Hoppin' John Fritters | Nik Snacks

Hoppin' John Fritters: made with seasoned black eyed peas, rice, bell peppers, cornmeal

I’m participating in the 2021 Black History Virtual Potluck. A collaborative menu of recipes contributed by 40+ Black bloggers from around the world in honor of Black History Month. See a sampling of some of the amazing participant recipes below. 

Blackened Catfish and Smoked Gouda Grits  | Pink Owl Kitchen

Lemon Pepper Honey Chicken Wings | Razzle Dazzle Life

BBQ Lentils over Grits | Rosalynn Daniels

Shito Pepper | Savory Thoughts

Cast Iron Buttermilk Biscuits | Seasoned To Taste

Black Eyed Peas: A Savory Southern Favorite | Sense & Edibility

Smoky Sweet Potato and Tahini Stew | Supper With Michelle

Authentic Misir Wot | Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew | That Green Lyfe

The Lamin Rice (Afro-Fusion Jollof Rice) | The Food Disciple

Sweet Potato & Coconut Cinnamon Rolls | Vee the Baker

Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs | Whisper of Yum

Every month is Black history month, but February gives the entire country license to revel in Black joy, remember heroes of the past and celebrate our future. This year's BHMVP theme is Quarantine Comfort Foods. All of the virtual potluck recipes rest within the lens of Black, African, Caribbean and Latin cuisines. These dishes are inspired by culturally relevant foods of the African diaspora. Heritage-rich ingredients like black-eyed peas, greens, grits, okra, cabbage, yams and cornmeal celebrate our past and usher in the future. 

I choose to celebrate the future with Hoppin' John Fritters. They are crispy, savory, smoky, a little bit spicy and a great way to mix an old school recipe with new and varied culinary traditions. Create new traditions by repurposing leftover black-eyed peas or take a classic Southern recipe and rebrand the package by turning it into something hot, crispy and new.


Also known as Carolina peas and rice, Hoppin’ John is a dish traditionally served in the South on or around New Year's Day. It features black-eyed peas (some areas it's sea beans, crowder peas or field peas instead), onions, bell peppers, bacon or other smoked pork cuts and a few spices. 

I don't mind making my own black-eyed peas from scratch but the Glory Foods/Margaret Holmes brand does the legume justice and a stitch in time saves nine, so it's the canned beans for me!


Paired with collard greens (which symbolizes money) and hog jowls or other pork dishes (which symbolizes wealth and prosperity) the black-eyed peas in Hoppin' John resemble pennies or coins. We Southerners eat this dish on New Year’s Day to bring hope of prosperity and good luck in the new year. But black-eyed peas, bell peppers and rice are sold year-round, so the short answer is YES. 


Traditionally, Hoppin' John is served with rice, but there is rice in these fritters, so collard greens, fresh salad greens, baked or fried chicken and mashed sweet potatoes would be great sides or main dishes. Instead of rice, ancient and indigenous grains like fonio, quinoa or amaranth would also be good substitutes.

Overall, Traditional southern cuisine is heavy, laden with calories because back in the day, those kinds of meals were necessary to fuel the farmer, sharecropper and enslaved Black folks working in the fields, building America on their backs. It takes a hearty diet to be able to withstand that constant pressure. 

Today, Black folks are still building America one brick at a time while changing the face of major corporations, advertising and increasing our digital footprints, physical representation in the White House and our overall spending power. At the end of a long day conquering the world, who wouldn't want a mess of beans, greens and some hoppin' john fritters to satisfy the hunger?

I have good luck already, because I'm using my favorite cast-iron skillet to fry up these bad boys. I love this pan because it is heavy duty, heats evenly on the stovetop, in the oven and even the outdoor grill. Some like to use a heavy-bottomed stock pot but cast-iron is king because it retains heat, maintains an even temperature throughout the cooking process and is the easiest pan in the kitchen to maintain.

To make sure my skillet is always ready and in good shape before I use it to fry up the hoppin' john fritters, I make sure it's properly seasoned, just like my food. It's important to take care of your skillet so it can take care of you. Follow these simple steps to make sure your investment lasts a lifetime. I created a video showing exactly how to season a brand-new cast-iron skillet.

Just like hushpuppies, these hoppin' john fritters will be jumping out of the pan and into your mouth! 

Skip ahead to find the recipe for Coconut Collard Greens, an excellent vegetable to go along with the fritters. And scroll down below the recipe to find more recipes featuring other Black bloggers during the month of February:

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake | A Classic Twist

Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits | A Girl Called Adri

Malawah (Somali Sweet Pancake) | A Sweet Point Of View

Spicy Okra & Corn Salsa | Beautiful Eats & Things

Peanut Curry Braised Ribs | Britney Breaks Bread

Buttermilk Fried Chicken | Butter Be Ready

Sweet Potato Pop Tarts with Brown Butter Icing | Chenée Today

Homemade Cajun Andouille Sausage with Shrimp and Grits | Cooks with Soul

Suya-Spiced Brussels Sprouts | Dash of Jazz

Stewed Okra & Tomatoes with Chicken Sausage | Dude That Cookz

Buttermilk Cornbread With Southern “Sprinkles” | Erique Berry Co.

Yam and Plantain Curry | Ethically Living

Sourdough Discard Honey Rosemary Cornbread | Feed The Malik

Smoked Jamaica Jerk Chicken | Food Fidelity

Sweet & Tangy Collards | FoodLoveTog

Jerk Shrimp Cakes and Grits | Geo's Table

Gluten-Free Chicken and Waffles with Maple Bourbon Glaze | Good Food Baddie

Tropical Candied Yams | Handy Chef

Trinidadian Beef Stew | Heal Me Delicious

Caribbean Oxtail | Just Add Hot Sauce

Creole Oxtails Stew | Kenneth Temple

Sweet Potato Bundt Cake | Lenox Bakery

Brown Sugar Cornmeal Waffles w/ Sweet Tea Maple Syrup | Margaritas On The Rocks

Southern Potato Salad | Meiko And The Dish

Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs | Whisper of Yum

Hoppin' John Fritters

Hoppin' John Fritters

Yield: 20-24 fritters
Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 1 H & 4 M
Hoppin’ John is a dish traditionally served in the South on or around New Year's Day. It features black-eyed peas (some areas it's sea beans, crowder peas or field peas instead), onions, bacon or other smoked pork cuts and a few spices. Paired with collard greens (which symbolizes money) and hog jowls (which symbolizes wealth and prosperity) the black-eyed peas in Hoppin' John resembles pennies or coins. We Southerners eat this dish on New Year’s Day to bring hope of prosperity and good luck in the new year.


  • ½ pound smoked bacon, cooked, crisp, finely chopped
  • 15 oz can Glory Foods or Margaret Holmes seasoned black eyed peas
  • 2 cups white or brown rice, cooked
  • 1 ½ cups bell peppers (red, green, yellow) chopped
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, finely chopped½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Pour oil to depth of 2 inches into 12-inch cast iron skillet; heat over medium-high heat to 350°.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together bacon, black eyed peas and next 10 ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Using a scoop or two spoon, scoop a heaping 2 tablespoons of the mixture and drop into the hot oil. Use nonstick spray on your scoop or spoon to keep the mixture of sticking.
  4. Fry 4 to 5 minutes, turning halfway through, until fritters are golden brown on all sides.
  5. Drain on paper towels; keep warm in a 300 oven.
  6. Serve with coconut collard greens.
  7. Keep in an airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months.
Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.
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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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