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Classic Hoppin' John Beans and Rice Recipe

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3.37 from 33 votes
Celebrate a Happy New Year and give yourself some good luck with the ultimate black eyed pea recipe, flavor packed Hoppin' John beans and rice. Black-eyed peas' most popular expression is Hoppin' John, a steaming bowl of beans, rice, and pork that is especially popular in coastal South Carolina and Georgia.

Serve with: Reisling or chardonnay.

Main Course
Side Dish


Servings: 2 main course servings


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
About the beans: Click here to read our article, The Science of Beans, for tips on working with beans and equivalents for dry, canned, and cooked beans. If you plan to use dried beans, follow the instructions there for preparing them.
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. Remove the stem, core, and seeds from the green bell pepper. Coarsely chop the pepper.
  • Cut the ends off of the onion, remove the skin, and coarsely chop.
  • Press the garlic with a garlic press or coarsely chop.
  • Cook. Get a large pot hot and add the oil. Add the ham hock, onion, green pepper, garlic, pepper flakes, and the bay leaf. If you can't find a ham hock, you can use bacon, just skip the vegetable oil and start by cooking the bacon in the bottom of the pot and pour off all the bacon grease except 2 tablespoons.
  • Drain and rinse the black-eyed peas.
  • When the onions are limp, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the beans, bring back to a boil and dial it back to a simmer quickly. Do not boil for more than a minute or two. Simmer for at least an hour.
  • Remove the bay leaf and if you use ham hocks, cut off the meat, add it to the pot, and discard the bones and skin.
  • Add the rice and simmer with the cover on for about 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Serve. Serve with salt and pepper at table. Hoppin John gets a lift from fresh ground pepper at the table.