Low Carb Hoppin' John

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  • prep time

    prep time

    0 min

  • cook time

    cook time

    37 min

  • ready time

    ready time

    37 min

Low Carb Hoppin' John

Low and slow is how you’ll keep this Keto rendition of Hoppin’ John tasting as flavorful and traditional as possible. Serve as a celebratory lunch for good luck, or you can divide the original recipe here into 3-4 servings for a Keto side dish to a larger meal. Further down in this introduction is a description of Hoppin’ John’s origins and modifications made to the traditional recipe. For this recipe, you will be best off choosing slab-style bacon as opposed to cheap pre-sliced bacon you buy in the refrigeration section of your grocery store. However, you can substitute with pre-sliced bacon that is your only option. Smoked bacon is going to be key to developing the most flavor in your Hoppin’ John, so this recipe is worth splurging on “the good bacon”! A few vegetables and the most important ingredient - black-eyed peas - bulk up this recipe before buttery cauliflower rice is added to the dish. The cauliflower rice soaks up all the flavorful juice you’ll create while cooking.

What Is Hoppin’ John?

Hoppin’ John is a Southern comfort food recipe believed to be derived all the way from parts of Africa and modified throughout the years of slavery in the U.S. Originally, Hoppin’ John began as a simple ‘rice and beans’ dish since these were pantry staples available to poor or enslaved people. Over the years, ham hock or bacon was introduced. Then, other vegetables and leafy greens started appearing in varying renditions of the recipe. Now, Hoppin’ John is often served on New Years Day for good luck. Below are additional variations and substitutes that can be used for Hoppin’ John. The Keto ingredients you’ll need every time are cauliflower rice, black-eyed peas, and the listed spices to stay true to the traditional recipe.

Modifications and Substitutions For Keto Hoppin’ John

Since not every traditional ingredient in original Hoppin’ John is Keto-friendly, a few modifications had to be made. Of course, regular rice is substituted with cauliflower rice. Bell pepper is another ingredient often found in Hoppin’ John, but this was substituted with spinach to keep the Keto recipe low in carbs. Onion is another typical ingredient in Hoppin’ John, but onion powder is an easy substitute that maintains flavor. While traditional recipes usually start with dried black-eyed peas, it takes a very long time for the beans to be prepared for the recipe. Using canned black-eyed peas eliminates any preparation time and works just as well for our purposes. Bacon has a lot of fat and is great for a Keto recipe, but you may substitute the bacon with diced ham for a similar flavor. Let other users know what modifications or additions you made to your Keto Hoppin’ John in the comments!

Jessica L.

  • Net Carbs

    8.3 g

  • Fiber

    5.5 g

  • Total Carbs

    14 g

  • Protein

    23.6 g

  • Fats

    23.9 g

359 cals

Low Carb Hoppin' John

#1 Low Carb & Keto Diet App Since 2010

Track macros, calories, and access top Keto recipes.

Download on the App Store
Get in on Google Play


  • Cauliflower Rice

    Cauliflower Rice

    10 ounce

  • Salt


    ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper

    Black Pepper

    ¼ teaspoon

  • Unsalted Butter

    Unsalted Butter

    1 tablespoon

  • Smoked Bacon

    Smoked Bacon

    3 ounce

  • Celery


    1 ounce

  • Spinach


    2 ounce

  • Onion Powder

    Onion Powder

    ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper

    Black Pepper

    ¼ teaspoon

  • Paprika


    ½ teaspoon

  • Crushed Red Pepper by Simply Organic

    Crushed Red Pepper by Simply Organic

    ¼ tsp

  • Thyme, Dried

    Thyme, Dried

    ¼ teaspoon

  • Garlic


    ½ teaspoon

  • Black Eyed Peas Canned

    Black Eyed Peas Canned

    4 tablespoon

  • Chicken Broth

    Chicken Broth

    1-½ cup

Recipe Steps

steps 3

37 min

  • Step 1

    Make the cauliflower rice first. Cook the riced cauliflower in a pan over medium-high heat with the salt and pepper until the rice is crisped to a light golden brown. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the butter until it has melted. Once the cauliflower rice is coated in butter, remove it from the heat and let it cool for later one. If you are not using fresh cauliflower, you may substitute with thawed cauliflower rice from your frozen food aisle. It will just simply require a little longer cooking in your pan to evaporate the excess moisture!
    Step 1
  • Step 2

    Next, chop a bacon slab into small pieces. You may also chop pre-sliced bacon for this recipe, but you may need to use a lid while cooking to trap in moisture. Toss the chopped bacon in a wide pan over medium-high heat and cook until just crisp. There should be excess grease in the pan. Add in thin-sliced celery and cook with a lid on the pan for just 2-3 minutes over low heat. Remove the lid from the pan and stir in the spinach, onion powder, pepper, paprika, red pepper, thyme, garlic, and canned black-eyed peas. Cook these ingredients down until the spinach turns just wilted and bright green.
    Step 2
  • Step 3

    With the stove heat on low, pour in the chicken broth. Place a lid over the pan and simmer for at least 10 minutes. However, this is a recipe where the longer it cooks, the more flavor develops. This is an integral component of Southern cooking and comfort food in general. You may simmer the broth for longer at your discretion, adding extra chicken broth if it reduces too much. Finally, stir the cooked cauliflower rice from Step 1 into the pan. With the lid on, simmer the Hoppin’ John for another 10 minutes, or until the rice has soaked up the broth. Serve the Hoppin’ John by weight with freshly chopped green onion, parsley, or additional paprika and crushed red pepper flakes.
    Step 3