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 is a Chicago-based registered dietitian, blogger and owner of Eat Chic Chicago. She graduated from Loyola University of Chicago and later completed her nutrition education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Amari is focused on integrating modern and traditional techniques to promote real food nutrition. Read her nutrition blog and find her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.