Field Peas with Snaps and Okra

| September 15, 2014 | 14 Comments

Field Peas, with Snaps and Okra recipe, as seen on Taste of Southern.
Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to make this favorite summertime side dish. We love to make this with freshly shelled peas and fresh okra, and serve it up as part of an all vegetable plate. Add some skillet made cornbread, and you’ve got a complete meal. We’ll show you how easy it is to make this Southern favorite in just a few quick steps. Printable recipe included.


Field Peas with Snaps and Okra, slider.
Field Peas with Snaps and Okra Recipe:


This is another old, family favorite, Southern style dish. My older brother calls it one of his favorites, but I think Mama must have cooked it more in his youth than in mine. I was never a fan of Okra, so maybe that’s why I don’t have as many memories of this as the older brother does.

It’s really pretty quick and easy to prepare, that is, if you have already shelled the peas and have them standing by in the freezer. Of course, it’s even better if you have freshly shelled field peas and snaps to make it with.

Growing up, I absolutely hated it when Mama or Daddy called on me to help shell any type of beans. I’ve always been guilty of biting my fingernails, and I just never had any nails when called on to help with shelling. Who knows, maybe that’s why I always kept them trimmed down to the “quick,” so I wouldn’t have any to shell peas with.

So, what could I have possibly been thinking just a few days ago, when I purchased a bushel basket of unshelled peas? I’m still not sure what came over me that afternoon, maybe it was the heat that day.

My older brother and I were making a road trip through Newton Grove, North Carolina when I spotted a roadside produce stand. I’ve written about how our family sold produce from our own stand in my younger days, and my older brother has plenty of stories about selling fresh vegetables from the garden from his youth. We just have to stop about anytime we see a produce stand. It’s in our blood.

I had already been planning to do this recipe, and knew I needed the peas. There was just something about the big box of peas sitting on the table, under the shade of a big oak tree, that beckoned me back to my youth. I felt spurred on to rise above my dislike for shelling peas, and before I knew it, that great big box was sitting in the back seat inside the pickup. What had I done?

I’ll not admit here just how long it took me to shell them all, but I did indeed shell each and every last one of them. Many times throughout those days hours of shelling, I thought back on how many Mama and Daddy must have shelled over their life time. I just had to whisper a prayer of thanks for all the work they did to provide for the family. I was, and I am, blessed.

So, with fresh peas in the freezer, I finally had the chance to cook up a big old pot of my own. And, to honor my older brother, I added a few pods of Okra to them. Did I mention that I’m not an Okra fan?

For the record, I still don’t like to shell peas. I did achieve a bit of satisfaction from completing the entire box of them though. I think Mama would have been proud of my efforts. Or, maybe she would just be confused about why I even tried.

I do hope you’ll try our recipe. You can certainly use frozen Field Peas if need be. I would suggest frozen over the canned variety, but use what you can find, and let me know what you think about our recipe.

Ready to get in the kitchen? Alright then… Let’s Get Cooking.


Field peas with snaps and okra, ingredients.
Field Peas with Snaps and Okra: You’ll need these ingredients.


Field peas with snaps and okra, add seasoning meat to water.
This recipe will cook much faster than if you were cooking with dry beans. Because of this, I prefer to cook the seasoning meat a little by itself at first, then add the beans.

To begin, place about 6 cups of water in a medium sized sauce pot and add the seasoning meat of choice. Place this over medium-high heat on your stove top and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to about medium, and let the meat simmer for 30 minutes.


Field peas with snaps and okra, add the peas to the pot.
After the seasoning meat has simmered first, add the field peas and snaps to the sauce pot.


Field peas with snaps and okra, add the sugar.
Add the Sugar.


Field peas with snaps and okra, bring to a boil.
Bring the peas back up to a full rolling boil, adjusting heat as needed. Once it starts to boil, you’ll probably see some foam forming across the top. Reduce the heat back down to medium to let the beans simmer.


Field peas with snaps and okra, skim off the foam and discard.
Using a spoon, skim off any foam and discard it.

Old timers use to say this was some type of impurity that was in the vegetables and would skim it off. It is just some type of proteins in the food and will not harm anything should you decide not to remove it.


Field peas with snaps and okra, cover and simmer.
When the foaming stops, cover the pot with a lid, and let the field peas simmer for 20 minutes.


Field peas with snaps and okra,
After 20 minutes, remove the lid and add the Salt.

Our recipe is calling for one teaspoon salt, but you might want to taste your peas before you add that much. Depending on what you used for seasoning meat in the beginning, you may not need to add much more. Add accordingly, and to your personal taste. It’s always better to add a little at first, then you can add more later if still needed.


Field peas with snaps and okra, add the black pepper.
Add the Black Pepper.


Field peas with snaps and okra, trim the ends of the okra before adding to the sauce pot.
Trim the ends off your pods of Okra before adding them.


Field peas with snaps and okra, add okra to the sauce pot.
Add the Okra to the pot of peas and snaps. Stir gently.

Cover the sauce pot once again, and let everything simmer for about 15-20 more minutes, or until the peas are tender. Peas should be a bit firm and not mushy. If your liquid is getting a bit thicker than you’d prefer, add a little warm water.


Field peas with snaps and okra, serve warm and enjoy.
Serve warm and Enjoy!

These are a bit on the “creamy” side, just the way we like them. You may prefer yours a bit thinner.

Leftover liquid is known as “potlikker” and goes great with some crumbled up cornbread mixed in. Serve it all with a couple of slices of fresh tomatoes, and maybe some baked Sweet Potatoes or roasted Corn on the cob.


Field Peas with snaps and okra recipe, as seen on Taste of Southern. Printable recipe included.

Field Peas with Snaps and Okra

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to make this favorite summertime side dish. We love to make this with freshly shelled peas and fresh okra, and serve it up as part of an all vegetable plate. Add some skillet made cornbread, and you’ve got a complete meal. We’ll show you how easy it is to make this Southern favorite in just a few quick steps.



  • 2 lb. Field Peas with snaps, fresh or frozen
  • 6 cups Water
  • ½ Ham Hock or 1 Tablespoon Bacon grease
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 68 small Okra pods


  1. If using fresh shelled peas, gently wash peas, removing any discolored or damaged peas.
  2. Place water and ham hock in a medium sized sauce pot, over Medium-High heat on stove top.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to Medium and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add field peas with snaps, bring back to low boil.
  5. Skim off any foam that appears and discard.
  6. When foaming stops, cover pot with lid, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  7. Add sugar.
  8. Add salt.
  9. Add black pepper.
  10. Trim top ends from okra pods and discard.
  11. Add okra to sauce pot.
  12. Cover again, let simmer 15-20 more minutes, or until peas are tender.
  13. Remove from heat, serve warm.
  14. Enjoy!

Keywords: Field Peas with Snaps and Okra, made from scratch, field peas, okra, southern recipes, old fashioned, easy


Your Comments: Have you ever cooked Field Peas with Snaps and Okra? I’d love to hear about it in the Comment section below. It will only take a minute or two for you to share your favorite memories with us while you’re here. And, if you try this recipe, be sure to come back and let me know how you like it, or how it turned out for you. It just might encourage someone else to give it a try. Just know that all of our Comments are moderated. That just means that I personally read each and every one of them before they are approved for our family friendly site here on the Internet. I also try to reply to as many Comments as possible, so please check back for that, but as comments are increasing on our site, please don’t hold it against me if I don’t leave a reply. But rest assured, I did read it. Your Comment will not immediately appear, but I promise to get it online just as soon as I possibly can. Thank you in advance for sharing with us.

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Category: Side Dishes

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Comments (14)

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  1. S H Johnson says:

    Love peas and okra. I’m from way down south.. last place in Mobile, Alabama before the gulf of Mexico. Great recipe! Brings back good memories of picking, shelling, and eating veggies at my grandparents house. They were farmers.

  2. Shirley Nemeth says:

    I would give most anything I own right now for a bushel of field peas or speckled butter beans (or the green Lima beans). I actually love to shell them, but didn’t much like it when I was growing up. My sis and I helped Mama pick them. In our haste to finish a row, we would pick some that were too small to shell. Mama would snap them and cooked them in with the shelled peas. I didn’t like the snaps because they were “fuzzy” so I would pick them out. My sis or Mama would eat them. She also put okra on top of peas, beans, collard greens and mustard greens. Always made cornbread with them too. I am going to Southern Pines, N. C. next month for my sis and brother-in-law’s 60th wedding anniversary. Hopefully, I can buy some peas and butter beans while I’m there. I wish I could have shelled your bushel of peas for you!

  3. Josie says:

    Oh the memories you have invoked today. The produce man would come by our house and mom would buy that bushel of purple hull peas and we would be in the kitchen all day shelling. But the out come was worth it. Only thing different is mom made hot water cornbread to go with this. I do miss getting fresh purple hull peas. Here in the Northwest they know nothing about those. Just found some frozen ones but fresh is always better. Thank you for the thoughts you have brought to mind today.

  4. sharon says:

    Hello Steve, you have the best recipes ever. Reminds me of the good old days when my grandmother was alive. She was an awesome cook, and made everything from scratch. I sure do appreciate you.Thanks for sharing unselfishly.

  5. Maggie says:

    I’m making these but I ain’t putting okra in there!! ewwwww!

  6. Joyce B says:

    Dear Steve, l love field peas and okra. They are sooo good! I see that you started off the meat prior to adding the peas. I love cooking with ham hocks but stopped because they never got tender. I never thought to give them a “head start”. That is why l love your recipes. I always learn something. Thanks

  7. Marguerite G. says:

    Good morning….any suggestions where to buy field peas online. …can’t buy them out west and I’m a southern girl

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Marguerite, You might try Amazon for “Margaret Holmes Seasoned Field Peas & Snaps”. I’ve found that most of the Margaret Holmes brand of products are pretty good. They are canned and seasoned here in the South, and are well known around our part of the country. I don’t know where you might find fresh or frozen, but the Holmes brand would be worth trying for sure. I hope this will help. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Bob Christian says:

    Hello,Steve.! I have not tried this recipe yet but had a comment on intentions! “Intentions are like crying babies in church, they should be carried out immediately”! Voila, no more wasted good ole veggies! Love your posts! Keep it up! This quote from a church bulletin some years ago.

  9. Henrietta says:

    Hi Steve,

    This was soooooo good

  10. faye brewer says:

    Gently push the okra halfway. into the beans they will stll cook but they wil be crisp tender

  11. MG says:

    Tried field peas this fall and love them….I had to order the peas as they aren’t sold in the stores out west…

  12. Mary says:

    Oh My!! Never thought of cooking okra in peas..can’t wait to make these. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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