This easy Slow Cooker Soup Beans and Ham recipe is made with canned pinto beans, ham flavoring and chopped ham. Simple but delicious!
A CLASSIC APPALACHIAN MEAL
In the mountains of the South, soup beans and ham is a very common meal. It is particularly popular in the regions around the Appalachian Mountains (where I live). Now, it's not to be confused with bean soup. It refers to pinto or other brown dried beans cooked with smoked pork as flavoring. Soup beans are usually served with cornbread and are considered a main course but can also serve as a side dish.
TIPS FOR MAKING SOUP BEANS:
- I've modernized this recipe for soup beans and ham a bit by using a slow cooker and some convenience items.
- Dried beans can be used. Just soak in water overnight and rinse well to remove any rocks, etc. before cooking. You'll want to add about 2 cups of water when cooking this recipe to compensate.
- Leftover ham is perfect for this recipe. A warm and comforting after-Christmas or after-Easter meal!
Ham concentrate can usually be found near the Latin foods aisle of your grocery store. Also, you may be able to find a product called Ham Base (Bouillon). It is usually located down the soup aisle, near the chicken and beef broth. You can also use that for ham flavoring (about a teaspoon.)
- Feel free to add other flavorings like diced onion and minced garlic.
- I haven't tried making this in the Instant Pot yet so I am not sure if or how that would work. If you try it - let me know!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- canned pinto beans
- ham concentrate or ham bouillon
- cubed ham
HOW TO MAKE CROCK POT SOUP BEANS AND HAM:
Take all the ingredients and combine in your slow cooker.
Give it all a good stir and cover.
Set on low for about 6-8 hours. Everything in here is already precooked. So you're really just giving the flavors a chance to meld and for the beans to take on that yummy ham flavor.
Make some cornbread and serve! It's that easy! A filling and budget-friendly meal.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Crock Pot Soup Beans and Ham (+Video)
- 4 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans
- 1 packet ham concentrate
- 1 pound package of cubed ham, (or leftover chopped ham)
- Take all the ingredients and combine in your slow cooker.
- Give it all a good stir and cover.
- Set on low for about 4-6 hours.
- Everything in here is already precooked. You're really just giving the flavors a chance to meld and for the beans to take on that yummy ham flavor.
- Serve with cornbread.
- Ham concentrate can usually be found in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store. Usually near the Latin foods.
- Also, you may be able to find a product called Ham Base. It is usually located down the soup aisle, near the chicken and beef broth. You can also use that for ham flavoring (about a teaspoon).
- For additional flavor, try adding some chopped onions.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Originally published: October 2011
Updated & republished: December 2019
Great! I used 10 cans beans and 4 packets of the ham flavoring. I also added dried minced onion. Served with fried potatoes and cornbread It made an enormous crock pot full to share with my neighbors.
I couldn't find the ham base. Can I use Better than bouillon chicken or beef base?
Hi for a fast ham and bean soup this recipe is good. You can use this recipe and instead of the ham concentrate you can use smoked bacon. Just a few strips diced (you can use the bacon raw- place on bottom of crockpot) but I really SUGGEST cooking the bacon about 1/2 to 3/4 way through (it's your preference and add the bacon and 1/2 teas of the bacon fat.) You can shorten the time in the crockpot by using the bacon and a bay leaf (which you remove before serving and tossing) because this will add a lot of flavor real fast to your soup. WITH THIS RECIPE as written do NOT use an instant pot. For dried beans you can make it in an instant pot and I use chicken stock when using dried beans
Mrs. Pat Lee
I have been making this in the crock pot for over 45 years! I add chopped onions and crushed garlic. Also, 1 TBSP of sugar. I start with dried beans soaked overnight or quick cooked by bringing to a boil, covered, remove from heat and rest for an hour. Very good and even better the next day!
Brandie @ The Country Cook
Love it! Thanks so much Mrs. Pat!
I know I am late to the post, but I hope I get a reply. First, I love all of your recipes that I have tried. It I am looking for a recipe and I see that you have one, I always go for yours! I have some dried beans that I would like to use fornthis recipe and I notice you said you do not drain your canned beans. If using dry beans, how to I compensate for that? Should I cook my beans and then follow the recipe? How much liquid would I add? Sorry, I am not the most intuitive cook. ????
Brandie @ The Country Cook
Hi Shannon - so sorry I missed this! Yes, you would need to add about 2 cups of water to compensate for the additional liquid that would normally be coming from the canned beans. I hope you loved this one!
I love Ham and Bean Soup ,i also use dried beans
They keep better than canned beans and I also use Ham Hocks.i dont use and base products cause they are loaded with excess salt that those eith High Blood pressure dont need.
This looks delicious! I like my soups a little thicker. What should I do to thicken it without altering the flavor?
A chopped onion on the bottom of the crock pot before adding the beans is also wonderful!
So I have a couple crazy questions.
1.) Do you strain and rinse the beans??
2.) Do you add any water to the ham packet or use the juice from the cans of beans??
Brandie @ The Country Cook
Hi Aimee! I do not strain and rinse the beans. I want that flavorful liquid that the beans are soaking in. I do not add any additional water to the ham concentrate. Hope that helps!
Beans (with or without ham), fried potatoes, corn bread - this was a daily staple in our home. I grew up with six siblings in a poor Midwest household. We sometimes had it for lunch as well as supper - for days and days. If times were plentiful, we had the beans WITH ham. Now that I am in my early 60' - ham and beans with cornbread is a comfort food that takes my mind back to Mom and Daddy and my childhood.
My husband loves soup beans, fried potatoes and cornbread. Our families are from Kentucky and it is a staple there, but we do not use pinto beans from a can, we cook the dry beans. We also use Great Northern beans as well if we want white beans. I love to put dill pickle juice on my fried potatoes-divine.
This is comfort food at its finest. Make sure you take beano before you eat it! LOL. Thanks for sharing.
This looks like the perfect Fall dinner with the ham and beans in the slow cooker! Yum! I have never seen the ham concentrate either. Have to go shopping.
I have this in the crock pot for dinner tonight, except I use dried pinto beans. Of course, we'll have the cornbread to go with them, but we also have fried potatoes. Yummy comfort at it's best!!!!
That is my kind of dinner on a cold fall day. So easy and really, really good!
That looks so good! My mom used to make it with sharp cheddar cheese cubes stirred into it. Nowadays, we just serve it with cheese and onions sprinkled on top with a hearty helping of cornbread on the side.
Oh, I bet this makes the house smell fabulous! Great recipe, Brandie...and still giggling about the visual with you having ham hocks for legs 🙂 I.don't.think.so!
This looks wonderful, so flavorful and hearty for a cold Halloween night. I will have to look for the Ham Goya packet.
I just have a question, Can we use canned baked beans instead of the pinto beans? Sounds really good and would love to try this.
Brandie @ The Country Cook
Hi Dawn - do you mean like Pork and Beans or the baked beans that have seasonings and flavors added (like molasses, etc.) You can use pork and beans but definitely not baked beans.