You're going to love this Cajun Hoppin' John recipe! Made with canned black eyed peas, ham, and sausage! The rice is cooked with all the Hoppin John ingredients, absorbing all the delicious flavors! Ready in under an hour!
This Cajun recipe has all the ingredients you've come to love about the dish: black-eyed peas, smoked sausage, ham, rice, trinity (onions, celery, and peppers), chicken broth, and lots of delicious Cajun seasoning.
This recipe is also known as black-eyed pea jambalaya and will knock your socks off.
Why You'll Love It
Easy Recipe: There's nothing difficult about this recipe. We use simple, basic ingredients and only one pot.
One Pot One Pan: Traditionally, Hoppin John is served over rice. But I love to cook it all in one pot! Why? Cooking everything in one pot ensures all the delicious spices and flavors are absorbed into the rice. This makes a huge different in flavor!
Short Cuts: This recipe uses some short cuts like canned black eyed peas, canned chicken broth, and frozen chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery for easy prep! This quick Hoppin John is ready in under an hour!
Meal Prep: This recipe makes enough for a crowd, but if you have any leftovers, they're amazing the next day. Or use the leftovers for the next several days.
What is Hoppin' John?
Hoppin' John is a classic Southern dish that consists of black-eyed peas (or field peas), some kind of pork product, and rice. Sometimes it's served over rice. But in this case, the rice is cooked with all the ingredients. It's traditionally served on New Year's Day.
Since this recipe is a one pot, one pan meal, many southerners, particularly Cajuns, call this black-eyed pea jambalaya. I have to agree that since the rice is cooked with the meats and seasonings, it fits the definition of jambalaya! At my house, we don't care what it's called as long as there's a big pot of it on the stove come the first of the year.
Hoppin John Ingredients
Smoked sausage - use your favorite brand. We like andouille or Conecuh.
Ham Steak - you could use smoked ham hocks, but a ham steak is easier to dice for this recipe.
Frozen Seasoning Blend - chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery. But if you happen to have fresh onion, bell pepper, and celery, then use the following measurements: 1 cup diced onion, 1 cup diced green bell pepper, and ½ cup chopped celery.
Chicken broth - Canned or boxed chicken broth also cuts down on the workload, but you can easily substitute your own homemade broth or some bouillon instead.
Black eyed peas - using canned peas is probably the biggest time saver of all. There's no pesky sorting or soaking involved, and the peas are already cooked to a perfect al dente. I prefer Trappey's but I also love me some Glory Foods Blackeye Peas.
Rotel tomatoes - this is optional. Most times I don't use tomatoes for this dish but I know many people that do.
Cajun seasoning - For authentic Louisiana flavors, use Tony Chachere’s or Slap Ya Mama seasoning blends. Use cayenne pepper if that's all you have.
Extra long grain rice - or use regular long grain rice. Extra long grain rice won't get as mushy as regular rice. DO NOT use instant rice.
How to Make Cajun Hoppin John
(1) The first thing you'll do is brown the sliced sausage in olive oil. Use a large (at least 5-quart), heavy pan with a lid. As you can see, I always grab my Calphalon pot for this recipe and many other recipes as well.
(2) Remove the sausage from the pan, and add the diced ham. Brown for 5 minutes.
(3) Add the frozen vegetable mixture (or fresh vegetables) to the pot with the ham. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
(4) Return the sausage to the pot. Add chicken broth, canned black-eyed peas (undrained), Rotel tomatoes (if using), and seasonings. Mix well. Add raw rice, and stir again. Taste test for flavor and add more salt or creole seasoning, if desired.
(5) Bring mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and put the lid on the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove the lid, quickly stir, then replace the lid on top. Turn heat down to low and slow simmer for an additional 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
Click to see Easy Hoppin John Google Web Story
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, just be sure to keep it covered in the refrigerator and it will keep for up to 3 days. I prefer to use BPA-free glass containers with locking lids. Check out this 18-piece set of glass food storage containers with locking lids from Bayco, available now on Amazon.
For a single serving, place desired amount in a bowl. Cover with a plate or some sort of covering. Heat in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or just until hot. To reheat a large amount on the stove, place in a pot, cover, and reheat on low heat stirring often.
If you're really getting ahead, you can also freeze your Hoppin' John. I have some in the freezer at this very moment. Placed leftovers in a freezer-friendly container (or zip top bag) and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw and heat in the microwave.
Don't add any salt to the mix until you have tasted it first. Ham and sausage both have quite a bit of salt naturally, so you don't want to overpower the mix!
You can also easily substitute field peas or crowder peas if you can't find black-eyed peas at your store. You know how it goes! The closer you get to the holidays, the harder it is to find traditional ingredients in stock.
Fun Fact: Leftover Hoppin' John is referred to as Skippin' Jenny! If you eat Skippin' Jenny as leftovers on January 2nd, your frugality is supposed to further ensure that you'll be prosperous in the New Year.
What Goes with Hoppin John
There are all kinds of goodies to serve with this delicious meal. French bread, deviled eggs, cabbage, collard greens, cornbread, etc.!
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Easy Cajun Hoppin John
- 5 qt heavy pot with lid
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 1 pound Smoked Sausage - Spicy or Mild - chopped into 1-inch discs
- 8 ounces Ham Steak (or any leftover ham you may already have) - chopped into 1-inch squares
- 1 10-oz bag frozen Seasoning Blend (pre-chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, with parsley) (see Note 1)
- 1 14.5-ounce can chicken Broth (canned or in a carton)
- 2 15.5-ounce cans canned Black-eyed Peas (Trappey's is my favorite brand!) Undrained
- 1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes, undrained (OPTIONAL)
- ½ teaspoon Cajun Seasoning (see Note 2)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Dried Basil Or use 1 bay leaf.
- ½ teaspoon Salt (see Note 3)
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 cups Long Grain Rice (uncooked) - do not use instant rice
- Green Onion, for garnish
- Brown the sliced sausage in olive oil over medium heat. Use a large (at least 5-quart), heavy pan.
- Remove the sausage from the pan, and add the diced ham. Brown for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the frozen vegetable mixture (or fresh vegetables) to the pot with the ham. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Use a spoon or spatula to scrape the bits and pieces that may have adhered to the bottom of the pan and incorporate them into the ham and veggie mixture.
- Return the sausage to the pot. Add chicken broth, canned black-eyed peas (undrained), Rotel tomatoes (if using), and seasonings. Mix well. Add raw rice, and stir again. Taste test for flavor and add more salt or creole seasoning, if desired.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and put the lid on the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove the lid, quickly stir to bring rice to the top, then replace the lid on pot. Turn heat down to low and slow simmer for an additional 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
This recipe was originally published in December 2020 and was updated in 2022.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.