When I was a kid, my dad loved making ham and beans. Seeing a big pot of beans simmering on our stove marked fall for me just as much as watching the leaves change color. I always loved the way the ham bone and the white beans made the house smell, but when it came to eating it? No, thanks.
It became a joke, as many things between my father and I did, and he would delight in announcing what we were having for dinner if ham and beans were on the menu. When I was away at college, he would email me to tell me my welcome home dinner would be “my favorite.” He was always joking, but I reacted with horror, partially to make him laugh, partially because what if he was serious? My dad was forever busting my chops, not unlike his father before him; and now I am carrying on the family legacy. My kids love it.
It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I began liking beans. Maybe it was because they’re cheap, and I was buying my own groceries. Maybe it was because I was finally starting to care a tiny bit about what kinds of foods I put into my body, and beans are full of good stuff. Whatever it was, I now love beans, and I especially love ham and beans.
This Crock Pot Ham and Bean recipe doesn’t disappoint. It’s the perfect way to use leftover ham bones, and it’s a wonderful dish for cooler nights. My family really liked it, the flavors get even better the second day, and it freezes beautifully. I chose not to mash some of the beans at the end, because I was looking for more of a soupy consistency, but one of my kids mashed theirs up in the bowl, and it made for a nice, thick texture. You can mash yours as much as you want, or not at all, and could put in different vegetables if you wanted. I’ll bet it would be great with some sausage in it, too.
I can’t wait to make this dish again!
I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Ham and Beans recipe.
Crock Pot Ham and Beans
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1 carrot, chopped, or 2 cups baby carrots
- 1 meaty ham bone, 4 ham hocks, or 1 lb diced ham
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 lb great northern bean, rinsed and sorted
- 6 -8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp pepper (to taste)
- Place chopped onion, minced celery, and carrots in slow cooker, and top with ham bone or hocks.
- Add bay leaves, minced garlic, and rinsed and sorted beans to the pot.
- Pour in low-sodium chicken broth.
- Cover, and cook on low 7-8 hours, or until beans are soft and meat falls off the bone.
- Remove ham bone from slow cooker, and cut the meat from the bone. Shred or cut ham into bite-sized pieces, and stir back into slow cooker.
- Skim off fat and remove bay leaves.
- If desired, smash some of the beans up in the pot to thicken the dish.
- Pepper to taste, and enjoy!
I love a good crock soup recipe, and this didn't disappoint! I would basically categorize this as split pea soup, but with white beans - yummy, comfort-style food. My version turned out a bit thicker and "muddier" looking than the photo, probably due to us mashing/thickening the beans a bit more, which we liked. I added some shredded carrots. Next time, we could probably make them chunkier for a bit more texture. The ham flavor really permeates the dish. Thumbs up from the whole crew!
This made a steaming crock pot of the best cold weather soup! I used 15 bean mix, because I like all the different shapes and colors, but followed the recipe exactly. It is a definite winner, and will be on my repeat list soon.
I loved this recipe. The flavor was great, and it was easy to assemble. I used a leftover ham bone and baby carrots, and chose not to thicken the dish by smashing some of the beans, which is why the images are more soup-like.