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Hoppin' John Cakes with Tomato-Jalapeño Gravy

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Hands-on time 1 hr, 10 mins
Total time 1 hr, 10 mins

Makes 7 to 8 servings

We suggest cooking rice one to two days ahead of time so it has time to dry out.


  • 2 (15-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 4 cups finely chopped fresh turnip greens
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (24-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided

How to Make It

  1. Reserve 1/2 cup black-eyed peas. Pulse rice and remaining peas in a food processor 8 times or until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl; add reserved peas.

  2. Stir together celery, bell pepper, and onion. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of celery mixture to skillet. Stir in 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in turnip greens, and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until wilted; stir into pea mixture.

  3. Stir eggs, 3/4 cup panko, and 1/2 tsp. salt into pea mixture. Using wet hands, shape into 14 balls. Place balls on a baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Flatten each ball to form a 3/4-inch-thick patty, and place in freezer.

  4. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining celery mixture, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and jalapeño pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Stir in wine; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Stir in tomatoes and Creole seasoning. Reduce heat to low; simmer 8 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in cream, and cover.

  5. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir together remaining 1 cup panko, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Dredge cakes in panko mixture. Fry 7 cakes in hot oil 4 minutes per side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a 200° oven. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and cakes. Serve with Tomato-Jalapeño Gravy.