Hoppin’ John Skillet Recipe

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This Hoppin’ John Skillet Recipe is perfect for bringing good luck in the New Year! This one pot recipe is a classic Southern dish with black eyed peas, ham and rice. It’s traditionally served on New Year’s Day for good fortune in the coming year.

If you like this easy skillet recipe, you should also try my Skillet Barbecue Shrimp or this Easy Taco Beef and Rice Skillet.

A wood spoon scooping out Hoppin' John rice

An Easy Hoppin’ John Recipe For Good Luck

Also, the meal that will take care of our Christmas leftover ham.

Hi Hey HELLO! Happiest of days, everyone! How was Christmas dinner? Did you gain a few pounds? I HOPE SO! That’s the point of it, right?! 😉

Those that have followed me for a while will know that I don’t officially celebrate the birth of Christ until January 7th because, the Macedonian Orthodox Church still follows the Julian Calendar.

However, on December 25th we do visit with my parents, and since this day is during our Nativity Fast, we always feast on a beautiful, traditional Macedonian meal with fish, pickled winter veggies, baked beans (Tavce Gravce), and a couple other vegetarian sides.

One other thing that we do differently is that we don’t exchange gifts on Christmas. Rather, gift exchange takes place on New Year’s Day – as in, we start the new year with new things.  It helps to keep things in perspective. 

Black eyed peas in a colander

Aaaand since New Year’s Day is quickly approaching, we need to have this little talk about HoppinJohn. A.K.A. this coming Wednesday’s dinner! I’m just getting a head start because I want all the good luck I can get.  

What Is Hoppin’ John?

Hoppin’ John, also known as Carolina peas and rice, is a black-eyed peas and rice dish served in the Southern United States, and it’s a traditional New Year’s Day dish. 

According to legend, beans, in some cultures, represent fortune and growth because of their shape – they look like coins and thus represent prosperity. In the South (USA), black-eyed peas symbolize good luck and are traditionally prepared on New Year’s Day for good fortune in the coming year.

Cooking leftover ham in a skillet

How To Make This Hoppin’ John Skillet

Here’s the way I do Hoppin’ John, which is wonderful because A) I made it, :-D, B) it’s the best way to use up leftover-ham, and, C) one skillet brings it all together, beautifully and deliciously.

  1. We start with frying some onions and garlic with couple cups of diced ham. 
  2. Next, we will add in some quick cooking rice, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and seasonings.
  3. Bring all of that to a boil and then lower to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. 
  5. Serve!

Overhead view of rice and black eyed peas in a skillet

It’s super easy and super fast. In addition to that, here’s few other reasons why you should scoot into the kitchen and get that skillet started, quickly:

  2. Leftover Ham! You can also throw in some bacon — or anything else you can think of. Like, spareribs! YUM!
  3. Eating a bowl of Hoppin’ John will make you successful and prosperous, and you’ll have the best 2020! ⬅ All according to legend. Don’t shoot the messenger. 😉

Close up of a spoon scooping out Hoppin' John rice

How To Store Hoppin’ John Leftovers 

  • Store completely cooled leftovers in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

More Rice Recipes You Might Like:



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5 from 2 votes

Hoppin' John Skillet Recipe

This Hoppin' John Skillet Recipe is perfect for bringing good luck in the New Year! This one pot recipe is a classic Southern dish with black eyed peas, ham and rice. It's traditionally served on New Year's Day for good fortune in the coming year.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion,, diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, , minced
  • 2 cups cooked diced ham
  • 1 cup quick cooking rice,, (Minute Rice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt,, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • fresh ground pepper,, to taste
  • 2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black-eyed peas, , well rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes,, drained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
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  • Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, a pinch of salt, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and ham and continue to cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the rice and add seasoned salt, paprika, and pepper.
  • Add vegetable broth; mix in the black-eyed peas, then stir in the tomatoes.
  • Set heat on high and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Cover skillet and reduce heat to a simmer; continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in fresh parsley.
  • Serve.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 1104mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 457IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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This recipe was originally published on December 27, 2015. Updated on December 27, 2019.

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Laura says:

    Can the rice be replaced with another veggie? My daughter will be on a liver reduction diet soon and will not be able to eat rice, quinoa, pasta or potatoes,

  2. Cathy Trochelman says:

    This looks delicious…and I love that it’s supposed to bring good fortune!

  3. Andi @ The Weary Chef says:

    I just had a hopin’ john recipe last week but I did mine in a slow cooker. This skillet recipe sounds great! Would love to try this soon! 🙂

    1. Frances Sullivan says:

      I’d like to try it with ground beef. Not a fan of ham and tomatoes together.

  4. Amy says:

    Wow, nothing better, great comfort food.

  5. Kimberly Ann @ Bake Love Give says:

    What a lovely black eyed pea recipe! I hadn’t heard of this before, but we definitely get our fill of black eyed peas for good luck each year!

  6. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says:

    This type of 1-skillet dinner is exactly my style. Jan. 1 here I come!

  7. Heather | Heather Likes Food says:

    This looks filling and delightful!

  8. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says:

    I like the idea of starting the new year with new things!! I get to do that anyway, because it is my birthday, but still a great idea!
    And this skillet – love it!!

  9. Leslie says:

    I need this in my life! It looks like it’s filling, yum!