Hoppin James

This recipe is based on Hoppin John, which is traditionally served over the New Year holiday for luck. The classic dish includes ham, which we replace with carrots and bell pepper. This is a hearty dish that works well as a side dish or as a complete meal in itself.

Traditionally, you serve black-eyed peas on New Years Day, but we usually make Hoppin James on New Years Eve and then have the leftovers for an easy meal on New Year’s Day.


  • 1 15-oz can of black-eyed peas
  • 1 box Long grain & wild rice
  • 4 Large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cumin seed
  • 1/4 tsp Ground fennel seed
  • 1/4 tsp Thyme leaf
  • 1/4 tsp Marjoram leaf
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne powder (optional)


  1. Rinse and drain the black-eyed peas.
  2. Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.
  3. Chop all of the veggies while the rice is cooking.
  4. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil, and when the onion starts to become translucent, add the other veggies and spices. Cook until the bell pepper begins to soften. The carrots will remain firm, which adds some of the chewy mouth-feel you would get from the ham we omitted.
  5. Add black-eyed peas and a tablespoon or two of water. Cover and simmer for about five minutes to warm up the beans.
  6. Mix the bean/veggie mixture with the cooked rice.


  • You can easily add a second can of black-eyed peas to this recipe if you want to serve more people.
  • If you can get a bag of frozen or fresh black-eyed peas, they often taste better than canned. They are just hard to find in some locations.
  • We recommend Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice because the spices in it complement this dish nicely.
  • The cayenne is optional, but the small amount we recommend is just enough to bring out the flavors of the vegetables and the other spices. Be sure to add it, unless your palate is very sensitive to hot spices.
  • If you start the rice before you start preparing the rest of the dish, it is usually done about the time you need it for the final step.
  • You can serve the bean mixture separately from the rice if you want to, but mixing them together creates a satisfyingly creamy texture.

Serves: 4 to 8

Preparation time: 45 minutes