Theories abound as to the origins of the Southern dish, Hoppin’ John. I’m no historian, so I won’t delve too far into it, but here’s what I know:
- Folks eat it on New Year’s Day for luck, peace, and prosperity in the coming year.
- It’s traditionally made with black-eyed-peas, rice, and bacon or ham. Obviously, this version does not have the meat. But it’s still delicious!
In fact, this version breaks tradition in a couple of ways. I mean, as we’ve discussed, it’s vegan, so that makes it pretty clear that it’s not your typical Hoppin’ John. It’s also cooked in the Instant Pot, which I’m pretty sure – I mean, I’m no historian – was not something that was available in the 1800s.
So what is this Instant Pot Vegan Hoppin’ John all about?
Deliciousness! I promise. And trust me, I’ve tried whipping up a few different vegetarian Hoppin’ John recipes over the years, and none hit the spot. Until last New Years’ Day, when my family really thought that this version nailed it. And so, this New Year’s, I’m sharing it with you!
This Hoppin’ John is hearty, savory, and a little smoky, with the teensiest touch of heat.
It’s truly a meal-in-one, with veggies, black-eyed peas, and rice. And it all cooks up in the Instant Pot. Boom! Or something like that. I’m not really a “boom” person but it felt right to say right there.
So, first, you cook up your black-eyed peas. Please start from dried and don’t even consider canned! Canned ones, in my opinion, don’t hold a candle to dried – and it’s not too much extra work to cook up the black-eyed peas in the Instant Pot. Plus, it’s an opportunity to infuse so much flavor into those bad boys! Cook up those beans with smoked paprika, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and a strip of kombu. Kombu, in case you were wondering, is dried seaweed that supposedly helps reduce the, er, gassier properties in legumes. But I add it for the nice hit of umami flavor it contributes.
The, you drain the peas, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Wipe out your Instant Pot and saute some veggies. Add the black-eyed peas, some rice, and broth. Set your Instant Pot at 15 minutes and go work on your list of resolutions.
And then just scoop into bowls, garnish liberally with scallions and parsley, and there you go!
Folks often serve Hoppin’ John with collard greens and maybe even some cornbread. I support both of these ideas.
Happy New Year!
Instant Pot Vegan Hoppin' John
For the black-eyed peas:
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (sorted and rinsed)
- 1 medium yellow onion (peeled and halved)
- 3 medium cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 strip kombu
- 8 cups water
For the Hoppin' John:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced (about 1 cup))
- 3 stalks celery (diced (about 1 cup))
- 1 medium red bell pepper (seeded and diced)
- 1 cup brown basmati rice (rinsed)
- The cooked black-eyed peas
- 1 cup reserved broth from the beans
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed, minced)
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- 1 bunch green onions (scallions, chopped)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Add the black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, bay leaves, smoked paprika, kombu, and 8 cups water to the Instant Pot. Cook on manual/high pressure for 15 minutes. Release and drain the peas, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid and discarding the onion, garlic, kombu, and bay leaves. Set aside the peas and reserved cooking liquid.
- Clean and dry the Instant Pot. Add olive oil. When hot, add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Saute until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the rice, cooked black-eyed peas, 1 cup reserved cooking liquid, vegetable broth, jalapeno pepper, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cook on manual/high pressure for 15 minutes. Quick release. Remove lid and remove thyme stems. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste. Scoop into bowls and top portions with scallions and parsley.
When do you put the peas that you set aside back in?
When do add the cooked peas back in??
This was good, but a little bland. But nothing that couldn’t be fixed with Tabasco on the table. I prefer my veggies to not be this soft, so next time I will sauté them less, and see how that goes. I also stirred in 2 c. of finely cut kale and some liquid smoke at the end.
The peas do get cooked twice, right? It was a little unclear in the directions. Maybe you should mention that the peas and their reserved cooking liquid both get returned to the pot.
And discarding all but 1 c. of the broth seems to be a waste. I saved it for another soup, and also put the cooked onion halves in my freezer bag of stock pot veggies.
I make these on the stove with canned field peas but you have got to put this over corn bread! It is even better! I make fancy vegetarian jiffy and it’s nice and moist like cake!
By the way I absolutely love what you’ve done here! I’m a vegetarian and I cook for 4 boys who I can convince to eat vegetarian ONLY on Lenten Friday’s!
INSTANT POT VEGAN HOPPIN’ JOHN I trying at my home print your recipe thanks for new recipe
I made this recipe tonight exactly as printed and it was delicious! It’s definitely a keeper. Thank you!!!
I’m so glad you liked it! I’m planning on making some for New Year’s. 🙂 Thank you for the review and happy 2020!
I am new to my Instant Pot and this was a great recipe for an eager beginner. I researched a bunch of vegetarian Hoppin’ John recipes and added a few elements to this one to boost some heat and flavor. This recipe was a perfect starter for what was a fantastic dish.
Below are the extra bits I did:
– I charred the onion halves over my gas range before adding them to the first cook.
– I added an extra clove of garlic (4 total). I left 3 cloves in instead of taking them out. They disintegrated in the 2nd cook, so added flavor without having the experience of biting into a solid piece of garlic.
– I left in some seeds for my jalapeno to add more heat.
– For the 2nd cook, I added another 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika and increased the salt and pepper quite a bit.
– I added a tablespoon of Liquid Hickory Smoke.
So so pleased with the resulting dish. I ate it at midnight for NYE!
Wow, those changes sound so delicious! Thanks so much for sharing and coming back and rating the recipe. Happy New Year!
Are the liquid amounts correct? 1.5 cups of broth and 1 cup black eyed pea liquid, in addition to the 8 cups of water. The reason I ask is that I had trouble with it burning in my instant pot. After the first warning, I dumped the contents out and cleaned the bottom of the IP container. I put the contents back in with an extra 3/4 cup veg. broth and I got a second “burning” error on the IP. The mixture was relatively thick and I could see how it would stick. Otherwise, the taste was good.
Lovely recipe! Thanks a lot 😘
I’ve lived in the South 27 years and never tried black eyed peas. After being plant based for 5.5 years now, I decided I need to try them and what better time than New Years with Hoppin Jo
hn?! Your recipe looked good and I love IP cooking. I made it tonight and loved it! I soaked my beans, so I only cooked them for 3 minutes with a quick release. I doubled the garlic and added more smoked paprika and liquid smoke during the second cook, as someone else suggested. My kids don’t like spicy, so I had to leave out the jalapeño and just put Frank’s on my portion. After it was finished cooking, I added two large handfuls of spinach that I had chopped up. I mixed it in and closed the lid for another 5 minutes to let it wilt.
Thank you for this tasty meal! I’m going to make it several times this year!
There was a lot to like in this recipe, but it was unclear in step 1 whether I was supposed to quick release or naturally release the pressure. If step 4 had referenced quick releasing the pot, I might have assumed quick release in step 1 from the context. But because of step 4, I opted for a natural release, which I think was a mistake, because my black eyed peas were quite mushy by the time I cracked the lid of the pressure cooker.
If the author sees this comment, perhaps that can revised the recipe to clarify this point. In any case, if I make this recipe again, and I might, I’ll quick release the pressure. I’ll also probably try cooking the peas for 10 minutes instead of 15 minutes.