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Hoppin John is a Lowcountry cuisine consisting of black-eyed peas rendered in smoked pork, onions, peppers, and herbs and spices. Traditionally served over rice on New Year’s Day, this big pot of love will bring you fortune throughout the entire year.
Hoppin’ John is supposed to bring you good luck and fortune in the year ahead so go ahead and make you a big pot of black-eyed peas and say cheers to the new year!
Lowcountry Hoppin’ John Recipe
There are so many different ways to make Hoppin’ John, and of course I’ve tried them all. My favorite way to make them is the old fashioned way: in a Dutch oven. I’m also super proud of this Hoppin’ John recipe because it was my first feature in the, Post and Courier, Charleston’s local newspaper!
Some people cook the rice into the pot of black-eyed peas while others just pour the black-eyed peas over the rice. I have to admit, I don’t like the peas cooked into the rice because it usually turns out a soggy mess, so this Hoppin’ John recipe calls for you to make the rice separately.
The most important components in Hoppin’ John are the pork, black-eyed peas, and rice so you’re good to go as long as you have all three items in the recipe!
Onions, bell peppers, fresh thyme, bay leaves, chicken stock, leftover holiday ham, and bacon are what gives this pot of gold so much flavor.
If you don’t have anymore leftover ham, just fry a few more slices of bacon, and you’ll never know the ham was missing.
- 2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped use 6 slices if you don’t have ham
- 1/2 large sweet onion (about 1 cup) choppped
- 3 stalks celery (about 1 cup) chopped
- 1 cup bell peppers (about 1 cup of green, yellow, &/or red) chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic (about 3 cloves) finely chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (about 1 tsp) finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups leftover holiday ham or more bacon
- 4 cups frozen black-eyed peas
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 cups cooked Carolina Gold Rice
- 2 tsp fresh parsley for garnish
- chopped pickled jalapeno for some heat optional
- Cook bacon in a large dutch-oven or soup pot, over medium-high heat, until slightly crisp. About 8-10 minutes.
- Add onion, celery, bell peppers, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. About 7-8 minutes. Stir in ham and black-eyed peas then pour in broth.
- Add bay leaves salt and pepper, stir, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until peas are tender and the liquid has slightly reduced. Discard bay leaves. Stir in fresh parsley and chopped pickled jalapeno, if desired, and serve over Carolina Gold rice.