Southern Style Hoppin’ John Recipe

Hoppin’ John is a delicious and easy New Year’s dish to serve while honoring the Southern tradition of eating black eyed peas for luck. Hearty black eyed peas, veggies, Cajun spices, all served with fluffy rice.

hoppin john in a white bowl with bread

Slow Cooker Hoppin John

Black eyed peas are a staple in Southern kitchens. Mostly grown in the south, black eyed peas are a common ingredient in lots of southern dishes and soul food recipes.

I love to eat them all year long, but they are particularly popular on New Year’s Day.

What is Hoppin John?

Typically black eyed peas are joined with celery, bell peppers, onion, and flavored with a smoked ham hock. Simmered for a while, the dish is then served over rice.

Though, many will incorporate the rice in the dish to all ow the rice grains to soak up more flavor. This way the dish eats more like a jambalaya in my opinion.

Where did the name Hoppin John come from?

Possibly named after a man that walked with a limp or kids hopping around in anticipation of the beloved dish, I know I get hopping excited about eating it.

labeled picture of hoppin john ingredients

Ingredients Needed

  • Black-Eyed Peas 
  • Onion, Celery, Bell Pepper
  • Smoked Ham
  • Garlic
  • V-8 Juice
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Cajun Seasoning, Herbs, Spices
  • Rice for serving

Can I make it vegetarian?

To keep it a vegetarian dish, just omit the pork. You can add collard greens to enhance the flavor of the dish if you like. The dish is usually served with greens anyway so why not combine them?

Do I have to use Black Eyed Peas?

No, you don’t. Feel free to use field peas, crowder peas, lady peas, baby lima beans,

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

How to make Slow Kooker Hoppin John

First: Add all ingredients except cooked rice to crock pot and cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Second: Remove bay leaves.

Third: Stir in hot cooked rice and garnish. Enjoy!

Chopped green onions tops, chopped cilantro, cherry tomatoes, or crumbled bacon make great garnishes.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

Can I make it on the stove top?

  • Sauté the veggies in a large pot or dutch oven in a little bit of oil until they are soft. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the rice.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the beans are tender and the dish is flavorful
  • Serve over hot cooked rice and enjoy!
peas and rice in a bowl

Peas and Rice Variations

  • use bacon instead of ham for a smokier flavor
  • try diced ham from the deli instead of a ham hock
  • if you have some pulled pork, that will taste great too
  • add in some diced tomatoes
  • greens are good, add kale
  • use pinto beans or your favorite beans in place of the black eyed peas
  • use regular or spicy V-8, or regular tomato juice depending on your taste
spoon of peas and rice over white rice

How to store leftovers

Any leftovers, which are called “Skippin’ Jenny,” can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and reheated as needed. 

To freeze leftovers, store in an air tight freezer safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

What do you eat with Hoppin’ John?

Where did eating Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s come from?

There are a few different stories of the origins of eating them on New Year’s Day and all of them center around prosperity and good fortune.

I don’t know about you but I could use some good luck and prosperity.

So, if you are a little superstitious, you will enjoy the peas on January 1st. The most common way they are served is in a dish called Hoppin’ John!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

peas and rice with text "hoppin john"

Seasoned with cajun spices, this black eyed pea recipe can be served as a side dish or as the main course. Enjoyed with rice and flavored with pork, it is authentic Southern comfort food at it’s finest!

bowl of hoppin john

Hoppin John Recipe

Hoppin' John is a delicious and easy New Year’s dish to serve to honor the Southern tradition of eating black eyed peas for luck.
Give me a rating:)
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Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart


  • 15 ounces black eyed peas drained
  • 3/4 cups Onion diced
  • 3 stalks Celery diced
  • 1 small Bell Pepper any color, diced
  • 1 cup Smoked Ham cut into small bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup Cilantro chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 6 ounces spicy V-8 Juice
  • 1 cup Water or 1 can Diced Tomatoes optional
  • 1 cup Cooked Rice


  • Add all ingredients except cooked rice to slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  • Remove bay leaves.
  • Stir in hot cooked rice and garnish. Enjoy!


*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 676mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encourages and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

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