This is a guest post originally published @ Sow True Seed.

How to make Hoppin johns and collard greens - Hoppin Johns and Collards

Tradition is not just about how we do things in the south, it’s about the history of our families. It makes us feel close to those that are no longer with us, bonded to those that stand beside us every day, and hopeful about those that are still to come. Tradition is a string of love that weaves together the past, present, and future, connecting all of us.

No matter your budget, sharing tradition is one of the most important things you can give those who you love, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year. So, I thought it appropriate for my first blog post for Sow True Seed to be a traditional southern meal served on New Year’s Day. May your New Year be filled with joy, peace, love, prosperity…and lots of luck.

Hoppin’ Johns

Note: This recipe can easily be made vegan by just substituting all of the meat and butter in it for either olive oil or coconut oil. Easy peasy.
How to make Hoppin johns and collard greens - Rice and beans


  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Onions – chopped
  • ½ cup Celery – chopped
  • ½ cup Tomatoes – chopped
  • ½ cup Sweet Pepper – chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic – chopped
  • 1 lb Black Eyed Peas
  • 1 quart Chicken (or vegetable) Stock
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Dash of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 large Ham Hock (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups Uncooked White Rice – rinsed

How to Make Hoppin' Johns


  1. Rinse and then soak your beans overnight (or at least 6 hours).
  2. Chop the onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, and celery.
  3. Add onions, peppers, and celery to a skillet with olive oil. When they begin to become translucent add the garlic.
  4. Add black eyed peas, and broth to the pan.  Also add the bay leaf, poultry seasoning, and black pepper. At this point if you are using a ham hock, go ahead and add that too.  DO NOT ADD SALT YET (it will make the beans tough).
  5. Cook the beans for about 40 minutes, or until they become tender.
  6. Rinse the rice and add to the pot. Cook uncovered until the rice is done.

Collard Greens

Note: This recipe can easily be made vegan by just substituting all of the meat and butter in it for either olive oil or coconut oil. Easy peasy.

How to make Hoppin johns and collard greens - Greens and onions


  • 2 bunches of Collard Greens
  • 1 large onion – chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic – chopped
  • ¼ cup ham fat – chopped small
  • 1 Tbsp bacon drippings
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth (or Vegetable)
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to finish

How to cook collards


  1. Let’s start by prepping the collard greens. Slice down the center vein. Next, chop the greens.
  2. Put the greens in a large bowl and add about 1 Tbsp of salt. (The salt helps remove any debris or insects that might be on the greens)
  3. Add water and let soak for about 30 minutes or so.
  4. Drain and allow the greens to dry while you start cooking.
  5. Now, let’s get the butter, bacon grease, onions, and black pepper in the pan (on medium heat). At this point your kitchen should begin to smell so good you’re going to want to want to eat the air. Yeah, it’s that good.
  6. Once the onions start to become slightly translucent add the garlic. After about a minute remove the onion/garlic mixture from the pan and set aside. Leave as much of the grease in the pan as possible.
  7. Add the ham pieces and brown them.
  8. Once browned, add the onion/garlic mixture back to the pan.
  9. Start adding the collards in a little at a time. They will wilt down quite a bit. But definitely do not put them in all at once.
  10. Add the broth after about ½ of the collards are in the pan. And, yes…homemade broth is always better.
  11. Keep adding collards till they are all in the pan. Let the collards cook down for about 30 minutes. Just before serving add a splash of apple cider vinegar.

Now, let’s plate this yumminess…

Oh, and don’t forget the Corn Bread!!! Bonus Recipe…

“Grandmama’s Corn Bread”

The key to this recipe…a HOT iron skillet!

How to make Hoppin johns and collard greens - Cornbread


  • 1 ½ cups Corn Meal
  • ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 ½ cups Buttermilk (more if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp Oil (Canola, Olive, or even a little bacon grease…can you see a theme with these recipes?)


  1. Put 1 Tbsp oil in the iron skillet. Place skillet in oven, and preheat to 400º.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  3. Add buttermilk to the dry mixture until it is the consistency of a thick pancake batter.
  4. Take hot skillet out of the oven and quickly add cornbread mixture to skillet.
  5. Put back in oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Have an awesome and delicious New Year!

Written by Sow True Seed’s Food Expert, Sarah Wickers (owner of Well Seasoned Table)