Healthier Hoppin’ John

healthier Hoppin' John plated.

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5 from 12 reviews

Hoppin’ John is a traditional Southern dish made with black eyed peas. This healthy version uses turkey bacon used in place of pork. Often eaten New Year’s Day for good luck.


  • 1 or 2 slices turkey bacon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow or red pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 14 oz can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp smoked maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups or more cooked brown rice for serving


  1. Cook the turkey bacon: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan or large skillet. Add the turkey bacon, cook about 10 minutes until crisp, turning occasionally. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside to cool on a paper towel. Break the bacon into small bits when it is cool, and reserve for topping the Hoppin’ John.
  2. Sauté onion: Wipe most of the excess grease from the pan–though there isn’t much with turkey bacon–and add the remaining olive oil. Heat the pan on medium, then add the onions. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes, they should be starting to soften at this point.
  3. Add pepper and garlic: Add the pepper, sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for a minute more.
  4. Add black-eyed peas: Stir the black-eyed peas into the onion mixture. Add the chicken broth, paprika, thyme and oregano. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the honey and optional smoked maple syrup, if using. Stir to combine. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with rice: Plate a portion of rice, the scoop a serving of the Hoppin’ John over the rice. Top the Hoppin’ John with a sprinkling of the scallions, reserved bacon bits, bacon and cheese. Enjoy!


  • Turkey bacon has a much lower fat content than regular pork bacon, so less grease is left behind after cooking. I wouldn’t try to tell you I like turkey bacon as much as traditional bacon, but certainly adds some nice flavor to the rest of this dish.
  • Smoked Maple Syrup is a great ingredient for adding smoky sweet flavor! Updating this recipe, it occurred to me I hadn’t had it in awhile, so I was glad to see the Sugar Bob’s brand I’ve used available here on Amazon (affiliate link provided).
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