Balsamic Barbecue Black-Eyed Peas

If you ask me, black-eyed peas don't get enough love. So, I am featuring them today in the form of spicy balsamic barbecued black-eyed peas — the perfect vegan football party side dish. 

But, how do you recreate that smoky, bold, bacon-y flavor of barbecued beans without the bacon? The answer – chipotle peppers in adobo sauce! I seriously love these things. I always have a can open in my fridge to add to any dish needing a spicy or smoky kick. If you’ve never added a can of these flavorful peppers into your shopping cart, you’re missing out, my friend.

This recipe uses black-eyed peas in place of traditional kidney beans, replaces classic bacon bits with chopped mushrooms, and uses heart-healthy flaxseed to thicken the mixture.

Balsamic Barbecue Black-Eyed Peas

Recipe by Amari Thomsen, MS, RD, LD


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup baby bella mushroom, chopped
  • 2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms for 5 to 10 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Add black-eyed peas, tomato paste, barbecue sauce, vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, chipotle pepper, molasses and salt.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Uncover and add flaxseed. Stir and let simmer for another 10 minutes until thickened to desired consistency. Serves 8.
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Amari Thomsen
Amari Thomsen, MS, RD, LDN, is a freelance food and nutrition writer, recipe developer and author of "Idiot’s Guides: Autoimmune Cookbook." She is a recognized nutrition communications expert with FoodMinds and a health influencer herself as owner of a Chicago-based private practice, Eat Chic Chicago.