7 recipes for a happy New Year’s meal

7 recipes for a happy New Year’s meal

There’s no shortage of superstitions in the South, but when it comes to getting good luck on New Year’s Day…well, our superstitious ways start to work overtime.

Walk into any Southern home on January 1, and you’re likely to find a pot of vegetables on the stove and a pan of cornbread in the oven, and that’s just the beginning. After all, any New Year’s Day meal around these parts isn’t really complete without the addition of black-eyed peas, ham, and a cake of the round variety too, all in the name of having good luck.

Sure, it sounds silly, but in the end, if there’s an opportunity to eat an amazingly delicious Southern meal that might bring us good luck in 2024, why not give it a try? Even if we don’t end our day luckier, we will certainly end our day fuller and happier as well.

Here are some foods you should eat on New Year’s Day for good luck, as well as recipes on how to prepare them.

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Collard Greens


How to Cook Collard Greens Southern Style – Beginner Friendly Recipe!

Not eating collard greens on New Year’s Day is practically a sin in the South, and for good reason. Green represents dollars and good luck in the new year, and we could all use more of that. Don’t want to push your luck but are a little intimidated by the process of cooking vegetables? This recipe for Southern-style collard greens from Coop Can Cook will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean and cook them.

black eyed peas


The best recipe for southern black-eyed peas was passed down by my mama

In the same way that greens equal dollars, black-eyed peas are said to represent pennies and prosperity. And because we can use all the help we can get, you’ll find both on a Southerner’s plate during New Year’s Day dinner. If this is your first time making it, don’t worry. This easy recipe from All Wings Everything shows you how to make Southern-style black-eyed peas that are packed with flavor.



Southern Cornbread – Secrets of the Perfect Cornbread – Heirloom Recipe – Hillbilly Kitchen

Not that any Southerner really needs a reason to eat cornbread, but on New Year’s Day, it’s good to serve it alongside greens and black-eyed peas because it represents New Year’s gold. Of course, making skillet cornbread can be a little tricky, so this recipe from The Hillbilly Kitchen is a good guide to follow. It offers plenty of tips and tricks as well as ingredient substitutions to make the process easier.

Round cakes


Chocolate Sour Cream Cake – The easiest chocolate cake recipe ever!

A lesser-known New Year superstition is that you should eat round or round-shaped cakes and sweets after your meal on January 1st every year, as they are believed to bring a full circle of luck. Whether that’s true or not, we doubt you’ll have to twist anyone’s arm to get them to eat a piece of cake — especially if you make this Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, which is basically a giant chocolate cake, from Food Wishes.



Pineapple Honey Glazed Pork

Want to make some progress in 2024? Make sure you have pork on your plate during New Year’s Day dinner. Traditions around this belief say that because pigs move forward when searching for food, they are lucky. In contrast, cows eat standing up while chickens or turkeys scratch backwards, making them unlucky. It sounds silly, but why not serve this Honey Pineapple Glazed Pork from The CooknShare, just to be safe.

Hopin John


Hoppin’ John with Michael’s Home Cooking

If you’re not a fan of black-eyed peas alone, but still want to have that good fortune on New Year’s Day, try making jumping johns. It’s a southern dish that combines a mix of ingredients, like tomatoes, rice, etc., plus those lucky black-eyed peas. This recipe from Michael’s Home Cooking also includes bacon, bell peppers, onions, plenty of seasonings, and more for a full-flavored dish.

Potlicker soup

Stacy Little/SouthernBite.com

For those looking to take a “work smarter, not harder” approach to good luck in the new year, potluck soup can be a good option. It combines greens, black-eyed peas, and pork with other ingredients in a warm, flavorful soup served with a side of cornbread, and it checks all the New Year’s Day boxes. To try it, follow this quick and easy recipe by Stacey Little at SouthernBite.com.

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