Traditional recipes

Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John

A traditional Southern dish made with black-eyed peas and ham that'll give you good luck for the new year!MORE+LESS-

Updated April 25, 2017


large ham hock (or 1 pound cubed ham)


lb black-eyed peas (soaked overnight)


whole jalapeños (optional)


quart stock (chicken or veggie)


bunch kale or collard greens


salt and pepper to taste


cups rice (before cooking)

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  • 1

    Soak black-eyed peas overnight. Then add peas with ham hock or if you can't find a good ham hock you can just cut up 1 inch cubes of ham and add that to the pot. Cover with water and simmer until black-eyed peas are tender, about an hour.

  • 2

    Drain beans and ham and set aside. If you're using a ham hock, it'll probably be too tough still to shred. Reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid. If using cubed ham, you can dice it smaller at this point.

  • 3

    In a large stock pot, add your oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions, celery, peppers, jalapenos, and garlic and cook until veggies are tender, a few minutes.

  • 4

    Add spices to veggies and stir well to combine. Then add black-eyed peas and ham hock (or diced ham). Add stock and reserved cooking liquid from beans and bring to a simmer.

  • 5

    Simmer until ham hock is tender, probably another hour. If you're just using cubed ham, you can just simmer for 30 minutes to combine flavors.

  • 6

    Remove hock and shred off as much meat as you can. Return meat and hock to stock pot.

  • 7

    Taste for salt and pepper and season well. Continue to simmer.

  • 8

    Shred your kale or collard greens and add that to the pot. Cook for another 10 minutes (kale) or 20 minutes (collard greens)

  • 9

    Serve over rice or with cornbread.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Let me start this post by saying straight up that I'm not from the South.It's important to note this because every year for New Year's I make Hoppin' John, a very Southern dish. If you're not familiar with it, it's a stew with black-eyed peas (for good luck!), ham, and veggies. It's absolutely fantastic on a cold winter day.If you are familiar with it, you might think my version is crazy. Maybe I should've called it Hoppin' Jim just to avoid conflict.For example, in my version I used kale instead of the standard collard greens.Some of you may have just spit coffee on your keyboard.I apologize if that offends you, but they have a very similar flavor and texture except kale cooks a bit quicker. That’s a win in my book.I also serve my Hoppin' John over rice instead of with cornbread. This might be the straw that broke the camel’s back for some of you, but I prefer it with rice so that's how I make it.The real backbone of this dish is black-eyed peas and ham. Normally, I use a ham hock for this, but I wasn't able to find a good one so I used some really good ham that I cubed up instead.I'd recommend using a ham hock if you can find one, but either way definitely works.
  • I like to use kale because it only needs about 10 minutes to cook. If you do use collard greens it'll take 30-45 minutes for the greens to get nice and tender so you'll want to add them earlier.Either way you do it, kale or collard, ham hock or cubed ham, have no fear--you're going to end up with a really delicious final product.If you want to try this recipe out, try not to stress too much about the specifics. At the end of the day, it's pretty flexible, so just relax, put the soup pot on, and get ready for the new year!

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How to make hoppin' john black eyed peas for prosperity

You can purchase Smokin' Chipotle on our website: Use the code "SNAPGUIDE" when you checkout to save 20%!

This is everything that you need except the cooked rice. Make sure you inspect and sort the peas first so you only have peas, no pebbles! Sometimes little pebbles get bagged with the peas, be warned!

Grab a large dutch oven or cooking pot that will hold the ham hocks, peas and 6 cups of water. Add the peas, ham hocks, bay leaf, 1 onion - halved, and 1 tablespoon of Smokin' Chipotle Seasoning.

Add 6 cups of water or so. If you happen to have any pork stock that you can use instead of the water, do it, it will add even more flavor to the peas. I didn't have any stock, so water it was.

Make sure you have enough water to cover all the peas.

Bring the pot to a boil then cover and let simmer for about 1-1.5 hours. Make sure you don't over cook the peas. Nobody likes mushy peas!

While the peas are cooking, in a separate pot, cook the rice according to the package. I like to season the water by adding 1 teaspoon of the Chipotle blend, but that is up to you!

I like to cut the other ingredients to be the same size as the peas. It just makes every bite better. Trim the ends off the celery then cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half lengthwise.

Dice the celery about the same size as the peas.

Do the same with the bell peppers but make sure to remove the seeds.

I only used 1/2 of the green bell pepper but you can use it all if you'd like.

If you like a little more spice then don't remove the seeds. Otherwise, remove the seeds and dice the jalapeño as pictured above.

Dice the 2nd onion as pictured above.

The green onion is the final garnish for this dish. Dice the green onion completely, including the green stem.

In a large sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place over medium high heat. Add the bell peppers, the jalapeno, the 2nd onion, and the last 2 teaspoons of Smokin' Chipotle. Cook until soft.

After cooking the peas for about 1.5 hours, remove the ham and strain the peas, saving the broth. Discard the onion halves and the bay leaf. After the ham has cooled to touch, remove the meat.

Mix the peas, the sautéed veggies and the ham together back in the cooking pot. Add 2 cups of the reserved cooking broth and bring back to a boil, then turn off the heat and get ready to eat.

Serve a scoop of rice with a big scoop of the cooked peas. Garnish with some green onions and a piece of Chipotle Cornbread. (See our other guide for the cornbread.)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dry black-eyed peas - sorted, rinsed, and drained
  • 8 cups water, or more as needed
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste


Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) and select Saute function. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot. Cook and stir onions and bell pepper until onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Turn off Saute function.

Stir in black-eyed peas and pour in water. Close and lock the lid. Select Beans/Lentils function set timer for 30 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

Release pressure using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, 10 to 40 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes, green chiles, and Cajun seasoning. Stir in rice and more water if needed. Select Rice/Risotto function and adjust time for Brown Rice. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

Release pressure using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, 10 to 40 minutes. Stir well. Select Slow Cook function set timer for 4 hours. Cover with a regular pot lid and let simmer.

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"My grandma always made Hoppin' John on New Year's Day when I was growing up in Virginia. I now live in New Mexico and decided to put a hot Southwestern spin on the recipe this year, hence the name. It's simple and tasty, and has some heat. I only added two jalapenos, but you could add more if you like it hotter. If you don't like hot food, you might want to eliminate the jalapenos completely. My husband and I both loved it."

Ingredients :

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 small jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with habaneros (such as RO*TEL® Hot), drained
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions :

  • Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat cook and stir onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, and garlic in hot butter until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir cooked rice, black-eyed peas, diced tomatoes with habanero peppers, bacon, salt, and black pepper into vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently.

Notes :

  • This dish could easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, but pork is a traditional ingredient in Hoppin' John. Greens are also a traditional ingredient, but I did not include them here. You could probably top some raw greens with this and have a tasty salad.
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

If this Hoppin' Juan recipe complements your family's preference, please share, remark and bookmark this web site, so others know very well what you know. Many thanks for the visit!

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