Ring in the new year with vegan Black Eyed Pea Burgers! Piled high with collard greens, tempeh bacon, and a spicy sauce, these veggie burgers have all the flavors of Hoppin' John in one tasty sandwich. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
What is Hoppin' John?
Hoppin’ John is a classic southern dish that’s traditionally made with rice, black-eyed peas, and bacon or ham, and it’s usually served with collard greens. It’s served on New Year’s Day for good luck and prosperity in the year ahead. The black-eyed peas are said to represent coins, and a real coin is sometimes added to the pot. The collard greens are meant to represent paper money. Cornbread is sometimes served with the dish to symbolize blocks of gold.
Vegan Black Eyed Pea Burgers
In past years I’ve made a big pot of Hoppin’ John for dinner on New Year’s Day, because I think it’s a fun tradition to follow. This year I thought I’d mix things up a little, and turn the dish into a burger.
If this recipe looks a little daunting you, keep in mind that the components can be made ahead of time, and then you can heat and assemble right before you’re ready to eat. You can also use prepackaged tempeh bacon and spicy non-dairy mayo to cut back on prep time. I like to double this recipe and make the burgers in advance and then freeze them. That way they're ready when I am!
What You Need
- Black-eyed peas
- Cooked brown rice
- Chickpea flour
- Diced tomatoes
- Garlic cloves
- Onion powder
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
- Collard greens
- Lemon juice
- Burger buns
- Tempeh Bacon
- Chipotle Lime Dressing
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
How to Make Black Eyed Pea Burgers
These burgers are easy to make!
- First you preheat your oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Then you mix together all of the burger ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mash everything together as you go. (Using a potato masher helps.)
- Next you form the burgers into four patties. If you have one, a ring mold will help shape them, but forming patties by hand is completely fine.
- Bake your burgers for 20 minutes. Flip them and bake for an addition 5 to 10 minutes. They should be golden brown and firm.
- While the burgers are cooking, you heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. You add the garlic and sauté it for a minute or two. Make sure you keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Next you add the collard greens and the water. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until the collards wilt.
- Then you remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- To assemble your burgers, place a burger on a bun and top with a few slices of tempeh back, a big bunch of the collard greens, and generous dollop of the aioli.
Serving Your Burgers
Serve your burgers on a bun with all the fixin's! You can also serve them on a platter with rice and vegetables.
Storing Your Burgers
Cooked burgers will stay fresh for about 3 days in the fridge. If you'd like to freeze them, allow them to cool completely, then place slices of parchment paper between them and place them in an air-tight container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for about a month. To reheat them, thaw them in the fridge or counter and then pan fry them for a few minutes, or pop them into a 400° oven for about 10 minutes.
I use canned black-eyed peas, but you can cook your own from dried beans, if you prefer.
Store-bought tempeh bacon can be used instead of homemade. I like Lightlife's Smoky Tempeh Strips. If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure your tempeh is gluten-free.
If you don't like collard greens, you can use kale or chard in its place.
You can add more or less cayenne pepper to the burgers, depending on your tolerance for spicy foods.
Black Eyed Pea Burgers
For the Burgers
- 1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- ½ cup diced tomatoes fresh or canned with juices, drained
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons finely minced onion
- 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅙ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Collards
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 8 large collard green leaves stems removed, chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Make the Burgers
- Preheat your oven 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together all of the burger ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mash everything together as you go. (Using a potato masher helps.)
- Form the burgers into four patties. If you have one, a ring mold will help shape them, but forming patties by hand is completely fine.
- Bake the burgers for 20 minutes. Flip them and bake for an addition 5 to 10 minutes. They should be golden brown and firm.
Make the Collard Greens
- While the burgers are cooking, heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
- Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or two. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Add the collard greens and the water. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until they wilt. Stir once or twice.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Assemble the Burgers
- Place a burger on a bun and top with a few slices of tempeh bacon, a big bunch of the collard greens, and generous dollop of the aioli.
More Black Eyed Pea Recipes Include
- Vegan Hoppin' John
- Hoppin’ John Casserole
- Hoppin’ John Tofu Scramble
- Happy New Year Chili from The Plant-Based Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson