I need to fess up to something that I’m not sure I’ve ever admitted. It’s not a good thing to admit to in the South, but…here goes: I don’t like black-eyed peas. There, I’ve said it. Now, I’m the type who will eat whatever is placed in front of me, so I’ve eaten plenty, but I’ve never finished the serving or asked for seconds.

That said, I have long believed that I could create a Hoppin John recipe for those like me. Yes, the traditional black-eyed pea is used — a must-eat on New Year’s day to bring good luck the whole year long — but somehow this recipe transforms this legume into one that I actually will crave and has my kids and husband asking for seconds. I’d say THAT is perfection!

Note: I am going vegan on Jan. 2, at least for 6 weeks, as a challenge. My dad is doing this with me. So, the irony that this has ham in it and that the grits have butter and cream is not lost on me. Just sayin…

New Year's Essential: Hoppin John

Liza Graves
A great Hoppin John that even kids and people who don't like black eyed peas will enjoy! Instead of serving with rice, I have paired it with creamy, buttery yellow corn grits!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish, Main Course or Side, Main dish
Cuisine Southern, American/Southern
Servings 6
Calories 74 kcal


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded, deveined and minced
  • 2 cans Margaret Holmes Seasoned Black Eyed Peas
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes mild
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz smoked ham Boar's Head, diced


  • Heat saucepan over medium heat with olive oil. Add celery, onion and jalapeno and saute, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  • Add both cans of black-eyed peas along with all ingredients and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  • You are done! Now, cook your grits.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 74kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 247mgPotassium: 122mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 80IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Keyword holiday
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!

I served the peas over little potatoes (first photo), as well as over yellow grits. I prefer the grits, but some people aren’t grits people, so I provided the option!

Heavenly Grits:

  • 2 cups yellow grits
  • 6 cups water
  • 1T ham Better Than Bouillon (a flavoring base)
  • 1 t salt (or to taste… grits need lots of salt while cooking!)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/3 cup diced chives

Add grits and water and bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Note: grits are dangerous to cook as they “pop,” so if you have little ones around, don’t let them help with the grits.

Once heat is reduced, add Ham “Better than Bouillon” and salt and finish cooking, approx 10 minutes.

Add butter, half & half and diced chives. Serve Hoppin John on top of grits for complete yumminess!

My photography helper, Charlie, who really wants to be on StyleBlueprint today!