A Spicy Perspective

Authentic Hoppin’ John

Authentic Hoppin’ John Recipe: This Black-Eyed Pea Recipe is packed with zesty southern flavor! Serve “Peas and Rice” as a main dish or side, to make any meal more comforting.

Authentic Hoppin’ John Recipe in skillet

Authentic Hoppin’ John Recipe

Love southern comfort food? You’ll be hoppin’ around the dinner table for this flavorful recipe!

Who doesn’t love a recipe that calls for bacon… And sausage?!

Your family will request this Authentic Hoppin’ John Recipe for dinner week after week. Packed with flavor from bacon and sausage, veggies, and jalapeno, these black-eyed peas are so much more than just a New Year’s Eve recipe.

What is hoppin john? Sausage peas and rice pilaf

Easy Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John has been around since the 1800s, gracing the tables of many homes in the South, especially during the holidays.

This historical dish is believed to pass on good luck and peace to anyone that indulges in it during the New Year. The thought sounds lovely, however, the history doesn’t quite align.

We have been able to find Hoppin’ John Recipes in cookbooks dating back to the 1840’s hailing from the Low Country of South Carolina, a popular region for plantation owners.

Hoppin John with sausage in bowl

Peas and Rice History

Black Eyed Peas are traditionally the bean used in this authentic dish which is what makes historians believe that slaves replanted this West African native bean in American soil.

From there, the Hoppin’ John Recipe was born. The name’s origin is still a mystery. However, many believe that it is derived from the African slave children showing excitement to receive this dish for dinner.

Others say it comes from a man known as “Hoppin’ John” that hobbled around the streets of Charleston and sold peas and rice to the locals.

sizzling sausage in skillet

Easy Black Eyed Pea Recipe

Hoppin’ John also goes by the name of Southern Peas and Rice. It’s rich and comforting, with a nostalgic southern appeal.

Whether you are planning on making this dish as a Thanksgiving side dish, for your New Year’s celebration, or just a regular Wednesday evening at home, I know you’ll enjoy it!

sausage, peppers, celery, and onions

Hoppin’ John Recipe Ingredients

  • Bacon – The southern fat of choice.
  • Andouille Sausage Links – For extra protein and tons of spicy flavor!
  • Onion and Garlic – For zesty undernotes.
  • Celery – To create the southern balance of flavors.
  • Bell Pepper – Any Color. For sweetness and tang.
  • Jalapeno or Serrano pepper – The andouille sausage offers a little heat, so if you are sensitive to spice, omit the jalapeno.
  • Frozen Black-Eyed Peas – Or field peas. Use frozen peas instead of dried peas to speed up the recipe prep.
  • Chicken Stock – Or vegetable stock (chicken broth).
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves – Or use dried thyme in a pinch.
  • Cajun Seasoning – To bring in tons of seasoning in one ingredient.
  • Green Onions – A fresh topping.
  • Long Grain Rice – Served on the side or mixed in.
Black eyed peas mixed with vegetables in a large saute pan

How To Make Hoppin’ John

Instructions

Set a medium saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the rice and 3 ½ cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, until light and fluffy. *See package instructions.

Set a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon. Cook and stir for 3 minutes, then add in the sliced sausage. Brown until the sausage looks crispy around the edges. Stir regularly.

Push the bacon and sausage to the sides of the pan and add in the onions, cut celery stalks, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften the vegetables.

Pour in the black-eyed peas, chicken stock, thyme, and Cajun seasoning. Cover with a tight lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes, or until the black-eyed peas are soft and tender. (If the broth absorbs before the black-eyed peas are soft, add a little water to finish them off.)

Taste, then season with salt and pepper if needed.

Serve warm over rice with a sprinkling of green onions, and hot sauce on the side.

Notes

Hoppin’ John can be served over the rice, or mixed into the rice. I prefer to pile it on the rice and let each person mix it.

This is often known as part of the new years day meal where if you eat it every new years, you are setting yourself up for prosperity and good fortune. 

Get The Full Printable Hoppin John Recipe (Peas and Rice Recipe) Below!

Hopping John Peas and Rice

Black-Eyed Peas Recipe FAQ

Can I make this Authentic Hoppin’ John Recipe in the Crock Pot?

Sure! Start the pork and vegetables on the stovetop. Then add everything to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. (Or high for 4-5 hours.) Cook the rice separately.

How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

You can, but you do lose a lot of flavor by just omitting the meats. Instead, substitute the Andouille Sausage Links for a meatless sausage option. Then, of course, skip the bacon. You may need to add a little oil to the saucepot because you lose the bacon grease. This will result in a lovely vegetarian dish. 

How long does Authentic Hoppin John Recipe last?

Pack leftovers in a tightly sealed container. Then place in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

Can I use a different legume other than black-eyed peas?

Yes, you can easily substitute black-eyed peas for lima beans or navy beans.

Can I Store Leftovers in The Freezer?

Yes, make sure to store it in an airtight container and it can keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Place in the fridge to thaw out overnight.

Peas and Rice Recipe

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5 from 17 votes
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Authentic Hoppin’ John Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
A classic black eyed peas recipe, sometimes called Carolina Peas and Rice, cooked with bacon, sausage, and veggies, and served over fluffy rice!
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • ¼ pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 andouille sausage links, halved and slice thin
  • 1 small sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped (any color)
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds frozen black eyed peas, or field peas
  • 32 ounce chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups long grain rice, rinsed well (or Carolina Gold rice)

Instructions

  • Set a medium sauce pot over high heat. Add the rice and 3 ½ cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, until light and fluffy. *See package instructions.
  • Set a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon. Cook and stir for 3 minutes, then add in the sliced sausage. Brown until the sausage looks crispy around the edges. Stir regularly.
  • Push the bacon and sausage to the sides of the pan and add in the onions, celery, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  • Pour in the black eyed peas, chicken stock, thyme, and Cajun seasoning. Cover with a tight lid and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the black eyed peas are soft and tender. (If the broth absorbs before the black eyed peas are soft, add a little water to finish them off.)
  • Taste, then season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve warm over rice with a sprinkling of green onions, and hot sauce on the side.

Video

Notes

Hoppin’ John can be served over the rice, or mixed into the rice. I prefer to pile it on the rice and let each person mix it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups, Calories: 581kcal, Carbohydrates: 88g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 428mg, Potassium: 950mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 1101IU, Vitamin C: 27mg, Calcium: 90mg, Iron: 6mg
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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16 comments on “Authentic Hoppin’ John”

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! My husband loves it even more. It will definitely be a favorite that we make over and over!

  2. This is very similar to my recipe, but I love to top with cilantro, and chopped onions and tomatoes ! Yum !

  3. Since it is New Years, I added 2 hand fulls of chopped collards and cooked the rice all in the same dutch oven. Awesome holiday dinner !!

  4. We make Hoppin’ John every year for New Year’s Day and this was the best recipe we have ever tried. I only had 12 oz. of frozen black eyed peas and I should have cut back on the liquid, but didn’t. However, we added a nice roux to the mixture and it was absolutely amazing spooned over rice. The roux was made with 3 tbsp. each of butter and flour, whisked over low heat until it was the color of peanut butter. We will save this recipe and make it again!

  5. It was a hit over the traditional black eye peas for New Years. 

  6. So amazing, I left out the andouille and served pork tenderloin on the side, but some of the best hoppin john I’ve ever made…and I’m from Charleston.

  7. I have never been a fan of black eye peas but always eat a spoonful for New Years. Made this recipe and cleaned my plate. I used spicy chicken bone broth and two jalapeños instead of one. Also added onion powder and Old Bay. Right before it was done 8 added 1/2 lb of ground pork just cause I had it lol. Will be making this all the time!!

  8. I have made this numerous times as written and it is delicious served with cornbread. No changes needed to this perfect recipe to wow family and friends. As others stated it is an often reguested recipe. It is difficult in central Illinois to find good andouille sausage. I tried smoked sausage once and it was basically a flop. I have frozen this in small portions to take for lunch with no problem. I use small divided storage containers to put leftovers in, freeze and just grab one as I take off to work. Thank you for a great addidition to our menu rotation.

  9. I made this dish for New Year’s and it was absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and followed the advice of pulling it atop rice and letting folks mix their own bowl. There were no leftovers and everyone asked for the recipe! I am making another batch as I type this. Definitely a keeper recipe! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  10. Made recipe..GREAT….I added smoked turkey drumstick…simmered it until tender and removed meat from bone, chopped up and return to pot …replaced chicken stock with beef broth. Used fresh peas that cooked really fast. Great recipe. Had to make it three time during New Year’s week due to requests from children and grandchildren….served with cornbread….

  11. Second comment to rate.

  12. How will this keep after? It made a lot for a family of 3. Really really good though.

  13. Good basic recipe. I’d substitute salt pork for bacon. I use dried peas and cook them with the salt pork. I’ve used Old Bay instead of any Cajun seasoning, plus smoked paprika too. Living in a Latino and African American  neighborhood, I double the Serrano pepper. My neighbors love it. More than a few have asked my wife, white like me: “Who taught this man to cook like a  sistah?” 

  14. I love a good stk with black-eyed peas and rice and a side salad. My favorite meal

  15. We really enjoyed this! I served it over rice with a side of collard greens.

    I think next time, I’m going to try to use dried beans, in the hopes that as they plump up, they’ll absorb more flavor. We’re definitely repeating this one… I think it will work great as a freezer meal!