Southern 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: 15 minutesTotal: 2 hours 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 1 1⁄4 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1⁄2 cups diced onion
  • 1⁄2 cup diced ham
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted tub margarine
  • 1 Tbsp. bacon fat
  • 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 3⁄4 cups chicken broth


  • Put the black-eyed peas in a large pot and cover them with water to 1 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 teaspoon salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Melt the margarine and bacon fat in a large ovenproof Dutch oven and sauté the rice in it for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and remaining salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and move Dutch oven to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and add the pea mixture. 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.