Healthy Slow Cooker Hoppin’ John

Healthy Slow Cooker Hoppin’ John at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet -

I want to thank my regular readers for their patience the past few weeks as I haven’t been posting as many recipes as I’d normally would. It’s been a time when the personal gets in the way of the professional due to selling our home in February, moving to temporary quarters in Boulder in March, and traveling to Athens, Georgia to house hunt. (I was also on a trip to Honolulu to do some food writing for the folks at Sea Cuisine – more on that soon!)

While I was in Athens, I indulged in local Southern cuisine from barbecue to grits (smothered and chopped – thank you very much!) While I was there I discovered pickled and fried okra, pickled watermelon rinds, and a dish called Hoppin’ John. It’s a combination of two staples of Southern food – black eyed peas and collard greens.

Both foods are packed with nutrition. According to Self Nutrition Data, black eyed peas are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and a good source of fiber, protein, folate, thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. (The one drawback is that they're very high in calories.) Collard greens are low in saturated fat, very low in cholesterol, and a good source of fiber, protein, and many vitamins and minerals.

Healthy Slow Cooker Hoppin’ John at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet -

Healthing up Southern cooking

I’m looking forward to our move to Georgia and sharing healthy versions of Southern recipes with my readers. That's why I was so excited to find a recipe for Hoppin John Vegetarian Black Eyed Peas done in a slow cooker at Kristi Arnold’s blog Veggie Converter, my assigned blog for this month’s Secret Recipe Club post.

Kristi’s recipe is very healthy already, but since I’m not a vegetarian, I decided to add smoked turkey sausage to her recipe after consulting Kristi’s original sources. (Traditionally, smoked ham hocks are used.) I kept the sausage whole instead of chopping them up, so you can decide how much sausage you want to eat and can keep a better eye on portion size. Also, I used canned black eyed peas instead of dried to make the recipe even more convenient for busy folks. I served it on quinoa, but feel free to use rice - brown, of course - which is more traditional.

And the Bacon Salt that Kristi recommends? Awesome stuff! I love how it added bacon flavor – and no calories and saturated fat – to the recipe.

Healthy Slow Cooker Hoppin’ John at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet -

Healthy Crockpot Hoppin' John

Note: you can health up this recipe even more by using vegetable broth, cutting back on the sea salt, and adding more tomatoes, onions and collard greens. While I loved the addition of quinoa, it can be eliminated, too, if you're watching your calorie count. And the sausage? Feed it to your skinny friends or the dog!


  • 4 (15.5 ounce) cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) package smoked turkey sausage, keep whole
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced petite tomatoes and diced green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 bunch collard greens, rinsed chopped and ribbed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bacon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa


  1. Empty the cans of black eyed peas into a colander place in the sink. Drain and rinse until the water runs clear.
  2. Place black eyed peas, chicken broth and turkey sausage in the six quart slow cooker.
  3. Stir in tomatoes with chilies, chopped onion, and collard greens.
  4. Add sea salt, Bacon salt and black pepper. Stir thoroughly.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until sausage is cooked through.
  6. Serve over quinoa.
Servings: 10
  • Calories: 646
  • Calories from Fat: 56
  • Total Fat: 6.2g
  • Saturated fat: 1.3g
  • Unsaturated fat: 4.9g
  • Sodium: 1115mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 136.6g
  • Sugar: 8.4g
  • Fiber: 51.2g
  • Protein: 56.4g
  • Cholesterol: 27mg

More from the Secret Recipe Club!

22 thoughts on “Healthy Slow Cooker Hoppin’ John

    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Slow cookers are the BEST. My 6 quart is in storage (along with the rest of my house) so I was happy to have an excuse to buy a new gorgeous cherry red one at King Soopers. It was on sale and such a bargain ($35) for the kind with the clamps. I occasionally bring my Crockpot to potlucks, so it’s perfect. I also believe you can never have too many slow cookers, especially around holidays. A couple of years ago I did my entire Thanksgiving sides in slow cookers.

  1. Miz Helen

    Hi Anne Marie,
    We grow Black Eyed Peas and Collard’s so this is a great recipe for us to try, we will just love it! It is fun cooking with you in the SRC!
    Miz Helen

    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      When we move to GA, my husband and son are planning to have a big garden. Maybe I can persuade them to grow some collard greens since I love cooking with them! Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. Betsy

    I’m crazy about hoppin’ johns! I love your healthy twist too. I’m stopping by from SRC but be sure to stop by Seasonal Potluck this month. We have peas AND rhubarb link parties open! We’d love if you’d share any recipes you may have link to

  3. Dan

    I’ve only seen this dish once before – at a barbecue restaurant that offered it as a vegetarian alternative. My cousin ordered it and loved it.


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