Veganized Hoppin’ John Recipe: Hop on the Lucky Train (and Don’t Gain Weight!) this New Year’s Day

Hop on the Lucky Train (and Don’t Gain Weight!) this New Year’s with a Veganized Hoppin’ John Recipe

Increase your luck and maintain your figure with this vegan Hoppin’ John recipe, which is full of smoky flavor, vegetables, and fiber and protein-packed black-eyed peas.

Hoppin’ John is a classic southern staple, a smoky black-eyed peas, and rice dish. Eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is believed to bring luck in the coming year. The peas in the dish represent coins, and Hoppin’ John is traditionally eaten aside collard greens (representing money) and cornbread (representing gold). If you’re superstitious like me, you’re probably halfway to the grocery store all ready to pick up the ingredients. But before you tag onto any old Hoppin’ John recipe, keep in mind that while it is indeed based in peas and rice, it often involves bacon, ham hock, fatback, or sausage. The following version nixes the saturated animal-sourced fat and sticks to the plant-based basics: black-eyed peas, rice, onion, and spices. Your luck just got oh-so-much better!

This recipe not only transforms a traditional, pork-laden Hoppin’ John recipe into a vegan masterpiece but also invites more complex flavors in the form of okra, brown and wild rice, an assortment vegetables, and liquid smoke. The result is a dish you’ll feel lucky to have at your disposal not just on New Year’s day, but all year long. Enjoy!

Vegan Hoppin’ John Recipe

Serves 6


  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ½ cup wild rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (no-salt added)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 4 tablespoons cup olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh okra, trimmed and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cups cooked black-eyed peas


In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the brown rice, wild rice, vegetable stock, and liquid smoke. Stir the mixture and put a lid on the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the rice is tender – about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil, okra, and spices. Cook until the okra is tender and dry. Set aside.

In a separate large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, mushrooms, onion, and celery. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms tender throughout – about 10-15 minutes. Stir in cooked rice mixture and peas. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in okra until well combined and stir until all ingredients are well heated.

Serve immediately.

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Hoppin’ John image via Shutterstock