This is a simple but delicious bean and cornbread recipe that’s perfect for breakfast or dinner.
The main ingredients in this dish are black-eyed peas and cornbread.
Black-eyed peas are known as “yard birds” because they’re small and easy to collect from your yard or garden.
They’re also very nutritious, containing fiber and protein.
Cornbread is another staple food found in traditional southern cuisine.
It’s often eaten with soup, stew, or chili.
In addition to being tasty, it has many health benefits.
Cornbread contains dietary fiber which helps keep blood sugar levels stable by slowing down digestion.
What Type Of Beans Are Best For This Recipe?
Black-eyed peas are available year round.
While fresh they’re available during summer months, frozen ones can be used when fresh ones aren’t available.
Canned versions are also quite popular.
If using canned beans, make sure they contain no added salt.
If you have access to fresh green beans, they would add more flavor than those dried out and white.
Green beans are usually harvested in spring and fall, so if you live somewhere where these seasons vary, check with local farmers markets to see what varieties of beans are in season there.
You could substitute pinto beans for black-eyed peas, but the color will change slightly due to the different colors of each variety of beans.
How do I cook my beans?
- Add water to cover beans by 2 inches (5 cm)
- Bring to boil on medium heat for 15 minutes
- Turn off heat, let sit covered until ready to serve
How long should I store cooked beans?
Beans can be stored refrigerated for up to two weeks after cooling completely.
Once cooled, remove any remaining liquid and then seal tightly in an airtight container.
Do You Need To Soak The Beans Before Cooking?
Black-eye peas should be soaked overnight so they can expand during cooking.
This will make them easier to digest and absorb nutrients.
The night before you plan on making this dish, put the beans into a pot or bowl and cover them with water.
Let them sit until the next morning when you can cook them right away.
If you don’t have time to soak the beans before preparing this dish, simply rinse off any dirt that may still be clinging to them and then add them to your pot of boiling water.
Cook these beans over medium heat for about an hour or longer depending on how long they were previously soaked.
What Type Of Cornbread Is Best For This Recipe?
There are several types of cornbread available at grocery stores today.
There’s white cornmeal bread, yellow cornmeal bread, biscuit flour, and self rising flour.
- Biscuit flour – This is a combination of all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and shortening (butter).
- Baking powder is added to help create air pockets when mixing the batter so the biscuits have a light texture.
- Self rising flour – Contains leavening agents such as baking soda, yeast, cream of tartar, and eggs.
- Self rising flour can be used alone or combined with other flours if desired.
- The mixture will rise while baking due to the presence of these leavening agents.
- Yellow cornmeal bread – Made using yellow cornmeal, water, oil, whole wheat pastry flour, and salt.
- These ingredients are mixed together until smooth then baked.
- Yellow cornmeal bread tends to be more dense than other varieties.
- White cornmeal bread – Uses only white cornmeal, water, and salt.
- Once mixed, the dough forms into loaves rather than biscuits.
These recipes use either biscuit flour or self rising flour.
You can substitute one with the other depending on what kind of cornbread you like most.
How Do You Make The Cornbread?
1 cup yellow cornmeal (not self-rising)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
⅓ cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients except the milk and butter.
Make sure there aren’t any lumps in them.
Add the milk and melted butter.
Mix well until everything gets combined.
Grease an 8 inch square pan with cooking spray.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake for about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the corn bread from the oven and let cool on a rack before cutting.
How Long Does This Recipe Take To Make?
You can prepare the entire dish ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator up until serving.
The dish should be prepared at least two hours before cooking so that all the flavors have had enough time to meld together.
Step 1: Prepare the beans
- Soak the dried beans overnight in water (enough to cover).
- Rinse them well and drain off any excess liquid.
- Bring the soaked beans to a boil in fresh water over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about one hour, stirring occasionally.
- After you remove the pan from the stove, let the beans cool completely.
- Once they’re cooled, transfer them into a large pot and mash them using either a potato masher or fork.
- Set aside.
Step 2: Make the cornbread
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with butter or nonstick spray.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, brown sugar, and baking powder.
- Add the milk and egg yolks, stir until just combined.
- You want there to be some lumps in the batter.
- Transfer the mixture onto the baking sheet in the shape of a rectangle.
- Bake the cornbread for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Remove the cornbread from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Assemble the dish
- Spread half of the mashed black-eyes beans on top of the cornbread.
- Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly across the surface of the beans.
- Top the cheese with remaining beans.
- Layer the other half of the cornbread on top of the beans.
- Cover the entire dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Are The Steps For This Recipe?
- Cook dried black eyed peas on stovetop or in pressure cooker until tender.
Drain water, then mix in onion, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
Add chicken stock and cook mixture over medium heat until liquid reduces slightly.
2. Meanwhile, prepare corn bread batter according to package instructions.
Once cooked through (about 15 minutes), remove from oven and turn into serving bowl.
3. Pour hot beans onto top of cornbread and serve warm.
4. Serve immediately with butter, salt, and pepper.
Can This Recipe Be Made Ahead Of Time?
You can make this dish up to 2 days before serving.
However, once you have everything prepared, it should only take about 20 minutes to bake.
- Cook the beans until tender (about 1 hour).
- Prepare the cornbread batter (recipe below) and let sit overnight at room temperature.
- You may need more flour if baking right away.
- Bake the cornbread in an 8×8 inch pan at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
- Remove and set aside.
- In a large pot on medium heat, add the cooked beans and water.
- Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low.
- Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, garlic, and jalapeno peppers.
- Stir well.
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and stir well.
- Simmer covered for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cream cheese and remove from heat.
- To serve, place some of the cornbread into each bowl and top with some of the tomato sauce.
- Serve immediately.
How Do You Store This Recipe?
You can make the whole batch at once and freeze them.
You can also portion out individual servings and freeze those too.
The only thing you need to remember when storing this recipe is to label each container so you know what’s inside.
That way if you eat one serving before freezing the rest, you won’t confuse yourself later on about what was left over!
- If not using freezer bags, put into airtight containers (such as Tupperware) after removing excess water.
What Are Some Tips For Making This Recipe?
Beans and cornbread can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until needed.
You should always cook the vegetables before adding them into the pan.
This will prevent the vegetables from getting overcooked.
If you like spice, add more than one pepper on top of the finished dish.
The spices used in this recipe have been added in order to enhance flavor rather than masking any other flavors.
If you want less spice, use fewer peppers or remove all of them except for 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.
You may need to adjust the amount of liquid used depending on how long it takes your stovetop burner to get hot enough to boil water.
For most stoves, you should start off with about 2 cups of liquid (water).
Once it boils, reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking until the beans are tender.
After boiling, drain the cooked beans and rinse them under cold water.
Make sure not to overdo it when draining though.
Remember, the goal is to remove excess moisture so the beans don’t end up soggy! After rinsing, set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion, bell peppers, garlic, celery, jalapeno, and red chile flakes.
Cook the mixture for 5 minutes or until onions soften.
Pour in the chicken stock and stir well to combine everything together.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to bubble for 3-5 minutes.
Stir occasionally while the liquid simmers.
Add tomato sauce, salt, and black-eyed peas to the skillet.
Continue stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes or until the beans have absorbed the majority of the liquid.
Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely at room temperature.
Once cooled, transfer the contents of the skillet into a bowl.
Mix thoroughly using an immersion blender or potato masher.
Return the mixture back to the same pot and place it on the stove again.
Turn the heat down to low and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Allow the mixture to come to a full rolling boil.
While the mixture comes to a boil, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease a 9×13 baking pan with butter.
Break up the cornmeal evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until firm.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Beans and cornbread is an excellent source of iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B9), and vitamin A.
Vitamin C can be found in the tomatoes used in this recipe, and there is no added salt in this dish either.
This means you get all these nutrients without any harmful side effects.
In terms of calories, one serving (about 2/3 cup) provides about 200 kcal.
Since the ingredients are cooked together, this dish will have less flavor than if it were made separately, so you may want to add additional spices for extra kick.
- 1 Bowl
- 1 Oven
FOR THE BEANS:
- 1 lb. dried pinto beans
- Cold water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1 onion
- 1 celery
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
FOR THE CORNBREAD:
- 2 cups cornmeal mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups whole buttermilk
- ¼ cup salted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
MAKE THE BEANS:
- Put the beans in a big pot or bowl. Add 2 inches of cold water on top. Overnight, leave covered. Beans should be drained and rinsed.
- In a 6-quart (or bigger) slow cooker, combine the drained beans, broth, ham hock, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and ground black pepper to taste. Don’t season at this time with salt. Add enough ice-cold water to the beans to cover them. Stir everything thoroughly.
- Put a lid on the slow cooker. The beans should be cooked until soft on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 8–10 hours. In the last hour or so of cooking, season with roughly 1 teaspoon of salt. Throw away the bay leaf, thyme sprig, and ham hock. Some of the beans can be mashed with a potato masher or the back of a spoon to thicken the liquid. If required, add more salt and pepper after tasting.
MAKE THE CORNBREAD:
- While the oven is heating to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, heat a 10-inch cast iron pan in the oven.
- Mix or whisk the cornmeal, eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter in a sizable bowl. Don’t overmix; simply stir until incorporated.
- Remove the hot skillet from the oven with caution. When the skillet is heated, add the oil and distribute it around to coat the sides and bottom (I use a pastry brush for this).
- Pour the batter into the skillet after greasing it.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cornbread comes out clean.