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A bowl of hoppin' john.

Hoppin' John

Ring in the New Year with a resolution to cook more, and cook better. Start with Hoppin’ John, a classic Southern recipe chock-full of thick cut bacon, rice, and black-eyed peas.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Calories 135kcal



  • In a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook bacon until almost crispy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add celery, onion and bell pepper. Sauté until vegetables start to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and Cajun seasoning until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in broth and black-eyed peas. Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until peas are tender, about 60 to 90 minutes (mine took about 75 minutes to finish).
  • Remove bay leaf and drain if desired (see notes). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallions and serve with cooked rice if desired (you can top the rice with Hoppin' John or mix the two together).


  1. Bacon: Thick-cut slices of your favorite savory style of bacon works well. If frozen, chop the bacon while it’s frozen (firm but not rock-hard). It’s so much easier and less greasy that way. Diced pancetta or ham are suitable swaps.
  2. Cajun seasoning: Use store-bought or to make your own Cajun Seasoning, stir together 3 tablespoons smoked or sweet paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, and 1 tablespoon onion powder. You'll just need 1/4 teaspoon for this recipe, so if you don't want to go to the effort, simply trade in 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  3. Chicken broth: Buy 2 large boxes or 4 regular-sized cans, or use Homemade Chicken Broth.
  4. Black-eyed peas: To soak beans overnight, add 4 quarts water to a large bowl and add 1 pound of rinsed black-eyed peas. Soak at least 8 hours. To quick-soak beans, add 1 pound of rinsed beans to a large saucepan and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. (See "Recipe FAQs" for more bean-soaking tips.)
  5. Yield: This recipe makes eight (1-cup) servings of bacon-laced beans and vegetables. Serve over cooked rice, alongside Collard Greens and Cornbread to make it a meal.
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered for up to 4 days.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 754mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg