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!
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.
How to Make Hoppin’ John
With the beans prepped overnight you are ready to make this recipe in three simple steps!
- Saute veggies and seasonings until onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Add remaining ingredients, simmer until beans are tender.
- Serve this black beans mixture over seasoned rice.
Running Short on Time? See the recipe below for quick-soaking beans!
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.
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
- Oven-Fried Chicken – crispy, juicy classic
- Frito Pie – a crowd-pleasing dish!
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo – vibrant, spicy comfort food!
- Shrimp and Grits – easy, cheesy & delicious
- Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings – made from scratch!
- 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas rinsed and sorted
- 1 onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 cups chicken broth low sodium *see note
- 1 ham hock or ham bone (see note)
- 14 oz 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, and black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 45-60 minutes or until peas are tender.
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.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)