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Southern Crockpot Black Eyed Peas

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Start the new year with this traditional and flavorsome, Southern Crockpot Black-Eyed Peas dish that’s not only delicious, but is also believed to bring good luck! According to Southern tradition, consuming black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity and luck for the upcoming year.

This slow-cooked, Hoppin’ John recipe combines tender black-eyed peas with savory smoked sausage, smoked ham hocks and aromatic herbs and spices, creating a soul-warming meal that’s perfect for ringing in the new year!

A white bowl with a mound of white rice in the middle and Southern Black Eyed Peas around the rice. All is garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

What are Black Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are a type of legume commonly enjoyed in various cuisines, especially in Southern American and African cooking. They are small, beige-colored beans with a black spot, giving them their distinctive appearance. These peas have a mild, earthy flavor and a somewhat creamy texture when cooked.

“Hoppin’ John” is more than just a dish; it carries cultural significance, often served on New Year’s Day in the American South as part of a meal believed to bring good luck. The black-eyed peas in this dish symbolize coins or wealth, while the rice represents prosperity, making it a staple for welcoming the new year with hopes of abundance and fortune.

Do you have to soak the beans prior to cooking?

While many traditional black-eyed peas recipes recommend soaking the dried beans overnight to reduce cooking time and aid in digestion, it’s not necessary when using a slow cooker or crockpot. The prolonged cooking time in the crockpot, is sufficient to soften and cook the beans thoroughly, without the need for soaking.

Ingredients to Make Hoppin’ John (Southern Black Eyed Peas)

  • Black-eyed peas: Substitutes could include cowpeas, pigeon peas, or navy beans (However, if serving for New Year’s, be sure to use black eyed peas for luck).
  • Smoked Sausage: Kielbasa is a great substitute.
  • Bacon: For added smokiness and flavor, add diced bacon.
  • Ham Hocks: Alternatives might include smoked turkey legs, bacon, smoked sausage, or smoked ham.
  • Onions: Yellow or white onions will work in this slow cooker Hoppin’ John recipe.
  • Seasonings: Dried thyme can be used instead of fresh. Substitute bay leaves with a pinch of dried bay leaf powder. For spices, a combination of paprika, cayenne pepper, or Cajun seasoning can be used.
  • Chicken Broth/Stock: Vegetable broth or stock can be used as a substitute for chicken broth/stock to make the dish vegetarian or vegan-friendly.

How to Make Southern Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas

This Southern Crockpot Black-Eyed Peas recipe is incredibly easy to prepare:

  1. Begin by browning the smoked sausage circles in a pan until they develop a golden hue.
  2. While the sausage is browning, add the rinsed black-eyed peas, minced onion, celery and garlic into a large crockpot.
  3. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and Cajun seasoning.
  4. Add the bay leaves and fresh thyme.
  5. Nestle in the ham hocks then add the browned smoked sausage.
  6. Pour in the chicken stock, ensuring it covers the ingredients adequately.
  7. Set the crockpot to high and let it cook for 5 hours. Periodically check the liquid levels and stir gently.
  8. When the peas are almost done, remove the ham hocks, shred the meat and add the meat back to the crockpot.
  9. Remove the bay leaves and woody stems of the thyme.
  10. Serve with steamed rice.

Alternative Hoppin’ John Cooking Methods

Hoppin’ John is a versatile dish that can be prepared in various ways to suit different preferences and cooking methods. Here are some alternative ways to prepare this recipe, along with different cooking times for each method:

Stovetop Method:

  1. Instructions:
    • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery and garlic, until softened.
    • Add the black-eyed peas, ham hocks or substitute, seasonings, and chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil.
    • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the peas are tender, stirring occasionally.
    • Once peas are cooked, remove the ham hocks, shred the meat, and return it to the pot. Adjust seasoning, if needed.
    • Prepare rice separately according to package instructions.
    • Serve the Hoppin’ John over the cooked rice.

Instant Pot/Electric Pressure Cooker Method:

  1. Instructions:
    • Using the sauté function on the Instant Pot, sauté the sausage, onions and celery, for a few minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
    • Add black-eyed peas, ham hocks or substitute, seasonings, and chicken stock to the pot. Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on high pressure for around 20-25 minutes.
    • Once done, perform a quick pressure release (or natural release, if preferred).
    • Remove the ham hocks, shred the meat, and return it to the pot. Adjust seasoning, if needed.
    • Prepare rice separately according to package instructions.
    • Serve the Hoppin’ John over the cooked rice.

How to Serve and Store Black Eyed Peas

  • Serve this flavorful Southern comfort food as a side dish, alongside cornbread and/or rice.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of broth or water to maintain moisture.

More Crockpot Recipes to Love

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A white bowl with a mound of white rice in the middle and Southern Black Eyed Peas around the rice. All is garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

Southern Crockpot Black Eyed Peas


Description

Start the new year with this Southern Crockpot Black Eyed Peas recipe. It’s a traditional and flavorsome Southern dish that’s not only delicious, but is also believed to bring good luck into the upcoming year!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14-ounces smoked sausage, cut into circles
  • 2 small ham hocks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • steamed rice, for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Begin by browning the smoked sausage circles in a pan until they develop a golden hue.
  2. While the sausage is browning, add the rinsed black-eyed peas, minced onion, celery and garlic into a large crockpot.
  3. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and Cajun seasoning.
  4. Add the hot sauce, bay leaves and fresh thyme.
  5. Nestle in the ham hocks then add the browned smoked sausage.
  6. Pour in the chicken stock, ensuring it covers the ingredients adequately.
  7. Set the crockpot to high and let it cook for 5 hours. Periodically check the liquid levels and stir gently.
  8. When the black-eyed peas are almost done, remove the ham hocks, shred the meat and add the meat back to the pot. 
  9. Remove the bay leaves and woody stems of the fresh thyme.
  10. Serve with steamed rice.
  11. ENJOY!
@charlottefashionplate

Southern Black-Eyed Peas Recipe! @Alden Boudy Black-eyed peas are a Southern comfort food served on New Year’s Day for wealth and prosperity in the upcoming year! #blackeyedpeas #southernfood #crockpotrecipes #crockpotmeals #comfortfood #goodluck #happynewyear #luck #prosperity

♬ Come and Get Your Love – Redbone

Notes

  • Alternatively, soak the black-eyed peas overnight for a quicker cook.
  • Feel free to use smoked turkey in replacement of the ham hocks.
  • Add diced green pepper for more flavor.
  • Adjust seasoning to your liking.
  • Monitor liquid levels in the slow cooker. Add more broth or water if needed to cover the black-eyed peas.
  • Shred meat from ham hocks and add the shredded meat back to the black-eyed peas.
  • Mash some of the black-eyed peas to thicken, if needed. 
  • Alternatively, cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Category: Side Dish, Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Southern

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GET TO KNOW ME!

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

In addition, I’m so very excited to announce I have published my first e-book and paperback, “Mastering Thanksgiving – A Guide to Perfecting Your Thanksgiving Dinner.” Your support would mean the world to me.

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