A Week's Worth of Black-Eyed Pea Recipes to Supercharge Your Good Luck in the New Year

Black-eyed peas are said to bring good luck, so start out the year making and eating this pea — which is really a bean!. (Photo: JeffreyW [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

It's almost a new year, and who doesn't want a little good luck and good fortune? In the South, tradition says that serving black-eyed peas in the new year brings good luck and prosperity. The good luck comes from the bean's penny-like appearance, and the prosperity is due to the abundance of them.

Two dishes are particularly associated with black-eyed peas and good luck: Hoppin' John and Skippin' Jenny. These are traditionally served on the first two days of a new year. In reality, they're the same dish! When the Jan. 1 Hoppin' John is served as leftovers on Jan. 2, it's called Skippin' Jenny. We've rounded up a traditional and a vegetarian recipe for Hoppin' John/Skippin' Jenny, plus five more black-eyed pea recipes to keep the good luck going for a whole week.

  1. Hoppin' John: This simple ham and bean stew is often served on New Year's Day over rice. This recipe uses a ham hock, but also has directions to use cut-up ham or bacon in place of the ham hock, and ideas for adding more vegetables.
  2. Vegetarian Hoppin' John: This vegetarian recipe omits the ham and adds hot sauce for a little flavor. Done in the slow cooker, the flavors meld together all day long. Rice is added during the last hour so the entire dish is done in one pot.
  3. Good Luck Cornbread Skillet: Hoppin' John is frequently served with a side of cornbread, but this dish puts the black-eyed peas along with sausage, peppers and collard greens right underneath the cornbread in a skillet, where it starts on the stovetop and ends up in the oven for the cornbread to cook.
  4. Black-Eyed Peas Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese: Bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and fresh herbs are added to the peas and squash for a hearty salad that's dressed with a sweet and spicy vinaigrette.
  5. Sour Cream and Onion Roasted Black-Eyed Peas: The beans become a savory, crunchy snack by roasting them in the oven and then dusting with a sour cream and onion powder.
  6. Greek Black-Eyed Pea Salsa: Black olives, feta cheese and other Greek staples are combined with the peas to make a dip for pita or tortilla chips.
  7. Black-Eyed Pea Chili: Black-eyed peas replace kidney beans in this ground beef chili recipe that adds a bottle of dark beer for deep flavor.

Even if you don't believe in foods that can call forth good luck, adding black-eyed peas to your diet is a good idea. A half-cup serving of the beans has 100 calories, less than one gram of fat, about 5 grams of fiber and about 6 grams of protein. They're packed with vitamins and minerals, too, and are especially high in folate, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, and they contain no sodium. (Source: Self Nutrition Data)