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A crockpot filled with white beans and ham, cooking.
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5 from 1 vote

White Beans and Ham - Slow Cooker

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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Cajun, Southern
Keyword: beans, cajun recipes, camellia, slowcooker, southern, whitebeans
Servings: 8
Calories: 467kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 6 - 8 oz salt pork or 3 - 4 strips of bacon Our grocery store sells 12 oz packages and I use half the package for each reciple.
  • 1 ham hock If you cannot find a ham hock, you can add a little extra bacon.
  • 3 - 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lb 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 ;)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced I usually use 3 large carrots.
  • 1 cup celery stalks, diced I usually use 2 - 3 stalks of celery.
  • 1 cup onion, diced This is about the equivalent of one large onion.
  • 1/2 cup shallots, diced These are optional, but I had one that I needed to use and added it - delicious.
  • 3/4 - 1 cup green bell pepper I usually use one average sized green pepper.
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme If you do not have access to fresh thyme, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

For Serving

  • 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.

Instructions

  • 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 or bacon into bite size pieces.
  • If you are using bacon, cook it until it is fairly crispy. Once cooked, add it to the crockpot along with the grease left in the pan.
  • Once the butter is melted, add your garlic, onions (and shallots), carrots, celery, and green bell pepper to your slow cooker. Stir to coat everything in butter.
  • Next, season with cayenne pepper, thyme, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. Mix well.
  • Add your beans, then chicken stock and water.
  • Finally, drop in your ham hock.
  • Cover the crockpot, then cook for one hour on high. You want to check the liquid level in the beans once it gets cooking to make sure that you don't run out of liquid. 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 hour or so to give everything a good stir.
  • After four hours have elapsed, add your ham and cook for another two hours.
  • The beans are ready to serve when some of the beans start to separate from their skins and they can be mushed easily. If you want to thicken the soup, remove about a cup of beans and puree them with an immersion blender. Add that back to the crockpot and mix well.
  • Serve over white rice and top with diced pepperoncini peppers. Add a side of cornbread to take it over the top!

Notes

Tips
  • Check the liquid level in your beans after the first hour, then every hour or two going forward, just give the beans a stir. The liquid should be boiling.
  • 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 either at the start or for about 30 minutes at the end before serving. (I personally prefer the beans cooked on high, but having a meal ready that just cooks all day while you work is kind of an awesome thing.)
  • Serve your white beans over white rice and top with diced pepperoncini peppers and a splash of vinegar from the peppers.
  • Once cooled, you can freeze half of your white beans for a quick weeknight meal. I like to reheat my white beans in my Instant Pot at low pressure for 10 minutes. You can also reheat them on the stove, just keep the heat very low and cover the pot that you use.
  • White beans and ham will be even better the next day, so pack yourself some for lunch!
  • If you want to thicken the soup, remove about a cup of beans and puree them with an immersion blender. Add that back to the crockpot and mix well.
Serving Suggestions
  • Serve your white beans and ham over white rice and top with diced pepperoncini peppers. We like to add a little freshly cracked salt and pepper as well. You can serve your white beans with a side of cornbread to take it over the top.
Storage
  • The beans will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, though the sooner you eat them, the better they will be. They will keep in the freezer for 6 months to a year.
  • To freeze white beans, allow the beans to cool, then freeze in a freezer safe container. You can use a freezer bag and lay the beans flat or if you have a vacuum sealer, we like to freeze our soups in long flat containers and then transfer to a bag and vacuum seal. 
Options
  • If you want to make vegan white beans without ham, you can leave out all of the meats and use vegan butter or olive oil. Use extra butter to replace the fatty flavor from the meat and use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. You can also use a vegan bacon.
  • If you have a dairy intolerance, you can use olive oil in place of butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1005mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2981IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 4mg