This ham bone bean soup recipe made with veggies and potatoes is the perfect way to use up your leftover holiday ham! Packed with many delicious flavors, your crock pot will do all the work for you.
Original post: January 2016 | Updated: November 2022
Why This Ham Bone Soup Recipe Works
We typically enjoy a huge ham every Easter and sometimes for Christmas dinner. One of my absolute favorite things to do with the leftover carcass is to turn it into the most flavorful, multi-textured, colorful, hearty soup.
This is such an easy soup and has so much flavor. It is loaded with potatoes, beans and vegetables to make it a complete meal requiring very little effort. The best part about this great recipe is that your slow cooker does the heavy lifting so you can kick your feet up after a big holiday.
Recipe Ingredients for Ham Bean Soup
Ham bone – Use one leftover cooked ham bone for this soup, preferably with a bit of meat still attached. Make sure the entire bone fits into your crock pot and that the cover is able to fit over it.
Beans – Kidney beans are the perfect addition to this recipe, but you can swap this variety out for pinto beans, navy beans, white beans, great northern beans, cannellini beans or any other hearty variety that holds its shape well in soup.
Potatoes – For best results use russet potatoes, but possible substitutions are Yukon gold or baby red potatoes.
Toppings – Before serving, garnish the soup with freshly grated black pepper, chopped fresh parsley, fresh thyme or Parmesan cheese.
How To Make Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup
Place the following ingredients into a 6-quart crock pot:
- 1 leftover hambone (fully cooked and preferably with a bit of meat still attached)
- Kidney beans
- Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- Diced tomatoes
- 6 cups water + chicken Bouillon cubes
Cook on low heat for 8-9 hours or high heat for 5-6 hours. Toward the end of cooking (approximately one hour before it’s done), place ham bone on a cutting board and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
Remove the meat from the ham bone and add it to the crockpot. Give the mixture a good stir and discard bone. Serve when soup is warmed through.
Recipe Notes for Ham Bone Bean Soup
- Replace the water and Bouillon cubes with two 32-oz. containers of chicken broth or stock, if desired. Since the ham offers plenty of salt, low sodium chicken broth may be used instead of regular!
- If you’d like to make this soup without a ham bone, replace it with up to 3 cups diced ham.
- Add extra veggies to the mixture for an extra hearty ham soup, such as celery, onions or more of what is already in the recipe.
- Minced garlic or garlic powder would be delicious additions to this dish.
- For a thinner consistency and less chunky soup, use a potato masher to break down the potatoes and veggies once you have removed the ham hock from the crockpot.
- Canned corn can be replaced with equal amounts of frozen corn.
- You may use dried beans for this recipe. Dry beans should soak overnight and according to package directions before using.
- Ham hocks and ham shanks are not the same thing as ham bones, although both will work for this recipe. Not as much meat will come off the bone, but you’ll still get plenty of flavor. If you are unable to find a ham bone at the store, you’ll likely be able to find a hock or a shank at your local butcher or grocery store.
- Add a couple bay leaves to the pot for an added touch of flavor. Just remember to pull it out before serving!
What To Serve With Ham – 19 delicious ideas!
Ham is a quintessential holiday food. But what do you serve alongside this savory star? Read on for 19 perfect ideas about what to serve with ham.
What To Serve With Soup
Soup is an easy, comforting meal to prepare for dinner any time of the year. But what do you serve alongside it? Click over for 33 delicious ideas about what to serve with soup. Here are a few other great ideas:
FAQ About Ham Bones
Broth made from animal bones is very good for you! It can help to boost your immune system and reduce inflammation within the body.
If you are the lucky recipient of a Christmas or Easter dinner ham bone, but you will not be able to use it in the following 3-4 days, freeze it! Place it in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container. If using bags, squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Make sure the container is completely sealed.
As a general rule you should thaw ham bones before using them in recipes, although it is possible to use a frozen ham bone when time is limited. Allow extra time for cooking if you use a frozen bone. When defrosting the bone first, place the entire container holding the bone in a bowl or sink filled with cold water until it has thawed. It can also defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator, but will take more time.
Ham bones are great when used to make soup such as ham and potato soup or split pea and ham soup. They can also be used to make a delicious ham stock or broth, which can be used as a base for any soup.
What Do You Do With a Ham Bone
- Use your leftover ham bone to make this comforting, hearty Ham Bone Soup in your Instant Pot! Pressure cooking this meal allows you to get dinner on the table in less than an hour and it tastes like it has been simmering in a slow cooker all day long.
- Ham, split peas and an assortment of delicious carrots, peas and celery are the perfect combo in this hearty, comforting and traditional ham split pea soup. A truly savory soup will satisfy and fill you up.
- These delicious, baked Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches are also known as Tailgate Sandwiches because they are the perfect game-day party fare. They are bursting with flavor and gooey cheese!
- These delicious ham and cheese pretzel bites are the PERFECT party or game day food! Don’t be intimidated by the cooking process. It’s way easier than it looks! You will not be disappointed.
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Ham Bone and Bean Soup Recipe With Potatoes
- Place all ingredients into a 6-quart crock pot. Cook on Low for 8-9 hours or High for 5-6 hours. One hour before soup is done, remove the ham bone and let cool on a cutting board for 15 minutes.
- Remove the meat from the ham bone and add it back to the crockpot. Discard bone. Serve when soup is warmed through.
- Replace the water and Bouillon cubes with two 32-oz. containers of chicken broth or stock, if desired.
- Canned corn can be replaced with equal amounts of frozen corn.
- Ham hocks are not the same thing as ham bones, although ham hocks will still work with this recipe. You won’t get as much meat from the bone, but you’ll still get plenty of flavor from it. If you are unable to find a ham bone at the store, you’ll likely be able to find a ham hock or even a smoked ham hock (even better!).
- Add a bay leaf or two to the pot for an added touch of flavor. Just remember to pull it out before serving!