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This New Year’s Day black-eyed pea casserole is perfect for welcoming in the new year with some of the traditional good-luck foods! This easy casserole is packed with flavor and will surely be a new favorite you’ll want to enjoy all year long!
Happy holidays, my friends!
Have you shopped till you dropped? Have you seen Santa and all the pretty Christmas lights? Have you gotten your Christmas menus planned?
We had my in-laws in town this past weekend and had so much fun at my son’s preschool Christmas show, my daughter’s very first basketball game and celebrating my husband’s birthday.
And now I’ve got a long week stretched out in front of me. I’m off all week from my day job as a health and nutrition editor, and I’ve got some fun family time planned. And lots of lazy days and PJ time. So ready for it!
And today I’m getting ahead of myself and bringing you yet another New Year’s Day favorite.
It may not be widely known as a foodie holiday, but I grew up in North Carolina and we believe in getting in your traditional good luck New Year’s Day foods on January 1.
There’s certain foods you are supposed to eat to ensure a happy and prosperous year. Pork symbolizes wealth and prosperity, black-eyed peas are meant to be small coins and greens, especially collards where I’m from, are like green money. (Read more about this tradition.)
And I love those flavors so much that I just keep coming up with new ways to enjoy them!
This New Year’s Day black-eyed pea casserole is loaded with black-eyed peas and collards, as well as brown rice and bacon, for a hearty delicious casserole with tons of flavor!
(And tons of Southern favorites!)
I love making this to serve with ham and cornbread (usually my easy cheesy cornbread muffins) for a meal that ticks all the boxes for good luck New Year’s foods. 🙌
(I’d be great with a side salad or my mixed greens and fruit salad for a lighter, fresh option to have on the table.)
And on a day like New Year’s, I feel like you can serve this type of meal for brunch or dinner. Just add mimosas, a poinsettia cocktail, bloody Mary’s, champagne brunch punch or your favorite cocktail! 🥂
A few notes on this New Year’s Day black-eyed pea casserole:
- I use and recommend regular bacon but you could substitute a vegetarian bacon if you want to make this vegetarian-friendly. Alternatively, you could skip the bacon and use olive oil or butter to sauté the onions.
- You can prep this casserole ahead of time if you want and then just bake it when you’re ready to eat. 👍
- You can also make this go faster by working as you are cooking. While the bacon sautés, chop the onion and garlic and gather the ingredients. Then, as the rice is cooking, prepare the collards, drain the black-eyed peas and shred the cheese.
- This fits well into a 9×13 casserole dish but you can also use an 8×12 (like I did for these photos).
- You can add in 2 cups of cooked rotisserie or leftover chicken to make this a main dish. I’ve done this before so I can enjoy it more often! You may want to add another splash or two of chicken broth to make sure this doesn’t dry out.
Whatever the time of year, I hope you love this New Year’s Day black-eyed pea casserole for a delicious taste of some of our Southern favorites!
P.S. Check out my other New Year’s Day recipes:
- Southern New Year’s Day dinner skillet
- Black-eyed peas burgers
- Quick Southern collard greens with bacon
New Year’s Day black-eyed pea casserole
This black-eyed pea casserole is perfect for welcoming in the new year with some of the traditional good-luck foods!
- 4-5 slices bacon (I use thick-cut)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (plus extra for casserole, if needed)
- 4 cups collard greens, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 2 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the bacon. (I suggest adding as many pieces as you can fit in your pan. You can cut them in half if you need to.)
As the bacon is sautéing, prep the rest of the ingredients.
Once the bacon is cooked through and crispy, remove to a paper towel, leaving the bacon grease in the pan. When cool enough, crumble the bacon and save for topping the casserole.
Add the chopped onion to the pan with the bacon grease and sauté until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
Add rice, salt, pepper and cayenne (if using) and stir to make sure the rice gets coated in the oils. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat and cook until the rice is mostly tender and the liquid is almost absorbed. (I usually take off about 2 minutes from my regular rice cook time.)
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Uncover the pot, stir in the sliced collard greens with the rice and then cover the pot, turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. (This helps soften the collards.)
Transfer rice and collard mixture to a large bowl and stir in the black-eyed peas and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. If your mixture seems dry, add an extra 1/4 cup chicken broth.
Transfer to the prepared casserole dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheddar cheese and bake for another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Serve hot with the reserved crumbled bacon, green onions and hot sauce. Enjoy!
I use and recommend regular bacon but you could substitute a vegetarian bacon if you want to make this vegetarian-friendly. Alternatively, you could skip the bacon and use olive oil or butter to sauté the onions.
You can prep this casserole ahead of time if you want and then just bake it when you’re ready to eat.
You can also make this go faster by working as you are cooking. While the bacon sautés, chop the onion and garlic and gather the ingredients. Then, as the rice is cooking, prepare the collards, drain the black-eyed peas and shred the cheese.
This fits well into a 9x13 casserole dish but you can also use an 8x12 (like I did for these photos).
You can add in 2 cups of cooked rotisserie or leftover chicken to make this a main dish. I’ve done this before so I can enjoy it more often! You may want to add another splash or two of chicken broth to make sure this doesn’t dry out.
You can watch how I prep the collards in the video for my quick Southern collard greens with bacon.
|Amount Per Serving||As Served|
|Calories 563kcal Calories from fat 217|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 24g||37%|
|Saturated Fat 11g||55%|
|Dietary Fiber 8g||32%|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
|Total Fat||Less than||65g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||25g|