Ham and Beans made oh-so easy in your slow cooker. Creamy Great Northern Beans, smoky salty chunks of ham, sweet corn bread and you’ve got a winning comfort food combination. Crock Pot Ham and Beans, a delicious recipe for using that holiday ham bone.
Classic Ham with Beans, a meal that my mom served a lot when I was growing up. It wasn’t something that just appeared after Christmas to use up that holiday ham bone. She made it often, made it year round, and used ham hocks or chopped ham.
It wasn’t always accompanied with corn bread, but as with every single meal she served, you can rest assured there was bread on the table. “Eat your bread, you have to support the Wheat Farmers,” she’d order. Which is exactly how our family made its living.
And if you’ve been toying with the idea of making homemade cornbread, take a look at my recipe for Moist Cornbread. It’s one of the most popular recipes on my site.
This is an absolutely perfect way to use that left over ham bone from your holiday ham. All you need is a bag of dried Great Northern Beans and enlist your crockpot for this comfort food meal of Slow Cooker Ham and Beans. Let’s get started.
On Soaking Dried Beans Overnight
You don’t have to soak dried beans overnight. But here’s the benefit of doing so. Soaking dried beans overnight will simply reduce the time it takes them to cook them to a tender state. Soaking beans overnight will also improve their texture.
If you forgot to soak your dried beans the night before, never fear, you can always use the heat soaking method. Bring them to a boil stove-top and cook for two minutes. Turn off the heat, let them soak for two hours and then start the cooking process.
And I must report, that I’ve even added rinsed and sorted dried beans directly to my crockpot and cooked them on low until tender. No soaking at all. It works fine because you’re using a slow cooking method to gently bring those beans into tender goodness. A scoop of lard always adds to their silky texture.
Should I Drain The Dried Beans Soaking Water?
Yes and No. And sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I’ve read several theories about this. The science behind draining the soaking water and adding new liquid dictates that you’re removing some of the sugar components that cause gassiness.
On the other hand cooking the beans in the same water they soaked, can also create a thicker broth.
If I’m wanting to cook beans in chicken broth I drain the soaking water and then add the broth to cook. If you want to soak the beans in chicken broth, you’ll need to place the container in the refrigerator overnight. I usually don’t have that sort of room in the fridge.
Tip: When cooking beans, don’t add anything acidic during the cooking process. Tomatoes or tomato juice is a good example. Acidic foods may keep the beans from reaching that soft stage.
Here’s how I make and How my Mom made Crock Pot Ham and Beans:
- 1 pound dried Great Northern White Beans, sorted for misfits and rinsed.
- For the 2-2-2 Hot Water Soaking Method. In a sauce pan on the stove, cover beans with water. Water should be 2 inches above the bean level. Bring to a rolling boil and cook them 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let the beans stand in the water 2 hours before cooking.
- Or, you can soak the beans overnight. Just place the beans in your crock pot. Cover with enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. The next morning, drain and add 6 cups of water or chicken broth. Then proceed with cooking.
- Add one meaty ham hock and 2 tablespoons of my Spice Mix for Bean Soup. Add sauteed diced carrots, celery and onions.
- Let cook 6-7 hours on low, checking every couple of hours to see if more water is needed. Cooking time will determine if beans have been soaked overnight or not. Beans soaked overnight will take less time to cook.
- Remove ham hock and when it’s cool enough to handle, shred meat and return it to the crock of beans.
- Season with salt.
Recipe for Crock Pot Ham and Beans
I think serving ham and beans with cornbread should be a law. 🙂 A spoon filled with a chunk of that sweet cornbread and a scoop of beans, is a wonderful flavor combination. And a sprinkle of raw onions on top of the finished soup is a nice addition.
I hope you give this recipe for Ham and Bean soup a try and if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating and leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite soup recipe using dried beans, please let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Dried Beans Soup Recipes
- Lemony Potato Soup with Myacoba Beans
- Bolita Beef and Bean Soup
- Great Northern White Bean Soup with Bacon
And if you’re a soup fanatic like we are here on the ranch, you won’t want to miss my Soup Category. You’ll find lots of delicious soup recipes. Including the most popular on my site, Anthony Bourdain’s New Mexico Beef Chili Recipe.
Ham and Beans made oh-so easy in your slow cooker. Creamy Great Northern Beans, smoky salty chunks of ham, sweet and spicy corn bread and you've got a winning comfort food combination.
- 1 pound Great Northern White Beans sorted for misfits and rinsed
- 6 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 meaty Ham hock or a leftover ham bone
- 1/2 cup carrots diced
- 1/2 cup celery diced
- 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
- corn bread for serving
Rinse beans and sort for misfits.
In a sauce pan on the stove, cover beans with chicken broth or water and bring to a rolling boil.
Or, you can soak the beans overnight. Just place the beans in your crock pot. Cover with enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. The next morning, drain and add 6 cups of water or chicken broth. Then proceed with cooking.
Add 2 tablespoons of my soup seasoning mix. 1/2 cup diced celery, 1/2 cup diced carrot. Please note, sauteeing the carrot and celery before placing in the crockpot will bring more flavor to the soup. I also keep a jar of dried vegetable mix that I buy at Whole Foods. It's handy to use. Add 1/4 cup if using.
Add one meaty ham hock or a left over ham bone.
Let cook on low fpr 6 – 7 hours on low, checking to see if more water is needed
- Remove ham hock and when it’s cool enough to handle, shred meat and return it to the crock of beans
Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, place a square of cornbread in a soup bowl. Ladle a couple of scoops of ham and beans beside the corn bread and sprinkle with chopped raw onion.
Crock Pot Ham and Beans …It’s what’s for Dinner.