Hoppin’ John

This dish, a type of pilaf, consists of black-eyed peas and long-grain rice and is traditionally served on New Year’s Eve in the southern United States. The peas are considered a good luck charm.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 hours 55 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 1 1⁄4 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup diced ham
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 3⁄4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley


  • Put the black-eyed peas in a large pot and cover them with water so it goes an inch above the peas. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit for 90 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the peas and return them to the pot along with the water, onion, ham, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. Drain the liquid from the pot and remove the bay leaf. Season pea mixture with 1 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and the pepper and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Add the bacon to a large ovenproof pot set over medium-high heat. Fry until the bacon is crispy. Add the butter and rice and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and remaining salt and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir the simmering rice once, cover, and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and add the pea mixture and parsley. Cover and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, fluff with a fork, and lightly toss to mix the ingredients together. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes, then serve.