Break out a batch of our sassy bacon infused Hoppin John Recipe. The “Cajun holy trinity” ramps up the flavor, with an assist from the black eyed peas!

Hoppin John is a Southern Classic served for good luck on New Year’sHearty and smoky, full of fresh veggies and savory spices, and layered with buttery Carolina Gold rice, it is no wonder Hoppin John Recipe is a Southern classic. Join cooks around the nation in bringing this specialty to your table as you say goodbye to the old year and ring in the new. Your kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews will thank you for the pleasant (and warm) alternative to slippery solo beans! And who knows — their gratitude may just be the source and substance of your good fortune. But hey, don’t limit this dish to New Years – in fact, is it’s really great year round. Try it hot, or serve it as a cold salad at your next event.

After you try our Hoppin John Recipe, we have a few other southern classics for you might like to try. Our Southern Style Green Beans, Jambalayaor Paula Deen Corn Casserole.


  • I love the power of traditions to bring people together!
  • Black eyed peas are super healthy.
  • The flavor of “Carolina Gold” rice will reinvigorate your kitchen! 
  • This recipe makes big hearty portions that combat end of holiday doldrums.  

What Is Hoppin John Recipe?

If you are looking for a great fresh black eyed peas recipe (or even a frozen black eyed peas recipe) to try this season, Hoppin John Recipe is here for you. This dish, also called Carolina Peas and Rice, is a popular New Year’s tradition in the Southern states.

Peas and rice are the staple ingredients (though some versions omit the rice!), and the recipes vary from there. The final product is invariably salty, smoky, rich … and lucky, if folktales are to be believed!




What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Hoppin John Recipe?

In my Cajun Hoppin John recipe, sausage is not necessary, but it may be substituted for the bacon if you so desire! Aside from thick cut bacon, you need fresh celery, chopped onions, and a green bell pepper (aka the Cajun holy trinity).

The seasoning that makes this dish oh so delicious includes garlic, fresh thyme, black pepper, and salt. You will also need low-sodium chicken broth and olive oil for the cooking and simmering processes.

Carolina Gold rice, and of course black eyed peas (fresh or frozen will do), are the meat and potatoes of this recipe. Sliced fresh scallions put the finishing touch on the meal! 

How Do You Make Hoppin John Recipe?

Often a one pot dish, I find that my Hoppin John Recipe comes out significantly better if I cook everything but the rice together in a pot, then when the bacon, aromatics, and bean are cooked, I drain them, reserving that delicious broth to cook the rice in. The two basic steps I outline below make this an easy Hoppin John recipe. First, you brown the bacon and soften the onion with the aromatics and veggies. Then you boil those ingredients along with the black eyed peas and chicken broth. Reserve some of the broth, and step one is done!

Step two is all about the rice. After toasting the rice, cook it in the reserved broth, mix it in with the ingredients from step one, and serve!


Step By Step How To Make Hoppin John Recipe

Step By Step: How To Make Hoppin John Recipe

1. In a large pot, cook bacon until slightly crisp.
2. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in the pot.
3. Saute until tender.
4. Add the broth.
5. Add the thawed black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil and continue to simmer for 40 minutes.
6. Drained the mixture, reserving all the cooking liquid. Place the drained mixture back to the pot and add 1 cup of cooking liquid. Set aside.
7. In a saucepan, toast the rice in oil. Stir frequently until it becomes fragrant.
8. Stir 3 cups of cooking liquid, add salt. Cook until rice is tender.
9. Fluff the cooked rice with fork.
10. Add the rice to the black-eyed pea mixture. Add the remaining cooking liquid gradually. (Complete instructions below)

Scooped Hoppin John Recipe from a bowl
5 from 1 vote

Hoppin' John Recipe

Break out a batch of our sassy bacon infused Hoppin John Recipe. The "Cajun holy trinity" ramps up the flavor, with an assist from the black eyed peas!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 13 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 33 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 478 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 6 Slices Bacon, Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Green Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thymes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth, Low Sodium
  • 4 Cups Frozen Black-Eyed Peas. Thawed and Drained
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Uncooked "Carolina  Gold" Rice
  • Green Onions


  1. In a large pot, cook the chopped bacon until it begins to crisp, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Saute the vegetables with the crisp bacon until tender, about 7-10 minutes.

  3. Add the broth and thawed Black-Eyed Peas and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 40 minutes.

  4. Drain the mixture, reserving all the cooking liquid. Place the drained mixture back in the pot they were cooked in and add 1 cup of cooking liquid. Cover and set aside.

  5. In a medium saucepan, toast the rice in oil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the rice becomes fragrant.

  6. Stir in 3 cups of reserved cooking liquid, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until the cooking liquid has absorbed and the rice is tender.

  7. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork, then add the rice to the black-eyed pea mixture. 

  8. Add the remaining cooking liquid, 1⁄4 cup at a time, until the mixture reaches the desired texture. Sprinkle servings with sliced fresh scallions.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Hoppin' John Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 /6 of the recipe)
Calories 478 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 1904mg 79%
Potassium 837mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 68g 23%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 6g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 4.9%
Vitamin C 57.1%
Calcium 8.4%
Iron 23.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Recipe Notes For Hoppin John Recipe:

Hoppin John recipe slow cooker: To make this recipe on “set it and forget it” mode, crisp the bacon, then put all the ingredients from step one in the crock pot for about 4 hours on high or about 8 hours on low. You can either complete step two separately, about half an hour before you are ready to serve, or toss the rice into the pot (set on low) about an hour before serving.

Vegetarian Hoppin John: The modifications required to turn Hoppin John into a vegetarian dish are super simple! Just omit the bacon and add a bit of cooking oil instead. Switch out the chicken broth for chicken flavored vegetarian stock. If you want that signature bacon smokiness, crunchiness, or fatty flavor, try vegan bacon substitutes. These cruelty free products are made with ingredients like beans, tofu, seitan, and coconut. Some people also used sun dried tomatoes to achieve that greasy bacon feel. 

Why a Dutch oven: Dutch ovens are great for cooking soups, stews, and other brothy recipes because they are durable, high volume, conduct heat well, and keep food heated for extended periods of time. If you don’t have one, though, a large pot will do just fine! And you don’t have to feel bad about your Hoppin John Recipe Emeril uses a soup pot too!

Why Carolina Gold rice: Named after the color of its harvest ready fields, Carolina Gold is a Southern heirloom and rice aficionado’s favorite. It is known for its versatility and flavorful potential. BBC Travel has an interesting article on the grain’s complex economic history if you care to learn more! After disappearing from the market for some years, chefs now recommend its use in this Southern style Hoppin John recipe

Toasting the rice: Frying rice before boiling has a number of benefits. You reduce cook time by heating the rice, diminish the stickiness of the final product, and add an extra layer of flavor with the oil and caramelized starches. While it’s not the end of the world if you skip this step, it really adds something to the dish!

Rice texture: Achieving the ideal rice texture is a fine art! Many cooks waffle between that underdone crunch and mushy slop, only rarely finding the happy medium. Some common mistakes to avoid when cooking rice are lifting the lid, stirring, skipping the pre-rinse, including too much or too little water, and forgetting to let the pot sit for a few minutes after cooking.

Spice level: To kick the heat up a notch, make this a Trappey’s Hoppin John recipe with a dash of hot sauce! You can also up the spiciness factor with the help of paprika, white pepper, or one of the Institute of Food Technologists’ “eight great new spicy ingredients that add heat and flavor.” Broaden your culinary literacy with the likes of Szechuan peppercorn, harissa, or gochujang! 


Can You Make Hoppin John Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can. You can make it many months in advance if you plan to freeze the recipe, and a couple days in advance if you want to keep it in the refrigerator. Some say it tastes even better after a day of sitting!

Can You Freeze Hoppin John Recipe?

You sure can! Portion the recipe into a freezer safe bag or container, and store it for up to half a year. Don’t forget to label your container – Hoppin John Recipe in a frozen state can look like just about anything!

To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm slowly on the stove top, adding water as necessary and seasoning to taste.

What Do You Serve With Hoppin John Recipe?

When it comes to pairing sides with Hoppin John history says go with vegetables. The dish is traditionally served with collard greens and cornbread. I like to spice this up and serve my authentic Creole Sauce and Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread. 

For a sweeter ending, try my Grandma’s Coca Cola Cake, Texas Sheet CakePig Pickin Cake, Pecan Pie Cobbler or Southern Peach Cobbler. Happy eating!

What Does Hoppin’ John Mean?

To make a very long story short, no one is quite sure about the origin of this name! Various explanations of varying credibility have been proposed through the years.

One of the more believable stories is that the name derives from a mishearing of the French Creole translation of “pigeon peas,” pois a pigeon, pronounced “pwah pee-jon.” Tell us about your family’s creative interpretation of the name in the comments!

More Yummy Side Dishes…

Source: Southern Living

Hoppin John Recipe in a bowl, sprinkled with chopped green onions