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Friday, November 13, 2015

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and bean soup is a perfect cold weather meal. It is especially great if you have some leftover ham to use up. Make a pot and some cornbread today!

bowl of ham and beans fresh from the slow cooker

       This hardy meal is made easily in a slow cooker. Let it cook all day long and you'll have a stick to your rib dinner waiting for you when you get home! Ham and bean soup is perfect with a side of cornbread and is sure to fill you up. Just remember to save a bone and some ham from your next holiday meal! 

       Happy soup season to one and to all!  I love soup season.  I would celebrate almost daily during the fall and winter if I didn't share my dinner table with a soup scrooge.  The struggle is real, y'all!

       Luckily I can win him over with things like chili and ham and beans.  Hardy soups that eat like a meal are acceptable as long as I don't go crazy and try to make them too often!

bowl of slow cooked ham and bean soup with spoon

     I had a nice meaty ham bone leftover from a spiral ham.  So, I put it to good use!  I like to throw the bone in with the beans for the cooking.

      I do remove whatever meat is on the bone at the end and return it to the pot, but I like to add some fresh ham at that point as well.  I like the meat to have a nice hammy texture.

    The ham that has been cooked all day is a little soft, so the fresh ham really adds back in the texture and flavor.  Slice up some fresh cornbread and you are in business!

bowl of ham and bean soup with corn muffins

      We actually really like ours with corn muffins instead. They are super simple to make from scratch. If you haven't tried them yet, you really should!

How do you thicken ham and beans?

If your broth is thinner than you'd like, just mash a few of the beans. The starch from the beans will help make the broth thick and creamier!

Storing your soup

Store leftover soup in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Ham and bean soup also freezes really well.

For easy lunches later, freeze it in single serve sizes. Defrost the soup overnight and then warm up when you are ready to eat it!

If you love ham and beans, but would like a quicker version check out my recipe for electric pressure cooker ham and beans.

ham and bean soup, leftover ham recipes, slow cooker ham and beans
soup, dinner, slow cooker
Yield: 12 servings

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and bean soup is a perfect cold weather meal. It is especially great if you have some leftover ham to use up. Make a pot and some cornbread today!
prep time: 12 hourcook time: 8 hourtotal time: 20 H


  • 2 pounds dry great northern beans
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cups ham, in about half inch cubes
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon cloves


How to cook Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup

  1. Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. Add beans, spices, ham bone and water to your slow cooker. (I used a 6 quart insert)
  3. Cook on low for about 7-8 hours.
  4. Remove ham bone and bay leaf. Stir in onion and chopped ham. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes to an hour. (This give you time to make your cornbread!)
  5. For a thicker soup, remove a cup or so of the cooked beans. Mash them then stir them back into the pot. 
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Tag @carleecooks on instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithcarlee
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Ham and bean soup is a perfect cold weather meal. It is especially great if you have some leftover ham to use up. Make a pot and some cornbread today!


  1. Hey! I just wanted you to know that I featured your recipe on my blog!

  2. I've really been craving soups lately and it's not even cold here in Florida. This looks so flippin good! :-o Gong to have to try it this week. Will let you know when I do!

    1. I hope you love it! There is just something about a warm bowl of soup in the fall, even if it isn't super cold. The wind has been whipping the last few days here in Illinois, so even though the temperatures aren't terrible you still come home with a chill. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Michele!

  3. I love Ham and Bean Soup, but have not made this kind. I think this is substantial enough, my husband would approve it too!

    1. Isn't it funny how we have to decide if something "counts" as dinner in their mind?!

  4. My dad loves his bean soup! Next time I visit, I'll make him some! Wish he had a crock pot as I love a fix it and forget it recipe :)

    1. It does make it easy. It can certainly be made stove top too, it just needs a little more watching and stirring!

  5. One of my all time favorite meals!! I do this in the camper when were camping...when were busy playing on the boat all day!! Then I don't have to fuss! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again this week! Pinned!

    1. What a perfect meal after being on the boat all day! Thanks so much for hosting!

  6. Yay I was hoping to find the soup that went with the cornbread. Perfect combination! Thanks for linking up to #SaucySaturdays.

    1. They do go perfectly together! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Hi Carlee,
    I really need to get more soup recipes in my rotation of meals, so thanks for sharing yours and for partying with us at Talented Tuesday. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I bet it will be wonderful with your cooking! :)

    1. Thanks, Aspen! I would love to make more soups too. I just need to talk my husband into considering them dinner ;-) Every once in a while I can get away with it!

  8. Just want you to know that I made this soup yesterday and it was fabulous! My house smelled so good while it was cooking too!

    1. Oh good! I saw on Instagram that you had it going. I was hoping you would enjoy it! Hooray, thanks for letting me know!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!