Happy New Year + Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

January 2, 2013(updated on October 18, 2023)
black-eyed pea salsa

I hope everyone had a good holiday season! I spent Christmas out in Portland, Oregon with family and got plenty of quality time with my parents, uncle, sister, brother-in-law, and my newly walking nephew (he’s in that sponge stage, where he’s learning as fast as you can say the words. It’s incredible).

I got back to Philadelphia a few days ago and promptly came down with Emmett‘s cold (13 month olds cough in any direction they’re pointed, including straight into your face). Other than an exploratory mission on Sunday to Costco to use our new membership cards, Scott and I have barely left the apartment in days. Oh, how I’m tired of this tradition of mine to end the year mucus and congestion.

black-eyed pea salsa

In the hopes of forging different New Year traditions that have nothing to do with NyQuil, kleenex or throat lozenges, I made a very simple take on a classic “good luck for the New Year” dish. Black-eyed pea salsa.

It’s essentially Texas Caviar, but a version that omits bottled salad dressing and is scaled to fit into a quart jar (because who doesn’t like a salsa that can be made straight into a jar?). It’s good with tortilla chips and even better on top of salad greens and a little crumbled feta (if you’re trying to inject a little bit of healthier eating into your new year).

black-eyed pea salsa above

As far as New Year’s hopes and resolutions go, my plan is to keep the year simple. To find a little peace where I am instead of always having my eye on the next thing. To stop tying myself into knots of struggle and let things move in flow and at their own pace. And to remember how incredibly lucky I am to have such a vibrant community of friends and readers out there across the world (thank you all for being part of that!).

And on to the recipe…

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Black-Eyed Pea Salsa


  • 1 15- ounce can black-eyed peas rinsed and drained
  • 1 15- ounce can corn kernels rinsed and drained
  • 1 handful grape tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 pickled jalapenos minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • Layer all ingredients into a wide mouth quart jar.
  • Apply lid and shake to integrate.
  • If there’s not enough room for ingredients to combine well, let the jar stand for a few minutes, until everything has slumped enough for the shaking to help.
  • Let salsa sit at room temperature for at least 10-15 minutes before serving so that the flavors can mellow and marry.
  • Eat around the New Year for good luck and any time of year for general deliciousness.

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14 thoughts on "Happy New Year + Black-Eyed Pea Salsa"

  • Love the idea of eating this with salad greens and feta. This will definitely help me with my new years resolution to eat healthy.

  • It so happens that I have a bag of frozen black eye peas waiting to be used. Wondering if they will work in place of the canned (thawed , of course)?

    1. I imagine that the frozen peas should work perfectly well. I’d use about 1 1/2 cups, to approximate the can measurement.

  • Yummy!! Very classic without the corn.. at least in our family. We always have homemade black eye peas with a fresh relish which you’ve managed to combine all in one.. its the BEST, and so addictive.. Bet you cant eat just one! Yum!
    Have a fantastic 2013! Blessings!

  • This is exactly what I need to be eating this week! Food that’s excellent and healthy and cheap, but that I can also eat entirely with chips. 🙂

  • Recently ran across your blog and love it. I make a lot of soup and chili during the winter. I often have lots left over and don’t like eating it every night. Can I freeze it and use later? Also, what jars would you recommend for the freezer and can I just put the soup in the jar and freeze?
    Thank you.

    1. Tee, you can freeze most soup and chili. The best way to do it is to freeze it in wide mouth jars. Leave an inch of headspace for pint jars and two inches for quarts, to allow for the natural expansion that occurs during freezing. Any fuller and you risk breaking the jars.

  • Happy New Year! I hope that you are feeling better. I know from Texas Caviar, and the version that I make never involves bottled dressing – and it scales however one wants. It uses 2x oil to vinegar (any kind you want), salt and pepper to taste, and about a tablespoon of worchestershire sauce. Highly recommended to add a little of that – you will enjoy the flavor. It has japs, red bell pepper chopped fine, and a red onion. Flat leaf parsley, and canned black eyed peas, rinsed off. Nothing else! Heat the dressing to boiling in a pan before pouring it over the salad. It stores fabulously.

  • The version I grew up with uses hominy instead of corn kernels; I urge you to try this variation – it steps up the flavor considerably! Where I live, dried hominy and canned hominy is found in most grocery stores. It is also a staple in hispanic food markets.

  • I teach a High School self-contained Special Needs Class. We teach life skills including cooking. My students really enjoyed this Salsa (although a little after New Years.) They make a cookbook through out the year of recipes and this will be a favorite. They also made bake chips to go with it. Thanks a bunch for the recipe.

  • I’ve been having a very hard time finding a black eyed pea relish recipe that you can can (either pressure or water bath). I found a jar at a famer’s market and I’d love to make my own. It’s become my new favorite. Can you help?? Thanks!!!!!