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Hoppin John with Southern Cornbread

Hoppin John

Hopping John - Savory, smokey, a bit spicy and hearty black-eyed pea stew that is perfect any day of the year. A Southern classic recipe that is super easy to make and richly-flavored. Pair it with rice and cornbread for a much comforting cold-weather dinner!
Course Main
Cuisine Southern
Keyword black eyed peas, hoppin john, peas
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 5
Calories 564kcal
Author Imma


  • 1 pound (453grams) black-eyed peas
  • 4 -5 thick bacon slices , chopped
  • 2 cups smoked turkey or  smoked ham hock , chopped 
  • 1 large onion , diced (about 1 ½ cups )
  • 1 stalk celery , diced (about ½ cup diced)
  • 1 (large ) tablespoon  minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons (2 g) fresh thyme , minced 
  • 1-2 bay Leaves 
  • 6-7 cups (1.5 - 1.7 L) chicken broth  or water
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) Creole seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups rice , cooked rice to serve 
  • green onions for garnishing


  • Rinse dry black-eyed pea beans. Add beans to a large pot covering with 3-4 inches of cold water. Cover and let sit for about 2-3 hours.
  • In a large heavy sauté pan, saute chopped bacon until brown and crispy about 5-6 minutes. Then add smoked ham, saute for about 2-3 more minutes.
  • Throw in the onions, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and saute for about 3-5 minutes, until onions are wilted and aromatic.
  • Then pour in the chicken broth or water.
  • Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and place the beans in the pot. Season with Creole seasoning and salt to taste. Mix and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or more while stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender and slightly thickened to your desire.
  • Add more stock or water if the mixture becomes dry and thick. The texture of the beans should be thick, somewhat creamy but not watery.
  • Remove the bay leaves.
  • Taste and adjust for seasonings with pepper, Creole seasoning, and salt if needed. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onions


  • Soak and brine the beans in cold water, with 3 tablespoons of salt, for at least 3-4 hours before cooking. This is to soften the beans quickly and add more flavor.
  • Make it completely vegan by omitting chicken stock, bacon, ham, or turkey.
  • Spice it up with cayenne, chili flakes, or chili powder. Or more intense fiery peppers like Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, and Serrano.
  • Boil and simmer the beans, uncovered. This will result in a more flavorful and thick Hoppin' John stew.
  • Turn it into Hoppin' John soup by adding more broth or water. A perfect comforting soup for cold weather.
  • Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.


Calories: 564kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 1305mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 452IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 9mg