, so you will need more of them for your recipes than you would black-eyed peas.

7. White Kidney Beans

Ceramic dish with cooked white kidney beans topped with herbs.

White kidney beans, or cannellini beans, are a variety of white beans that are a good substitute for canned black-eyed peas.

The most significant difference is that cannellini beans are larger than black-eyed peas, so they will generally alter your dish’s texture.

Otherwise, their nutty flavor makes them a good substitute, especially in Mediterranean dishes. 

Cooking Tips:

Use about half the amount you would use of black-eyed peas to avoid a drastic shift in texture. 

8. Fava Beans

Bowl with Fava beans on top of the fabric napkin.

These delicate, buttery, and nutty beans have slightly bitter and sweet undertones.

When it comes to taste, they’re not exactly the most similar to black-eyed peas.

They make a good option for salads and soups. 

Cooking Tips:

You can use fava beans in a 1:1 ratio, but be mindful of these beans’ flavor undertones. 

9. Borlotti Beans

There may be better replacements than Borlotti beans, especially considering they can be hard to find.

They make a fairly good substitute because it takes them the same time to be cooked as black-eyed peas. 

Cooking Tips:

You can use and cook them in the same manner and amount as black-eyed peas. 

10. White Navy Beans

White navy beans are another amazing substitute for black-eyed peas.

Regarding texture and taste, this one is one of the closest swaps. 

White navy beans, or pea beans, are about the same size.

They also have a soft texture and nutty flavor. However, they are milder. 

Cooking Tips:

Use them in a 1:1 ratio when substituting black-eyed peas. These beans take longer to cook, so adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

11. Kentucky Wonder Beans

Since Kentucky Wonder beans are common beans, they are definitely a good substitute. They are similar to black-eyed peas, with a creamy texture and nutty flavor.

Kentucky wonder beans are also a great source of fiber. 

Cooking Tips:

Use in the same amount and way you would use black-eyed peas. These green beans work best in soup and chili recipes. 

12. White Acre Peas

When it comes to taste, white acre beans are a little sweeter and are best used if you want a slightly different flavor.

However, their similar texture can make them a good replacement.

For signature dishes, white acre peas might give a slightly different flavor, but other than that, they won’t disappoint you.

Cooking Tips:

You can start using white acre peas in a smaller amount than you would use black-eyed peas. Doing so will not overpower the dish. 

Popular Recipes With Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyes peas are a versatile ingredient, but here are some of the most popular recipes using the beloved legume.

1. Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John is a Southern dish combining peas with rice, creating a hearty and flavorful one-pot meal. This dish is often enjoyed on New Year’s Day for good luck.

The dish consists of sautéed onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Other variations have an extra layer of savory goodness through diced ham or bacon. 

2. Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar, a vibrant salad or dip, is a favorite at gatherings and parties. This dish melds the peas with colorful ingredients like corn, diced tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, and chopped cilantro.

A zesty dressing is what ties all of the ingredients together. This dish is commonly served with tortilla chips.

3. Black-Eyed Pea Soup

This soup offers a wholesome base by combining the richness of cooked peas with the trio of onion, carrot, and celery. Dried thyme, oregano, and a bay leaf add aromatic depth. 

How To Choose The Best Black-Eyed Peas Substitute

With many options, finding the best black-eyed peas substitute can be challenging. The exact recipe may be challenging to replicate.

Consider the following factors below, and you can find the best swaps to use. 

1. Pay Attention To Texture

When it comes to dishes using beans and peas, the texture is important. Consider the texture of the black-eyed peas and how they contribute to the dish.

Lima beans and Romano beans are the best options to maintain a similar consistency to your dish.

2. Look For A Similar Taste

Think about the mild flavor of black-eyed peas and whether the substitute you’re considering complements the other ingredients in your recipe.

Pinto or Kentucky Wonder beans won’t significantly change the taste of your dish.

3. Be Mindful Of The Appearance

If the appearance of your dish matters, use something that looks almost the same as the original ingredient.

Purple hull peas offer the same look, just with a different color. Crowder peas also look somewhat similar. 

Related Questions

What Is The Best Substitute For Black-Eyed Peas In Cowboy Caviar?

You can substitute black-eyed peas with other beans with similar texture and flavor profiles in a recipe like Cowboy Caviar. The best options are black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans. 

What Is The Same As Black-Eyed Peas?

No peas or beans are exactly the same as black-eyed peas, but pinto beans, kidney beans, and navy beans are close. These ingredients share many similarities, so they are among the best substitutes. 

Are Garbanzo Beans And Black-Eyed Peas The Same Thing?

No, garbanzo beans and black-eyed peas are not the same thing. Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are round, beige-colored beans with a slightly nutty taste and a dense, starchy texture when cooked. On the other hand, black-eyed peas are smaller beans with a distinctive black spot on their inner curve. They have a milder flavor and a somewhat creamy texture when cooked. 


Black-eyed peas are well-loved legumes that can be served independently or mixed with other ingredients.

Some potential swaps include pinto beans, white kidney beans, and white navy beans. Even Kentucky wonder beans and acre white beans are possible swaps.

Each substitute for black-eyed peas has a different taste, texture, and color that can help improve your dish. Experiment with the alternatives on our list until you find the one that best fits your recipe. 

Printable Recipe

Wooden scoop filled with black eyed peas

Substitute For Black-Eyed Peas: Top 12 Choices

Natalia-Flavorful Home
We’ve got you if you need something to substitute for black-eyed peas. Black-eyed peas are a versatile ingredient you can use as the main or side dish. If you do not have them available, choose one of the substitutes from our list.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Butter Beans
  • Fresh Romano Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Southern Pink Lady Peas
  • Purple Hull Peas
  • Crowder Peas
  • White Kidney Beans
  • Fava Beans
  • Borlotti Beans
  • White Navy Beans
  • Kentucky Wonder Beans
  • White Acre Peas


  • Choose the best substitute from our list.
  • Adjust the recipe if needed.
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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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