When someone says "New Year's Day" and "food," your mind goes to a mom or grandmother making dishes that featured three key ingredients.

  • Black-eyed peas
  • Greens
  • Pork

Kids gagged and adults dutifully ate the dish because it was tradition. But, the tradition has a superstition attached to it. Black-eyed peas and pork bring you good luck in the new year. Greens bring you wealth. Cornbread gets served alongside them, representing gold.

There are so many ways to make sure you get your luck and wealth in the New Year, and this being the South, you don't have to go far to find a good recipe from some family recipe card or southern-influenced cookbook or magazine. However, here are ten of the best I've found.

Hoppin' John

Hailing from the low country of South Carolina and Georgia, this dish is a mixture of beans, pork, and rice. This version from The Pioneer Woman calls for ham hock - if you can find a smoked ham hock, so much the better. Letting it cook slowly helps the meat just fall apart and mix into the dish well. But it's a fantastic way to get the luck you'll need in the New Year.

Collard Greens

You could do it in an Instant Pot. You could make wontons with it. Or you could be a little more traditional and slow-cook the stiff greens until they practically melt in your mouth. That's what this recipe from Southern Living calls for. The only real question you'll need to answer is whether or not to keep the stems of the leaves. Personally, I recommend removing them. The leaves, cooked soft in a large pot, are given added flavor from the bacon in this recipe. Definitely worth checking it out.

Skillet Sweet Cornbread

Cornbread, when done right, can be a legendary part of the meal. And while most folks may stick with a box of Jiffy mix, there is an easy way to make it at home from scratch. For that, you have to check in with Chef Isaac Toups of Toups Meatery in New Orleans. His recipe for a skillet cornbread is my go-to whenever I want to make it. It uses honey in the recipe to add a level of sweetness that some cornbread lacks.

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas


If you're looking for something a bit quicker, and you own an Instant Pot, then you're in luck. The longest part of this recipe is letting the black-eyed peas soak overnight. Once you're ready to cook, the actual process only takes about an hour, meaning you have plenty of time to focus on your other dishes. This Instant Pot recipe is a definite go-to if you want something easy.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Close up of barbecue pulled park sandwich and French fries
bhofack2, ThinkStock Images

A little less traditional dish, but one that is still incredibly popular in the south, is pulled pork, which can easily be done in a slow cooker. When it's cooked through, it shreds easily for sandwiches or whatever you've got in mind. If you want to get your greens in for new year, add in some cole slaw to go with it. Here's an easy go-to for pulled pork in your home's slow cooker for an easy meal.

What's Your Tradition?

We'd love to hear your New Year's food traditions. Folks from all over have their recipes and habits. What do your and your family do to celebrate the new year?

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