Hoppin’ John

A dish of hoppin' john and rice.

The best black eyed pea recipe has to be Hoppin’ John.  It’s a classic New Years Day recipe that’s is easy to make and ready in under an hour! According to Southern lore, you serve a classic hoppin’ john with rice for luck and money all year long. 

If you’re a child of the South, like me, you’re probably well versed in the tradition of eating black eyed peas on the first day of the new year.  It’s meant to ensure luck and prosperity for the following 364 days.  One of the most prolific ways to eat yo’ peas is a steaming pot of Hoppin’ John.

Browning kielbasa in a Dutch oven.

The lore of equating beans to prosperity (wealth) could be tied to the way that beans resembled coins and loose change or the fact that legumes swell when you soak them — the way we want our fortunes to swell.

Adding sauteed vegetables, cumin and bay leaf to the pot.

Whatever the logic, I’ve taken a cue from my grandmother, Madou’s, superstitious mind and hold this practice as a MUST DO every New Year’s Day.  Like her, I’m not taking any chances.

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Adding frozen black-eyed peas to the pot.

Whatever the juju, Hoppin’ John also happens to be a warm, comforting and utterly delicious stew. The garlicky beans are simmered in with a rich, meaty kielbasa or other smoked sausage and kissed with a bit of cumin and jalapeño.

After simmering with broth the beans are tender and plump.

Best of all, if you use a few packages of frozen black eyed peas (which I do), this big pot of luck-filled goodness, is ready in under an hour. If you have dried beans and a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, try this Instant Pot Hoppin’ John.

Finishing the hoppin john with fresh garlic and parsley.

Serve your Hoppin’ John over a bed of steamed rice with some lucky greens on the side, or stir them directly into the pot and simmer until tender.  Either way — the positive mojo will be with you all year long.

Serving a dish of hoppin john over rice.


Can I use canned black eyed peas for the Hoppin’ John recipe?

No. Canned beans would be too soft for this. I recommend using frozen or cooked, dried beans.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Yes, use a homemade vegetable broth instead of chicken stock from rotisserie chicken and either skip the sausage or use a vegetarian sausage substitute.

Can I freeze Hoppin’ John?

Yes. This will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months if it’s well packaged.

An overhead shot of the hoppin john and rice recipe.

More New Year’s Day recipes:

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a dish of hoppin john with rice.
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4.59 from 12 votes

Hoppin’ John

Mandatory on January 1st for luck and prosperity, but delicious every other day of the year, too!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword black eyed peas, good luck foods, new years day, one pot meals, sausage
Dietary Restrictions Dairy-Free, Egg Free, Gluten-Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8


  • 1 small onion peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeño seeds and membranes removed if you don’t like spice, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound smoked kielbasa cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 6 cups frozen black-eyed peas (or one pound dried – soaked overnight and cooked to al dente)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock from rotisserie chicken or low-sodium canned or vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • cup cilantro chopped

Garnish with:

  • cooked rice
  • additional fresh cilantro
  • hot sauce if desired


  • In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add kielbasa and cook until browned and some fat has rendered into the pot, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add onions, celery and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened.  Add cumin and bay leaf, stir to coat vegetables with cumin.
  • Add black eyed peas and broth. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until peas are tender and creamy.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the garlic and cilantro.
  • Serve over rice with additional cilantro or hot sauce, if desired.


Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 818mg | Potassium: 1641mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1445IU | Vitamin C: 10.3mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 11.5mg

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Hoppin' John is a classic New Years Day recipe that's is easy to make and ready in under an hour! Serve with rice for luck and money all year long according to Southern lore. This is the best black eyed pea recipe! #blackeyedpeas #homemadeblackeyedpeas #hoppinjohn #newyearsdayrecipes #newyearsday #legumes #beanrecipes #sausage #kielbasa #rice #onepotmeals

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  1. 5 stars
    This was dinner to ring in 2020! My husband generally groans in anticipation of yet another January 1 pot of black eyed peas (“they taste like dirt”). He proclaimed this version “delicious!”. Except for a substitution of turkey kielbasa (as opposed to beef) I followed your recipe, Lisa! I will not wait a whole year to make this again! Superb!!

    1. I am so glad you and your husband enjoyed it. A very happy, healthy New Year to you both!

  2. 5 stars
    This is a standard in the south. We had it for lunch today!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m not a child of the South but I sure would love to try this yummy looking dish! And if luck and prosperity follow, well, that’d be a nice bonus ?

  4. 5 stars
    After the year I had in 2017 I think I can use all the luck I can get for 2018. Usually we do pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day but this looks like a delicious alternative.

  5. A great new year’s recipe! Happy new year !

  6. 5 stars
    My family recently moved to the South and I can tell you we love it here and we are never leaving!! We are learning all the sayings and the 20 ways to add y’all into a sentence! Believe it or not in South America, where I come from black eye peas are also known to bring good luck. I’ve been eating them for New Year’s the same way for years – I don’t dare not to. I am glad I found this recipe, I will definitely make it. It looks delicious!

  7. maria long says:

    I have never eaten this but great idea for New YEars Eve. I have bought the canned beans but fresh is so much better.

  8. I always eat black eyed peas for New Years too! Love them so much. This dish looks so hearty and wonderful.

  9. 5 stars
    Yummy! My grandmother was very superstitious and I’ve continued on with some of those superstitions. It’s funny how ingrained they become! This recipe looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try it!! Beautiful photos as usual!!

  10. 5 stars
    I love that name for your grandmother – Madou. Would love to hear the origin of that.

    Your hoppin’ john looks divine, but I will tell you that our family beliefs (superstitions) are that the black eyed peas were for good luck and the greens for money. Of course, I guess the two can sometimes go hand in hand!

    1. My grandmother’s name was Madelleine and her family always called her Madou.

  11. 5 stars
    Love the story behind this dish! I had never heard of this tradition, but then again, it’s not surprising since I’m originally from France. Good luck or not, this dish sounds delicious and I’d love to eat that in the new year!