Hoppin’ John for a Lucky New Year

Hoppin' John Recipe for Good Luck in The New Year by Spicie Foodie

Can you believe we are hours away from wrapping up 2012? I’m still wondering where the past 364 days went. Like any other year, and like many of you, there was good and there was some bad too. Through it all I try to count myself lucky for all the good and all that I have. (And anyone that knows me personally and deeply knows I’m not referring to material possessions.) As 2012 comes to a close I think it is best to focus on the ups and be hopeful for a great 2013. I take the lessons learned this past year and with them I move forward.

Hoppin' John Recipe for Good Luck in The New Year by Spicie Foodie

Seeing 2013 straight ahead I feel emotional, excited, nervous but also ready to see where the road takes me. This year I haven’t made any resolutions. Not sure that I will. Instead of resolutions all I can think of is just moving forward and taking one day at a time. Everyone moves forward differently. Many rely on themselves, spouses, family and friends to guide them through. Some may also find solace in their religion, while others get a little extra help from superstitions.

Dried Black Eyed Peas for Hoppin' John Recipe by Spicie Foodie

I don’t follow any of the religions of the book but rather a life philosophy leaning towards Zen. When it comes to superstitions I’m not a believer. Though I do find some fascinating and others downright silly. Okay I really should admit that some of them just stuck with me since childhood. For example I never walk under a ladder, I knock on wood, cross my fingers for good luck, and I don’t sweep after dark because…I like the excuse of not having to do house chores. (lol) I also think people should stop carrying around dismembered parts of rabbits, leave black cats and our poor mothers’ backs alone. But if a superstition involving food crosses my path then I’m game.

Hoppin' John Recipe for Good Luck in The New Year by Spicie Foodie

There is a superstition from the southern US states saying that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck and prosperity in the new year. The peas are cooked into a stewed dish called Hoppin’ John. Traditionally the peas represent pennies or coins, greens like Collard, mustard, chard, kale and cabbage are the color of money and were added for extra wealth. Cornbread which is the same color of gold is served as a representative of wealth. (Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money! lol) If you do a quick search for Hoppin’ John you’ll come across countless recipes. Some serving just the beans, others with rice on the side or mixed in, some with cornbread on the side, cooked with bacon or with ham hocks. I wanted to Spicie Foodie-fy ours and serve how we normally eat our bean stews. Here’s the recipe.

Hoppin' John Recipe for Good Luck in The New Year by Spicie Foodie

5.0 from 6 reviews
Hoppin' John Recipe The Spicie Foodie Way
Start the new year with a full belly and with plenty of good luck. Hoppin' John for a Lucky New Year
Recipe type: Stew, New Year's, Holiday, Beans
Cuisine: American
Serves: 3-4
  • 320 g or 2 cups dried black-eyed peas*
  • 100 g English or American bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stick & leaves too, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 spicy green chile, finely chopped
  • 1.5 liters or 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp paprika for color, optional
To Serve:
  • cornbread muffins or regular cornbread
*I soaked the peas overnight to shorten cooking time.
  1. Drain the peas and cook until soft, or about one hour. Drain boiling water and set peas aside. In a large pot cook fry the bacon for about 2 minutes. In the same pot add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add bell pepper and celery and cook for another 2 minutes. Next add the garlic and spicy green chile to the pot. Cook just until they begin to soften. Add the boiled peas, bay leaf, black pepper and broth. Cover and simmer until the peas have cooked all the way through. Remove the lid, add salt and paprika to the pot. Continue simmering until most of the broth has been absorbed. Leaving as much liquid in the pot as you like. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed before serving.
To Serve:
  1. Serve the Hoppin' John over cornbread muffins sliced in half, or over slices of regular cornbread.
Additional Serving Option:
  1. If you don't fancy cornbread then serve on top of or mixed in with steamed white rice.
Need a cornbread muffin recipe? Here's mine http://www.spiciefoodie.com/2012/05/23/eggless-yogurt-corn-muffins-and-mays-ybr-signup/ For the Hoppin' John I left out the chile called for in the muffin recipe.

Hoppin' John Recipe for Good Luck in The New Year by Spicie Foodie

Even if I don’t believe in the superstition at least I’m starting 2013 off with a full belly and a yummy meal. I’ve another batch of black-eyed peas soaking for tomorrow’s dinner.

Hoppin' John Recipe for Good Luck in The New Year by Spicie Foodie


Have a very Happy New Year’s celebration. Be safe, dream big, take a chance and keep moving forward. Salud, Cheers and Na zdravĺ!!


Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie



  1. says

    With a Mom born and raised in Georgia, I grew up eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day. Never missed it. Now, though I can find dried black-eyed peas occasionally here in Mexico (where we have soooo many great dried beans!), I usually have to substitute.
    Thanks for letting us see your version. And sincere wishes for a Próspero Año Nuevo.

  2. says

    Happy New Year Nancy!! Wishing you all the best this year has to offer! Thank you for being such a wonderful and support blogger friend. We have to stick together since we share a birthday. :) May your year be filled with all the joy and happiness you deserve… and you deserve a lot. See you around the blogs in 2013! :)

    Love hoppin john! Someday I hope my photos will be as beautiful as you photos!

  3. Eha says

    I had absolutely no idea about Hoppin’ John until I clicked on the computer awhile ago! Yet I had ‘naturally’ finished something very similar for lunch! OK, OK, with chickpeas and French sausage, but surely that counts :) ! Not an easy dish to photograph, yet you have made an artwork out of it! So, onto 2013 and may all the fairies floating above you make it a wonderful year!!!

  4. says

    When I first moved to Knoxville, my then mother-in-law was appalled when I said I didn’t eat black eyed peas. “How will you have any luck at all? You’ll bring the whole family down!”
    So I ate them but they certainly didn’t look this good. :)

  5. says

    I’m with you on no New Year’s resolutions. I think they just set us up to fail.
    We all follow certain superstitions because they are bred into us from birth and we hear them all through our childhood. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t make us too anxious.

  6. says

    Happy new year to you! Love this post and the recipe. I wish I’d had it earlier because it would have been a great post-hangover lunch!

  7. says

    I grew up in a very superstitious family so even though I know intellectually that this stuff isn’t true, I still do things like knocking on wood. I can’t help myself! This looks delicious, especially with the cornbread–yum! I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  8. says

    Hello Nancy, happy new year to you, have a wonderful and productive year! I with you the best! Your recipes are very delicious and beautiful.

  9. says

    Happy New Years!!!! My husbands asked me why I didn’t make these beans today, lol. I’m not superstitious either. I think you are on the right path, the path called the one that’s right for you. I’m looking forward to the new year and all that it will bring, glad you will be in it.

    • says

      Hi Gina,
      Well too bad we aren’t neighbors so you guys could have come over. Thanks sweetie:) Best wishes to you and also glad to have you be a part of the new year. Hugs!!

  10. says

    I love love love Hoppin’ John! A friend made it for me today, but this recipe looks delish. I’m saving it for next year. Happy new year, and I hope your black-eyed peas bring good fortune in 2013!

  11. says

    I love Hoppin John and serve every New years! I shared my recipe this year as well! Looks like we’re both are going to have a prosperous 2013 – WooHoo!!!! :) Happy New Year my friend and thanks for sharing so much this year!

  12. says

    Yummy. I make black eyed peas a lot and this is a great new recipe ! Happy new year to you. Looking forward to new inspiration from your blog… especially your fabulous photography tips !!

  13. says

    Funny how different cultures can share very similar traditions. In Italy, as you may know, they eat lentils for good luck and prosperity, since they are said to resemble coins. Usually accompanied by a very fatty sausage known as cotechino. The fat in the sausage also symbolizes prosperity… Although Hoppin’ John is closer to home, we follow the Italian tradition is our house. Il buon sangue non mente…


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