New Year’s Hoppin John Casserole

New Year’s Hoppin John Casserole

New Year’s Hoppin John Casserole is an easy, flavorful way to bring good luck into the New Year. Pair it with collard greens, sliced honeyed carrots, and cornbread to summon all kinds of good luck and fortune in the coming year.

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Blue casserole dish full of New Year's Hoppin John Casserole-black eyed peas, andouille sausage, dirty rice and aromatic veggies baked in a creamy sauce.

This casserole takes spicy, andouille sausage, a boxed dirty rice mix, and canned Southern-style black-eyed peas. It mixes it with fresh aromatic veggies, sour cream, and mushroom soup for a creamy, slightly spicy, and satisfying dish that freezes beautifully.

New Year’s Traditions

Many cultures have specific foods that they consume for the New Year to help bring good luck to them and their family. 

The South is no exception. So what are the symbols and traditions of a Southern New Year?

  • Greens – Collard, mustard, turnip, spinach, or cabbage. This represents folded money.
  • Sliced carrots are said to represent coins.
  • Peas or beans also symbolize coins or wealth.
  • Pork products, including sausage and bacon, symbolize prosperity.
  • Cornbread also symbolizes gold and wealth.

One theory explaining the tradition dates back to the Civil war. The story is that peas and pork were left untouched by Union soldiers as they pillaged Confederate kitchens because they considered the items to be animal feed.

Southerners felt themselves to be lucky that the provisions were left and would help sustain them through the winter.

A few more New Year’s superstitions include not consuming lobster on New Year’s day because lobsters crawl backward, meaning you could manifest setbacks, and not consuming anything with wings, because then your luck could fly away.

A white bowl with a serving of New Year's Hoppin John Casserole-black eyed peas, andouille sausage, dirty rice and aromatic veggies baked in a creamy sauce. It's served with a side of cornbread.

What Are Black-Eyed Peas?

White bowl of cooked Southern-style black-eyed peas.

Black-eyed peas are legumes that originated in West Africa. They’re part of the cowpea family and are actually a bean, not a pea. It’s a light green or tan bean with a prominent black spot on one side.

They taste earthy with a creamy, tender consistency that’s similar to a white bean. Black-eyed peas are a rich source of complex carbs and full of fiber, protein, and many nutrients that include folate, magnesium, and iron.

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter – I used unsalted so that I could control the sodium levels of the dish.
  • Andouille sausage – you could also use Italian sausage, kielbasa, or smoked sausage.
  • Onions, bell pepper, celery, and jalapeno peppers 
  • Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles – I used mild, but if you like spice and heat, by all means, use the hot. 
  • Box of dirty rice mix – I used Zatarains. You could also make your own.
  • Chicken stock or broth – use no or low sodium to control the dish’s saltiness.
  • Canned black-eyed peas – I like using Southern-style, which is thick and seasoned, but any canned black-eyed peas would work.
  • Creole or cajun seasoning – again, use low or no sodium. 
  • Can of cream of mushroom soup 
  • Sour cream

Steps To Make This Recipe

  1. Saute the andouille in the butter until the sausage renders some of its fat.
  2. Add the vegetables and cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the tomatoes, rice mix, and chicken stock.  Cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Stir in the creole seasoning, black-eyed peas, and soup until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and bake until thickened and bubbly.

More Cajun/Creole Recipes To Consider

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A white bowl with a serving of New Year's Hoppin John Casserole-black eyed peas, andouille sausage, dirty rice and aromatic veggies baked in a creamy sauce. It's served with a side of cornbread.

New Year’s Hoppin John Casserole


  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x

Description

This casserole takes spicy, andouille sausage, a boxed dirty rice mix, and canned Southern-style black-eyed peas. It mixes it with fresh aromatic veggies, sour cream, and mushroom soup for a creamy, slightly spicy, and satisfying dish that freezes beautifully.


Ingredients

Scale

4 tablespoons butter

1 pound andouille sausage, cut into ¼-inch slices

1 small onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 can (10-ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained

1 (8-ounce) box Zatarain’s Dirty Rice mix

2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock

2 cans (15-ounce) Southern-style black eyed peas, drained if needed

12 teaspoons low sodium creole seasoning, more or less to taste

1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 cup sour cream


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a deep 9×13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced sausage and saute, stirring often, to render some of the fat from the sausage – about 10 minutes.

Add the onions, peppers, celery, and jalapeno, and saute until the onions are translucent – about 8 minutes.

Stir in the Rotel tomatoes, rice mix, and chicken stock. Brig up to a boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed – about 15 minutes.

Stir in the black eyed peas, creole spice, mushroom soup, and sour cream.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and thick.

Serve with cornbread and hot sauce.

Notes

To make in advance, complete the instructions for the recipe, but do not bake. Place the mixture into the casserole dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap before baking the next day.

To freeze, portion the casserole into freezer containers and freeze up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator and microwave on 50% power for 4-6 minutes or until hot throughout.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Creole

Keywords: New Year’s Hoppin John Casserole, New Year’s Day, Southern food, black-eyed peas, dirty rice, food for good luck, casseroles

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