Delicious Southern Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Recipe

Ladies and gentlemen, gather around, for I’m about to share with y’all a recipe that will make your taste buds sing with joy. Hailing from the southern part of the United States, this dish is as traditional as it gets, and I guarantee it will have you wanting more.

Now, if you’re not familiar with the dish, let me introduce you to Hoppin’ John, a classic Southern recipe served on New Year’s Day or any day of the year. This black-eyed pea and rice dish served alongside collard greens is said to bring good luck in the upcoming year. But let me tell you, there’s nothing unlucky about this classic southern comfort food.

I hold this recipe close to my heart because it reminds me of my grandma’s kitchen and how she used to season it just right with ham hock and bacon drippings. It’s been passed down through generations in my family and as a chef specializing in Southern-style cuisine; I can attest that this recipe is the real deal.

So buckle up y’all because I’m going to walk you step-by-step through this recipe that has been bringing warmth and comfort to families for over a hundred years. Make sure you have all your ingredients ready because we’re about to make Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hoppin John Recipe – the perfect dish to serve at any gathering or dinner table.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hopping John Recipe
Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hopping John Recipe

You’re looking for a dish that’s hearty, delicious, and packed full of flavor that screams southern comfort food. This is where my Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hoppin John Recipe comes into play. You may be asking yourself, why should I try this recipe out? Well, sit tight and let me explain why you’ll absolutely fall in love with this amazing dish.

Firstly, black-eyed peas are a mecca in Southern cuisine. The peas themselves are tender and buttery, with a soft bite that means they’re so good at soaking up all the flavors of the dish. Combine them with some cooked long-grain rice, and you’ve got yourself a satisfying base that pairs so well with any meal.

Secondly, my recipe includes a combination of meaty and smoky flavors that create the perfect balance. I use ham hock that gives this dish a rich meaty flavor without overpowering the beans’ natural taste. To add a twist to this classic southern dish, I use sliced bacon cut into pieces that cook down and give an extra layer of smokiness to the dish as it simmers away under the lid.

Next on the list is fresh spinach leaves that add some greens to balance out all the savory goodness within this recipe. When wilted in the pot of simmering black-eyed peas and rice mixture, these leaves add texture to every bite while providing some added nutrition too.

Finally, my secret ingredient- Parmesan cheese- adds another savory goodness layer to this already melt-in-your-mouth rice and peasy southern staple recipe. It brings nutty flavor along with its velvety cheese texture adding some depth to every bite.

In conclusion, My Southern-Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hoppin John Recipe is versatile enough to stand alone as a complete meal or even act as the perfect sidekick for your meats. With just enough spice to add some kick, and a history that goes back centuries- this dish is perfect for ringing in New Year’s good fortune or just for an everyday comfort food dish. It’s a traditional Southern dish with a modern twist- packed full of nutrition, generous tips to achieve fantastic results every time, and an irresistible taste for everyone to love!

Ingredient List

 Delicious and filling Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hopping John Recipe!
Delicious and filling Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hopping John Recipe!

To make this classic Southern dish, you’ll need to gather all the necessary ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

For the Hoppin’ John:

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small green or sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 4 cups water or chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Rice:

  • 2 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • Bacon drippings or butter for cooking

To Serve:

  • Sliced bacon, chopped (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Fresh spinach or collard greens (optional)

You can easily find these ingredients in any grocery store in the United States.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfect meal for any occasion: soulful and hearty, just like grandma used to make!
Perfect meal for any occasion: soulful and hearty, just like grandma used to make!

Now that we have all the ingredients ready to roll, it’s time to get going with the recipe. Trust me, once you have cooked this Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hoppin John recipe, you’ll keep coming back for more.

Step 1: Cook The Peas!

The first thing to do is to cook the black-eyed peas if you haven’t already cooked them. Do not worry if it sounds complicated to cook them; it is pretty easy!

Take a large pot and throw in 2 cups of dried black-eyed peas with 1 small diced yellow onion, 2 bay leaves, and a ham hock (optional). Now pour 8 cups of water into the pot, and bring everything to a boil.

Once they reach boiling point, cover the pot with a lid, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer away for about 1 hour until the peas are tender. When finished cooked, discard the ham hock and bay leaves.

Step 2: Cook The Rice!

In another separate pot, take around 2-2.5 cups of cooked long-grain rice (the amount of rice used depends on personal preference!), and add water accordingly based on package instructions. While cooking the rice, chop up some fresh spinach and mix it well with the rice using a fork or tsps of butter. It will add great flavor as well as a dash of nutrition.

Step 3: Bacon-Tacular Time

Ah yes, time for one of our favorite parts – cooking up bacon! To give an addictively delicious flavor to your Hoppin John dish, take a skillet or Dutch oven and heat up some sliced bacon cut into small pieces over medium heat until crispy.

Once done, remove from bacon from pan over paper towels to soak up excess bacon drippings. Keep aside the bacon drippings in the skillet.

Step 4: Pepper and Onion Flavors

Sauté finely chopped onion, small green pepper and chopped red pepper in the same skillet with bacon drippings for a few minutes until veggies become softened. Now add cooked black-eyed peas into the skillet, mix well with veggies and cooked bacon, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Step 5: Let’s Combine!

The final step is to combine all of the elements of this wonderful dish together! Take a large cooking bowl or casserole dish and start by layering your cooked rice on the bottom. Now pour in the flavorful black-eyed pea mixture over the rice layer, using a fork to ensure even spread of ingredients inside your dish.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve!

Now sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and sliced scallions over the top, put it in the oven at approximately 350°F for about 20 -25 minutes, or until everything is warm through.

Once out from the oven hot &

Substitutions and Variations

 Rich flavors of smoked bacon, onions, and Creole seasoning.
Rich flavors of smoked bacon, onions, and Creole seasoning.

Now, if you’re feeling adventurous or want to add a little twist to this classic Southern dish, there are some substitutions and variations for you.

First, instead of bacon, you can use ham hock or any other smoked meat for that distinctive flavor. And if you prefer a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth instead of water and skip the meat altogether.

For the black-eyed peas, you can also use canned instead of dried ones. Just remember to drain and rinse the canned peas before adding them to the pot.

If you want to add some greens to your Hoppin’ John, stir in some chopped fresh spinach or collard greens towards the end of cooking.

And for a spicier kick, chop up a small jalapeño pepper or add some crushed red pepper flakes to the mix. Or if you’re into sweet and savory combinations, toss in some diced sweet red pepper.

Lastly, you can also experiment with different types of rice. This dish is usually served with long-grain white rice, but consider using brown rice for a healthier version or jasmine rice for a fragrant twist.

Remember though, every substitution affects the taste of the final dish, so don’t go too wild with combinations that might overpower the original recipe’s main features – black-eyed peas and rice.

Still, it’s an excellent opportunity to put your own personal touch on this traditional Southern classic!

Serving and Pairing

 Transfer yourself to the heart of the South with this traditional dish.
Transfer yourself to the heart of the South with this traditional dish.

Now that you’ve finished cooking the southern-style black-eyed peas and rice hopping john recipe that I’ve given you, it’s time to serve and enjoy! This dish is a classic southern comfort food staple, commonly served during the New Year as it symbolizes good luck and prosperity.

When it comes to serving and pairing this recipe, there are several ways to enjoy it. Some people like to serve it in cups as a one-bowl meal or on a plate. If you’re using plates, make sure to first place cooked long-grain rice in the center of the plate followed by the black-eyed peas and ham stew on top of it. To finish the dish off sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top for an extra layer of flavor.

This rice dish can be paired with many different sides depending on your personal preference. A classic option is a side of collard greens, cornbread or garlic bread. These side dishes complement the flavors of the black-eyed peas and add a nice crunch to texture.

As for drinks to serve with black-eyed peas rice dish, consider pairing up with iced tea or lemonade. They provide a cooling sensation and are perfect for refreshing your palate after enjoying this hearty southern-style meal.

Southern hoppin’ john is a traditional southern dish that will impress your guests at any dinner party. This meal has been passed down from generation to generation and is still popular today because of its comforting taste and unique blend of flavors.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Experience the taste of the soulful South in every bite!
Experience the taste of the soulful South in every bite!

As a Southern chef, I know the importance of making dishes ahead of time, especially when it comes to our traditional Southern Hoppin John dish. This black-eyed peas and rice dish served on New Year’s Day is a classic that can be prepared in advance and reheated easily.

To make ahead, simply cook the black-eyed peas according to the recipe instructions, but save the cooked long-grain rice and bacon for later. Once the peas are cooled, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

When ready to serve, simply reheat the peas in a pot over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or chicken broth if needed to help loosen up the mixture. Once heated through, add in the cooked rice and sliced bacon and stir until combined. Serve hot with additional garnishings like fresh spinach, parmesan cheese or butter.

If you have leftovers after serving, don’t worry! This Southern Hoppin John black-eyed peas and rice dish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or frozen for up to two months. To reheat from refrigerated or frozen state, simply microwave or reheat in a pot over low heat until heated through. Note that the texture may be slightly different after storing or freezing but will still taste incredible.

In conclusion, this traditional Southern dish can be made ahead of time, easily reheated and is perfect for storing as leftovers. With these tips and tricks, you can enjoy this delicious Hoppin John black-eyed peas and rice recipe any day of the week!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Easy to make, quick to devour and perfect for any mood.
Easy to make, quick to devour and perfect for any mood.

Now, let’s dive into the tips and tricks that will make your southern-style black-eyed peas and rice Hoppin’ John Recipe irresistible.

1. Soaking the Black-Eyed Peas – There are two types of dried black-eyed peas: pre-soaked and unsoaked. If you have unsoaked black-eyed peas, soak them overnight before preparing the recipe as it will make for a tender yet firm texture.

2. Cook Time – Cooking time is essential for this dish. To ensure that the black-eyed peas are perfectly cooked and not dry and crumbly, simmer them in a pot with bay leaves for one to two hours or until they are tender.

3. Bacon – My favorite part of this dish is the bacon slices! To add some extra soupçon to your recipe, cut the bacon slices into smaller pieces instead of leaving them whole. The crispy bites of bacon give taste to each spoonful of beans!

4. Ham Hock- Ham hock adds not only flavor but depth to this Southern classic. Add it with the black-eyed peas at the beginning of the recipe – remove it toward the end of cooking (but before adding rice) and shred meat before returning it back to the pot.

5. Lime Juice – Lime juice may sound like a strange addition to this classic recipe, but trust me; it adds brightness by cutting through the saltiness in your recipe!

6. Store and Reheat – Store any leftover beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or freeze in Ziplock bags for up to three months! When reheating from frozen, need I remind you that Microwaves can sometimes destroy food; instead, reheat in a slow cooker- adding chicken broth if needed- or slowly simmer on your stove?

7. Serving Suggestions – Although this dish is best served hot right off the stovetop, why not switch it up and serve it chilled with a side of fresh spinach salad or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! A Southern-style Hoppin’ John rice dish served alongside collard greens and a side of roasted sweet potatoes or okra is the classic southern combo.

8. Seasoning – Salt is a key part of this recipe. However, go easy on the salt until you’ve tasted it. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to your recipe according to your taste preference, it might be necessary to add salt several times throughout the cooking process.

By following these tips, you can give yourself a tasty Southern classic meal any time of the year.


Now that you’ve learned how to cook Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hopping John Recipe through the previous sections of this article, you may have some questions in mind. In this section, I will answer some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the recipe to help you fully understand this traditional southern dish. So, let’s get started!

Can you make black eyed peas and rice?

Let me show you how to make a delicious black-eyed peas and rice dish with a southern twist. To start, add some black-eyed peas, water, bay leaves, paprika, salt, and black pepper into a pot. Don’t forget to cover your pot with a tight lid and let everything simmer until your peas are tender. This process should take around 40 to 50 minutes. Once done, don’t forget to remove the bay leaves and add in some rice. You’ll need to let everything simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until all the liquid is evaporated. This is where all the magic happens and your dish gains an unforgettable flavor.

What is the difference between Hoppin John and black-eyed peas?

The origins of black-eyed peas can be traced back to Africa and brought to America by the enslaved. A delicious bean dish called Hoppin’ John is made by combining black-eyed peas with flavorful meats and rice.

What is a peas and rice dish served in the southern United States?

One of the traditional dishes of the Southern United States is Hoppin’ John, a flavorful combination of cowpeas, rice, onions, and bacon. It is known by various names such as Carolina peas and rice and includes different types of peas like Black-eyed peas, Sea Island red peas, and Iron and clay peas from Southeast US, seasoned with salt.

Do black-eyed peas have to be soaked overnight before cooking?

When it comes to cooking black eyed peas, many wonder if soaking them is necessary. But let me tell you, soaking is not required. In fact, dry black eyed peas can be cooked in about an hour without soaking, and that’s totally reasonable. For an even quicker cooking time, try using a pressure cooker!

Bottom Line

Now that you have read all about how to make this delicious Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hopping John Recipe, I hope you are eager to give it a try. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of patience, you can create a flavorful and satisfying dish that is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

As a chef specializing in Southern-style cuisine, I can assure you that this recipe is the real deal. The combination of savory bacon, tender black-eyed peas, and fluffy rice come together to create a mouth-watering dish that will transport you straight to the heart of the South.

So why not give it a try? Whether you’re looking for something new to serve at your next family gathering or wanting to ring in the New Year with a traditional Southern dish, this Hopping John recipe is sure to impress.

Just remember, as with any recipe, it’s all about using quality ingredients and taking your time. And who knows, maybe this dish will become part of your own family’s traditions. So grab a ham hock, some fresh spinach, and get cooking!

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hopping John Recipe

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Hopping John Recipe Recipe

I got this out of a recipe a few years back and it is in our rotation.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 367 kcal


  • 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (use can or fresh cooked dried black eyed peas)
  • 1 cup cooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups torn fresh spinach (10 oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, can be substitued)
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (any brand will do, I use Tabasco)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Have cooked black-eyed peas and rice ready.
  • In 2 quart saucepan melt butter. Stir in spinach and bacon.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until spinach is tender (4 to 6 minutes).
  • Stir in black-eyed peas, rice and remaining ingredients except Cheddar cheese.
  • Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through (7 to 10 minutes).
  • Just before serving, stir in Cheddar cheese.
  • Serve with hot corn bread!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 243gCalories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 28.8gProtein: 11.3gFat: 23.3gSaturated Fat: 11.3gCholesterol: 48.1mgSodium: 990.1mgFiber: 4.8gSugar: 0.2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beans, Greens, Long-Grain Rice, One-Dish Meal, Rice, Spinach, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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