Southern hoppin’ John features a delicious combination of pork, peas, and rice. This dish is perfect for ringing in the New Year the way we do in the South.
New Year’s often gets overlooked after 6 solid weeks of holiday celebrating.
While we might be done with turkey and mistletoe at this point in the season, New Year’s still has traditional and yummy meal traditions that would be a shame to miss.
Like this southern Hoppin’ John recipe.
With lots of black eyed peas, that are supposed to bring luck in the coming year, this casual southern fare is the ultimate comfort food.
What is Hoppin’ John?
Hoppin’ John is standard southern New Year’s fare.
The first recipes for this combination of peas, pork and rice dish date back to the 1840s.
Traditionally, people think eating it brings a lucky, peaceful year ahead.
To make this you’ll need:
- Bacon– Cut into bite sized pieces.
- Sausage– I like andouille sausage in this but you could substitute chorizo or another smokey sausage.
- Veggies– Diced yellow onion, celery, and green bell pepper.
- Garlic– Fresh garlic cloves minced or pressed.
- Black eyed peas– Canned, drained and rinsed. If you can’t find them, you could use canned or frozen lima beans but you may need more liquid or broth if you use the frozen variety.
- Chicken broth– You could use vegetable broth in its place.
- Seasoning– Fresh thyme leaves and Cajun seasoning.
- Rice– Steamed white rice.
- Garnish– Sliced green onions and crumbled bacon.
How to Make
To make this, cook the bacon and sausage in a Dutch oven set over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the sausage is browned.
Then, remove the cooked meats to a waiting plate, cover, and set aside.
Cook the onion, celery, pepper, and garlic in the bacon drippings in the Dutch oven just until beginning to soften. Stir occasionally.
Next, stir in the peas, broth, thyme, and Cajun seasoning to the pot.
Let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the mixture has simmered for 20 minutes, stir the meats back into the pot. Taste the mixture for seasoning and adjust if needed.
Serve over bowls of steamed white rice with green onions and additional crumbled bacon if desired.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Make sure to store the rice separately so the stew doesn’t get too thick.
Tips and Tricks
- If you use frozen lima beans or black eyed peas, you may need more broth.
- Traditionally, you stir the rice into the whole mixture. This is fabulous if you are making it for a family dinner or don’t anticipate leftovers.
- If I’m serving this for New Years and having company, I prefer ladling the mixture over top of individual servings of rice so guests can top as they like.
- Likewise, I keep the rice separate if I am hoping to have leftovers, otherwise the rice will soak up the liquid in the leftovers.
- You can certainly add salt and pepper, but the meats are already very salty and there’s plenty of both in the Cajun seasoning so I haven’t found it necessary. Taste the meal after it’s simmered, then you can adjust to your specific preferences.
- For less salt, you could use a low sodium broth and spice blend.
Other New Year’s Recipes You’ll Love
Hoppin’ John is a favorite way to ring in the New Year in the South. Make it and enjoy the hearty comfort food and the luck in the New Year.
Looking for other New Year’s recipes? Try these:
- Cornbread (represents Gold): Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Greens (represents Money): Halupki Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, Haluski (Polish fried cabbage and noodles), or Kale & Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
- Pork (represents prosperity- because pigs root forward): Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary Brown Sugar Sauerkraut
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Southern Hoppin' John Recipe
- 5-6 strips bacon cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 lb andoullie sausage halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
- 1 small yellow onion peeled & diced
- 3 celery stalks thinly sliced
- l large green pepper seeded & diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cans black eyes peas drained & rinsed
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 3-4 cups steamed white rice
- thinly sliced green onions for garnish
- crispy crumbled bacon for garnish
- Add the bacon & sausage to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Cook until the bacon's becoming crisp and the sausage is nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Remove the cooked meats to a waiting plate, cover & set aside.
- Add the onion, celery, pepper, and garlic to the skillet stirring to coat in the bacon drippings. Let the veggies cook just until beginning to soften, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the peas, broth, thyme, and Cajun seasoning to the pot- stirring to evenly combine. Let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes, again stirring occasionally.
- Stir the meats back into the pot, and taste the mixture for seasoning- adjust if needed.
- Serve over bowls of steamed white rice with green onions and additional crumbled bacon, for garnish- if desired.