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This Hoppin John Recipe is a must for New Year’s Day and all year round! Black eyed peas are steeped in a flavorful vegetarian broth with okra, spices and served over nutritious quinoa for a healthy twist on this Southern classic. If you love peas or rice and peas, definitely check out my Southern Black Eyed Peas, Red Beans and Rice or Jamaican Rice and Peas.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Collards Are The Old Kale for guest posting and providing this wonderful recipe!
The BEST Vegan Friendly Flavorful Hoppin John Recipe!
Despite what you may have heard, soul food is primarily a plant based cuisine, one of the major stars being peas. Immortalized in song by James Brown back-up band The JB’s and later Tony, Toni, Tone who paid homage on 1990 CD The Revival, peas hold a special place in Southern hearths and hearts.
What Is Hoppin John?
Hoppin John is typically a combination of peas, vegetables and meat served over rice. It is also referred to as Carolina Peas and Rice.
What my Mississippi forbearers commonly referred to as field, crowder, cow or black-eyed peas are actually beans that grow and are ready to pick and eat during summer months – only eating black-eyed peas on New Years’ Eve is an urban legend; maybe years ago when most Southerners farmed or gardened, the fact anyone had peas left over until January was thought to be fortuitous and therefore foretold a lucky year.
Served year round, peas topped with chopped green onions alongside a piece of cornbread were frequent supper or dinner entrées when my mother was growing up.
Hoppin John Ingredients and Nutrition
Even though my grandmother, mother and aunts cooked peas with salt pork, peas are a standalone protein powerhouse – 1 cup of cooked black-eyed peas contains 9 percent of the recommended daily allowance of protein for men and 11 percent for women; within that same cup is also a phenomenal 20 percent of the daily value of magnesium, calcium and iron, no fat and 8 grams of fiber. Our ancestors knew what they were doing when they when they gave peas a dietary center stage.
How to Make Hoppin John Recipe Vegetarian and Vegan
This vegetarian version of the Carolina classic pairs black-eyed peas with quinoa instead of white rice which increases protein and fiber. You won’t find ham hock, bacon or other meats in this dish. Instead, I get a very deep flavor from the following ingredients:
- Creole Seasoning
- Liquid Smoke
- Additional Spices
- Vegetarian Beef and Chicken Stocks
You can make your own vegetarian beef and chicken stocks by following instructions here. Or you can grab some Better Than Bouilon Vegetarian No Beef Base or Orrington Farms Vegan Beef Broth and add to water. It is very flavorful.
I usually cook the quinoa separately which gives you the flexibility to use it during the week in salads or with other dishes. I hope you enjoy!
Hoppin John Recipe
For the Black Eyed Peas
- 4 cups fresh or dried black eyed peas
- 6 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups okra
- 1/4 cup celery
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp vegetarian chicken stock
- 2 tbsp vegetarian beef stock
- 1 tbsp Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt Find that HERE
- 2 tsp rubbed sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning Find that HERE
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 dashes Colgin Natural Hickory Liquid Smoke Find that HERE
- 1 dash cayenne pepper optional
For the Quinoa
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups quinoa
- 1 tsp vegetarian chicken or beef stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp walnut oil
For the Black Eyed Peas
- If using dried black-eyed peas: This is the norm, so the peas must be soaked overnight. Place the peas in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cool water being careful to remove any hard debris or blemished peas. Place the peas in a large pot and add water to about an inch above the peas and let them soak in an uncovered pot, overnight. The next day the peas will have absorbed some of the water they soaked in.
- If using fresh black-eyed peas, meaning you got them from a farm, someone’s garden or in the refrigerated section of a grocery store, place the peas in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cool water being careful to remove any hard debris or blemished peas.
- Add 2 Cups of water to the pot and place the pot on the stove, turning the burner to high.
- Mince the garlic and celery either with a paring knife or by using a food processor if preferred. Add to the pot. Add all remaining ingredients except the okra to the pot.
- Once the peas reach a rapid boil, turn the heat down to low. Wash the okra in the colander under cool water. Cut off the top stems and discard. Chop the remaining okra into ¼ inch pieces and add to the pot after the peas have been cooking 1 hour. Cook for 30 minutes to 1 additional hour.
For the Quinoa
- Place quinoa in a sauce pan on medium high heat to toast, allowing some of the grains to slightly brown. After approximately one minute, add the water and then the remaining ingredients and turn the heat down to low.
- Cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring the last few minutes to ensure it doesn’t burn. Top with the black-eyed peas, fresh chopped green onions and enjoy!