Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (2024)

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Author: Imma

Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe or Hoppin’ John is a hearty and soul-warming delicacy. This black-eyed peas recipe is smokey, spicy, and pure satisfaction with a deep yet not overwhelming bacon flavor. And it’s a traditional Southern dish served on New Year’s Day to bring good luck!

I love anything with beans! Perhaps it started back in grade school when my aunt would cook beans for dinner in its modest rusticity – onions, salt, and oil, nothing fancy. Just that simple recipe made all of my troubles go away like magic.

And now that autumn is here, this Southern Black-Eyed Peas recipe is just the perfect dish to give as comforting soul-satisfying goodness to warm us up in this cold weather. This dish will surely remind you of home and nostalgic, happy memories. So relaxing and warm, indeed! ❤️


Classic New Year’s Recipe for Good Luck
Recipe Ingredients
How to Make It
Recipe Variations
Tips and Tricks
Make-Ahead And Storage Instructions
What to Serve
More Traditional Southern Dishes To Try
Watch How to Make It

Classic New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas for Good Luck

Black-eyed peas were first cultivated in North Africa and eventually became popular worldwide. Then they arrived in the southern U.S. in the 17th century. Southerners believe eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day brings good luck and a slew of other beautiful things. They associate them with prosperity as the beans resemble pennies and coins.

Recipe Ingredients

  1. Black-Eyed Peas – These beans with a slightly smoky flavor are high in protein and fiber, making them not just nutritious but also incredibly delicious.
  2. Bacon and Smoked Sausage – The smoky flavor is highly addicting and add more meaty goodness to this black-eyed peas recipe. Ham and leftover smoked turkey are also excellent additions.
  3. Aromatics – Enjoy the exceptional fragrance of caramelized onion and garlic. Additionally, the earthy, herby aroma from thyme, celery, and bay leaf fills the kitchen with fantastic smells.
  4. Jalapenos – This optional ingredient is a must-have if you love spicy food. However, you can substitute it with pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce if you want to mellow down the spicy level.
  5. Seasonings – Aside from salt and pepper, you can also add a pop of color and flavor with Creole seasoning.
  6. Chicken Broth – This is your soup base bursting with chicken essence and rich umami flavors.
  7. Collard Greens – Black-eyed beans symbolize pennies. Collard greens, on the other hand, represent bills in this lucky dish. Plus, adding greens makes it more nourishing.

How to Make Black-Eyed Peas Recipe

Prep the Peas

  • Soak – Rinse dry black-eyed pea beans and pick through and discard any foreign object. Add beans to a large pot, covering them with 3-4 inches of cold water. Let sit for 2-3 hours.
  • Cook the Bacon and Sausage – In a large, heavy sauté pan, saute chopped bacon until brown and crispy for about 4-5 minutes, then add sausage and saute for about 2-3 more minutes. Remove bacon and sausage mixture, and set aside.
  • Saute – Toss in the onions, celery, garlic, jalapenos, thyme, and bay leaf, then saute for 5 minutes or so until the onions become translucent and the seasoning aromatic.

Cook the Peas

  • Add Liquid – Then pour in the chicken broth or water.
  • Season – Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and place the beans in the pot. And season with creole seasoning and salt to taste. Mix and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer – Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
  • Add Collard Greens and Meat – Throw in the collard greens, bacon, and sausage into the pot, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or more, stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender and slightly thickened to your desire.
  • Final Touch – Add more stock or water if the mixture becomes dry and thick. The texture of the beans should be thick and somewhat creamy but not watery. Remove the bay leaves.
  • Serve – Taste and adjust for seasonings with pepper, Creole seasoning, and salt if needed. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onion.

Recipe Variations

  1. Vegan – You may omit the meat and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. And to make this dish more nutritious, you can add carrots and bell peppers.
  2. Crockpot Southern Black-Eyed Peas – This one is more effortless but equally delicious. Put everything in the crockpot, and you’ll have your dinner ready in 5-6 hours on high and about 9-10 hours on low. Imagine the things you can accomplish in those waiting hours. 😉
  3. Tropical Twist – Make these black-eyed peas with bacon and pork creamy and interestingly yummy with coconut milk. And I bet you’ll love this dish even more.
  4. Tomato – Fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce will also add a nice variation to this Hoppin John recipe. The kick of tangy goodness will surely make your tastebuds happy.

Tips and Tricks

  1. You may substitute the dried black-eyed peas with canned ones. However, you won’t need to cook them for long. Just add them 10 minutes before the dish finishes cooking, so they have time to heat through.
  2. For a thicker consistency, I suggest mashing a few softened beans against the side of the pot with the back of your spoon. The mashed beans will make a creamier and thicker broth. Or remove about a cup, puree them in a blender or food processor, and then pour the puree back into the pot and give it a good stir.

Making-Ahead and Storage Instructions

Surprisingly, this bean stew freezes well. So go for it and make a big batch. It’ll come in handy when the craving hits.❤️

  1. Store – Transfer the black-eyed peas stew into a clean, airtight container or heavy-duty freezer-safe ziplock bags once cooled.
  2. Refrigeratefor 3-5 days or freeze for 6 months. Pack them in a freezer bag, either the whole thing or in single-serving sizes for easy thawing and reheating.
  3. Reheat – Thaw overnight in the fridge when ready to serve. Reheat in a pan on medium-low heat or in a microwave. You may add more chicken broth or water as needed.

Note: Discard unconsumed reheated leftovers as they are more prone to bacterial growth if placed back in the fridge.


Do I need to soak black-eyed peas before cooking?

Technically, you don’t need to soak black-eyed peas. However, soaking them for a few hours or overnight shortens the cooking time.

How do you make black-eyed peas taste better?

Adding bacon, sausage, and seasonings intensifies this dish’s flavor. But if you want to take this dish to another level, I suggest adding tomato sauce or coconut milk.

Why do you put a penny in black-eyed peas?

As a tradition, Southerners put clean pennies and dimes into their pot of black-eyed peas believing they’ll bring luck and prosperity. And people believe that the one who gets the most coins in their bowl is the luckiest.

What to Serve with Black-Eyed Peas

Double your luck by serving this black-eyed peas recipe with these incredible side dishes below.

  1. Collard Greens
  2. Akara (Black-Eyed Peas Fritters)
  3. Easy Dinner Rolls
  4. Sauteed Brussel Sprouts
  5. Skillet Cornbread

More Traditional Southern Dishes

  1. Southern Mac and Cheese
  2. Butter Biscuits
  3. Southern Fried Cabbage
  4. New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
  5. Southern Deviled Eggs


This Southern black-eyed pea recipe will indeed make you feel lucky once you taste it. What is your favorite Southern soul-food recipe? And if you want more mouthwatering recipes, subscribe to my newsletter for the latest and greatest. 😉

Watch How to Make It

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”8AgprXDl” upload-date=”2019-04-01T07:08:53.000Z” name=”Black Eyed Peas Recipe” description=”Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe or Hoppin’ John is a hearty, warm and soulful food. This black eyed peas recipe is smokey, spicy with a deep yet not too overwhelming bacon flavor. A Southern traditional dish served on New Year’s Day to bring good luck charm!”]

This blog post was originally published in December 2017 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.

Looking for more recipes? Follow on…

Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (8)


Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe

Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe or Hoppin' John is a hearty and soul-warming delicacy. This black-eyed peas recipe is smokey, spicy, and pure satisfaction with a deep yet not overwhelming bacon flavor. And it's a traditional Southern dish served on New Year's Day to bring good luck!

4.99 from 331 votes


  • 1 pound (453g) black-eyed peas
  • 4-5 thick slices bacon, chopped
  • 5 ounces smoked sausage or turkey, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2-3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 optional jalapeno, minced (can replace with ¼ teaspoon cayenne)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 7-8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups (or more) collard greens (or you can use kale)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Rinse dry black-eyed pea beans, pick through, and discard any foreign objects. Add beans to a large pot and cover with 3-4 inches of cold water. Let sit for 2-3 hours (or overnight).

  • In a large, heavy sauté pan, saute chopped bacon until brown and crispy (4-5 minutes), then add sausage and saute for 2-3 more minutes. Remove bacon and sausage mixture, and set aside.

  • Throw in the onions, celery, garlic, jalapenos, thyme, and bay leaf, and saute for 3-5 minutes until the onions are wilted and aromatic.

  • Then pour in the chicken broth or water.

  • Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and place them in the pot. Season with Creole seasoning and salt to taste. Stir and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes.

  • Toss the collard greens, bacon, and sausage into the pot, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or more, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the broth thickens to your desired texture.

  • Add more stock or water if the mixture becomes dry and thick. The texture of the beans should be thick and somewhat creamy but not watery.

  • Remove the bay leaf.

  • Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning if needed. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped green onion.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 240g| Calories: 245kcal (12%)| Carbohydrates: 27g (9%)| Protein: 17g (34%)| Fat: 9g (14%)| Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)| Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g| Monounsaturated Fat: 4g| Trans Fat: 0.002g| Cholesterol: 17mg (6%)| Sodium: 310mg (13%)| Potassium: 730mg (21%)| Fiber: 9g (38%)| Sugar: 4g (4%)| Vitamin A: 4173IU (83%)| Vitamin C: 32mg (39%)| Calcium: 227mg (23%)| Iron: 3mg (17%)

Author: Imma

Course: Main

Cuisine: Southern

Diet: Gluten Free

Tag Us On Instagram!Did you make this recipe? I love hearing how it turned out! Tag me on Instagram @ImmaculateBites and be sure to leave a rating below!

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Comments & Reviews
  1. Amber says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (9)
    I’ve tried several black eyed pea recipes, but this is the only one I will make from now on. Delicious recipe!


    • Imma says

      Thank you, Amber! Glad you enjoyed it!


  2. Tori says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (10)
    Very good comforting meal! I’m glad I tried it

    I soaked my beans so they are gentler on my tummy

    Will be making this again

    • Imma says

      Hi Tori! Yep, comfort food at its best :)! Glad you enjoyed it!


  3. Pamela says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (11)
    I enjoyed this recipe. I had never thought of adding leafy vegetables it made inviting presentation , plus more nutritious dish


    • Imma says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Pamela :)!


  4. Lisa Bradley says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (12)
    Hi There, I wanted to say thank you for this delightful recipe. My husband wanted me to make Black eyed peas for Martin Luther King Day. I was missing only 3 of the ingredients celery, sausage, thyme. I’m not a fan of any beans but after making your recipe. I can eat them as a meal. MY husband loved them too. We are gonna try to make you Gumbo next:). God bless you


    • Imma says

      Hi Lisa. I am so glad this recipe has won you over to the beans side! I am sure you will love the Gumbo too! Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Marta says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (13)
    My husband hates black eyed peas, but it them all and now is asking me to make this again!!

    I even added extra kale!!


    • Imma says

      All right!!! That makes my day:) Thanks for sharing.


  6. Sam Hain says

    I made it for New Year’s Day, but I used the way that my Grandfather, Great Grandfather used to make them. I also made German sausage rolls often called bierocks, my older realitives say that if you have Cabbage on the first day of the new year you will have good luck end the coming year with more money. So I made up my family’s favorite dishes for New Year’s dinner if for nothing more then to remember them and give thanks for their love, kindness, and help over the years. I started by washing the black eyed peas in the sink in order to remove any dust or small bits of stone that often come in the package with the peas. After removing several small stones 6 of them I took out our canner and put the peas in it, along with some salt, and 3 gallons of fresh warm water. Let them soak overnight, in the pan, slow cooker in browned 10 slices of good pork bacon, 6 large ham hocks and some of the leftover ham from New Year’s dinner. Let them cook but don’t crisp up the bacon you just want to sweat them get the oil, flavors mixing together, add the peas, salt, pepper, onion 2medium size, a dash of liquid smoke, and cover let cook in the slow cooker 4-5 hours be sure to keep checking them every 45-30 minutes. Depending on how well your slow cooker works it can take longer or less time to cook. While I am waiting for the peas to cook I get out the flour and corn meal and make up a large batch of corn bread, icebox pickles, and we like to make crispy fried potatoes with onions in a good cast iron skillet. You can finish the potatoes in the oven while you are baking the corn bread. I made the bierock the day before so I baked them with the corn bread and potatoes. The only thing that was missing was a little bit of horseradish on the side of the plate. I have not been able to find any good horseradish in years ever since the family that used to make it to sell to the local grocery stores. We had a good time and a great meal together, I made a icebox cake, also known as a Depression cake it doesn’t have any eggs in it and it used vinegar and baking soda, oil in the cake recipe. We have some leftover for the freezer for a few weeks so that we can revisit the meal later on. I love your recipe and next time we will try to make it. Thanks again for your great recipe have a wonderful weekend


    • ImmaculateBites says

      Hi Sam!

      It’s great to hear that you celebrated New Year’s Day with such a rich family tradition, incorporating your grandfather and great grandfather’s methods. The detailed process you followed for the black-eyed peas, starting with washing them and soaking overnight, then slow-cooking with bacon, ham hocks, and ham, ensures a depth of flavor. Pairing this with homemade cornbread, icebox pickles, crispy fried potatoes, and pre-made bierocks creates a hearty, memorable meal. Your mention of missing horseradish as a side note adds a personal touch to your family’s culinary preferences. The icebox cake, a classic Depression-era recipe, is a thoughtful nod to simpler times. It’s wonderful that you have leftovers to enjoy later, extending the joy of this special meal. Thank you for sharing your story, and I’m glad you’re looking forward to trying the recipe shared. Enjoy your weekend and happy cooking!


  7. Susan says

    This was the best black eyed pea
    Recipe I’ve ever made! Hubby said we could do it again soon! Thank you!


    • ImmaculateBites says

      Hi Susan,

      I’m thrilled to hear that the black-eyed pea recipe was such a hit with you and your husband! It’s always rewarding when a dish turns out well and is enjoyed by loved ones.

      Thanks so much.


  8. Danielle says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (14)
    Great recipe! I kinda did a mashup of this one and the crockpot version, basically I let this simmer for most of the day on the stove. Sooo good.


    • Imma Adamu says

      You did, wow good for you. So glad it worked out and yes it is really good. Planning on doing one for myself this weekend.



    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (15)
    I thought I didn’t even like black-eyed peas, but I could eat this recipe daily!


    • ImmaculateBites says

      Yay do happy to hear this , Nicole. Thanks so much


  10. Jammie M says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (16)
    I made these for the New Year & I will never eat black eyed peas any other way! Amazing recipe. Thank you


    • ImmaculateBites says

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the black-eyed peas recipe for your New Year celebration! It’s great that you’ve found a new favorite way to enjoy them. If you ever need more recipes or want to try different variations, I’m here to help. Happy cooking!


  11. Latonia says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (17)
    I cooked my beans in the crock pot with smoke turkey and added some liquid smoke then 30 mins before done I added the other ingredients! I most say I will be making this dish every year! So Goood! Thank you!!


    • ImmaculateBites says

      It sounds like you found a fantastic way to prepare black-eyed peas, especially with the addition of smoked turkey and liquid smoke in the crock pot. The slow cooking method must have infused the beans with a deep, rich flavor. Adding the other ingredients towards the end is a great strategy to maintain their freshness and texture. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the dish so much and plan to make it a yearly tradition. If you ever want to explore other variations or need more recipe ideas, don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy cooking and enjoy your delicious tradition!


  12. Jennifer says

    Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (18)
    This is so yummy! I didn’t use collard greens or rice. Other than that, followed recipe. I also soaked the black eyed peas overnight. Took some to my mother , she loved them. Will definitely make again!


    • ImmaculateBites says

      Hi Jennifer
      It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the recipe and made it your own by adapting it to your preferences! Soaking the black-eyed peas overnight is a great technique to ensure they cook evenly and have a nice texture. It’s also lovely that you shared the dish with your mother and that she loved it too. Sharing homemade meals with loved ones always adds an extra layer of enjoyment. I’m glad this recipe will be a repeat in your kitchen. If you ever need more ideas or want to try other variations, feel free to ask. Happy cooking!


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Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe (2024)


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