South by Southwest: Black-Eyed Pea Burritos

Cook’s Notes: What to do with leftover black-eyed peas from New Year’s Day? The smallest amount I know how to cook, 1 lb dried, yields about 7 cups of cooked peas.

I made burritos with flavors of the American South. A key source was the most excellent (and accurately named) Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos, recipe by Karena (6 cups beans replaced with 3 cups black-eyed peas, 2 cups tomatoes, and 2 cups corn). You could cut corn to 1 cup, but the balance of vegetables is good as it is. The filling is like deluxe mashed potatoes loaded with extra vegetables. Needless to say, this recipe makes a lot of mixture (like 12 cups at least). Luckily, the burritos freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave.

Using 1/2 cup mixture in each burrito will fill 18 tortillas. We rolled 12 burritos and then ate the remaining filling as a side dish with turkey sausage. These burritos are also excellent with cooked turkey sausage or diced rotisserie chicken added to the filling.

2 sweet potatoes (golden yams), scrubbed
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 c chopped onion
2 tsp minced garlic
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups (8 oz) frozen yellow corn kernels, thawed (half a 16-oz bag)
2 Tablespoons Mild Chili Spice Mix
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 to 3 Tablespoons prepared mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
12 (10-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Pierce sweet potatoes (golden yams) all over with a fork. Microwave using the Potato setting (this took more than 11 minutes in an 1100-watt microwave). When the potatoes are cooked through and very tender, carefully remove the peel. Scoop the cooked sweet potato into a bowl. You should have about 4 cups.

Heat oil in a medium skillet, and sauté onion and garlic in until soft. Stir in black-eyed peas and their juice. Add stewed tomatoes, corn, and sweet potato chunks. Stir after each addition. Sweet potato chunks will mash as you stir. Gradually heat until warm. Stir in the chili spice mix, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper, and soy sauce. Stir in the shredded cheese. If filling is too thick, add water a bit at a time as needed, until mixture is the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Place 1/2 cup of filling on each warm flour tortilla. Top with additional shredded cheese if desired. Fold up the tortillas burrito style. Note: Bill Grady has an excellent online tutorial on how to fold a burrito.

Makes at least 12 burritos with leftover filling. Serve with sour cream, chopped green onions, and salsa.


  • Burrito bowl: Dish filling into a bowl. Serve with a salad.
  • Baked burritos: Bake burritos at 350F for 12 minutes before serving.
  • Make ahead: Wrap individual burritos and freeze. Reheat the frozen burrito in the microwave, starting with 2 minutes on High. Turn burrito over, and heat for an additional 30 seconds if needed.

Recipe sources: Additional inspiration and ideas came from a Black-Eyed Pea Salad recipe and a Black-Eyed Pea Salsa recipe.