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Hoppin’ John

A traditional Southern recipe, Hoppin’ John is a black-eyed peas and rice dish commonly served up on New Year’s Day to ensure good luck. Also known as Carolina peas and rice, this is considered Low Country or Gullah (Creole) cuisine, originating with African Americans living in the Carolinas and the Sea Islands along the coasts of South Carolina and northern Georgia. It’s thought that African slaves working rice plantations introduced black-eyed peas—also called cow peas—to America, and cooking rice and beans together is African in origin.

Hoppin’ John was sampled at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895, and its link with New Year’s was cemented by 1907. Served as a good luck meal with collard greens and corn bread, the black-eyed peas represent coins, the collards represent greenbacks, and the cornbread represents gold. A hearty dish flavored with pork, Hoppin’ John has many regional variants. It was served by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House in 1935.

Recipe Servings: 8

Prep Time
25 minutes
+ 8 hours resting
Cook Time
1 hour
Total Time
9 hours 25 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free



  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot and add ham hock.
  2. Sear ham hock on all sides for a total of 4 minutes.
  3. Add onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cooking together 4 minutes.
  4. Add black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender.
  6. If liquid evaporates, add more water or stock.
  7. Taste, adjusting seasonings to personal preference.
  8. Garnish with green onion and serve over rice.

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