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Hoppin’ John

I’m kicking off my brand new retro recipes category with this recipe for Hoppin’ John that dates back to the 1800s.

A vertical closeup photo of Hoppin' John with rice, beans, and scallions in a tan casserole dish.

Hoppin’ John is a delicious and hearty dish made with black-eyed peas, rice, and bacon and is traditionally served for New Year’s celebrations.

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Hoppin’ John is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.

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A vertical closeup image of Hoppin' John in a tan casserole dish with a wooden spoon.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

  • long grain rice
  • chicken stock (or water)
  • bacon
  • black-eyed peas
  • salt and pepper
  • scallions (shown, but not in the original recipe)

Kitchen tool and equipment needed:

  • large skillet with a lid
  • chef’s knife
  • cutting board
  • wooden spoon
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • can opener

How this Kudos Kitchen version of Hoppin’ John came to be:

I acquired many of my mother-in-law’s old cookbooks after she’d passed away.

While it may have taken me many years to finally decide to use (and cook) from them, this is the first “official” retro recipe I’ve decided to post.

This Hoppin’ John recipe comes from the “regional favorites” chapter from the cookbook named The Complete Family Cookbook, published in January of 1970, and found on page 403.

While The Complete Family Cookbook (found at the Amazon affiliate link above) is now considered a collector’s item, but let me assure you that my copy surely is not, with it’s ripped off cover, and many stained and dog-eared pages.

However, to me, my copy is priceless because it was well used and well-loved. And it comes from my mother-in-law’s kitchen where she fixed many meals for her big family of ten.

My Hoppin’ John adaptations:

Even though I’m following the original recipe somewhat closely, I also needed to put my thumbprint and updated spin to the classic.

Since I had chicken broth in my refrigerator, and also some chopped scallions that I needed to use before they went bad, I cooked the rice in the chicken broth and topped the Hoppin’ John with scallions (seen in some of the photos) as a garnish for a little bit of extra color, and flavor.

Other than those two changes, the recipe remains pretty much the same (except for quantities).

A horizontal closeup of a forkful of Hoppin' John with rice, bacon, and black-eyed peas in a tan casserole dish.

How did Hoppin’ John get its name?

There are many different versions of how Hoppin’ John got its name just as there are as many different versions of the recipe itself.

The one I like best is that the children used to all hop around the table when it’s time to eat this dish because they were all so excited.

I have a feeling it’s not the most accurate, but that’s the one I’m going with.

Where did this bean and rice dish originate?

The first written recipe for Hoppin’ John appeared in a cookbook named The Carolina Housewife written back in 1847. The link listed here is for a hardcover facsimile of the original.

Why are black-eyed peas said to be good luck?

Southern history tells it that black-eyed peas represent coins. So by eating them on New Year’s Day you’ll be bringing good fortune into your life for the entire year.

For more fun facts about Hoppin’ John check out the following:

Hoppin’ John Recipe and HistoryWhat’s Cooking America

How to make Hoppin’ John:

  • Cut the thick sliced bacon into ½” pieces.
  • Fry in a large skillet until almost crisp.
  • Drain the bacon on paper towels and reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet. Reserve the drained bacon fat for another use.
  • Add 1½ cups of long-grain white rice to the skillet and stir well to coat the rice in the bacon drippings.
  • Add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper to the skillet and stir well.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken broth is absorbed.
  • Add the drained black-eyed peas to the rice and stir gently to combine.
  • Spoon the Hoppin’ John into a 1½ quart casserole dish and top with the drained bacon.
  • Cover and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Top with chopped scallions (if desired).
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
An overhead horizontal photo of Hoppin' John in a round tan casserole dish with scallions and a wooden spoon.

Additional retro recipes you’ll also enjoy:

*Grated Sweet Potato Pudding (shown below, and showcased in the featured video).

Old-Fashioned Grated Sweet Potato Pudding tastes a little like a pumpkin, or sweet potato pie, with the full-bodied flavors of molasses, cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg. It’s a rustic dessert that is easy to make using simple ingredients and requires no fancy equipment.

A small bowl of Old-Fashioned Grated Sweet Potato Pudding along with a large bowl in the background with an orange napkin.

*Great-Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Applesauce Cake (shown below)

My Great Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Applesauce Cake goes back many generations in my family. Great Grandma Patterson may have called it Fence Cake, but I call it delicious!!

A horizontal photo of Old-Fashioned Apple Sauce Cake on a pretty square plate with china cup and saucer in the background.

*Vintage Rocks Cookies (shown below)

This vintage cookie recipe dates back to the 1930s. Vintage Rocks Cookies are fast and easy to make and don’t require any special equipment. A large bowl and a spoon will work wonderfully well. After all, if it was good enough for grandma…

Vintage Rocks Cookies on a platter with a cookie sheet and cookies in the background

*Hoppin’ John (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!

A vertical image of Hoppin' John in a small brown bowl with a large tan casserole in the background and a title text overlay graphic.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s super simple Southern-born rice and beans dish of Hoppin’ John.

If you’ve made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thank you. 🙂

A tan casserole dish filled with Hoppin' John with a spoon and a casserole lid in the background.

Hoppin’ John

Renee – Kudos Kitchen
Hoppin' John is a delicious and hearty dish made with black-eyed peas, rice, and bacon and traditionally served for New Year's celebrations and other delicious times of the year!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Cuisine American Comfort Food
Servings 8 servings
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • ½ pound thick cut bacon
  • cups long-grain white rice
  • cups chicken broth or stock
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can 15 ounces black-eyed peas (drained)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions optional

Instructions
 

  • Cut the bacon into pieces and cook it until almost crispy in a large skillet. Remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  • Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the skillet.
  • Add the rice to the skillet along with the bacon fat. Cook over medium heat stirring to coat the rice with the bacon fat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover the skillet and cook until the rice is tender and the chicken broth has been absorbed (approximately 20 minutes).
  • Add the drained black-eyed peas to the cooked rice and stir gently to combine.
  • Add the rice and beans mixture to a 1½ quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and top with chopped scallions (if desired).
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1
Keyword Black-eyed pea side dish, Good Luck side dish, hoppin’ John, New Years recipe, rice and beans
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen!

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s retro recipe for Southern beans and rice as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!!

A vertical closeup photo of some Hoppin' John rice and beans casserole in a dish with a wooden spoon.

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

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Recipe Rating




Justine

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

Make this every New Year! So good!