January 3, 2022

Black-Eyed Peas & Greens Muffuletta Burgers

Black-Eyed Peas & Greens Muffuletta Burgers are a fun way to usher in a new year and invite good fortune into your life!

It’s almost a new year, how can that be?! Where did 2021 go? With just a few days left in this year, it’s time to start thinking about your plans for ringing in 2022. Once again, given the state of the world (and the promised weather forecast), I’ll be staying home and keeping the festivities low-key. But one tradition that doesn’t change is what I’ll be making on New Year’s Day: black-eyed peas and greens!

Black-eyed peas and greens are a traditional New Year’s Day meal in the southern U.S., thought to bring good luck to those who eat them. Black-eyed peas and collard greens are often prepared in a dish called “Hoppin’ John,” which is served over rice and with a side of cornbread. In this dish, the greens symbolize money, the rice symbolizes prosperity (due to the multitude of tiny grains), and cornbread resembles gold. The tradition of black-eyed peas for luck can be traced back to the Jewish Talmud, carried on by Sephardic Jews who settled in the South in the early 1700s; southern African Americans also relied on black-eyed peas as a staple food.

These Black-Eyed Peas & Greens Muffuletta Burgers are a non-traditional take on the New Year’s Hoppin’ John meal, but incorporate many of the same elements: black-eyed peas, collard greens, and rice. And the “muffuletta” component is a nod to the southern origins of this dish - a salty, briny olive relish is the perfect condiment for these burgers. 

These burgers take a little time to prepare, but I like that about this meal - New Year’s Day is a time for reflection and quiet, and what better way to channel good energy into the new year than by making a meal that invites luck and prosperity into your life? (And is nourishing and delicious, too!) Happy New Year, friends!

Ingredients assembled for Black-Eyed Peas & Greens Muffuletta Burgers
Assemble your ingredients.

The olive relish before and after being blended in a food processor
Start by making the olive relish.

Stages of chopping and sautéing vegetables for the burger patties
Next, chop and saute vegetables for the burger patties.

Stages of mixing up the burger patty mixture
Make the burger patty mixture, then score it into equal portions. Here, I made 8 portions to make sliders. Shape the burger into round patties and bake.

Braising the collard greens on the stove
While the burgers are in the oven, braise the collard greens.

Stages of grilling the burgers, topping with greens, then melting cheese on top
After the burgers are par-baked, grill them to get a golden crust. Flip the first side, then top the burgers with the braised collard greens followed by a slice of havarti cheese. Cover the pan with a lid to allow the cheese to melt while the second side of the burger becomes golden, too.

The finished burger on a bun spread with the olive relish on top and bottom.
Place the finished burger on a bun spread with the olive relish on top and bottom.

A Black-Eyed Peas & Greens Muffuletta Burger on a white plate on a scarf with colorful tassels like confetti, next to a glass that says cheers and is filled with a sparkling beverage
Serve, and enjoy! Best of luck in the new year!

Black-Eyed Peas & Greens Muffuletta Burgers

Black-Eyed Peas & Greens Muffuletta Burgers are a fun way to usher in a new year and invite good fortune into your life!


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











For the olive relish:

3/4 cup pitted green olives, drained 

3/4 cup bread and butter style pickles, drained

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley leaves, minced

1 Tbsp. capers

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2-3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

For the burger patties:

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/2 small yellow onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 14.5-oz. can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup cooked white rice

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

For greens:

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/2 small yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

6 oz. frozen chopped collard greens (about half a package)

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

To finish and serve:

2 Tbsp. avocado oil

Brioche buns or rolls - 4 burger buns or 8 slider rolls

4 slices havarti cheese


  1. Start by making the olive relish so it can rest and flavors can incorporate. Place the green olives, pickles, garlic, Italian parsley, capers, and red wine vinegar in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, and pulse until mixture is chunky, but smooth and spreadable. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil, if needed. Transfer olive relish to a bowl, and set aside. 
  2. Next, make the burger patties. Preheat the oven 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside. 
  3. In a medium skillet over medium heat, saute the diced onion and celery in avocado oil for 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are tender and translucent. Add the minced garlic and saute an additional minute. Remove the skillet from the heat. 
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the drained, rinsed black eyed peas. Mash with a fork until just a few pieces of black eyed peas remain. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture, cooked white rice, breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings to the bowl. Stir to mix until well combined. 
  5. Score the burger patty mixture into 4 (or 8 for sliders) equal portions, and shape each portion into a thick, round patty. Place burger (or slider) patties onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake the patties at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes (15 minutes for sliders).
  6. While the burgers are baking, make the greens. In the same medium skillet from earlier, heat avocado oil. Sauce diced onion for 5 minutes, then add minced garlic and saute an additional minute. Add the frozen chopped collard greens, water, salt, and pepper. Cover the skillet with a lid, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the greens for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the lid, add the apple cider vinegar and stir to combine, then set the greens aside while you finish the burgers. 
  7. Once the burgers are out of the oven, heat a grill pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp. avocado oil. Grill the burgers on one side for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the burgers, and top each with a spoonful of the cooked collard greens. Top the greens with one slice of havarti cheese (or half a slice for a slider). Cover the pan with a large lid (or tent it with aluminum foil), and allow the burgers to finish cooking on the other side while the cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Tip: Add just a splash of water to the pan to create steam to help the cheese melt. 
  8. Once the cheese is melted, you’re ready to finish assembling the burgers. Spread each bun half (top and bottom) with a spoonful of the reserved olive relish. Place the burger patty between the buns spread with olive relish, and serve! 
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May 24, 2022
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!