Smoky Vegan Hoppin’ John with Chard

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This vegan hoppin’ John is made with smoky simmered black-eyed peas, spices and chard. Perfect for New Year’s, or pretty much any day of the year!

This is an almost conventional version of a New Year’s classic. It’s cheap and healthy and I didn’t even have to break tradition all that much to make it that way.

I first learned of this dish a few years back from a friend who had gotten in the habit of preparing a big pot of the stuff on New Year’s day. I’d never heard of the dish before, but now I know that it’s kind of a New Year’s day tradition in lots of homes in the U.S.

Her version was meatless, and I think totally vegan, though I never got around to confirming or trying it.

When I decided to make up a batch of my own, I found a bunch of recipes that called for ham or bacon. It seems like that’s a popular ingredient in most versions of the dish. I decided to include only my favorite part of bacon, the smoke, which comes conveniently bottled and in totally vegan form. I also threw in some chard, to flavor and healthy things up a bit, and also to add some variety as a stand in for collards, which I understand are another optional ingredient in more traditional versions.

On a side note, the idea behind the dish is frugality — eat cheap on New Year’s, be blessed with abundance for the next twelve months, so I’m thinking the whole optional ingredients thing supports that.

I’ve eaten this hoppin’ John a bunch of times over both rice (traditional) and quinoa (not so traditional). Either way, it’s super delicious and satisfying.

This recipe makes a big batch. It’s also super easy to throw together. So it’s perfect in all kinds of ways if you’ve got a New Year’s crowd to feed.

5 from 11 votes Print

Smoky Vegan Hoppin’ John with Chard

This vegan hoppin’ John is made with smoky simmered black-eyed peas, spices and chard. Perfect for New Year’s, or pretty much any day of the year!

CourseEntree CuisineAmerican Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 45 minutes Total Time 55 minutes Servings 6 Calories 257 kcal Author Alissa


  • 1tablespoonolive oil
  • 3garlic cloves,minced
  • 2celery stalks,diced
  • 1medium onion,diced
  • 1green bell pepper,diced
  • 4cupsvegetable broth
  • 1pounddried black eyed peas,soaked in water 8 hours or overnight
  • ½teaspoonliquid smoke
  • 2bay leaves
  • 1teaspoondried thyme
  • 1teaspoonsmoked paprika
  • ½teaspooncayenne pepper,or to taste
  • ½teaspoonblack pepper
  • 1bunch (about ¾ lb.) Swiss chard leaves, sliced into strips
  • salt,to taste
  • Cayenne pepper hot sauce,to taste
  • 4scallionschopped
  • cooked rice or quinoafor serving


  1. Place the olive oil in large pot and set over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, onion and bell pepper. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the broth, black eyed peas, liquid smoke, bay leaves, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne and black pepper. Stir a few times and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until the peas are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 50 minutes. Add a bit of water to the pot if it gets too dry. 

  3. Add the chard and stir a few times. Allow to simmer about 3 more minutes, until the chard leaves are wilted. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper hot sauce to taste. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

  4. Serve over rice or quinoa. Top with scallions and additional hot sauce.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include rice or quinoa.

Nutrition FactsSmoky Vegan Hoppin’ John with ChardAmount Per ServingCalories 257Calories from Fat 32% Daily Value*Fat 3.5g5%Saturated Fat 0.6g3%Sodium 599mg25%Potassium 356mg10%Carbohydrates 53.6g18%Fiber 22.2g89%Sugar 4.9g5%Protein 22.9g46%Calcium 60mg6%Iron 7mg39%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Vegan Lemon Ricotta CookiesThat’s Nacho Sweet Potato Cheese! »

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This is great for lunch!


  • We made this today for New Years, but used collards instead of chard (so cooked for longer) and added 2 tablespoons of ACV at the end, because we prefer that vinegary kick to it. It was a perfect traditional flavor and came out great! Thanks!


    • Made it last night, delicious! We added seitan bacon and it worked wonderfully to replace the traditional pork or bacon.


      • On the stove now, smelling great! Making it with collards instead of chard. Thanks for the recipe!


        • This is the best vegan hoppin john I’ve ever had! The seasoning is perfect! I made it in a slow cooker and added a can of fire roasted tomatoes. We’re not fans of cooked greens so had a kale salad with a maple mustard vinaigrette on the side. This is the only hoppin john recipe we will use!


          • This was delicious really amazing flavor! I made it with collard greens and added them in earlier. Thank you for this vegan black eyed pea recipe!


          • I did not soak the BEP but I did make this recipe in a pressure cooker. Followed as written except used around 6.5 cups of broth (guessed how much extra liquid would be needed without pre-soak.). Cooked for 13 minutes with natural pressure release. I dug collards out of the snow-covered garden and added them at the end, simmering for a few more minutes. It came out just a little bit soupier than I would’ve liked but we served it over rice and it all tasted great. Would reduce the liquid I used by maybe 3/4 c next time, but of course it depends on how old the BEPs are (ours are usually pretty fresh.)


          • I love this recipe and have made it several times with great success. What I don’t love are green peppers, so I replace them with the chopped stalks from the chard (adds a bit of color if you use red chard!). The age of the beans I’m using tonight is questionable—wish me luck!


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Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

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