Black-Eyed Pea Cassoulet

December 28, 2009
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I had this dish as a side to a wonderful pork chop in a restaurant in Greenville, SC, and decided then and there it would be my New Year's treatment for black-eyed peas. It's wonderfully simple, wonderfully savory, and the breadcrumbs add a texture element that's just....different! —Kayb

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Kayb is a businesswoman, a traveller, and an avid cook.
WHAT: A deeply savory and delightfully simple cassoulet.
HOW: Simmer onions, tomatoes, sausage, and spices together, add the cooked black eyed peas, top with breadcrumbs, and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This cassoulet is a study in textures: deep and rich, silky, hearty, and crunchy all at once. We'd gladly eat this for a lucky New Year -- and all winter long. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound dry black-eyed peas
  • 8 ounces smoked sausage
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (15-oz)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  1. Rinse and sort peas, and cook in salted water until just tender. Drain.
  2. While peas are cooking, saute diced onion in olive oil in an iron skillet or other ovenproof skillet until soft; add finely minced garlic and saute for another minute. Add tomatoes, diced smoked sausage, and smoked paprika, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add drained peas to tomatoes, and stir to combine. Preheat oven to 400.
  4. Melt butter and combine with breadcrumbs; sprinkle over top of peas and tomato mixture in skillet and transfer to oven.
  5. Bake at 400 until breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kevin French
    Kevin French
  • Mishelley
  • Ljw Canfield
    Ljw Canfield
  • Janne Brorup Weston
    Janne Brorup Weston
  • robin lewis
    robin lewis
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!

70 Reviews

Jennifer N. April 11, 2017
I love this dish (as does hubby). It is so versatile and forgiving.
Kevin F. January 10, 2017
Really solid dish. I did double the breadcrumb topping as I was using a wide skillet. Family loved it - daughter skipped her grilled pork chop in favor of only eating this off her plate.
rlsalvati March 14, 2016
Great dish. I've made it a few times, always using pink-eyed peas from my CSA. I do use a brine soak first since the beans cook in hard, hard water.
Mishelley January 5, 2016
Made this today- loved it! (Also added zucchini and mushrooms since thats what was in fridge) and some additional spices to "kick it up a notch", Will definitely make again.
mykal001 December 31, 2015
I made this but instead of the canned tomatoes I substituted canned okra and tomatoes.
Ljw C. December 29, 2015
If you're using these for New Year's, instead of kale I suggest you use a little chopped collards or turnips - feels more authentic (and may just reflect my Southern roots) to me.
duckfat January 8, 2015
Jane, sorry I can't seem to answer your post right at the site but Ian's is actually called Panko and is made from rice flour. It really fills in for bread crumbs. Hope you find this and it helps!
Janne B. January 5, 2015
So my husband loved the dish but gently suggested I stick it in the slow cooker for a few hours. I soaked the BA peas, then cooked them to al dente and that is as far as they got. It would definitely be better if they were softer. I bet like many soups it will benefit from sitting overnight. There is a LOT of it for two people - does it freeze?
Kayb January 6, 2015
Never tried to freeze, but I'd think it should work. I ate the last of mine for lunch yesterday. Kinda surprised your black eyed peas didn't get tender! I have cooked mine in the slow cooker and left off the baking step. Adding the celery would be fine -- I don't because I don't like celery. And I see no reason why any kind of diced tomatoes, with or without tomato paste, shouldn't work.
Janne B. January 6, 2015
I think my beans were really old, for one thing. And I was paranoid they would do the one minute I am firm, the next I am mush thing so I might have been able to give them 5-10 minutes more cooking time. How long does it bake when it has bread crumbs? It's fantastic basic recipe, thank you
Jonathan January 4, 2015
I soaked the beans, cooked the sausage to get a nice brown on it. And being from South Carolina myself, I wanted a more hop'n Johnesque flavor so I added celery, red bell pepper, and a jalapeno to go along with the onion.
Kayb January 4, 2015
That's the beauty of this dish. It lends itself to whatever spin you want to put on it. For the original, I was trying to recreate the taste of the restaurant version I had had. This year's were closer to the Gulf Coast red beans and rice recipe.
Janne B. January 5, 2015
I am staring at it now and it is screaming CELERY at me, but I am too far in to add it now ... I did add a couple pieces of lemon rind and some cracked pepper and thyme. A chile sounds perfect!
My diced tomatoes were really thick, must be some tomato paste in them. IS that all right?
robin L. January 2, 2015
P.S. My daughter and I loved this. I made the recipe verbatim. (I was worried about no soaking, as well as cooking dried beans with salt. I had nothing to worry about) It was so so delicious. I would have taken a picture of my pot to share, but the two included here are really perfect. Thank you! (Next time I may try the kale, per the comment below, but tonite I was so thrilled that it all came together I forgot to add the kale.)
Kayb January 2, 2015
So glad you enjoyed! I was lazy; I made mine in the slow cooker and didn't even bake it with the bread crumb topping this year. Still awfully good.
aimeebama January 1, 2015
Tremendous hit. Will make again and again. We folded in kale right before topping with breadcrumbs. Great shot of colour and flavour from the greens.
robin L. January 1, 2015
i'm just cooking the black eyed peas now, to make this cassoulet tonight. did you follow the directions exactly, i.e. cook the dried beans in salted water? (that's what i'm doing, tho i'm worried that the salt will toughen the beans b/c it seems i've read that warning from various sources...) i like the kale idea, too, and am going to try that.
Kayb January 2, 2015
Yes, Kale would be good!
Janne B. December 30, 2014
I always soak beans and peas for at least 8-24 hours usually in salted water or whey to make them more bio-available and digestible.
Janne B. December 30, 2014
PS - and throw out the soaking water before using :-)
Kayb December 30, 2014
I do for all dried beans and legumes with the exception of black eyed peas and lentils. I find they get mushy. Doesn't hurt the taste, though. If you prefer to soak, go ahead, but I'd hold it to two-three hours.
Janne B. December 30, 2014
To break down the phytic acid in the legumes I think you have to soak at least 8 hours. I will try to research that ....
Janne B. December 30, 2014
It is true I don't soak lentils.
robin L. December 30, 2014
No need to soak the black-eyed peas overnight?
Kayb December 30, 2014
No. They cook quickly enough and will hold their shape better if you don't.
Janne B. December 28, 2014
I am more or less grain-free and I don't eat cereals or packaged GF products. I have used rice bread crumbs in the past but there are too many artificial ingredients in them.
Kayb December 28, 2014
Ah. I see. I'd probably just leave the topping off. Afraid the parmesan might add too much of a different taste.
Kayb December 28, 2014
A coarse almond meal might work.....
Janne B. December 28, 2014
I have used Almond meal before - it gets soggy , not crispy, and it burns fast. I will put it together and see what I think and then maybe add the cheese. I am Danish, and that means I believe cheese can fix almost everything LOL. Actually duck confit might be good - oh dear that means a duck, right?
Janne B. December 28, 2014
Will this recipe work with grated cheese instead of bread crumbs? I am grain-free
Kayb December 28, 2014
H'mm. Interesting thought. Grated Parmigiano should do OK, but it'll add a flavor element that might or might not work. You can leave it off entirely.
Kayb December 28, 2014
And are you grain-free or just gluten free? I use crushed rice chex all the time in place of bread crumbs, because I have a daughter with celiac.
duckfat January 8, 2015
For gluten free there's Ian's Gluten Free Breadcrumbs. I use it all the time and it comes out nice and crispy.
Janne B. January 8, 2015
What are the ingredients in Ian's Bread Crumbs? I don't do potato, rice, tapioca, any of those starches
Heleen December 11, 2014
Can't wait to make this. I am going to use a non-stick through step 3 and then will transfer it all to a cast iron because, like irishchef, I don't cook tomatoes in cast iron either.
Kayb December 11, 2014
I guess it's because there's a relatively low percentage of tomatoes in the dish that it's never posed a problem for me.
Heleen December 11, 2014
Oh okay. I do get hung up on those things. Thanks!
Janne B. January 5, 2015
I used my Le Creuset skillet which is enamel on the inside but it is too small to hold everything so will transfer to Pyrex.
Caroline S. January 25, 2014
very nice I enjoyed it!
Briana January 1, 2014
I made this last night to take to a New Year's Eve dinner party. I was so lovely and even more soul satisfying the next day.
Tamme B. November 4, 2013
Help! I can't seem to "pin" this recipe. I definitely want to save it and try it this Fall....
irishchef November 3, 2013
Tomatoes in a cast iron pan? I don't think so.