I often fall victim to wanting to be a foodie. I love to pore through stacks of recipes, experiment with different spices, and scavenge for unique foods. I love to find something new to obsess over, but I always find the most comfort in those things I already know.
Ham and beans is truly a humble dish, born from the necessity of making something out of… not much. Simple beans and a leftover ham bone (also known as ham hock) create a flavorful meal that’s hearty. Growing up, Mom would often make ham and beans on a winter-like day, simmering away on the stove and filling the house with smoky goodness. I love when a meal eats like a hug (weird phrase, but you know what I mean!) and these beans are full of the comfort that tastes so good.
The best ham and beans recipe is parred down and never over-complicated. There’s no reason to try to reinvent a wheel that’s already so delicious. The most important rule is you must start with dried beans. Canned beans have a great purpose and come in handy in many dishes where the beans aren’t the most important part. This dish is all about the beans, both in the flavor and the texture. If the dried beans are freshly dried, soaking is not always important. Since it’s hard to know, I always start by soaking the beans, just in case!
Much like a soup, ham and beans starts with a base of onion, carrot, and celery. The underlying vegetal flavor actually elevates the beans.
To flavor the beans, a ham bone with plenty of meat still attached is ideal. I don’t make large bone-in hams often, so thankfully it’s easy to find ham bones in many supermarkets.
The foodie in me can’t help but add a bit more umami flavor. And that comes in the form of a Parmesan rind, available at most grocery stores or cheese counters, which gives a rich flavor that rounds out the beans.
And since this is almost a soup, the liquid left in the bottom of each dish will need to be soaked up. That’s where cornbread comes into play! In our house, cornbread is traditionally served with this meal, and rightfully so. The texture and ability to finish the hearty meal make this the best comfort food around!
Watch how to make this ham and beans recipe
Homestyle Ham and Beans
- 1 lb dried white or navy beans (about 2 cups)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups roughly diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- ¾ cup diced onion
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 ham bone/hock
- 1 4- to 6-inch Parmesan rind
- 6 cups chicken stock
- Cover dried beans with water and soak for 6-8 hours. Once soaked, drain beans and set aside.1 lb dried white or navy beans (about 2 cups)
- Over medium heat, warm olive oil in a 6-quart stockpot or Dutch oven. Sauté the carrot, celery, and onion with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent, 5 minutes.2 tbsp olive oil, 1 ½ cups roughly diced carrot, 1 cup diced celery, ¾ cup diced onion, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Add soaked beans, ham bone, Parmesan rind, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, 2-4 hours.1 ham bone/hock, 1 4- to 6-inch Parmesan rind, 6 cups chicken stock
- Once the beans are tender, remove the Parmesan rind and ham bone. Allow the beans to rest for 20 minutes so the liquid will continue to thicken. Remove any meat from the ham bone and add back to the beans. Alternatively, more ham can be added. Adjust beans for salt to taste and serve with cornbread.
Hi! Did you roast the ham hock before you put it in? It looks cuts in the video.
Love watching you cook. Where will I find your cornbread recipe. Thanks for all the good recipes.
thanks thats dinner tomorrow
Have you made a vegetarian version? I was thinking of using liquid smoke instead of the ham bone.
Looks delicious…is a ham hock rage same as a pork hock!!!!
Kaleb, I made the soup and cornbread for dinner tonight. The soup was fantastic! I don’t know if maybe my cornmeal was old but the bread did not have much flavor. Will definitely make the soup again!
You are so gifted with many talents (personality, organization, love of life, etc.). I love kitchen stuff. Where did you get your glass measure cups, mesh strainers (with no handles and legs) and tart pan? Please please! Can’t wait to make the Ham and Beans, and also the Lemon Shortbread!
So my question….I have the same All Clad slow cooker you have (btw…made your apple butter recipe in it 😋) what I love about it is how the insert can go from stove to slow cooker. Why don’t you make this recipe in that??
I followed your recipe for this and the cornbread. Best ever! There wasn’t one drop left for leftovers for lunch the next day! Delicious! Thank you!
So cozy brings back all those awesome children memories. Thanks sooo very much.
Made this last weekend and my family loved it!!
Cold day here on the coast in Oregon. Made this comfort soup today on my day off so I can continue to enjoy while at work. First time making homemade cornbread so goid. Bye bye box never again. Thank you love everything you do such a fan keep the videos coming.
Made this today and didn’t change a thing. PERFECT. The parmesan rind is such a creative idea and added SO MUCH flavor! Plus it gave me the option to nibble on the wedge while I was cooking the beans. Bonus!! I love your videos, keep them coming.
We made this, easy, delish, and will definetly be making it again. I used the InstaPot so this made for a great weeknight dinner after work. For sure recomend. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and recipes.
Kaleb, Where do you purchase a lot of your cooking supplies? Things like, a garlic press….
Thank you! Awesome blogs!!!
I made this comfort meal yesterday just in time for the weekend snowstorm. So easy and delicious, especially when using a HoneyBaked Ham bone! It was the first time I’ve added a Parmesan rind to soup – what a great idea! We have enough to last us through the storm. Thank you, Kaleb!
I absolutely love this wholesome, healthy recipes. It’s one of my “feel good” comfort foods! I’m making it now as we’ve just had a late March snow! Perfect with the cornbread! A must as well!
Thank you Wyse Guide. So glad to have discovered you!
Michelle from Idaho
Can this recipe be made in the crock pot?
These smell amazing!!! Can’t wait until they are done. I’m drooling already
These beans are so off the chain!!!
I’m not generally a fan of navy beans but I was wrong. I’ve been reformed
Just want to say, I love your videos and recipes.
Thanks for being you!
Love this dish!!
I have tried numerous ham and bean “soup” recipes. I literally have disliked (putting it mildly) every recipe. I kept trying because my husband loves bean soups. I tried this one and I absolutely love this recipe! I am making it again today. I had second helpings and leftovers when I made it a month ago. No exaggerating…this is amazing & keeper for sure!
Susan, that is the nicest thing to hear! What a compliment!
I’m in Scotland, but ate this many years ago when I was on holiday in the US. I’ve often wondered how I could make this simple, but really tasty meal myself. After watching your video I have beans soaking and I’m going to make it tomorrow. The recipe is simplicity itself and I am so looking forward to dinner tomorrow. Thanks for your recipes.
Love watching you cook and I love your recipes I used to cook a lot but I’m having some issues with a knee problem . I really enjoy all of your videos it’s so cold here in Virginia I think I’m gonna have to fix some corn bread and some white beans this week.
I am obsessed with this recipe. I’ve never made anything like it before. I did use the immersion blender a bit to slightly purée it. Soooooo delicious.
Thank you for this one. It will be a winter go to from now on.
I’ve made this soup once, following the recipe exactly and it was fantastic…probably the best bean and ham soup I have ever tasted! I am making it again today with corn bread and can’t wait for dinner! Leftovers the next day are even better. Make this soup, it is so full of flavor, you will not be disappointed!!
Has anyone made this a day before?
I do….. always tastes better as allows the favors to blend together
Can this be made a day ahead?
Love your recipe. We’re having severe thunderstorm with tornado warning here in Oklahoma. Need some awesome comforted food. Your totally awesome.
I have made the white beans and ham twice now and was a hit both times! Thank you for all if the wonderful recipes and ideas and please keep them coming!
I’m making your beans and ham again today only I use the crockpot….always turn out fantastic … thanks for a great recipe
Haven’t true your ham and beans recipe yet. I made this soup this past weekend and I took about a cup and a half of the soup and blended it also like you did your potato soup. Makes it nice and thick.
I love navy beans and cornbread! yummy!
Please tell me what kind of pots and pans you have and where you purchased them. I have been asking this for a while. Guess no one is reading my post. Thanks.
Cooked your beans and ham stewp. Love it! My hubby made his cornbread recipe. 😋
Oh hi, just interested the bake beans with the navy beans
I use smoked Turkey instead of ham with the beans. Same great smoky flavor.