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Black-eyed peas and collard greens served as hoppin' John fritters.
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5 from 2 votes

Black-eyed Pea and Rice Fritters with Collard Greens

You’ll enjoy good luck, prosperity and health iwith this riff on traditional black-eyed peas and rice hoppin’ John. You can make the fritter patties several days ahead and fry them close to serving, while you cook the collards. The sauce can be made well ahead too. Reheat it when ready to serve.
Prep Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: black-eyed peas, collard greens, hoppin'john
Servings: 4 servings.
Calories: 251kcal


The fritters:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch dried sage leaves
  • 1 3/4 cup cooked black-eyed peas, one (15-ounce) can
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke , optional (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Cornmeal , for dusting
  • avocado or grapeseed oil

The sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado or grapeseed oil
  • 7 ounces vegan “soysage” , cut in small chunks (see note)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14-ounce) can
  • ¼ teaspoon honey or agave syrup
  • ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • fine salt , to taste

The collards:

  • 1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and discarded (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Red pepper flakes , as needed


The fritters:

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium flame. Add the onion and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, oregano, thyme and sage; cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
  • Drain the beans. Rinse them if you are using canned beans. Add the beans and cooked rice to the onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the salt, parsley, liquid smoke, if using, and the vinegar. With a potato masher or fork, mash everything together well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • If the mixture is warm, chill until it’s cool, about 30 minutes.
  • Using a cookie scoop or a ¼-cup measure, divide the mixture into eight portions. Form into patties, about ½ inch thick x 2 1/4 inches wide. Lightly dust both sides of the patties with cornmeal. Cover and chill until cold. The fritters can be prepared up to this point and kept in the refrigerator for 2 days.

The sauce:

  • Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the “soysage” and cook about 10 minutes, until the “meat” takes on a golden color. Using a wooden spoon, break up the pieces as they cook, scraping up the bits that stick to the pan.
  • Deglaze the pan with the tomatoes. Add the honey, vinegar, oregano and thyme. Taste. Add more salt and herbs if you think the sauce needs a little more. Keep warm.

Cook the fritters and collards:

  • Drizzle some oil in a large non-stick skillet. Lightly dust both sides of the fritters with corn meal. Fry them over medium heat until they form a golden crust, 10 to 12 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and keep warm in a 200°F oven. (My fritters all fit in my 12-inch skillet. If your skillet is small, repeat until all of the fritters are cooked.)
  • Stack the collard leaves on top of each other, with the leaf tips all at the same end. Roll the stack tightly in a long tube and cut into thin ribbons. Starting at the thick end, slice the collards as thinly as possible to make spaghetti like strands. See photos--here.
  • In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the collards, minced garlic, and the salt. Pour in ½ cup of water. Cover the skillet. Cook over medium-heat about 15 minutes, until the collards are just tender. Stir in the vinegar and red pepper flakes. Transfer to a colander and drain well. Add more salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Spread the collards on a warm plate. Arrange the fritters over the collards. Top with the “soysage” and tomatoes. Serve immediately.


  • I used half of a package of Gimme Lean ground sausage style by Lightlife. There are other vegetarian sausage-style products out there in the marketplace—you choose. If your diet includes meat, use real ground sausage.
  • Very soft rice mashes best with the black-eyed peas and forms fritters that hold together. Cook the rice with extra water (1 cup: 2 ½ cups), I cooked basmati brown rice in a pressure cooker—the soft rice guarantee.
  • Liquid smoke adds smoke flavor. It’s made with vinegar, molasses and something called “smoke flavor.” Many liquid smokes contain preservatives and corn syrup—check the label.
  • Red wine vinegar flavors the fritters, the sauce and the collards. All three, especially the greens, benefit from the acid addition.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 629mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3191IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 4mg