Money Peas


Post by community member:

My mother always, and I mean without fail, served black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. I never liked black-eyed peas, but we were prodded into consuming them with the promise of money. The more black-eyed peas you ate on New Year’s Day, the more money you’d have in the coming year.

Not that I ever had any money when I was a kid anyway, so I’m not sure why I bought into that, but it got me to eat the peas.

Once I was all grown up and actually had some hope (if faint) of having any money, I kept fixing black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day as a tradition, but I still didn’t like them much. Then I discovered Hoppin’ John and black-eyed peas turned flavorful and spicy. (There are various theories behind the appellation Hoppin’ John and you can read some of them here.) Over the years, I’ve developed my own way of making Hoppin’ John that suits me. It’s a versatile recipe that you can adapt to your family’s tastes. The main point is that black-eyed peas don’t have to just be black-eyed peas. Put some good stuff in there and make ’em special.

Eat them on New Year’s Day and next thing you know, YOU’LL BE RICH!

Okay, I’m still not sure about that part (hasn’t happened yet), but it’s one of a number of traditional New Year’s Day foods that ring in the fresh baby year with a bouncy shot of optimism. Try some Hoppin’ John today.

This recipe is geared toward a pressure cooker, but I’ll follow with instructions for using a plain old pot if you don’t have one. Remember that when cooking beans in a pressure cooker, never fill the pressure cooker (beans plus water and any other ingredients) more than half-full and always add some oil to reduce foaming.

NOTE: Please refer to the manual for the pressure cooker you are using when following any pressure cooker recipe and adjust the directions accordingly.

How to make Hoppin’ John:

4-6 slices bacon OR 1 ham bone
1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
3 cups water
2 cups chopped onion, celery, green pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

I actually prefer peppered bacon when I’m making Hoppin’ John, but a ham hock is more traditional. You don’t need to pre-soak the black-eyed peas if using a pressure cooker. Just rinse well and get on with the cooking!

If using bacon, partially cook bacon right in the pressure cooker where you will cook the beans.

I let the bacon grease stand as the oil that would otherwise be needed to reduce foaming in the pressure cooker. After partial cooking, cut bacon in 1-inch pieces. Add dried beans, water, and remaining ingredients including ham bone (if using instead of bacon).

If you don’t like spicy, you might not want to use a whole teaspoon of crushed red peppers, but that’s how I like it.

If using a ham bone, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. If using bacon, leave at least a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pot. Use any mixture of onion, celery, and green pepper adding up to 2 cups, if desired.

When using a pressure canner or cooker, I always use a small bit of oil on a paper towel and wipe all the way around the rubber sealing ring. This helps ease release of the lid after cooking.

Align handles and lock down the lid.

Place the regulator on the pot.

Bring the pot to pressure over medium-high heat. Once the regulator starts jiggling, cook 4 minutes, lowering the temperature slightly. (You want the regulator to jiggle gently, not wildly.) After 4 minutes, turn off the heat and let the pressure go down on its own. Serve over brown or long grain and wild rice. Also great with cornbread!

My pressure cooker has a little button that shows when it reaches pressure. The button comes up.

When the pressure goes down after cooking, the button goes back down.

It’s an added safety feature that shows you visually that it’s okay to open the pot. (I have the Presto 6-quart stainless steel pressure cooker.) Remove the regulator before removing the lid.

The black-eyed peas are ready! My pressure cooker builds and drops pressure in under 15 minutes. This recipe can be on the table in under an hour. You’ll barely have time to cook the rice! It works nicely as a side dish, but it’s a main dish all by itself.

If NOT using a pressure cooker, pre-soak the black-eyed peas. Combine the black-eyed peas and the 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil; turn off the heat and let sit covered for one hour. Return the pot to a boil and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours till black-eyed peas are tender.

As you can see, it takes 2 1/2 times longer to prepare this dish when not using a pressure cooker. I love my pressure cooker! Hoppin’ John is ready so quickly, it also makes a great busy day meal any time of the year. If you don’t use any meat at all, by the way, it’s a delicious vegetarian (in fact, vegan) meal. And it’s got flavor! These aren’t your mother’s black-eyed peas!

We’ve added a Pressure Cooker category to Farm Bell Recipes, so bring on your pressure cooker recipes! We want to see them.

Find this recipe on Farm Bell Recipes for the handy print page and save it to your recipe box:
Hoppin’ John

Thank you all so much for being here and coming along with me in 2010 as I expanded this site. I created Farm Bell Recipes to serve you, but you are the ones who make the community here at Farm Bell Recipes, on Chickens in the Road, and on the CITR forum.

Happy New Year and here’s to a great 2011 for all of us!

Do you have a recipe post or kitchen-related story to share on the Farm Bell blog? Read information here for Farm Bell blog submissions.

Want to subscribe to the Farm Bell blog? Go here.


  1. Darlene in North GA says:

    I would like to note that people need to read the instruction for THEIR pressure cooker (can be found on-line and for free).

    My pressure cooker tells me to vent it (like you would a pressure canner) and THEN put the regulator on it.

  2. Brenda H. says:

    My friend just called me last night about eating black eyed peas on New Years. She was so upset she doesn’t have any to make. We live too far away to go to the store when we have a lot of snow (which we do). She said black eyed peas are a Texas thing. I wouldn’t know, but will soon we are moving to Texas Monday.

  3. VaGirl2 says:

    Here in Central VA…we eat black eyed peas with stewed tomoatoes for New Year’s! And to your comment about being rich…I guess it depends on what you mean by rich…if we think of our blessings this past year, we can all feel rich in one way or another. Happy 2011!

  4. princessvanessa says:

    Speaking of money….Suzanne, were you the winner of the $500 for the pictures you entered in a contest last month? {we voted each day) I was so busy working, getting ready for Christmas and making some of my gifts that I probably missed reading about how that came out.
    Did you win? Sure hope you did; and if not, I’m sorry because you had great pictures and captions.

  5. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Thank you, princessvanessa! Yes, I came in first place.

Add Your Thoughts

Search Farm Bell Recipes

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories
All Recipes
Appetizers & Snacks
Bean Soups
Beans, Grains & Rice
Boiling Water Bath
Bread Machine
BWB Condiments
BWB Fruits
BWB Jams, Jellies, Butters & Preserves
BWB Marmalades & Conserves
BWB Other
BWB Pickles & Pickled Stuff
BWB Salsas
BWB Sauces
BWB Tomatoes & Combos
BWB Vegetables
Coffee Cake
Cold Remedies
Cookery 101
Cookies & Bars
Cream Soups
Crock Pot
Cure & Smoke
Egg Dishes
Food Photography
Frostings & Icings
Fruit Breads
Fruit Cakes
Fruit Salads
Gift Basket Goodies
Goat Cheeses
Grill-Outdoor Cooking
Hard Cheeses
Herbs & Spices
Homemade Cheese
How To
Ice Creams
Ingredients & Mixes
Jell-O Salads
Kitchen Gadgets
Lettuce & Greens
Main Dish
Meat Salads
Meet the Cook
One Dish Meal
Other Breads
Other Breakfast
Other Condiments
Other Dairy
Other Desserts
Other Main Dish
Other Salads
Other Side Dishes
Other Soups & Stews
Other Special Diets
Pasta Salads
PC Beef
PC Chicken
PC Meats
PC Other
PC Poultry
PC Soups & Stews
PC Veggies
Pizza Crusts
Potato Salads
Pressure Canning
Pressure Cooker
Puddings & Custards
Recipe Requests
Relishes & Chutneys
Side Dishes
Soft Cheeses
Soups & Stews
Special Diets
Special Occasions
Steam Juicer
Tips & Tricks
Tortillas & Pitas
Using FBR
Vegetable Breads
Vegetable Salads
Wild Game
Yeast Breads

If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!

Recent Reviews and Comments

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. I can't wait to try it! <3
    User AvatarGoose Hill Farm on Creamy Blend of Coffee and Milk
  • I tried to open my document for Cappuccino Marshmallows. I made them last year for a Xmas. Eve Party and several guests asked me for the recipe. They were fab. ...
    User AvatarBonny on Marshmallows
  • I have that exact same pasta maker! It's marvelous! I love that you can adjust the thickness by turning a couple of knobs. Enjoy!
    User Avatarfowlplayfun on My New Italian Kitchen
  • Faith, what a lovely tribute to your Dad! I decided to read your post because of the title, and the immediate recollection of my own Dad's 'favorite Thanksgiving Sandwich', which, ...
    User Avatarfieldfare on My Dad's Thanksgiving Sandwich
  • On so many levels, I consider this to be an absolutely wonderful post, and one that is so certain to influence my own Work, I know I will be mentioning ...
    User Avatarfieldfare on Quick, Easy Lunch for Company
  • I wrote the following in a note to Suzanne about this reference to the old, out-of-print book, when I was having difficulty signing up for this site, earlier today. Since ...
    User Avatarfieldfare on Cheesemaking Without Benefit of Mail Order
  • I had no idea that BBQ Rub was local. Not sure how old this thread is, but I just bought some of those pork steaks from the IGA here in ...
    User AvatarDaftHarlot on BBQ Rub
  • I have made this recipe quite a few times. I use whatever wine I have and it is good with any of it. I have even used dried mushrooms chopped ...
    User Avatarfemforrest on Dede's Golden Mushroom Soup
  • Hi from a Welsh lass living in Bulgaria. I've been canning for years but I seem to be having a problem with this one. I'm probably being extremely stupid! You ...
    User Avatarjobo123 on Canned Coleslaw?!
  • I have a question. The instructions say to bring to a boil. Do I need to add any water to the pot or just use what liquid there is from ...
    User AvatarCheryle on Condensed Tomato Soup for Canning
  • And for some reason I didn't see the responses above which give ideas. Thanks for those!!
    User AvatarCassie on Recipes Using Kefir

Thanks for being part of our community!