Hoppin John is a Southern thing. And it’s delicious too! And our version of this slow cooker hoppin John black-eyed peas and ham recipe couldn’t be easier or tastier!
I would say it’s a different version of the classic. But I can’t. And I might be wrong in saying that. But everywhere I looked, there is NO classic version. The only consistency seems to be there are peas, rice and some form of meat involved.
Slow Cooker Hoppin John Black Eyed Peas and Ham Recipe
So, if you consider the classic criteria for Hoppin John to be black eyed peas, a meat of some sort and rice… this hoppin John recipe is a classic one too 😊
We’re using four basic ingredients. And when I say basic, I do mean basic. This is the foundation and includes:
- Black-eyed peas
- Chicken Stock
- Precooked rice
Now just those ingredients in and of themselves are going to give you a very easy, toss together hoppin John. From there, you just add the seasonings and spices you want.
We almost always add a bit of cayenne pepper and Himalayan salt. And it’s very good. Just like that. Adding garlic is never a bad option around here. And it’s added quite often as well.
Also, if you're going for a freezer meal OR intend to make this on the fly OR even if you're going to add it to your regular cooking rotation... making crockpot rice might be an excellent option for you.
Making rice is the slow cooker is very easy.
- There's no baby-sitting.
- It's almost impossible to burn.
And you can freeze it after it's cooked for several weeks.
How to Cook Black Eyed Peas and Ham in a Slow Cooker
If you’re a bean fan. Or here I guess I should say a “pea” fan…you probably already know that your slow cooker can be your best friend. Slow Cookers are excellent for cooking just about any form of bean (or pea).
And they are excellent for just about any cheaper cut of beef, or pork. AND they can cook a whole host of things.
But for THIS article, we’ll focus on just slow cooker black-eyed peas and turning those black-eyed peas into a delicious slow cooker hoppin John recipe 😊
Video Slideshow for Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas and Ham
How to Cook Different Kinds of Black-Eyed Peas in the Crockpot
Making black-eyed peas…or beans…or any other sort of peas…in your crock pot is not difficult. Not at all.
But what about all the different ways you can purchase black-eyed peas? What’s the difference and how do you deal with that?
I mean a can of black-eyed peas off the grocery shelf isn’t the same animal to tackle as a bag of dried black-eyed peas. And it isn’t the same thing as dealing with the frozen form OR the fresh ones from the farmer’s market (or the garden).
All those differently processed bean (and pea) types require different lengths of cooking time.
And it matters. Trust me. I ran into this last New Year’s. Because black-eyed peas for New Years is a southern traditional thing too.
In Search of Black-Eyed Peas
I’ve always bought either dried peas or canned peas in the past. Guess what? Nada. NONE. There wasn’t a bag of dried black-eyed peas OR canned black-eyed peas to be found! Not at the 2 local groceries. Not at the not-to-be-named-big-box-store. My only other option was to drive 25 miles.
And I REALLY didn’t want to deal with that. Not with dark coming on and a snow storm due any time. So, I found the assistant manager at the store I was currently in and asked him if he had any. Nope! Corporate hadn’t sent them any and no one had ordered them either.
Holy cow! I mean, I know Indiana isn’t “the south” but it isn’t THAT not south. Or maybe it is. I wonder now with that happening.
Anyways, Gary being the great guy he is, went in the back and looked around. He found me some frozen black-eyed peas. Hmmm. I never dealt with that before.
So, I bought 4 bags of them, so I could experiment on cooking times. That way, you guys wouldn’t have to deal trial and error… you could just go with it and enjoy the finished product 😊
Cooking Canned Black-Eyed Peas in the Slow Cooker
Canned black-eyed peas aren’t a huge big. They need a little spice (see that up above) and if you eat meat, then that too.
Past that, they need to cook for a while to pick up the flavors of whatever you cooked them with.
On low, 2 to 8 hours will cook the beans. But with adding onion to this recipe, you’ll need to cook it longer. On high, you aren’t going to get the same “melding of flavors” but if you’re in a hurry, 1 to 2 hours on high works too.
Making Frozen & Fresh Black-Eyed Peas in the Crock Pot
Now here is my new knowledge for you guys. And I’d never have thought it but it’s true…from cooking 4 batches.
Frozen black-eyed peas need to be treated the same as fresh black-eyed peas. I had no way of finding out how long the black-eyed peas I purchased had been blanched (If you don’t know…blanching is part of the food preservation process that suspends the naturally occurring enzymes in your food.
Blanching Fresh Black-Eyed Peas
Basically, if food isn’t blanched before freezing then it will lose taste, color and vitamins over time. And this article isn’t about that.
And though I know how to can AND how to can using my slow cooker in the process…I’ll not go into that.
If you’d like to read up on why, how and how long to blanch your fresh vegetables, both the University of Minnesota Extension and the National Center for Home Food Preservation have excellent tutorials written on the subject.
For fresh or frozen beans, you’ll need to cook them for 6 to 8 hours on low. I’ve never tried them on high, so I can’t give you a time there. If you try it, let me know and I’ll update the recipe.
How to Cook Dried Black-Eyed Peas in the Crockpot
And finally, dried black-eyed peas. Most times, this is the most economical method for purchasing beans and peas. They also store a long time and you don’t have to up freezer room. So, if you take the time to soak the dried peas/beans overnight you can save lots of money.
It’s nothing more than rinsing and soaking them beforehand. And it’s generally my method of choice. Here are the steps:
- Place the dried beans in a colander and rinse well. Remove any shriveled beans and little rocks you find. The little rocks used to freak me out…and they don’t show up as often as they did 20 years ago…but they still happen on occasion.
- Pour the rinsed and sorted beans into a large dish. Add 3 to 4 times the water as beans. So, if you are going to soak 1 cup of dried beans, use 3 to 4 cups of water.
- Cover the dish and set on the back of the counter overnight.
- Tomorrow morning dump the beans through your colander again. Rinse and proceed with cooking.
You’ll need to cook your pre-soaked dried black-eyed peas 8 to 12 hours on low to get a good flavor. And not just for flavor. You don’t want anything crunchy either. If the beans are old, they’ll need to cook longer to become tender.
I hope that sums up the different ways and how long and why to cook your crock pot black-eyed peas. If you have any more questions on the matter, please let me know.
NOW, here’s the recipe for our Slow Cooker Black-Eyed peas and Ham Recipe (aka: Slow Cooker Hoppin John). Enjoy! And again, holler if you’ve any questions 😊
Printable Crockpot Hoppin John Black-Eyed Peas Recipe
Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Peas and Ham
Served alone, it's a great side dish. Over rice, it's an excellently traditional southern crock pot meal! We've provided the option of freezer meal prep at the very bottom. And adding precooked, freezer-friendly crockpot rice is a great option.
- 3 to 4 cups of leftover ham sausage, or beef (cut into bite-size pieces) (I used leftover ham)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 15 ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 2 10.75 ounce cans chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- Salt and hot sauce as desired
- Mix all the ingredients in you slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. You can cook this as long as 8 hours but the beans will become very soft. Sometimes it will take on the consistency of soup.
Freezer Meal Directions:
- Pour all the ingredients in a freezer safe bag.
- Lay flat, label and freeze for 6 to 8 weeks.
- Make a note on your label you'll need cooked rice when you make this recipe.