Nana discovered this little treasure to add to the garden a couple of years ago when ordering seeds.  Zipper peas are a fat round cream pea that is easy to shell, thus the name.  Just pull the fibrous strand down the middle to ‘unzip’ the pea pod.  Some years the seeds are hard to find, so we tend to buy extra when we find them.  This is her Christmas recipe, because she uses red bell peppers with the beautiful green peas, but we enjoy it year round.


  • 2 slices of raw bacon
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen Zipper peas
  • water to just cover peas
  • 1 pound Eckrich sausage
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bullion
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste


  • Cut bacon into small pieces.
  • Using a pressure cooker or instant pot, place bacon in pot and sauté until the fat is rendered.
  • Remove bacon from pot and place on paper towels to drain. Make sure to leave as much bacon fat as possible in the pot.
  • Add onions and pepper to bacon fat and sauté 5-10 minutes.
  • Slice sausage into ¼-inch medallions.
  • Add back cooked bacon as well as peas, sausage, water, bouillon, and remaining spices.
  • Cover with lid. Bring up to pressure.  Pressure for 1 minute and quick release.


If you do not have Zipper peas, any pea such as black-eyed peas can be used.

Fresh chicken broth can be used instead of water and bouillon.