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Recipes Entrees New Year’s Day Black-eyed Peas (Hoppin’ John)
New Year’s Day Black-eyed Peas (Hoppin’ John) E-mail
Written by Whole Grain Gourmet   
Monday, 30 December 2013 00:00

Hoppin John

New Year’s Day would not be complete in our home without eating a warm bowl of black-eyed peas over rice. Our family loves this hearty dish so much that we enjoy it throughout the year.

Hoppin’ John is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day in the South for good luck and a prosperous year ahead. My husband grew up in New Orleans eating this dish on New Year’s and, after tasting it for the first time a few years ago, I gladly adopted the tradition.

The Cajun Holy Trinity (onions, celery, and bell pepper) forms the base of my delicious black-eyed peas dish. As soon as you start sautéing these veggies together and they release their wonderful aroma, you will know you are onto something good!

Black-eyed peas are a great source of fiber, iron, protein, folate, magnesium, and calcium. It’s a delicious and nutritious way to start the new year.

Cheers to our good health and a prosperous new year!

Note: I have also made this vegetarian by replacing the chicken broth with “Better than Bouillon” vegetable broth and leaving out the ham steak. It was equally delicious!

New Year’s Day Black-eyed Peas (Hoppin’ John)

Serves 8-10


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, sorted, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup water + 1 teaspoon “Better than Bouillon” ham broth (optional, but I love the flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder or cayenne pepper (chipotle will give dish a wonderful smoky flavor)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 fully cooked smoked boneless ham steak (97% fat free), chopped (about 14 ounces)
  • 3 green onion stalks, chopped
  • 3 stalks of kale or collard greens, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Soak black-eyed peas overnight in a large pot of water. The water should be at least 4 inches above the peas. Drain and rinse the peas just before cooking. Set aside.
  2. If you didn’t remember to soak peas overnight, use the quick soak method: Place peas in large pot of water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes then set aside for one hour. Drain and rinse the peas. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat the oil on medium. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic sautéing until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chicken broth, ham broth, black-eyed peas, thyme, Bay leaves, and chipotle powder or cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes then add chopped ham steak and kale/collard greens if using.
  6. Continue to simmer until peas are tender, about 10-15 more minutes.
  7. Add more hot water if liquid gets low.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Turn off heat and stir in green onions.
  10. Serve over Brazilian brown rice and garnish with parsley. Cornbread makes a nice accompaniment.

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