Make Ahead

Vegan Hoppin' John

December 24, 2013
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Cook time 3 hours
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This traditional Southern New Year's dish loses none of its characteristic flavor or heartiness when it gets a vegan makeover. —Gena Hamshaw

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups black-eyed peas, dried
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • one 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dried long-grain brown rice or brown basmati rice
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, green parts only, chopped
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)
  1. Place the black-eyed peas in a pot of water and soak overnight. Discard soak water.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion, pepper, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the thyme, paprika, and soaked/drained peas. Then add the vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the peas are tender but not mushy (about 35 to 50 minutes). If excess broth remains when the peas are cooked, you can gently pour it out of the pot. Strain the diced tomatoes and add them, along with the salt, to the bean mixture. Heat through. Check and adjust the seasoning with black pepper, cayenne, and salt as needed.
  4. While the beans are cooking, cook the rice according to package instructions. Fluff and set aside.
  5. Divide the rice into bowls. Top with the pea mixture and sprinkle evenly with green onion. Add a dash or two of Tabasco if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kim Wong
    Kim Wong
  • Julia Schooler
    Julia Schooler
  • Shannon Victoria Holmes
    Shannon Victoria Holmes
  • Marsha Gainey
    Marsha Gainey
  • Caroline Scriven
    Caroline Scriven

17 Reviews

Kim W. January 2, 2022
I make a vegan Hoppin John every New Year's Day and I'm happy I found this recipe. I amped it up a bit with fresh thyme, smoked paprika, a little pepper, and red pepper flakes and added more celery and a diced carrot.
This recipe is simple and comforting and will go in my black-eyed peas rotation!
Julia S. August 21, 2020
My whole family LOVES this dish and Only 1 of us is a vegetarian.
BR95510 January 1, 2020
Excellent flavor!! I would say that it would serve more than six. We have plenty of leftover! (Would it freeze well?). I topped mine with some Harissa to zing it up on the plate and scattered the chopped chives over the top. It was a wonderful New Year's Day meal! This will stay in rotation and become a tradition for sure! Thanks for the great recipe Gena! Happy New Year!
Shannon V. January 1, 2015
My husband and I loved this and we had it just now for New Years. I will make this again. Thank you for sharing with us, Happy New Year!!!!
Marsha G. October 5, 2014
This was serviceable but I prefer Hoppin' John with pork.
Caroline S. February 16, 2014
Very nice. Much better then I expected. The paprika gave it a smoky flavour.
j. February 6, 2014
I'll definitely try this - it's a bit different from the hoppin' john recipe I've made for years. I usually add a couple tablespoonfuls of tamari to the sauteed onions step, plus, if I'm feeling fancy, some liquid smoke. Nancy - not sure when you posted your comment, so you might no longer be looking for a reply - but the Rapunzle and Organic Gourmet lines of boullion are pretty good. I personally usually combine one of the "no salt added" with the plenty o' salt added cubes to come out with a happy, not too salty medium.
twinjadojo January 2, 2014
I've always sort of dreaded black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, but these were absolutely delicious. My beans came out perfectly tender, and with none of the strong, off taste that I associate with them. I served them with braised collards, which I cooked with some of my extra bean liquor. The sweet vinegar from the collards was a perfect compliment to the beans. 2014 is off to a great (and hopefully lucky) start in my kitchen. Thank you!
Trees January 1, 2014
Just made this! I used canned black-eyed peas and served it with lemon-garlic quinoa and hot sauce. Great start to the new year!
Tom S. January 2, 2014
Trees: Recipe for lemon-garlic quinoa? Used the quinoa instead of rice? Thanks.
Trees January 2, 2014
I don't really use a recipe. Just add a squeeze of lemon and some minced garlic to the quinoa after it's done along with salt, pepper, and olive oil. All to taste, of course. I mix it up and let it sit in the pot for a while before serving.
Tom S. January 6, 2014
Erica January 1, 2014
This was delicious! Thanks for a delicious New Years Day lunch! Even my 3 1/2 y.o. asked for seconds :)
Whats4Dinner December 31, 2013
Along the lines of Tom's questioning, would frozen black-eyed peas do? I was thinking I could add them (thawed) maybe half way through the simmering veggies?
Ceege December 30, 2013
@ Nancy Charlton....As a Vegan, I have found that Kitchen Basic's vegetable broth (unsalted) is a great broth for most of my recipes. Hope this hint works out for you.
Nancy C. December 29, 2013
Do you have a recommendation for a veg broth that doesn't lend an off flavor to the food? On Christmas Day we had Brussels sprouts with bacon, which was served on the side as a sprinkle-on in deference to a vegan guest. I was thinking I could do this with the hoppin John too. Has anyone tried either and have any comments?
Tom S. December 29, 2013
Gena: Will canned black eyed peas work in this recipe? Thanks, Tom