The Southern US has created many dishes which have become popular across the country.
Hoppin’ John is one of these dishes, and it traditionally comprises rice, black-eyed peas, bacon, and onion.
It’s also called Carolina peas and rice, and some recipes may contain country sausage, fatback, smoked turkey, or ham hock in place of bacon.
Since it has meat, rice, and peas, hoppin’ John is a filling and rich dish.
But you can serve side dishes with it too.
Hence, what to serve with Hoppin John? If you’re struggling with ideas, there is no need to stress anymore.
We will mention at least ten side dishes to enjoy with Hoppin John below, so stay tuned.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Hoppin John?
Hoppin John is a stand-alone dish and is delicious.
But, you may feel overwhelmed very quickly and get bored.
Hence, veggie dishes with kale, cabbage, and collard greens can balance the meal and refresh your palate.
If you serve Hoppin John during an event, only that dish will not be sufficient to feed a crowd.
You have to serve at least three or four dishes for everyone to have enough food.
Of course, no matter how tasty a dish might be, eating it on its own can be tedious.
Meal times become more exciting when you have at least a few dishes on the table.
What to Serve with Hoppin John? 10 BEST Side Dishes
1. Homemade French Fries
Fries or chips or whatever you call them are the most popular snacks in the US and many other places.
Both kids and grownups love to eat French fries, whatever the occasion.
Hence, we’ll begin the list with them as they’re delicious and compatible with Hoppin John.
It’s also easy to make fries, and you can make significant portions at a time if you have numerous guests.
There are numerous potato varieties, but you must choose the right one to make fries.
To make French fries, you can use Idaho Russet, Yukon Gold, or Katahdin potatoes.
2. Sauteed Swiss Chard
Any leafy green veggies can be suitable side dishes for Hoppin John.
So, let’s put yummy sauteed Swiss chard on the list.
Chard is often overlooked, but it’s delicious and nutritious.
Hence, you won’t only enjoy the taste but also absorb the nutrients.
Making sauteed Swiss chard is also easy, but you will need a considerable quantity as the green leaves shrink a lot when cooked.
You should also make it a point to buy the freshest chard, or the leaves will not be tasty.
Choose leaves that are bright green and fresh looking.
Both big and small-sized leaves have the same taste and texture, so you can buy either.
3. Broccoli Cheddar Soup
You can also add soup alongside Hoppin John.
A veggie and cheese soup could be the perfect item to enjoy with the peas and rice.
Broccoli and cheddar soup is delicious and easy to make, and everyone loves it.
If your guest list doesn’t include many people, the soup is an excellent dish to add to the menu.
However, when buying broccoli, choose tightly packed florets with slim stalks.
The cheddar’s taste can be mild to extra sharp, with more aged being sharper.
The soup calls for sharp cheddar so that you can get a high-quality variety for the dish.
Hoppin John and cornbread are also a fine combination, and you can certainly serve them together.
Everyone loves cornbread as it’s easy to make too.
The Native Americans invented cornbread, but it has become popular in Southern US cuisine.
People in the Southern US serve Hoppin John on New Year’s Day, and cornbread is a regular side dish on that occasion.
Hence, if you serve peas and rice, cornbread would be an ideal side dish.
You can make the cornbread in a pan, cast-iron skillet, or Dutch oven to obtain that crispy and flavorful crust.
5. Southern Collard Greens
Collard greens are also a regular side dish served with Hoppin John, so we include the dish on the list.
You can cook the greens in different ways, but Southern collard greens would be the perfect item.
Traditional Southern collard greens add some meat.
It can be smoked ham, bacon, chicken, or turkey.
Other ingredients are chicken broth, garlic, onion, salt, vinegar, red chili flakes, and black pepper.
If you aren’t too keen on meat, you can make it with just the veggies, but you should use the chicken broth instead of water to keep it flavorful.
6. Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
We’re adding one more broccoli dish, but the veggie tastes so good with Hoppin John that we had to do it.
We also assure you that your guests will love the combo.
Roasted broccoli with parmesan cheese sounds too elegant, but it’s pretty simple, so you won’t have a problem making it.
You also don’t need too many ingredients to make the dish.
However, buy only fresh green broccoli with thin stalks and closely packed florets.
7. Jalapeno Lime Corn
Corn is also a versatile ingredient, and it goes with most foods.
It’s yummy, low in calories, and cooks quickly.
Jalapeno lime corn is a dish that complements Hoppin John.
The dish would taste amazing with fresh corn.
However, if it’s unavailable, you can use frozen corn too.
The dish doesn’t need many ingredients, but the finished product will taste wonderful.
Jalapeno lime corn is sweet and tangy, so you have a combination of flavors.
The dish is light and fresh, so you will have a balanced meal when you eat it with peas and rice.
8. Homemade Coleslaw
Cabbage is also a regular accompaniment with Hoppin John, so what better to include than homemade coleslaw? It’s fresh, crunchy, slightly sweet, and tangy, and of course, it tastes good with the peas and rice.
You can make coleslaw from scratch instead of buying readymade ingredients.
It will be more satisfying when you see the finished salad.
Use red, white, purple, and green cabbage if you can find them, or at least two colors to make the dish bright and colorful.
Coleslaw usually uses mayo-based or vinaigrette dressing.
For this dish, you can use apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or white wine vinegar instead of the mayo-based version.
You should also use carrots for extra crunch and sweet taste.
9. Sauteed Garlic Lemon Kale
Many people may not like kale, but it’s one of the most nutrient-dense greens.
It’s also tasty when cooked perfectly.
Yes, it complements Hoppin John, and that’s why the dish is on the list.
Sauteed kale with garlic and lemon is pretty simple to make, and of course, it doesn’t contain many items.
You need the greens, olive oil for sautéing, salt, pepper, red chili flakes (optional), garlic, and lemon juice.
Kale doesn’t become tender quickly but doesn’t use water.
Instead, wash them and keep them as they are and close the pan once you add all the ingredients.
It will soften the leaves and will be perfectly cooked.
10. Cauliflower Tots
We will complete the list with cauliflower tots.
If you haven’t cooked this dish before, don’t panic.
They’re tater tots made with pureed or mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes.
They taste pretty awesome and complement Hoppin John.
Cauliflower contains a meager amount of carbs.
Hence, it’s a suitable replacement for potatoes if you’re trying to cut down on carbs.
Besides, the veggie is yummy and can give the spuds a good challenge.
The steps for making the dish are like tater tots, except that you have to use cauliflower instead of potatoes.
However, you can choose or omit the ingredients.
Instead of all-purpose flour, use almond flour and eggs to bind the tots better.
Cooking Hoppin John shouldn’t stress you too much now because you have ten side dishes to choose from.
If you have the time and ingredients, make as many as possible.
If not, try 2-3 items, see how everyone loves the food, and praise your skills.
You can serve the peas and rice not only on special occasions but also during weekends and enjoy the side dishes.