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Black-Eyed Peas Hoppin John

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The New Year’s Good Luck Meal here in the south is Black-Eyed peas, also known as Hoppin John. According to southern folklore eating, black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will guarantee you good luck all year. So why take any chances?

I serve it every New Year’s Day. However, before I serve it, I add a shiny dime for one person to find and receive extra lucky.

Therefore, the first item on my New Year agenda is preparing that “good luck” traditional supper.

The tradition started in the late 1700s and continues today in the South.

Black-eyed Peas Hoppin’ John – Southern Dish

Black Eyed Peas over rice

Black Eyed Peas over rice

Black-Eyed Peas Recipe

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I use budget-friendly dried Black-Eyed peas for this recipe. To save time, I use this quick soak method to soak the beans.

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients



  • Dried Black-eyed pea (Quick soak recipe)
  • Smoked ham hocks
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Bacon
  • Spring onions
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic clove
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaves
  • Smoked Paperkia 
  • Red pepper flakes


After quick soaking the dried peas (I use this method) I heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. 

Adding oil to medium hot pan

Adding oil to a medium-hot pan

Next, I add one chopped onion and 4 ribs of chopped celery.

Add chopped onions to hot oil

Add chopped onions to hot oil.

Saute the onion and celery for 2 minutes.

Adding chopped celery

Adding chopped celery

Add one clove minced garlic to the pan and saute for 2 more minutes. 

Add minced garlic

Add minced garlic

Once the vegetable mixture is soft and the onions are translucent it is time to add the soaked black-eyed peas to the dutch oven.

Adding soaked black-eyed peas

Adding soaked black-eyed peas

Then add the smoked ham hocks. 

Tip: I rinse them before using them to prevent any bone debris. 

Place ham hocks in the pan

Place ham hocks in the pan

Black-Eyed Pea Southern Spices

Add 1 teaspoon thyme and one bay leaf.

Adding thyme and a bay leaf

Adding thyme and a bay leaf

Next, add 2 teaspoons smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Then add the remaining spices

Then add the remaining spices

Pour in 4 cups of freshwater.

Pour in the water

Pour in the water.

Give the pot a good stir then cover and bring to a boil then turn down the heat to a simmer for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

Tip: Cook until peas are tender, not mushy.

Stir black eyed pea mixture

Stir black-eyed pea mixture

While the peas are cooking prepare garnishes and rice. For the garnishes chop 8 ounces of fired thick-sliced backing and slice 4 green onions.

To make cooking the rice super easy I use a rice cooker following the rice package’s directions. 

Tip: Start cooking the rice during the last 20 minutes of the pea’s cook time. 


Black-Eyed Peas Southern Style

Southern Black-Eyed Peas Hoppin John

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas cooked to perfection. Comforting and delicious easy recipe.
5 from 5 votes
Print Recipe Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: Blackeyed peas, Blackeyed peas recipe
Prep Time: 26 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 11
Calories: 194kcal


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 Ribs of celery (chopped)
  • 1 Garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (quick soaked)
  • 2 Smoked Ham Hocks
  • 8 ounce Bacon (fried and chopped)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 4 Spring onions (sliced)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme


  • After soaking the Black-eyed peas I drain them and rinse them with cold water. Then set them aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onions and celery and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Next, add minced garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
  • Add Black-Eyed peas, ham hocks, spices, water.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and cook until peas are soft (not mushy), about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Serve over hot fluffy rice and garnish with chopped bacon and sliced spring onions.


Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 272IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
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Tried this recipe?Mention @kippiathome or tag #kippiathome!

Serve Hopping John over hot fluffy rice with a side of collard greens and bread. 

Hoppin John Black-Eyed Peas

Hoppin John Black-Eyed Peas – traditional hoppin john

You will find traditional hopping john served over rice every New Year’s Day in the south.

You might also like these recipes:

The iconic Senate Bean Soup served in the U.S. Senate is perfect for a budget-friendly dinner. 

Bean soup with ham

Bean soup with ham

Slow Cooker chili is another favorite bean recipe you might enjoy too. 

Easy Crockpot Beef Chili

Easy Crockpot Beef Chili

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Recipe Rating

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Monday 1st of January 2024

Not sure as I haven’t completed this dish, but I see NO salt added….I have never cooked a dry bean/pea and not added any salt. I suppose it is to taste, but it is always better cooked in-


Monday 4th of January 2021

Your recipes always look amazing, Kippi! I’ve been wanting to try a recipe like this. Thanks for sharing.

Kippi Ohern

Thursday 30th of December 2021

@Crissy, thank you so much for your visit. Happy New Year!


Thursday 31st of December 2020

great tasting black eyed peas.

Olivia O'Hern

Thursday 31st of December 2020

This recipe is so delicious! The best black-eyed peas.


Thursday 31st of December 2020

Thank you so much for your visit. I hope you have a wonderful New Year! Hugs, Kippi

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