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Hoppin’ John

Every New Year’s we engage in the tradition of eating black-eyed peas and cabbage for luck and prosperity in the coming year. We all know people who say they don’t care for the taste of the legume. The secret to flavorful canned black-eyed peas, comes first from draining and washing them. Then, like most beans–although called peas, they’re actually beans– it’s what you add to them. What I love about this recipe is its flexibility. I often add carrot slivers, green bell peppers, or bits of broccoli. The flexibility makes it a terrific recipe for beginning cooks.

As we kick 2020 to the curb and ring in 2021, please, everyone, eat your black-eyed peas.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

2 15-ounce cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 cup chicken stock

¼ cup diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon pepper juice (optional)

1 teaspoon salt (additional to taste)

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (additional to taste)

2 green onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, minced

Cooked rice

Shredded cheddar for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and celery. Sauté until onions are translucent, about five minutes.

  2. Stir in black-eyed peas, stock, tomatoes, pepper juice, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Since I prefer it with plenty of juice, I add more stock if needed. Stir in green onion and parsley.

  3. Serve over rice and sprinkle with cheese. I usually add additional minced parsley for garnish.

Servings: 6


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