Southern Hoppin’ John is a Carolina tradition, especially around New Year’s; the dish itself is symbolic of prosperity, with the peas representing pennies. You’ll certainly feel lucky as you eat the tender, fluffy rice seasoned to perfection with crunchy vegetables and salty bacon. Southern Hoppin’ John only takes 40 minutes to make so you can enjoy some prosperity anytime you want traditional Southern cooking!

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  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small green or sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained


Step 1 –In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp.

Step 2 –Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Step 3 –Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and discard the rest.

Step 4 –Sauté the pepper, celery, and onion in the reserved bacon drippings over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 5 –Add the rice, water, salt, cayenne, basil, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf.

Step 6 –Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 7 –Add the peas and the cooked bacon.

Step 8 –Simmer until the rice is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Step 9 –Discard the bay leaf and serve!