Bring luck to the new year with a Hoppin John recipe.

This tried-and-true recipe will make anyone look forward to the New Year! Beans, rice, ham, tomatoes, and more are simmered in deep rich broth.

This hearty meal is bound to make the New Year celebration just right, and with the beans prepped overnight, this recipe can be made in 3 simple steps!

bowl of Hoppin John

What is Hoppin John?

Hoppin John is a southern dish served for the New Year and is thought to bring good luck and prosperity. This recipe is said to have first appeared in 1847 in Sarah Rutledge’s “The Carolina Housewife.” However, there is some debate as to how the name came about.

Regardless of the name origin, it’s the perfect dish to enjoy on New Year’s Day with black-eyed peas, pork (such as bacon, hog jowl, ham hocks, or a ham bone), some seasoning, and rice.

Ingredients for Hoppin’ John

Beans – This recipe calls for dried black-eyed peas. If you’re short on time, use canned beans that are rinsed and drained.

Ham – I make this recipe with a leftover ham bone (often from our Christmas ham) or ham hock as the bone adds lots of flavor to the broth. If the hock or bone is not available, a dash of liquid smoke or even smoked paprika can flavor the broth and then add some diced ham near the end of the cooking time. Smoked turkey can be used in place of pork.

Rice – Use long grain rice which is cooked in the ham broth for extra flavor. Other varieties of rice can be used and cooked according to package directions; use the ham broth in place of water for more flavor.

Broth – Chicken stock, broth, or low-sodium chicken broth can be used in this recipe. Bell peppers and celery stalks add flavor along with herbs. You can add a tablespoon of cajun seasoning for an extra kick if you’d like.

Variations – 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 the rice in the ham broth, reduce the cooking liquid by 2 cups in this recipe.

Hoppin John ingredients in a pot with a wooden spoon

How to Make Hoppin’ John

  1. Saute veggies and seasonings until onions are translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer until beans are tender (per recipe below).
  3. Serve this black beans mixture over seasoned rice.
Hoppin John in a pot with a wooden spoon and a bowl of rice

Make Ahead and Leftovers

  • 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 it with the date!

What to Serve With Hoppin' John

Did your family enjoy this Hoppin John Recipe? If so, leave a comment and rating below!

Hoppin John in a bowl with rice
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Hoppin’ John

Hoppin John is a Southern-style dish made with ham chunks or hocks to bring out the rich flavor of the black-eyed peas and veggies! Serve with collard greens.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
12 hours
Total Time 14 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 1 ½ cups dried black eyed peas rinsed and sorted
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 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 (canned)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • green onions for garnish


  • Place the black-eyed peas in a large pot or bowl. Fill with cold water 1-inch above the peas and let soak at room temperataure overnight (see note). Drain well in the morning.
  • In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and seasonings and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the broth, bay leaf, ham hock/ham bone, and drained black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until peas are tender (see note on cook time).
  • Once the peas are tender, transfer the ham hock/bone to a plate.
  • Ladle 2 cups of the broth into a medium saucepan. Add the rice, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let rest covered for 5 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, add tomatoes with their juices and meat from the ham bone to the black-eyed peas. Simmer uncovered.
  • Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the black-eyed peas with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • To serve, spoon the rice into bowls and top with the ham and peas.


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 quickly soak black-eyed peas, place them in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover 2-inches above the peas. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let rest 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 it 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 to make it extra tender.
5 from 21 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

Hoppin John with writing
Hoppin John in a bowl with writing
close up of Hoppin John with a title
Hoppin John in the pan and plated with a title


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. Sometime smoked hog jowell, it’s like having bacon and ham at the same time. When I was a kid they used to throw a half of a whole jowell in a cauldron of black-eyed peas. When the meat had cooked off the bone they would give us the bone to play with.

  2. 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.