Easy Hoppin’ John Recipe: A Hearty, Inexpensive Meal

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This easy Hoppin’ John recipe is the perfect way to try your hand at cooking soul food!

There are 2 reasons why I absolutely LOVE Hoppin’ John!

One reason is how stick-to-your-ribs delicious this dish is!

The 2nd reason is that it is also believed to bring good luck to those who eat it on New Year’s Day.


Well, because two of the main ingredients, black eyed peas and pork, symbolize wealth and prosperity.

Check out more Good Luck Traditions for the New Year to totally tip the odds in your favor!

Hoppin’ John Recipe

Some consider Hoppin’ John to be a side dish, but you can also serve it as your main entree.

Cook a side of greens and some cornbread to go with it and you’ll bring yourself even more good luck!

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

The History of Hoppin’ John

Did you know that this recipe originated in the Carolinas?

Check out this article by What’s Cooking America.

Variations For Making This Dish

You can vary this Hoppin’ John recipe based on your personal preferences.

For instance, some people prefer to use bacon instead of ham.

In my recipe, I use a ham hock to give it a nice hearty, seasoned taste.

Once everything cooks and is ready, I then cut up the ham hock and remove any fatty pieces.

Then, I add it back into the Hoppin’ John.

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

Hoppin’ John is Easy to Make

This recipe is so easy to make and is great on a cold, lazy day, like New Year’s Day.

As you can see from the pictures, all of the ingredients are super easy to find and inexpensive.

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

All you need to do is sear the ham hock on all sides in heated olive oil.

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

Then add chopped onion, green pepper, and celery.

Let that cook for a few minutes and then add minced garlic.

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

After that, I added canned black eyed peas.

Using canned black eyed peas saves the step of cooking dry black eyed peas.

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

Then, pour in the chicken broth and let it simmer for a while.

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

Easy Hoppin’ John Recipe

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

Housewives of Frederick County
Delicious, stick-to-your-ribs meal that is also believed to bring good luck to the new year!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, I used minced garlic
  • 1 lb black eyed peas, soaked overnight & rinsed, I used (2) 15.5 oz cans
  • 1 quart chicken stock, I used (2) 32 oz boxes
  • 1 bay leaf , optional
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • To taste sea salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
  • As needed water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 4 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 5 thick slices cooked ham, chopped into bite size pieces


  • Heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add ham hock & sear on all sides until nicely browned; a couple of minutes per side.
  • Add the chopped onion, celery, & green pepper.
  • Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until softened.
  • Stir in the garlic & continue to cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add black eyed peas, chicken stock, and spices.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes until the peas are creamy & tender, stirring occasionally; adding additional water or chicken stock if necessary.
  • Remove ham hock and cut into bite size pieces, removing the fatty parts. Then add it back into the stock pot.
  • Add cooked ham.
  • Heat through for another 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the green onions and serve warm over rice.
Keyword beans and rice, hoppin john, hopping john, hopping john recipe

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe

This Dish Can Be Served Year-Round

This is the perfect comfort food type dish!

BUT, why save it for just one day out of the entire year?

This dish is so yummy, I’m going to keep it in my recipe circulation for us to eat more often.

Terri’s family came over right when it was ready to eat.

Naturally, I offered them a bowl. 

Between the 7 of us, we polished it off except for one bowl’s worth, which I’m getting ready to go eat now for lunch!

By the way, according to folklore, eating leftover Hoppin’ John is called Skippin’ Jenny, and that’s considered to be good luck as well!

Who knew?

Check out some of our other comfort food recipes, like our

Slow Cooker Pork, Carrot, & Chickpea Stew

Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew

White Chicken Chili

Chicken & Dumplings

Have you ever made Hoppin’ John before?

Tell us in the comments how you make it!

Easy Hoppin' John Recipe: A Hearty, Inexpensive Meal

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