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Crockpot Ham And Bean Soup

This easy Crockpot Ham And Bean Soup is not just any ham and beans. Salty ham, tender white beans, onion, garlic, smoked paprika, and thyme slow cook together all day! It’s the perfect bowl of comfort food with a hunk of crusty bread.

Classic Ham and Bean Soup

When you want to prepare a comforting meal that will keep you feeling full, this Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup is a must make. It’s packed with flavor, so easy to prepare, and will leave you wanting to come back for seconds – and thirds!

This easy soup consists of salty ham, tender white beans, sautéed onion, garlic, smoked paprika, and thyme that all cook together in the crockpot all day. By dinner time your house will smell divine and you will have a cozy, filling, and nutritious meal ready to dig into.

White bowls filled with ingredients to make crockpot ham and beans.

Recipe Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients for this recipe. Get your shopping list out and jot these ingredients down!

  • Cannellini Beans: If you don’t have these beans, you can use great northern beans or white navy beans as a good substitute. To keep this recipe easy, I recommend using canned beans that you rinse and drain.
  • Ham: Because you’re chopping the ham into cubed pieces, you can use ham from the deli, a ham steak, or leftover ham from a holiday dinner! These days they also sell already chopped/cubed ham in the meat department of the grocery store.
  • Vegetables: Onion, Garlic, Carrots.
  • Chicken Stock: If you don’t want to use chicken stock, you can use pork or vegetable stock as an alternative.
  • Smoked Paprika: Using smoked paprika brings more flavor to the dish. However, if you only have regular paprika, you can use it as well.
  • Thyme: We love to use fresh thyme as it adds a ton of warmth and flavor, but if you aren’t a thyme fan, rosemary is also delicious in this ham and bean soup.
  • Butter: Just a little butter to sauté your onions in before adding them to the crockpot. You can also use olive oil.

Can I Use Leftover Ham Bone?

If you have a leftover ham bone, go ahead and add it to the crockpot! It will add tons of salty ham flavor to your soup. Next time you have a ham, save that ham bone for a really flavorful soup.

You don’t have to use it right away, a ham bone can be frozen and used later! Just wrap it tightly in foil or saran warp and then place it in a freezer friendly ziplock bag to keep it protected from freezer burn. You can freeze a ham bone for up to 3 months.

Ham and broth in a black crockpot.

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup In The Crockpot

This ham and bean soup is so incredibly easy to make in your crockpot. All you need to do is saute your veggies and throw everything in. Follow the steps below: 

Saute the onion: In a skillet,  heat the butter and cook the onion for 5 minutes on medium low heat.

Add everything to the crockpot: Add all the ingredients to your crockpot. Then, cook your soup on high for 2-hours or on low for 4-hours.

Ladle into a bowl: Serve your soup with warm crusty bread, croutons or even cornbread!

Ham and bean soup in a white bowl with a serving spoon on a white napkin.

Tips for the Best Ham and Bean Soup

  • Use leftover ham. This recipe is great for using up leftover ham from the holidays. And, it tastes way better than just heating your ham up in the microwave. 
  • Add parmesan. If you want to give this soup even more of a savory taste, consider sprinkling a little freshly grated parmesan cheese on top of it.
  • Consider some pepper flakes. When you want to add a bit of a kick to your soup, you can add a bit of red pepper flakes to the crockpot with the rest of your ingredients.
Up close image of crockpot ham and beans in a white bowl with parsley on top.

Can I Make this Soup on the Stovetop?

If you don’t have a crockpot, don’t worry. You can prepare this meal in a pot on the stovetop. You can follow step 1 cooking the onion in a large soup pan, then add everything to the a large soup pot and simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the more the flavors will meld together.

Can I Use Dry Beans Instead of Canned Beans?

Absolutely. It’s fine to use dried beans that you’ll cook from scratch and then add to your crockpot if you prefer starting from scratch!

  1. Rinse dried white beans (I would use 1 pound of dried beans) well and let them soak in water overnight.
  2. Drain beans and rinse once more time.
  3. Add beans in the crockpot with the rest of your ingredients (adding an extra cup of chicken broth than the recipe calls for) and cook everything on low for 6 to 7 hours, until beans are tender.

How Long Does this Need to Cook? 

If you use the canned beans, you will only need to cook your soup on high for two hours, or on low for four hours. Everything is cooked already, you are just helping to meld the flavors!

You can also leave it all day if you want to prep it in the morning. I recommend setting it for low for 4 hours and then having the crockpot switch over to warm until you are ready to serve your soup.

How to Thicken Ham and Bean Soup

Do you want to thicken up your soup a bit? Simply remove 1/4 cup of the broth and place it in a bowl, then add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk everything together, then pour the mixture back into your soup and give it a good stir. Replace the lid on your crock pot and let the soup cook for another 30 minutes or so.

Serving Suggestions

There are many ways to enjoy this classic soup! I personally love serving it with a slice of crusty bread, lightly toasted and slathered with melty butter. A thick slice of buttery beer bread is also lovely with a big bowl of soup.

Crockpot ham and beans in a white bowl with broth and parsley on top.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Allow your soup to cool down before pouring the contents of your slow cooker into a food container with an airtight lid to keep it fresh. Place your soup in the fridge for up to five days.

You can reheat extras by lading your desired amount into an appropriately sized pot and warming it over medium heat on the stove until warmed through.

Or, you can zap your soup in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until it reaches your desired temperature. I recommend covering your bowl with a small plate to avoid splattering. It’s also a good idea to pause the microwave halfway through the heating time to give the soup a good stir with a spoon. This helps ensure that it reheats evenly.

Can I Freeze The Soup? 

Yes, you can freeze it pre-made or freeze the leftovers in the freezer for up to three months. In fact, ham and bean soup makes a great freezer meal.

To freeze: Allow your soup to cool completely. Then, pour it into a ziploc freezer bag or into a freezer safe dish. Thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or microwave as desired.

A spoonful of crockpot beans and ham being lifted out of a big bowl.
Yield: 6 servings

Crockpot Ham And Bean Soup

Up close image of ham and beans in a white bowl with a spoon.

This easy Crockpot Ham And Bean Soup is not just any ham and beans. Salty ham, tender white beans, onion, garlic, smoked paprika, and thyme slow cook together all day!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 pound ham, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter and add onion. Sauté onion for 5 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add everything (inclduing sautéed d onion) to the crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
  3. Serve with croutons, bread, or cornbread, as desired!

Notes

STOVETOP: If you don’t have a crockpot, don’t worry. You can prepare this meal in a pot on the stovetop. You can follow step 1 cooking the onion in a large soup pan, then add everything to the a large soup pot and simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the more the flavors will meld together.

DRIED BEANS: Can I use dried beans from scratch? Yes!

  1. Rinse dried white beans (I would use 1 pound of dried beans) well and let them soak in water overnight.
  2. Drain beans and rinse once more time.
  3. Add beans in the crockpot with the rest of your ingredients (adding an extra cup of chicken broth than the recipe calls for) and cook everything on low for 6 to 7 hours, until beans are tender.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS: Allow your soup to cool down before pouring the contents of your slow cooker into a food container with an airtight lid to keep it fresh. Place your soup in the fridge for up to five days.

FREEZE LEFTOVERS: Allow your soup to cool completely. Then, pour it into a ziploc freezer bag or into a freezer safe dish. Thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or microwave as desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 922mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 44g

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