Black Folks Soul Food Hoppin John Recipe

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Black folks soul food Hoppin’ John is an African American recipe made with Southern soul food black-eyed peascollard greensrice, and of course, exquisite Black folks’ soul food seasoning!

Black Folks Southern Hoppin John Recipe

What is Black folks soul food Hoppin John?

Black folks’ Hoppin’ John is a dish that will tantalize your taste buds with its mix of Southern soul food African-American flavors. Adding cooked black-eyed peas and collard greens to rice makes it a whole comforting meal. 

The black-eyed peas are cooked to perfection in the exquisite Black folks’ soul food seasoning. The seasoning gives this dish its unique flavor profile, and the collards and rice add texture and a delicious bite.

Why is it called Hoppin John?

Hoppin John is a must-have dish for nutrient-rich, hearty, and delicious comfort food. Filled with Creole seasoning and herbs, this dish is sure to warm your soul! 

During the colder months, Hoppin John is incredibly comforting. Especially since this dish is very popular in January during New Year’s.

Best New Years Soul Food Recipes Hoppin John

Where did the name Hoppin John come from?

There are a many tales down South as to how this Carolina rice and peas recipe got its legendary name. 

One story suggests that while the rice and peas were cooking, little kids in the house began hopping around in anticipation of the good eats. Another tells the tale of a man named John, who started jumping with joy about his wife stewing up a hot pot full of ricecollards, and black-eyed peas.

Was John the dad that came home to the kids hoppin around? Was John’s nickname Hoppin John already, and the dish was simply named after him? I can’t make heads or tales of which story is true. 

But what’s definitely fact and not fiction is that Hoppin John is a soul food delicacy that incorporates the darling-daughter dish of the South, collard greens. So it could indeed send somebody “hoppin” with excitement to add this iconic menu item to their New Year’s feast!

Hoppin John is a traditional Southern dish consisting of black-eyed peas and rice. The usual accompaniment is collard greens, but kale or turnip greens are sometimes substituted. 

Where did eating black-eyed peas (and Hoppin John) on New Year’s come from?

Black-eyed peas are a New Year’s supper tradition enjoyed by many Southerners and Black folks with the idea that this meal will usher in prosperity for the New Year. 

But where did this tradition come from? 

Let’s take a look at some of the history behind this soul food recipe tradition

Origins of this tradition are unclear, but there are a few different theories.

One theory suggests that black eye field peas were eaten to ensure good luck because they resembled coins.

Another theory claims that the peas were eaten to bring wealth and good fortune in the New Year. Because as a bean, they are high in protein and nutrients.

A third theory suggests that the peas were eaten to protect against evil spirits.

Hoppin John Black Eyed Peas Soul Food Recipe

And another Southern legend has it that the Union Army came across standing fields of black-eyed peas before Sherman’s March that won the Civil War. 

After that, black-eyed peas became a symbol of abundance and emancipation for African Americans freed on New Years Day post-war. 

But, unfortunately, these stories are more fanciful than facts. 

Juneteenth history reveals many truths about our ancestors’ emancipation taking much longer than the war’s end.

One thing’s for sure tho – No matter where this tradition of Southerners and Black folks eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s came from. It’s now widely practiced worldwide!

Black Folks Hoppin John Instant Pot Recipe

Kitchen equipment for soul food Hoppin John in the Instant Pot

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Ingredients for Black folks’ soul food black-eyed peas and collard greens

  • 1 pound of dried black-eyed peas
  • 6 cups of chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegans & vegetarians)
  • 1 cup of diced red onion
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ½ a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon (vegans & vegetarians use a Creole seasoning)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper 
  • 1 cup of collard greens, finely chopped, fresh, or pre-cooked 
  • ¼ cup of green onion, chopped to garnish (optional)
What is traditional Hoppin John?

Instructions for Black folks’ soul food black-eyed peas and collard greens

  1. Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the chicken stock into the stainless-steel inner pot.  
  2. Add the black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, red pepper flakes, thyme, chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, and collards.
  3. Stir the ingredients to combine. 
  4. Make sure the beans are soaking and covered in the liquid broth.
  5. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  6. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  7. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  8. Remove the bay leaf, transfer the black-eyed peas to an air-tight container, and set them aside. Or if you’re extra (like me!) and have more than one Instant Pot, keep the black-eyed peas in the Instant Pot on the ‘keep warm’ setting.
  9. The next step is to wash out the inner pot or use a second Instant Pot to make the rice.
Black Folks Black Eyed Peas Hoppin John Recipe

Ingredients for Black folks’ soul food Hoppin John rice 

  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
Instant Pot Hoppin John Recipe With Collard Greens

Instructions for Black folks’ soul food Hoppin John rice 

  1. Add the rice, chicken broth, salt, and pepper to the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
  2. Stir to mix the ingredients and make sure the rice is covered in the liquid.
  3. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
  4. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 2 minutes.
  5. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork.
  7. Use a large serving spoon to combine the set aside black-eyed peas with the cooked rice.
  8. Mix well and then serve Black folks soul food Hoppin John right away.
  9. Optionally, garnish with chopped green onion, serve, and enjoy!

Hoppin John is an effortless dish to make and only requires a few ingredients. The black-eyed peas can be either fresh or frozen, and the rice can be white or brown. 

Black Folks Hoppin John

But what do you serve with this Black folks soul food Hoppin John recipe?

This dish is a combination of black eyed peas, rice, and collard greens. Often served with homemade cornbread and pork jowl bacon (similar to ham hock or salt pork) either inside the dish or served on the side.

More commonly, Hoppin John is served with a splash of hot sauce for a blast of heat!

Black folks soul food Hoppin John FAQs

What is traditional Hoppin John?

Hoppin’ John, also known as Carolina peas and rice, is a rice and peas dish commonly served in the Southern US. The traditional way of making this dish is with black-eyed peas, Southern collard greens, and optionally sliced bacon.

Is Hoppin John a real place?

Hoppin’ John Soul Food is a restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, specializing in serving authentic Southern cuisine

Wow! What days is Hoppin John open?

They offer both takeout and delivery services so you can enjoy food at home or work 6 days out of the week. But you’ll have to reserve Sundays at home when they’re closed for soul food Sunday dinner recipes!

What are the adjustments for cooking soul food Hoppin John in a Crockpot instead?

This Instant Pot soul food recipe yields a quick and easy flavorful meal. Making Hoppin John in a Crockpot is possible. Although you’ll want to adjust for it to take hours instead of minutes.

What do you do with the ham hock after the peas have cooked? - Black Folks Pork Jowl In The Air Fryer

What do you do with the ham hock after the peas have cooked?

Adding smoked turkeyham hock, or pork jowl bacon to this recipe?

If so, what happens to the bacon or ham?

The meat adds additional flavor. Not necessarily needed for this soulfully seasoned recipe. 

But if you add meat, you can leave it in the pot or spoon it in with a heaping bowl of soul food Hoppin John and eat it!

Can this be made vegetarian or vegan?

This recipe is already vegetarian because of the absence of bacon fat, bacon grease, or smoked meat.

There are simple approaches to making Hoppin John vegan. For example, you can simply use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth. Or omit the chicken bouillon and instead incorporate a Creole or Cajun seasoning.

Why do Southerners eat black-eyed peas?

Should you use canned, fresh, or dried peas?

You can use any of the above! But remember that this Southern cooking Instant Pot recipe calls for pressure cooking uncooked, dry black-eyed peas. Canned and frozen peas are already pre-cooked and will only need reheating. 

Can you use leftover collards?

Just cooked collard greens yesterday and want to use them for this soul food Hoppin John recipe today?

Yes, you can use leftover collard greens, and they’re perfect for this recipe!

How do you store leftovers?

Hoppin’ John can be stored in the fridge for three to four days. If you want to freeze it, it can last for up to a month. 

Soul Food Hoppin John

Can spinach be substituted for collard greens?

While collard greens are traditional in this dish, of course, you can substitute spinach for collard greens. 

The only difference is that collard greens are tougher in texture and generally need more cooking time than spinach.

What is eggnog and what is it made of?

Eggnog is a New Year’s holiday drink that often accompanies a Southern Hoppin John recipe.

What is Black folks soul food Hoppin John?

What do you think of this recipe?

Want more New Year’s traditions?

So why not give this Black folks’ soul food recipe for Hoppin John a try?

Apart from being delicious, according to Southern legends, it’s also expected to bring you good luck for the upcoming New Year. And who doesn’t want that?

Happy New Year!

Did you enjoy this Southern Hoppin John recipe?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
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How To Make Black Folks Southern Hoppin John Recipe

Black Folks Southern Hoppin John Recipe

Black Folks Soul Food Hoppin John Recipe

Black folks' Hoppin John is black-eyed peas, collard greens, and rice with Southern soul food flavors. An African American New Year's tradition and comfort food recipe.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 6
Calories: 587kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot electric pressure cooker

Ingredients

Ingredients for Black folks’ soul food black-eyed peas and collard greens

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 6 cups chicken stock use vegetable stock for vegans & vegetarians
  • 1 cup red onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon vegans & vegetarians use a Creole seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup collard greens finely chopped, fresh, or pre-cooked
  • ¼ cup green onion chopped to garnish (optional)

Ingredients for Black folks’ soul food Hoppin John rice

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Instructions for Black folks’ soul food black-eyed peas and collard greens

  • Open the Instant Pot lid and pour the chicken stock into the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Add the black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, red pepper flakes, thyme, chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, and collards.
  • Stir the ingredients to combine.
  • Make sure the beans are soaking and covered in the liquid broth.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Remove the bay leaf, transfer the black-eyed peas to an air-tight container, and set them aside. Or if you’re extra (like me!) and have more than one Instant Pot, keep the black-eyed peas in the Instant Pot on the ‘keep warm’ setting.
  • The next step is to wash out the inner pot or use a second Instant Pot to make the rice.

Instructions for Black folks’ soul food Hoppin John rice

  • Add the rice, chicken broth, salt, and pepper to the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot.
  • Stir to mix the ingredients and make sure the rice is covered in the liquid.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is in the sealing position – up) and pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 2 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Use a large serving spoon to combine the set aside black-eyed peas with the cooked rice.
  • Mix well and then serve Black folks soul food Hoppin John right away.
  • Optionally, garnish with chopped green onion, serve, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Black Folks Soul Food Hoppin John Recipe Card

Nutrition

Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 1625mg | Potassium: 1309mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 8mg
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2 Comments

  1. Cyrene Jo Peñas says:

    5 stars
    Yummy and filling rice dish!