Black-Eyed Pea Summer Salad

published May 28, 2023
Black-Eyed Pea Summer Salad Recipe

A bright summer salad with black-eyed peas, avocado, cherry tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers dressed in a punchy lime vinaigrette.

Serves6 to 8

Makes8 cups

Prep20 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 15 minutes

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a shot of black eyed peas salad in a bowl on rustic sand color background with a golden spoon laying next to it.
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaffer; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

Black-eyed peas are undoubtedly my favorite beans. When I was growing up, my family often used black-eyed peas as a substitute for honey beans, a type of bean found in Nigeria (a topic I’ve touched on in my recipe for akara, which are fried bean cakes popular in Nigeria and other parts of the African diaspora). As a result, I ate them quite often, and have come to enjoy them in a variety of different preparations.

With summer finally on the horizon, my mind has been almost singularly fixated on all of the delicious seasonal treats that are beginning to call my name. Spring and summer produce make being in the kitchen feel new again, as we welcome in a herd of crops that are largely unavailable to many of us for most of the year. This black-eyed pea salad is a celebration of all the wonderful eats that summertime brings our way.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaffer; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

Here, earthy, savory black-eyed peas are the star of this dish, but the seasonal produce — avocado, cherry tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers — in addition to the fresh cilantro, are what really brings this bright summer salad to life. And it comes together with a punchy lime vinaigrette. This summer salad goes with practically everything, from grilled salmon to tender chicken kebabs. It also makes for a chill-yet-impressive summer potluck addition. Personally, my favorite way to enjoy this salad is as a dip for plantain chips with a few extra splashes of hot sauce, of course. 

If you’re making it the night before, I like to toss everything but the avocado together, let it chill in the fridge overnight, and then before heading out toss the diced avocado in. I love to make a batch and eat it throughout the week, as the flavors meld more with a bit of time in the fridge. It’s the ultimate make-ahead meal and the definition of a summer staple.

Black-Eyed Pea Summer Salad Recipe

A bright summer salad with black-eyed peas, avocado, cherry tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers dressed in a punchy lime vinaigrette.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Makes 8 cups

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 2 ears

    fresh corn, or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2

    medium limes

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons


  • 2 teaspoons

    hot sauce, such as Crystal

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 (about 15-ounce) cans

    black-eyed peas

  • 1 pint

    cherry tomatoes (about 11 ounces)

  • 2

    large ripe but firm avocados (about 1 pound total)

  • 1

    medium English cucumber

  • 1/4 small bunch

    cilantro leaves and tender stems


  1. If using fresh corn, shuck 2 ears corn and cut the kernels from the cobs. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fresh corn kernels or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the kernels begin to char just slightly, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

  2. Meanwhile, juice 2 medium limes into a large bowl until you have 1/4 cup. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons honey, 2 teaspoons hot sauce, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until combined.

  3. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of dressing as it is completed: Drain and rinse 2 (about 15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas. Halve 1 pint cherry tomatoes. Halve, seed, and peel 2 large ripe but firm avocados, then dice (about 1 1/2 cups). Dice 1 medium English cucumber (about 2 cups). Finely chop the leaves and tender stems of 1/4 small bunch fresh cilantro until you have 1/4 cup.

  4. Add the cooled corn to the black-eyed pea mixture and toss until the entire salad is fully coated. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to overnight. If refrigerating overnight, wait until just before serving to add the avocado.

Recipe Notes

Storage: This salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days (the avocado may begin to brown).