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Looking for a hearty weeknight dinner meal that you can set and forget? Try my Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup. Featuring a mixture of beans, smoked ham bone, and vegetables, it’s comfort food at its finest!
Now, I know I run this food blog, but I’m only human — there are some days when I want a really good dinner without a lot of fuss and work. On weeknights like those, out comes my trusty slow cooker! I love using it for recipes like my savory slow cooker pot roast, these flank roast street tacos, or (one of my personal favorites) slow cooker carnitas.
I was having one of those days when I came up with this crockpot ham and bean soup recipe. It was raining, and I knew that I had a ham bone in my freezer, so I decided that soup was on the menu. I’m thrilled with how it came together — it’s so hearty and satisfying! Plus, it makes quite a bit, enough for 12 servings or more. We ate it two nights in a row in my house, and it was so good that I froze the rest for another time.
My advice? Enjoy my ham and beans crockpot soup with some crusty sourdough bread or cornbread and a splash of Tabasco. Soups on!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Dry Bean Mix – I recommend that you use a mixture of black beans, lentils, green split peas, pinto beans, small white beans, red lentils, yellow split peas, small red beans, Adzuki beans, and pearl barley. You shouldn’t use more than 2 cups (while dry) in total. Make sure to soak for at least 8 hours before you get started. If you forgot, check out my post on what to do if you forgot to soak your beans.
- Ham Bone – You can pick up a ham bone at your local butcher or in the meat department of the supermarket. It adds a meaty and smoked flavor I just love.
- Bay Leaves – This dried leaf adds another layer to the flavor of your soup. It’s slightly floral and spicy.
- Onion – No soup would be complete without this ingredient! It adds more moisture without any excess liquid.
- Chicken Stock – Use this instead of water for more flavor. You can also use vegetable stock.
- Carrots – For more vegetable goodness.
- Celery – The celery pairs wonderfully with the beans, ham, and carrots!
- Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce – This ingredient is optional, but I personally love adding a bit of kick to my ham bean soup.
- Parsley – For a garnish.
HOW TO MAKE CROCKPOT HAM AND BEAN SOUP
- Prepare The Beans. Make sure to soak all of your dry beans overnight. They should be covered by an inch of cold water. The next day, rinse them and set them aside.
- Assemble The Ham Bean Soup. Add the ham bone, chopped onions, bay leaves, soaked beans, and chicken stock to your slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours.
- Add The Veggies. Place the chopped celery and carrots into the mixture at the 4-hour mark. If using, you can add 1 tablespoon of Tabasco Garlic Pepper sauce here too. Stir well and then cover. Let your crockpot ham and bean soup cook for 2 more hours.
- Chop The Ham. Once your ham and beans crockpot soup is finished cooking, remove the bay leaves and ham bone. Chop the ham meat, then discard the bone and the bay leaves. Add the chopped ham back into the slow cooker and mix well. Taste and season as needed.
- Garnish & Serve. Chop up some fresh parsley as a garnish and serve with your bread of choice! If you like cheese you can also add a bit on top of each bowl.
How Do You Thicken Homemade Ham Bean Soup?
If you’d like to thicken your crockpot ham and bean soup, there are several different thickening agents you can use: all-purpose flour, cornstarch, or even potato starch. One trick of the trade is to add whatever thickening agent you use to a hot cup of broth and then add it to the soup. Try it!
How Long Do You Soak Beans For Ham and Beans Soup?
You should soak your beans overnight for the best results. If you don’t have enough time to do that, they must soak for at least 8 hours. Make sure to rinse them under cold water and sift through them in case of small stones or bad beans.
Can You Put Canned Beans In A Slow Cooker?
You can use canned beans in a slow cooker, but I suggest that you use dry for this ham and beans crockpot recipe. The extra long cook time could leave you with really mushy results.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking October, 2016, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in August, 2022.
Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 tbsp Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce
- chopped parsley for garnish
- Soak the beans overnight in cold water, covered by an inch. Rinse the next day and set aside.
- In a slow cooker add the ham bone, chopped onion and bay leaves. Add the soaked beans and cover with chicken stock.
- Cook for 6 hours on HIGH. At the 4 hour mark I like to add the chopped celery, carrots and one tablespoon of Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce. Stir as best you can to mix in and cover again. Continue cooking in slow cooker for remainder of time.
- Remove bay leaves and ham bone. Discard the bay leaves and bone. Chop ham meat and add back to the slow cooker. Mix to incorporate and season if needed.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with fresh cornbread.
- Feel free to use all or a mixture of Black beans, Lentils, Green Split Peas, Pinto Beans, Small White Beans, Red Lentils, Yellow Split Peas, Small Red Beans, Adzuki Beans and Pearl Barley as long as they are 2 cups dry total. Soak for at least 8 hours and drain or read my post if you Forgot to Soak Your Beans for a quick fix.
- I typically get my ham bones with meat on them from The Honey Baked store or ask your local butcher.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.