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Hot Bacon Hoppin’ John

Gimme a big steaming bowl of this Hoppin John any time of year. Stars of the show? Earthy black eye peas and hickory smoked bacon. This Southern dish goes waaaaay back…but we’ve put our own little spin on it. Serve hot with Carolina Gold rice for a filling meal you’ll learn to crave.

a bowl of rice and peas

Hoppin’ John…a tried and true Southern classic.

There are countless recipes out there for the old standard Hoppin’ John. The recipe comes from humble and storied roots … from the Lowcountry of the Carolinas.

This basic meal is made of black eye peas and is generally eaten for good luck on New Year’s Day.

Me? I’m ready for some good luck 365 days a year. Here’s my own version of this Southern classic. Instead of ham, I used crisp, cooked bacon. And instead of the traditional bell pepper, I got a little wild and used fresh jalapeno. (Seeded of course. I’m wild, but not totally crazy…yet.)

overhead picture of rice, onion, celery and jalapeno

Ingredients Needed to Make Hoppin’ John (our version):

  • Hickory smoked bacon – thick cut is best
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeno
  • Black eye peas – frozen or dried
  • Cajun / Creole seasoning
  • Ground thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Chicken broth – reduced sodium
  • Rice, water, butter, pepper – We’ll give you an easy baked method to prepare the rice while the Hoppin’ John is simmering.

Many hoppin John recipes call for ham. This recipe will be great with ham. Me? I had a pack of thick cut bacon that was just the thing.

Once the bacon renders down, the combo of celery, onion, garlic, and jalapeno sizzle together to create this heavenly mixture that really gets my taste buds going.

TIP: The jalapeno is for flavor, not to add a lot of heat. I recommend completely seeding the pepper before adding it to the recipe.

crisp hickory smoked bacon on a wooden spoon, perfect addition to hoppin john

There’s usually no need to add extra salt to this recipe because of the combined salt content in the bacon, Cajun / Creole seasoning, and the chicken broth. Be sure to taste before reseasoning.

a skillet of bacon, celery and onion

How to Make Hoppin’ John:

  1. First, cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet, cook the bacon on medium high until crisp. Transfer bacon to dish, but do not drain.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Then, in the bacon drippings, cook the celery and onions, stirring. Cook for 5 minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Next, stir in the jalapeno and garlic, cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the black eye peas, seasoning blend, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir in the broth.
  5. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for about 1 hour until the peas are tender.
  7. While the Hoppin John is simmering, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×12 baking pan with non stick spray. In the pan, stir together 2 cups of chicken broth, a tablespoon of butter, a pinch of black pepper, and 1 cup of rice.
  8. Cover with foil, and bake for 35 minutes. Remove, let stand for 5 minutes, and fluff with a fork before serving.
  9. To serve, add a serving of rice to a dish. Spoon a helping of Hoppin John over the rice.

You can use regular long grain white rice if you’d like. But if you can get your hands on it, Carolina Gold is the perfect rice to serve with Hoppin’ Jhn. It has a nice texture and a light nutty flavor. So good!

More Recipes You Might Like:

Nothing Fancy Smoked Sausage Skillet

Traditional Cornbread Recipe

Cheesy Squash Casserole

black eye peas simmering with bacon, celery, onion, and jalapeno

What I love most about this recipe is how simple it is, yet utterly satisfying. The ingredients are basic, but the way they are prepared meld together to make magic.

a pan of hoppin' john

I’ve seen versions of Hoppin John where the rice is added into the black eye pea mixture. You can do that if you’d prefer. I like to serve it over the rice, so each person can decide how much they want.

Serve Hoppin John with hot biscuits or cornbread, and baby, you’re in heaven.

A white dish with rice topped with stewed black eye peas (aka Hoppin John) served with biscuits.

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Hot Bacon Hoppin' John
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5 from 1 vote

Hot Bacon Hoppin’ John

Southern-inspired dish made with earthy black eye peas and hickory smoked bacon.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword hoppin john
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 378kcal
Author Buy This Cook That

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bacon cut into bite-sized pieces, cooked
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 onion peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
  • 12 ounces black eye peas frozen works best
  • 3/4 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups chicken broth

For the Rice

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Carolina Gold rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Instructions

  • First, cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet, cook the bacon on medium high until crisp. Transfer bacon to dish, but do not drain.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Then, in the bacon drippings, cook the celery and onions, stirring. Cook for 5 minutes until they start to soften.
  • Next, stir in the jalapeno and garlic, cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the black eye peas, seasoning blend, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir in the broth.
  • Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer for about 1 hour until the peas are tender.

For the Rice

  • While the Hoppin John is simmering, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×12 baking pan with non stick spray. In the pan, stir together 2 cups of chicken broth, a tablespoon of butter, a pinch of black pepper, and 1 cup of rice.
  • Cover with foil, and bake for 35 minutes. Remove, let stand for 5 minutes, and fluff with a fork before serving.
  • To serve, add a serving of rice to a dish. Spoon a helping of Hoppin John over the rice.

Notes

If preparing using dried black eye peas, add about 1 cup more water or broth to the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 1005mg | Potassium: 522mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg

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What People Are Saying

Excellent! My husband, daughter and grandson loved them. They really do fall off the bone. Very delicious flavour.

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5
2019-11-15T22:17:45-06:00
Excellent! My husband, daughter and grandson loved them. They really do fall off the bone. Very delicious flavour.
This was a huge hit. I’ve made white chicken chili recipes before and they we’re always too salty. This one...

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5
2019-11-15T22:19:31-06:00
This was a huge hit. I’ve made white chicken chili recipes before and they we’re always too salty. This one was perfect.
This was by far the best steak I have ever cooked, possibly one of the beast meals I have ever...

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5
2020-03-02T11:47:59-06:00
This was by far the best steak I have ever cooked, possibly one of the beast meals I have ever cooked...
These wings are amazing. So close to the ones we got at our local pub. Thank you so much.

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5
2020-07-07T21:31:48-05:00
These wings are amazing. So close to the ones we got at our local pub. Thank you so much.
I never hop on and review someone’s blog recipe but I had to come on and compliment your recipe! this...

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5
2020-08-17T11:23:49-05:00
I never hop on and review someone’s blog recipe but I had to come on and compliment your recipe! this was KILLER! Thanks for sharing!! My BBQ obsessed husband approves!
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