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Easy Hoppin’ John Recipe

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Hoppin’ John is a Southern tradition that is said to bring good luck when eaten on New Year’s Day. Our dish is made with savory black-eyed peas and rice and is sure to be a hit with your family and friends no matter what the day is.

Gray non-stick skillet with rice and black-eyed peas.

This recipe comes from South Carolina Hometown Cookbook and is super easy to make.

According to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, “Tradition says that eating Hoppin’ John, collard greens, and cornbread on New Year’s Day will bring a year filled with good luck. Made of black-eyed peas and rice, seasoned with ham hocks, onions, green peppers, and spices, the origin of the name is unknown, but it’s thought to be a slave dish from the colonial era.”

Ingredients

For this delicious side dish, you need the following:

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, slightly drained, (about 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas)
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced sweet onion, optional.
Rice, black-eyed peas, cayenne, salt, ham, and onions.

How To Make Hoppin’ John

In a large saucepan, sauté the chopped onion in bacon drippings until tender. Stir in black-eyed peas, ham, and cayenne pepper; simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in hot cooked rice and season with salt.

Rice on top of black-eyed pea mixture.

Serve Hoppin’ John hot with sliced onion and cornbread.

Scoop of Hoppin' John on a spoon.
Gray non-stick skillet with rice and black-eyed peas.

Easy Hoppin’ John Recipe

A blend of rice, black-eyed peas, ham and seasoning, this dish is a delicious way of ringing in the New Year.
4.54 from 30 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 467kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
  • 32 ounces black-eyed peas Slightly drained, or about 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced sweet onion optional

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, sauté onion in bacon drippings until tender. Stir in black-eyed peas, ham and cayenne pepper; simmer 10 minutes.
  • Stir in hot cooked rice and salt. 
  • Serve Hoppin’ John hot with sliced onion and cornbread.

Notes

Recipe excerpted from South Carolina Hometown Cookbook, copyright 2018, and reprinted with permission.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 549mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 13g
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Bowl of Hoppin' John.

The South Carolina Hometown Cookbook

The South Carolina Hometown Cookbook is the sixth book in the State Hometown Cookbook Series published by Great American Publishers. Though the book is full of recipes from around the state, it’s more than just a cookbook. Sprinkled throughout the book are stories and pictures about the various food festivals that take place in South Carolina.

The recipes in the book provide a glimpse into the culinary history of the people of the Palmetto state. While some of the recipes resonate with people across the entire country, many recipes in the book have their origin in South Carolina, like Hoppin’ John and Adluh’s Sweet Potato Apple Cobbler with Pecans.

With South Carolina being a coastal state, there are plenty of seafood recipes included in the book, like Coastal Crab Fritters, South Carolina Cheesy Shrimp and Vegetables, Lowcountry Shrimp Bake, Seafood Étouffée, Beaufort Stew, and Carolina Hot Tartar Sauce to name a few.

The cookbook is divided into chapters to make it easy to find a recipe appropriate for the occasion/meal. In the back of the book is a list of the Food Festivals by Month as well as an alphabetical index.

Look for the South Carolina Hometown Cookbook at your local retailer or at Amazon.com.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I grew up in the Holy City (Charleston) and ate Hoppin’ John regularly. The rice was cooked with the blackened pea mixture. This recipe was the best I have ever eaten and my husband from PA loved it! Won’t make any other kind.

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