Slow cooker white beans and ham is the BEST recipe to use for leftover holiday ham! Warm, comforting and so easy to make. Toss the ingredients into your crock-pot and let it do all the work.
Serve with a side of stoneground skillet cornbread for a delicious family dinner!
Cajun style white beans and ham
Having grown up in southern Louisiana, I have very fond memories of white beans and ham. My school cafeteria served them a few times a month and besides the turkey and sausage gumbo, it was one of my favorite hot lunches.
It was always served with a warm piece of cornbread and they placed a bottle of hot sauce on every table.
This recipe is so quick to get going and it turns out delicious every time. Perfect for busy families or to take to a potluck dinner. It's also a great way to use leftover slow cooker ham during the holidays.
What you need
- great northern beans
- smoked ham
- dried bay leaves
- salt, pepper and garlic powder
TIP: If you'd like to give the soup even more flavor try adding additional herbs. Because dried herbs are stronger than fresh, we recommend using 1 teaspoon of dried OR 2 teaspoons of fresh herbs. Here are a few herbs that pair well with beans and ham.
- herbs de Provence
Here are a few ways to modify the recipe if needed.
- Great northern beans - Navy beans can be substituted for great northern beans. The cooking time will need to be increased slightly.
- Smoked Ham - Not all holiday hams are smoked. Any type of diced ham will work in this recipe. Leftover honey baked ham produced great results. Because it's sweet we recommend that you add just a teaspoon of liquid smoke (affiliate link) to give the beans a smoky flavor.
- Onions - 2 tablespoons of onion powder can be used in place of the diced onion.
How to make it
Spread the beans out onto a baking sheet and sort through them to make sure there are no stones or pebbles. Put the beans into a colander and rinse them well under running water.
Add all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and give it a good stir.
Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours. (Or until the beans are fork tender.)
Remove the bay leaves from the soup. If you'd like a thicker soup, use the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula to press some of the beans against the side of the slow cooker.
Stir the beans one more time and serve. It's delicious on its own or ladled over cooked rice.
TIP: If the soup still seems too thin after you've pressed some of beans against the side of the pot, wait about 10 minutes, as the soup will start to thicken upon standing. If it's still not thicken enough mash a little more and give it a stir.
How to store it
Cooked white beans and ham will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure to get them into the fridge within an hour after they've cooled down.
You can also freeze leftovers for up to 6 months for a quick dinner at a later date. Allow the soup to thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Navy beans and great northern beans are both a white variety of beans. They differ in shape, size and slightly in taste. Navy beans have a denser texture as well as thicker skins that take longer to cook than great northern beans.
With this recipe, that’s up to you. Beans can be soaked prior to cooking to help reduce some of their gas-causing properties. Place the beans in a bowl and cover them with fresh water. Let them soak overnight. Drain and rinse them well before adding the beans to the slow cooker. Beans that have been soaked will have a shorter cooking time.
After the soup has finished cooking, use a spatula to press some of the beans against the side of the pot. Give it a stir and repeat if the soup is still not thick enough.
More easy soup recipes
- slow cooker chili
- white chicken chili verde
- instant pot beef stew
- chicken noodle soup
- slow cooker red beans and rice
Slow Cooker White Beans and Ham
- 1 lb. white beans
- 1 lb. smoked ham (diced)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 4 celery stalks (diced)
- 6 cups water
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4 cups cooked rice
- hot sauce
- Spread the beans out onto a baking sheet and sort through them to make sure there are no stones or pebbles. Put the beans into a colander and rinse them well under running water.
- Add all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and give it a good stir. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours. (Or until the beans are fork tender.)
- Remove the bay leaves. For a thicker soup, use the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula to press some of the beans against the side of the slow cooker. Stir the beans one more time and serve. It's delicious on its own or ladled over cooked rice.
- herbs de Provence