Lucky Foods For The New Year

Feast Your Way to Fortune: New Year's Day Lucky Foods & Recipes

Imagine if the key to unlocking a prosperous New Year lies right on your dining table. That’s right, your January 1st meal could work wonders in setting the tone for a successful year. Read on to discover the lucky foods and mouthwatering recipes we’ve gathered for you!

In the heart of the southern United States, there’s a charming saying: “Dine humbly on New Year’s Day, feast grandly for the remaining year.”

As the calendar flips to January 1, millions will be embracing age-old traditions, setting their tables with a New Year’s Day banquet of black-eyed peas, ham, greens, and cornbread. This isn’t just a delicious feast; it’s a meal steeped in symbolism. Each dish is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity for the year ahead.

Greens – With their lush green hue, greens (be it collards, mustard, turnip greens or cabbage) greens represent the crisp dollar bills that could fill your wallet in the coming year.

Black-eyed peas with their round form, symbolize shiny coins, hinting at financial windfall.

Cornbread, with its golden exterior, serves as a delicious stand-in for gold, promising wealth.

Pork/Ham – As for the pork (whether ham, bacon, salt pork or fatback) it doesn’t matter whether it is used to add flavor to the Hoppin’ John or the greens, it signifies forward motion and advancement in the upcoming year.

There you have it! A feast not just for your taste buds, but for your future success. Get ready to cook your way to a prosperous New Year!

Cuisine of the Southern United States - New Year's Day

Hoppin’ John

5 from 3 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 1 cup dry black-eyed peas
  • 4 thick slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dash each of cayenne & black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked rice


  • Wash peas, then cover with 5 cups water.
  • Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and soak overnight.
  • The next day, rinse the beans and drain thoroughly.
  • Cook the bacon in a heavy pan until browned. Add onion and green pepper. Sauté until onion is tender.
  • Add beans, 2 cups water, and seasonings. Cover and simmer 40 to 50 minutes or until peas are tender.
  • Remove bay leaf; stir in rice.
  • Continue simmering for about 10 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.
  • Serve with ham, cornbread and collard greens.
Keyword deep south hoppin’ john recipe, hoppin’ john with tomatoes

Ever wonder why it’s called “Hoppin’ John”?

Salt pork - Ham

Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

5 from 3 votes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 Serves


  • 1 pound fresh collard greens
  • 4 smoked ham hocks
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper


  • Cut and wash collard greens. Place them in a large pot with ham hocks and crushed red pepper. Add enough water to cover.
  • Simmer over medium heat for approximately two hours until greens are tender.
  • Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
Keyword southern collard greens recipe, southern collard greens with ham hocks
Barbecue - Cornbread

Classic Cornbread

5 from 3 votes
Servings 8 Serves


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil


  • Stir flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl.
  • In separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, and oil. Add to flour mixture and stir until smooth. (Do not overbeat.)
  • Pour into greased 9 x 9 baking pan or a cast iron pan and bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Keyword easy sweet cornbread recipe, sweet cornbread

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Dondra Vaughn
Notify of
Recipe Rating

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

5 stars
I have done this once in my life. Made no difference. Its just a old tradition.


Our tradition is black eyed peas for the coins, cooked with pork jowls and ham, cornbread for the gold, and greens for the paper dollars cooked with ham. This year I’m changing it up and making my greens green beans with bacon. Im looking so forward to it. I LOVE black eyed peas. I only eat them on New Years Day and I don’t know why. Lol. I started the tradition in our family when I was in Junior High school when I spent the night at a friends house. My mom and dad never heard of it. Mom was raised on a farm in Missouri and Dad was raised a Seventh Day Adventist (vegetarian) in the Southern California mountains. Here’s to all being healthy another year! Mom is 92 and going strong. I make a copycat recipe of Marie Colanders. I don’t eat gluten or sugar any more but I make the recipe with healthy substitutes and its just as good. No mom won’t eat sweet cornbread but I don’t mind eating her share. ?


5 stars
Wishing all a good 2022,myself. I enjoy the greens , corn bread ,and black – eye peas w/ham


5 stars
These recipes are uncomplicated and delicious!


When I was growing up my family’s traditional New Year’s dinner was roast goose with potato stuffing, sauerkraut, blackeyed peas and baked apples. Can’t find a goose anywhere these days!


Breakfast–Silver Dollar Pancakes with Bacon
Lunch–Black Eyed Peas with Lentils, Greens, Cornbread and Ham Hocks
Dinner–Pork with Sauerkraut and Yukon gold mashed potatoes.


Growing up we always had ham, cabbage and boiled potatoes. Still having to this day.


Pork & sauerkraut with mashed potatoes for good luck….no chicken on New Years Day or you will be scratching for money all year


In Maryland, we typically cook a pork roast, chops or ribs (an animal that doesn’t walk backwards; to welcome a new year of blessings); we do sauerkraut, cabbage, coleslaw, kale or collards (symbolize a good financial year ahead, money in the new year & luck); potatoes, beets or carrots (a root vegetable that keeps our feet firmly planted with friends and family); fruit (sweet fruit like grapes & oranges for a sweet year ahead of good health).

Michael White

A lot of people from the South eat Chitterlings and Hog Maws with Blackeyed Peas and Ham Hocks.


we have oyster stew on new years eve and on new years day turnip greens with hog jowl and black eye peas with hog jowl corn bread with no sugar in the corn bread and ham for meat and one more thing i dont wash clothes on new years day or you will wash a family member out of the family {by death|


Here in the NW we have Dugeonus Crab *depending upon price*, potatoe salad *mustard/dill based, and Baked Beans~YUMMY! my Husband is from the South he likes Greens with Ham, Blackeyed peas, and cornbread, we have had it for the last few years and now it’s MY Turn! Happy New Year Everyone!


Don’t know about the Ham and Black-eyed peas thing but in Hawaii everyone has Sashimi, some kind of Noodles (for long life) and Japanese Mochi. And at all Hawaii New Years gatherings we have an array of dishes prepared in all nationalities…, Filipino Lumpia, Japanese Sushi, Hawaiian Beef or Tripe Stew, Hawaiian Laulau, Poi, Korean style Korean Kalbi and Kimchee, and so much more!


I can remember from childhood my mother cooking her traditional New Years Day dinner. It consisted of corned beef cooked with potatoes and cabbage. She always had a big pot of blackeyed peas, and of course cornbread. Mom always had a made from scratch german chocolate cake for desert. Would love to have one more News Years day like that with her

Pam Holbrook

New Year’s recipes!


I have always had sauerkraut and pork of some kind for New Years, then I make dumplings in that and serve mashed taters as a side. I had it last New Years as usual but had the worst yr ever, bar none. My oldest son passed away Apr at the age of 53 , then in Dec my only daughter passed away at the tender age of 47. 5 yrs ago, my youngest son passed away at the tender age of 47 also. No more ‘lucky’ meals for me. They dont work.

Susan Higgins

Hi es, we’re sorry for your losses.


ES. Oh my. So saddened for your losses. 🙁 Cannot begin to imagine.
Your previous menus sound so yummy. If ur 3 children liked them?? MAYBE Make them for a ‘memory meal’, a special day to honor your 3 wonderful kids.
Again. Deepest sympathies from MT. Prayers


We always eat black-eyed peas, cornbread, ham, and cabbage casserole on New Years day. I have not found it to be bad luck so l guess it might be good luck.


In Pennsylvania it’s a good pork roast cooked with kraut seasoned in molasses or brown sugar over mashed potatoes. Every year pork roasts are sold out of the stores by Dec 30th.


For all of you that follow this tradition, does it work?


I’ve never done this, solo do you all have health and wealth, luck and prosperity?

Tina A. Olvera

We always ate the ham, black eyed peas, coleslaw and cornbread. We ate the pork to help our lives move forward because pigs route forwards never backwards.?


Black eyed peas
Hog jowl
Collard greens/ cabbage
Sweet tea

Arkansas tradition!

Cathy Johnson

My mom used to fix pork chops and sauerkraut every New Year. Since I moved to the South I fix blackeye peas, ham, and cornbread, with spinach or cabbage on the side.


Pork of some sort, (i.e. ham, pork ribs, pork roast…), collards or cabbage, rice, and black eyed peas. Tea and cornbread optional. Health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity.

Susan P

Not from the South, but I like to do hammocks and beans in a tomato-based sauce, with rice. Start cooking really early in the day and have it ready for dinner. Maybe I’ll add a few collard greens for good measure.


A Texas tradition at my house: black-eyed peas for health, cabbage for wealth, ham, cornbread and iced tea…..yummmm!


Here in South Louisiana we always have Cabbage (smothered) , Blackeye Peas w/ Rice, Potato Salad and Pork Roast on New Years day.


Every New Year I make Shrimp Tortellini Alfredo here. We have a few walnuts and cherries for luck.


My family always has ribs and kraut with boiled or mashed potatoes on New Years Day


And here in Southern California, you can’t ignore tamales. Kill two birds with one stone, and make pork tamales… Can’t say I’ve heard of black-eyed pea burritos, though…


Lol… black eyed peas burrito. Ewwwww


I have learned to cook pork, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes along with black-eyed peas, collards for my kids families. Northern and southern


Rose, skipping Jenny is leftover hopping John. More luck, because of your extra frugal efforts.


You forgot something very important. Give the leftovers to the hostess. This is a thank you gift to the hostess for her hard work. If she doesn’t want it then it’s fine to take the leftovers home or preferably share some with the other guests. Grabbing your dish as if you are desperate to take it home may result in your not being invited there again.At least it does in this house.


In the north, we also believe that lentils bring luck too. So we’re serving lentils with our pork roast.


Hoppin’ John always on New Year’s Day in my family. But I cook the black eyed peas with ham hocks, and rice separate. Mix the two in a bowl to eat.


Always had cabbage rolls (stuffed cabbage) on NY day with one silver quarter hidden inside one if them, it brought you luck if you got the one with the quarter in it. Mashed potatoes and big lima beans…

Lorna Schalasky

We always included Herring for good luck.


Collards at this house for folding money, black eye peas for coins


My mother always said…”never eat anything that walks backwards” on New Years…so pork it is


What is skippin Jenny?

Suzanne Accashian

My grandmother who lived to be 101 years old 1909-2010 always prepared chicken on New Years Eve to scratch back the old year and Pork on New Years Day to root forward in the new. I carry on the same tradition.


Hoppin John on New Years and Skippin Jenny the next day.


It didn’t matter how it was cooked, but we had to have pork. No chicken or other poultry. Root ahead not scratch behind

Pat Lendennie

In Irish families like mine the lucky food is corned beef and cabbage, also served with cornbread.


Jewel, I too am from Oklahoma and you are correct. And thats the best eats ever. YUMMY


New Years in Oklahoma we have Blackeyed peas with left over christmas ham fried potatoes fried cabbage and cornbread!


My family always had to eat certain foods on New Year’s Day:
Black-eyed peas for luck
Ham for health
Cabbage for wealth
I don’t know if there’s any truth behind any of these, but they sure are good. I still cook them every year for New Year’s day.


It’s kielbasa, pork, hot dogs and sauerkraut w/ mashed potatoes in our house!!! Sauerkraut is good luck!!
But I’m going to have to try the “Hoppin’ John” recipe!!! Thanks


Ham is for forward movement. When hogs root up the ground it’s always in a forward motion


All sound great, but it would not be New Years in my family without spareribs and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and rye rolls!

Plan Your Day. Grow Your Life.

Enter your email address to receive our free Newsletter!