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Old Fashioned Southern Hoppin John In The Crockpot

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Black eye peas and rice in a white bowl with chopped onions and parsley on top

New Year’s Food = Black Eye Peas and Rice aka Hoppin John

Black Eye Peas and Rice, aka Hoppin John,  are staples for New Year’s Dinner. The Old Wives Tale is that eating black eye peas, rice and greens on New Year’s Day will bring us good fortune for the new year. The rice represents, pennies, the black eye peas represent silver coins and the greens are there for the the cash. If it works for you, please let me know!

What I do know for sure is that Black eye peas and rice makes a warm and hearty stick-to-the-ribs meal which is easy on the budget and happy on the taste buds.

dried black eye peas in a small bowl

How To Soak Dried Peas and Beans 

The only way I have ever cooked Hoppin John is from scratch using dried peas. Dried peas and beans can be cooked without soaking them first but it will take a little longer for them to get done. 

First, sort through your dried peas to make sure there are no rocks or sticks which may have made it into the packaging. 

dried beans in a colander under running water
Always rinse dried peas or beans in a colander under running water

Next, rinse well in a colander under running water.

Finally, place the peas into a large bowl and cover completely with water. Allow them to sit overnight which means they will soak up the water and become soft allowing them to cook quicker.

Fast Soak Method for Dried Peas or Beans

If you forgot to soak the peas overnight, no problem, use the fast soak method. Put the peas in a large pot or Dutch Oven. Cover completely with water. Turn the burner on high and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and turn the burner off once the water begins to boil. Let the peas soak in the boiling water for one hour. Pour the water off and proceed with your recipe using fresh water.

More Easy and Delicious Soup Recipes:

How To Season Hoppin John or Black Eye Peas and Rice

The only seasoning I use for this recipe with salt and pepper of course,  is a ham bone with ham still attached. Anytime you bake a ham, freeze the ham bone with meat still on it for meals like this.  If you don’t have a ham bone in the freezer, you can find small packages of ham pieces to purchase from the meat department. Those work well also.

Optional Seasoning

If you like spicy and want more flavor, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning. You will get a little kick.


Hoppin John with ham in a Slow Cooker

See how I got 3 meals from one ham including this one, the other two are on our Porky Menu Plan.

How To Make Crockpot Hoppin John

  • one ham bone with ham on it or small package of ham pieces
  • 12 oz. bag of dried black eye peas
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste


Add the ham bone, 12 oz. of dried black eye peas and 2 quarts of boiling water into your Crockpot.

Cook on high for about 3 hours. 

Printable recipe below

Black eye peas with ham cooking in a Crockpot

Making Pot Liquor with Dried Peas

Pot liquor  is the juice filled with the flavor of whatever you are cooking in liquid. You want plenty of pot liquor with your black eye peas and rice. Keep adding water so the peas are always covered.

Juices are desired for two reasons; you need the juices to cook the rice in and some folks like to crumble their cornbread into the juices in their bowl.

Black eye peas and rice with ham pieces in a Crockpot

After the peas are tender, add more boiling water to completely cover the peas as shown above. Stir in about 1 1/2 Cups rice, replace lid and cook another 30-45 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Once the rice begins to cook, it will soak up most of the pot liquor.

Black Eye Peas and Rice in a white bowl with chopped Vidalia Onions on top and a sprig of parsley
Black Eye Peas and Rice with chopped Vidalia Onions on top

It’s common knowledge and cause for debate that some southern cooks add a pinch of sugar to their recipes when no one is looking! I do not add sugar to my black eye peas. Regardless, it’s no secret that we do love our Hoppin John and hope you will too.

A big pot of good Old Fashioned Southern Hoppin John is a favorite winter time stick-to-the-ribs meal here in the deep south.

Hoppin John in a white bowl with chopped onions on top and a sprig of parsley

Hoppin John: Onions Optional

I like my Hoppin John topped with lots of fresh chopped raw Vidalia onions. Those are optional for the non onion lovers of the world. 

Vidalia is a sweet onion grown in south Georgia. There are other types of sweet onions available if you don’t have Vidalia in your grocery store, just look for the bag to say ‘sweet’ onion.

You can’t beat a simple recipe with few ingredients that warms the body, sticks to the ribs and keeps the grocery budget safe. Black Eye Peas and Rice is good anytime of the year and we tend to make it a few times each winter during soup season because we love this meal.

What To Serve With Black Eye Peas and Rice

Cornbread. It’s plain and simple just like the meal, serve cornbread with your black eye peas and rice. 

Here’s our made from scratch Cornbread Recipe for ya.

Share this idea on Pinterest


Hoppin John in a bowl and in a Crockpot

Yield: 8

Old Fashioned Southern Hoppin John

a bowl of Hoppin John with chopped onions on top

A warm and hearty budget friendly stick to the ribs meal to be enjoyed in the winter.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes


  • (1) 12 oz. bag of dried black eye peas
  • About 2 Qts. boiling water to begin.
  • 1½ Cups Rice
  • More hot water to cover, about 2-4 Cup
  • 1 Leftover Ham Bone with meat still on it. (Freeze this from Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas) If you don't have a Ham Bone, you can add ham pieces found pre-packaged in the meat department.
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped sweet onion (Optional)


Sort and rinse dried black eye peas.

Add peas into Crockpot.

Place Hambone (or ham pieces) on top of the peas.

Cover with boiling water.

Cook on High for about 3 hours.

(We do not add salt because the Ham has plenty of salt)

It is fine to stir the pot once per hour.

Once the peas are tender, add more hot boiling water so that the peas are completely covered.

Stir in the rice.

Cover with lid and cook another 30-45 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

More Easy Crockpot Recipes

Crockpot Beef Tips & Gravy. One of our most popular recipes on the blog and for good reason.

Not Quite Mississippi Crockpot Roast. This recipes comes out perfect every time, tender juicy and delicious.

3 Ingredient Meatballs. These are good for party food or served with rice for a weeknight meal.

Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin. It’s bacon wrapped y’all and it is lip smacking delicious.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Crockpot Recipe. Comes out yummy every time and the meat is tender and juicy.

Brown Sugar & Pineapple Glazed Ham made in the Slow Cooker. Use this recipe anytime of the year when baking a ham is on your menu, skip the oven and use your Crockpot instead.

3 Ingredient BBQ Wings. There is a secret to finishing these off so they are not ‘too wet’. Another one of our most popular recipes on the blog.

Crockpot Ranch Chicken Sliders. This is a handy recipe to use on super busy days around the house. Use this meat for chicken tacos by changing the seasoning to Taco seasoning.

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  1. I remember reading that this dish is usually made on New Years Day to bring luck for the following year. I wanted to make it one year but none of the recipes looked appealing. Yours look creamy and delicious. Pinning this one for New Years Day

    1. Hi Gabrielle, we spent several months in Biloxi, Ms. for job training a few years ago. We discovered that some of our southern traditions were not to be found there. We requested Cracklin Cornbread at the S&S Cafeteria and they had no idea what we were even talking about. It’s amazing how different things are so close together in the south, isn’t it. You guys gave us Emeril and we love many of his recipes.

We enjoying hearing from you!