Slow Cooker White Beans and Ham is the very definition of comfort food. It is an easy way to make a hearty, flavorful dinner and a great way to use up leftover ham.
What are the Ingredients in Slow Cooker White Beans and Ham?
My white beans and ham recipe has a lot of ingredients, but they all add to the depth of flavor that makes this such an awesome recipe. It is made with:
- Ham (A great way to use leftover ham, but you can also use a new package!)
- A ham hock
- Salt Pork
- Salt and pepper
- Thyme (I like to use fresh from my garden with the stems included to simmer in the pot!)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chicken stock or chicken bone broth
- Green bell pepper
- White Northen Beans (I like to use Camellia Beans because they are the best quality and don’t come with rocks mixed in 😉 )
If you want to make Vegan White Beans, you can leave out all of the meats and use vegan butter. Use extra butter to replace the fatty flavor from the meat and use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
How Do You Make Slow Cooker White Beans and Ham?
White beans and ham in a slow cooker is seriously one of the easiest recipes to make, yet somehow it is so good. You simply dice up your ham, salt pork, and vegetables into bite-size pieces while melting a tablespoon of butter in your slow cooker on high.
Once the butter is melted, add everything BUT your ham slices to the crockpot. I usually start with the vegetables, beans, salt pork, and ham hock and then add the spices, then stock. (The sliced ham goes in AFTER a few hours of cooking.)
Once everything is mixed in, put a lid on your slow cooker and let it cook for one hour. Check your white beans and ham at this point because the beans can soak up a LOT more liquid than you would expect and you might have to add more stock. As long as your beans are covered with a little bit of stock at this point, you are good to go. If you can see dried beans in your white beans and they are no longer covered with stock, add one cup of stock (if necessary, up to two cups of chicken stock) but not much more or your beans will end up really soupy. (If that’s what you want, go for it!) Give your beans a good stir and them to cook for three more hours.
After four TOTAL hours of cooking, add your ham to the slow cooker and give those beans another good stir. Cook for two more hours on high.
After six total hours have passed, your beans are ready to enjoy!
Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with diced pepperoncini peppers.
Here’s a quick timeline:
After 1 hour: Check on you white beans – add more chicken broth if needed.
After 3 hours: Stir – you don’t have to, but I like to.
After 4 hours: Add you sliced ham and stir your white beans.
After 6 hours: Serve your white beans and ham!
TIPS for Making Slow Cooker White Beans and Ham
- Check the liquid level in your beans after the first hour, then every hour or two going forward.
- If you want to make White Beans and Ham Soup while you are going to be out for the day, cook on low for 7 – 9 hours and add the ham at the start. (I personally prefer the beans cooked on high, but sometimes there is life and having dinner ready when you get home from work is a necessity!)
- Serve your white beans over white rice and top with diced pepperoncini peppers.
- Once cooled, freeze half of your white bean soup for a quick weeknight meal.
- White beans and ham will be even better the next day, so pack yourself some for lunch!
Slow Cooker White Beans & Ham
- A crockpot or slow cooker
- 1 tbsp butter
- 6 – 8 oz salt pork Our grocery store sells 12 oz packages and I use half the package for each reciple.
- 1 lb Great White Northern Beans I use Camellia beans because I find them to be the best quality and they don't usually come with rocks in them 😉
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large onion, diced If you do not have a large onion, use two small or medium onions.
- 1 small green bell pepper
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 5 sprigs thyme, dried
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme If you do not have fresh thyme, add 1 tsp dried thyme.
- 1 tsp salt, kosher
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- white rice Serve your white beans over white rice.
- 1 tbsp pepperoncini peppers, diced I love Trappey's Peppers, but we can only get them in Louisiana.
- Turn your slow cooker on high and add a tablespoon of butter.
- While it is melting, dice your vegetables, mince your garlic, and cut up your ham and salt pork into bite size pieces.
- Once the butter is melted, add your garlic, onions, carrots, celery, salt pork, ham hock, and green bell pepper to your slow cooker.
- Season with cayenne pepper, thyme, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. Mix well and add your chicken stock.
- Cook for one hour on high, then check the liquid level in the beans. As long as the beans are covered with some liquid, you are good to keep cooking. If all of the liquid has been absorbed, add a little more stock in 1 cup increments.
- Continue cooking for 3 more hours, checking every once in a while to stir.
- After four hours have elapsed, add your ham and cook for another two hours. Beans are ready to serve when some of the beans start to separate from their skins and they can be mushed easily.
- Serve over white rice and top with diced pepperoncini peppers. Add a side of cornbread to take it over the top!
How Do You Know When Your White Beans and Ham Soup is Ready?
If some of the beans have separated from their skins and you have a thick broth, your beans should be ready to eat. If you can easily mush the beans, they are definitely ready.
How Can You Serve White Beans and Ham?
Serve your white beans and ham over white rice and top with diced pepperoncini peppers. You can serve your white beans with a side of cornbread to take it over the top.