12 Delicious Ways with Hoppin' John Perfect for New Year's Day

Hoppin' John Soup
Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

For many Southerners, New Year's Day means we're eating Hoppin' John with a side of collard greens and cornbread. A bowlful of this classic recipe filled with black-eyed peas, Carolina Gold rice, and ham hock (or bacon) ensures we kick off the year with a promise of good fortune. The black-eyed peas represent coins or, because they swell when cooked, growing prosperity. Collard greens represent paper money, and cornbread looks something akin to gold.

Southerners eat this sacred trio because we're a tad superstitious. For those who aren't, it certainly doesn't hurt to chow on a New Year's Day meal this delicious. Hoppin' John might be ultra-traditional, but we're not afraid of tweaking it. Try our classic versions, whether made in the slow-cooker or served as a soup, or try something different, like our crispy Hoppin' John cakes and hush puppies. Whatever you choose, make one of these delicious Hoppin' John recipes New Year's Day.

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Classic Hoppin' John

Classic Hoppin’ John
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Mary-Claire Britton

Recipe: Classic Hoppin' John

Consider this the ultimate classic recipe. When served for the New Year, this Lowcountry dish promises prosperity with its perfect blend of Carolina Gold rice, black-eyed peas, and bacon.

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Hoppin' John Cakes with Tomato-Jalapeño Gravy

Hoppin' John Cakes with Tomato-Jalapeño Gravy
Photo: Alison Miksch

Recipe: Hoppin' John Cakes with Tomato-Jalapeño Gravy

These crispy cakes will make you rethink the one-pot version, at least for the day. A tomato-jalapeño gravy gives a warm, slightly fiery finishing touch.

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Slow-Cooker Hoppin' John

Hoppin’ John
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Hoppin' John

If you're still nursing the post-holiday blues, this slow-cooker rendition makes it almost too easy to get back in the spirit. Just set it, and forget about it until dinnertime.

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Hoppin' John with Braised Oxtail

Hoppin' John
Erin Kunkel; Styling: Melissa Padilla

Recipe: Hoppin' John with Braised Oxtail

Chef Sheldon Simeon updated the Lowcountry staple with braised oxtail as a nod to his time on Top Chef in Charleston.

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Hoppin' John Hush Puppies

Hoppin' John Hush Puppies
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Recipe: Hoppin' John Hush Puppies

We transformed this Lowcountry classic into a crispy, satisfying fritter—you can thank us later. Serve these bites with our tomato-corn relish, and it's absolute snackable heaven.

06 of 12

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
Photography and Styling: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Woke up late after ringing in the New Year? Here's a shortcut to getting your black-eyed peas in. Just add sides of collard greens and cornbread.

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Summer Hoppin' John Salad

Summer Hoppin' John Salad
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Summer Hoppin' John Salad

We'd happily serve Hoppin' John all year long, and this salad variationworks from New Year's Day to summertime picnics.

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Hoppin' John Stew with White Cheddar Cheese Grits

Hoppin' John Stew with White Cheddar Cheese Grits
Photo: Van Chaplin

Recipe: Hoppin' John Stew with White Cheddar Cheese Grits

As far as we're concerned, grits are never an unwelcome idea. Though we're generally partial to Carolina Gold rice, these cheesy grits have us feeling okay about the switch.

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Hoppin' John Salad

Hoppin' John Salad
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Hoppin' John Salad

Trust us, this dish uses the term "salad" loosely. Kick off the year feeling good with this take on Hoppin' John with fresh mint, parsley, and jalapeño peppers.

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Hoppin' John Stew

Hoppin’ John Stew
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Recipe: Hoppin' John Stew

Smoked sausage is the unabashed star of this stew. This Hoppin' John recipe feeds a crowd.

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Limpin' Susan

okra in a box and on a table
Helen Norman/Dotdash Meredith

Recipe: Limpin' Susan

If you want to make a deliciously complimentary dish to enjoy with your Hoppin' John, try this okra-based recipe.

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Hoppin' John Soup

Hoppin' John Soup
Johnny Autry; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Hoppin' John Soup

The most important rule in making Hoppin' John is to cook everything together in the same pot. This soup makes it easy. Smoked turkey wings, country ham, and collard greens make it overflow with flavor.

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