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What Are The Best Substitutes For Black-Eyed Peas?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Black-eyed peas are one of the most common ingredients in a lot of dishes, especially salads and stews.

Not only are they a great source of protein and fiber, but they are a great substitute for meat in a lot of vegetarian dishes. But what if you fancy something different?

What Are The Best Substitutes For Black-Eyed Peas?

Well, luckily there are plenty of beans that you can use as a substitute for black-eyed peas. These black-eyed pea alternatives have a similar texture and flavor, often very meaty with an earthy aftertaste.

The only difference will be the shape.

So where can you find these black-eyed pea substitutes? What properties do they have that make them like black-eyed peas?

What are the best dishes to add them to? Well, we’ve compiled a list of some of the tastiest black-eyed pea alternatives you can find in your local supermarket or at your whole foods market.

Best Substitutes For Black-Eyed Peas

Romano Beans (1 Cup)

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 1.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 826mg
  • Carbohydrates: 46g
  • Dietary Fiber: 13g
  • Total Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Calcium: 77mg
  • Substitution ratio: 1:1

Borlotti Beans (1 cup)

  • Calories: 241
  • Carbohydrate: 43g
  • Protein: 17g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Folate: 92% of DV
  • Thiamine: 92% of DV
  • Iron: 21% of DV
  • Calcium: 9% of DV

Lima Beans (100g)

  • Calories: 115
  • Total Fat: 0.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Potassium: 508 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 21 g
  • Dietary fiber: 7 g
  • Sugar: 2.9 g
  • Protein: 8 g

Pinto Beans (100g)

  • Calories: 347
  • Total Fat: 1.2 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 12 mg
  • Potassium: 1,393 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 63 g
  • Dietary fiber: 16 g
  • Sugar: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 21 g

Purple Hull Peas

  • Calories:​ 90
  • ​Fat:​ 0 grams
  • ​Carbohydrates:​ 19 grams
  • ​Fiber:​ 5 grams
  • ​Protein:​ 6 grams

Black Eyed Peas Nutrition (42g)

  • Calories: 99
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Sugar: 3 g

What Do Black Eyed Peas Taste Like?

Black eyed peas are small, but they have a very meaty texture that you won’t find anywhere else. There is a touch of sweetness to them, but the main flavor of this bean is generally earthy with a slight bitterness.

Black-eyed peas are very soft in texture and do not really take that long to cook in a saucepan on low heat. You can cook these with water, or you can make up a tomato sauce.

You won’t have to boil these beans for longer than a few minutes, which makes them ideal if you are in a hurry.

You can also cook these beans with garlic and herbs, as they are very absorbent, which gives them that extra boost of flavor.

You can add these beans to stews to give them that extra body or you can mix them in with rice to up the calorie and nutrient count.

So, what happens if there are no black-eyed peas at your local store? Well, here are some replacements that are easily available and will provide your dish with a similar flavor palate.

Black Eyed Peas Substitutes

1. Romano Beans

You might notice that these beans are quite pretty to look at, coming with white and purple mottled streaks running through them.

They are stronger in flavor than black-eyed peas, with a sharper aftertaste and less sweetness. These beans are also quite nutty.

Romano beans are harder than black-eyed peas, so you’ll have to cook them for longer, but only for a few minutes.

These are great beans for replacing black-eyed peas, as they are the same size and shape, so you won’t have to alter your measurements too much.

2. Borlotti Beans

These beans are slightly larger than black-eyed peas, but you can be sure that they will cook just as quickly and effectively as black-eyed peas.

They are a similar mottled color to Romano beans and have a similar density, so you will have to allow for a few extra minutes of cooking time.

If you decide to crush up these beans, then you will release more of the natural flavor. They are very starchy and nutty, perfect if you like natural and earthy flavors.

These can be used in salads or stews. You can also grind them up into a fine paste and spread them on bread.

3. Lima Beans

This bean is very different when you look at it, with a green color that makes it look more like a traditional garden pea.

However, this is a bean that has a creamy texture much like the black-eyed pea. They are very quick to cook, and you can add them to so many dishes.

These beans have a lot of nutrients, as well as quite a high protein count, which is great if you are working out on a vegetarian diet.

You can get these beans in a can, although we would suggest that you pick them up dried and soak them overnight.

4. Pinto Beans

Next up, we have beans that look very much like black-eyed peas and have a very similar flavor.

Pintos are a large bean, with a denser body than most of the others on this list, so you might want to add 5 minutes extra cooking time to your recipe.

Another creamy and nutty bean, they go great in salads, especially when mingled with peppers, onions, and tomato.

You can also cook pinto beans with garlic and herbs. They are very absorbent and will take on whatever flavors you add.

5. Purple Hull Peas

Finally, we have peas that are very vividly purple, coming in a pod, like runner beans. However, once you pop them out of their skins and cook them, they have a very similar flavor to black-eyed peas, creamy and nutty.

You can substitute these beans for black-eyed peas 1:1, as they are very similar in shape and size. They can also be frozen for a few months, which is great if you want to save them for future meals.

These are also brimming with nutrients, which is great for anyone pursuing a healthy diet.

Black-Eyed Peas With Coconut Milk And Ethiopian Spices

This first black-eyed peas recipe is very creamy and hearty, with enough ingredients that will fill you up for the whole day. This has added coconut milk for that thick texture.

Vegetarian Black-Eyed Peas

Coming with black-eyed peas, rice, and salad, this is a salad that packs a punch, with plenty of protein and nutrients. This also has lots of fiber, which is great for digestion.

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas And Greens

If you have one of these pressure cookers, then you can rustle yourself a delicious casserole with black-eyed peas in no time at all. Add some delicious greens and you have a healthy and filling meal.


Black-eyed peas are a delicious addition to any salad, but if you are struggling to find some, then hopefully some of these substitutes have given you some inspiration.

Remember to make sure that you allow the appropriate cooking time for beans of different sizes.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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