Quick Hoppin' John (Black Eyed Peas With Ham)

Quick Hoppin' John (Black Eyed Peas With Ham)

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
377 Calories
5g Fat
63g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 377
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 269mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 14g 52%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 20mg 100%
Calcium 187mg 14%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 700mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you want to start the New Year on the right foot, this dish of black-eyed peas and ham is a good bet. This Hoppin' John is a quick and easy version of the popular "lucky" dish that's traditionally eaten on New Year's Day. Canned black-eyed peas, leftover ham, and hot cooked rice make a fast and easy meal; all you need to complete the good luck dinner is a skillet of cornbread and some cooked Southern-style greens or cabbage. Coleslaw is another great way to incorporate the cabbage. Many Southerners like chow chow—a relish made with cabbage, green tomatoes, and some other garden vegetables—or corn relish with their peas.

Whatever you choose to serve them with, you'll soon find out why Southerners love their peas. They're satisfying, flavorful, and with rice make a complete meal.

"When you want a quick and tasty Hoppin' John, look no further. I know there's nothing that quite replaces homemade beans, but this recipe is extremely carefree and uncomplicated, while hitting all the right notes. I used a packaged cooked ham steak, which was perfect for this recipe." —Diana Andrews

Quick Hoppin' John (Black Eyed Peas with Ham)/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, or olive oil

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped sweet or red onion

  • 2 (16-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, slightly drained

  • 1 cup diced cooked ham

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3 cups hot cooked rice

  • Salt, or to taste

  • Thinly sliced sweet or red onion or red onion, optional

  • 4 pieces cornbread, optional

  • Sautéed greens of choice, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Quick Hoppin' John (Black Eyed Peas With Ham) ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Heat the bacon drippings in a large skillet over medium heat.

    Heat the bacon drippings in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. When the drippings shimmer, add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.

    Add the chopped onion to bacon drippings in the pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add the the black-eyed peas and the remaining liquid from the cans, the cooked ham, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.

    Add the the drained black-eyed peas, diced cooked ham, and cayenne pepper to the onion mixture in the pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Simmer until the liquid in the pan reduces by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and salt, to taste. Alternatively, serve the rice in a wide bowl or on a plate. Top with the bean mixture.

    bean mixture on top of rice in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Garnish with thinly sliced onion, and serve with cornbread and greens, if desired.

    Quick Hoppin' John (Black Eyed Peas With Ham) in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma


  • You can use about 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas instead of the canned version. If you choose to cook dry black-eyed peas, it's really very easy; it just takes a little more time. You can cook them a day in advance and finish the Hoppin' John the next day. To cook them, put the black-eyed peas in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and cover them with about 10 cups of water; place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil the peas for 2 minutes. Remove the peas from the heat and set aside for 1 hour to soak. Drain the peas and cover them with 10 cups of fresh water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, place the pot over medium-high heat, and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the peas for about 30 to 45 minutes or until they are tender. Drain the peas, refrigerate them, and use them in recipes.