Of all the traditional New Year’s recipes, Hoppin’ John is right up there with Peach Melba Pie and Sweet Tea. This Southern-Style dish is best with ham hocks, or just a huge ham bone to flavor the black-eyed peas!

It’s protocol to serve Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Eve, and we have the tried-and-true recipe that will make anyone look forward to the New Year!

Hoppin John in a bowl with rice

What is Hoppin’ John?

There are many dishes thought to bring good luck for the New Year (and good luck dishes vary by region). Hoppin’ John is a delicious rice and beans dish thought to bring prosperity!

It is said that this welcome addition to your new year’s dinner table first appeared in 1847 in Sarah Rutledge’s “The Carolina Housewife” however, there is some debate as to how the name came about. No matter where the name came from, the recipe remains the same: black-eyed peas, hog jowl, ham hocks or a ham-bone, and some seasonings with rice.

Some recipes add different veggies, bacon, and more. I’ve kept this simple.

Hoppin John ingredients in a pot with a wooden spoon

How to Make Hoppin’ John

With the beans prepped overnight you are ready to make this recipe in three simple steps!

  1. Saute veggies and seasonings until onions are translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, simmer until beans are tender.
  3. Serve this black beans mixture over seasoned rice.

Running Short on Time? See the recipe below for quick-soaking beans!

Extra Flavor

I add a bit of extra broth to this recipe and use it to cook the rice at the end. The broth is flavored with the ham bone making the rice extra delicious!

If you’re not going to cook your rice in the ham broth, reduce the cooking liquid by 2 cups in this recipe.

Hoppin John in a pot with a wooden spoon and a bowl of rice

What to Serve with Hoppin’ John!

Why, cornbread, of course! Nothing is better than soaking up those delectable juices with a hunk of homemade cornbread! Steamed or boiled collard greans are a traditional side to serve with black eyed peas and ham, but a crisp, green salad with a tangy vinaigrette are excellent choices, too! If you are fresh out of cornbread, pre-packaged flour or corn tortillas will do in a pinch!


Treat Hoppin’ John just like any soup or stew-like entrée. Keep leftovers stored tightly covered in the refrigerator and simply pop into the microwave to reheat.

To freeze, just scoop it into quart-sized freezer bags after it is cooled to room temperature and don’t forget to label with the date!

Classic Southern Dishes

Hoppin John in a bowl with rice
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Hoppin' John

This Southern-Style dish is best with ham chunks, or hocks to bring out the rich flavor of the black-eyed peas and veggies!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 ½ cups dried black eyed peas rinsed and sorted
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 cups chicken broth low sodium *see note
  • 1 ham hock or ham bone (see note)
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • green onions for garnish


  • Soak black-eyed peas in cold water overnight (see note).
  • Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and seasonings to a soup pot and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add broth, bay leaf, ham bone, and black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 45-60 minutes or until peas are tender (see note on cook time).
  • Once peas are tender, remove ham hock/bone. Ladle out 2 cups of the broth into a saucepan. Add rice to broth, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes.
  • While rice is cooking, add tomatoes with their juices and meat from the ham bone to the black eyed peas. Allow to simmer uncovered.
  • Remove bay leaf and serve black-eyed peas mixture over cooked rice.


Broth I add 8 cups broth/water so I have enough to cook the rice in. If you are  not using the cooking liquid to cook your rice, reduce the broth to 6 cups.
Ham If you do not have a ham bone or ham hock, cubed ham can be added after the first 30 minutes of cooking.
Quick Soak Beans To quick soak black eyed peas, place in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover 2" above the peas. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 60 minutes.
Cook Time Allow for extra time, black eyed peas can sometimes take even longer if they are dried (up to 90 minutes). If your dish is ready ahead of time, simply turn off the heat and keep if covered until serving time.
If using a ham hock in place of a ham bone, I like to allow the hock to simmer for about 60 minutes before adding the peas ot make it extra tender.
5 from 12 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 365 | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 1307mg | Potassium: 1016mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 206IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Ham, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. Could this be made in a crockpot? And what could I do to make it a little more spicy? I wanted to try makingthis for my Dad! ;)

    1. I haven’t made this in a slow cooker but I can’t see any reason it wouldn’t work. You could add some diced jalapeno or even a pinch of cayenne pepper to up the heat.