Hoppin John

Hoppin John, a New Year’s day good-luck tradition in the South, is made with black-eyed peas, rice, bacon, and chicken stock. Regardless of whether it brings good fortune or not, we think it’s worthy of the occasion based on taste alone.

Three white bowls filled with hoppin John on a wooden table.

Hoppin John is a Southern staple of rice and black-eyed peas traditionally devoured on New Year’s day to ensure good fortune. We can’t promise you good luck, however, we can promise that you’ll be quite sated thanks to this.–Angie Zoobkoff

Hoppin John

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
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In a 3 1/2-quart (3.3-liter) saucepan over high heat, combine the black-eyed peas and 6 cups of the broth or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 30 to 45 minutes (or longer if your peas happen to be quite old).

Drain the peas, reserving the cooking liquid. In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon, reserving the drippings in the saucepan. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Toss in the rice, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Measure the reserved cooking liquid and add enough remaining stock, if necessary, to make 2 cups.

Add the stock mixture to the rice mixture, and stir well. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer over medium-low, without stirring, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, and add the black-eyed peas and bacon, stirring to mix.

Garnish with chopped green onions just before serving and pass hot sauce on the side, if desired.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

My boyfriend had never before tasted a black-eyed pea and after the first bite of this dish, he said, "Oh, that's awesome." He further described this dish as brown bacon-y goodness and high-fived me after finishing his bowl. For us, this was comfort food with the bacon flavor prevalent in a great way in every bite.

The green onions should not be optional, as they really add a punch to this dish not to mention a spot of color in an otherwise brown dish. I would have liked a bit of acid in this dish, and think that the suggested hot sauce could really add both flavor and acid, but I also considered a bit of chopped tomato on top for next time. I was initially skeptical that the black-eyed peas would be cooked in such a short time and was happy to be proven wrong.

We ate this with a spinach salad and it provided a nice freshness on the side.

I had never heard about this dish until I moved to the South. It's a classic rice and bean dish and this recipe didn't disappoint! When I had it, there were a lot of green onions on the top so I added more than what you see in the picture, but that is just a personal preference.


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  1. Chop the bacon fine and put in at the beginning with the peas, all the stock, shallots, and garlic and cook as described until done. Add the rice and boil hard for 10 minutes, until the rice is swollen. Drain the liquid and steam 20 minutes on a flame tamer or low heat. Garnish with the green onions. Suggested ingredients are five-star. All that work is superfluous.

    1. Thanks, Richard. It sounds like you have lots of experience making hoppin’ john and it’s fantastic you’ve been able to streamline the recipe. Many of our readers are new to the dish, so hopefully, the extra steps listed here will allow them to approach the recipe with confidence.

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