Hoppin’ John

Russ Myers


Hoppin’ John is a Lowcountry South Carolina dish that appears around New Year’s every year. Superstition holds that if you eat Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day, then you will have good luck for the coming year. The black-eyed peas represent pennies/coins, and indeed a coin is often placed under a bowl of Hoppin’ John when served.
Like any good Southern comfort food, Hoppin’ John is best served with a batch of fresh cornbread. Cornbread is the color of gold, so it is said that eating cornbread on New Year’s Day will bring wealth in the coming year.

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4 Servings


20 Min


1 Hr


Stove Top


2 c
dried black-eyed peas, soaked
2 c
long-grain white rice
4 c
4 Tbsp
unsalted butter
1 large
yellow onion, diced
1 large
red bell pepper
1 large
green bell pepper
2 stalk(s)
celery, diced
2 tsp
garlic, minced
8 slice
thick-cut bacon, diced
4 c
low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp
1/2 tsp
black pepper
1 tsp
dried thyme
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
cayenne pepper
green onions, for garnish
cornbread and hot sauce, for serving

Directions Step-By-Step

Place the black-eyed peas in a medium bowl and cover with several inches of cold water. Let soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Using a large saucepan, add the rice and water. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until water is fully absorbed (~15 minutes). (Tip: Do not stir rice once you cover the pan.) Once broth has been absorbed, remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Meanwhile, place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in skillet and then add onion, peppers, celery, garlic and bacon. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rinse the black-eyed peas and add to the pot along with the chicken broth, salt, pepper, thyme, paprika and cayenne. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until peas are tender. (Note: If the stock evaporates, just add a bit more.)
To serve, place rice in bowls. Top with black-eyed pea mixture and then garnish with green onions before serving.

Serve with hot sauce and freshly baked cornbread.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Bean Soups
Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: Southern