Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans

Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans – our favorite way to use our leftover holiday ham! Only 3 ingredients – ham, onion, and dried great northern beans. Cover with water and cook. Serve with some homemade cornbread. Comfort food at its best! #southern #crockpot #leftoverham #slowcooker #hambone

slow cooker ham & white beans

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This is the last recipe from our Christmas ham.  I always look forward to finishing off the ham with a nice big bowl of white beans and a slice of cornbread.  This recipe is super simple.  It uses a pound of dried beans and simmers all day in the crockpot with a big ham bone.  The Honey Baked Ham store sells ham bones year-round (found that out on twitter).  If you don’t have a ham bone, use some ham shanks, ham hocks or just some chopped up ham.  I love the creaminess of white beans combined with the saltiness of the ham.  This is comfort food at its best!

Slow Cooker Ham and White Beans - only 4 ingredients! This is a family favorite. Dry white beans, leftover ham, onions and water. We serve it with homemade cornbread for a hearty meal. Our favorite way to use up leftover holiday ham.
slow cooker ham & white beans

Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans – our favorite way to use our leftover holiday ham! Only 3 ingredients – ham, onion, and dried great northern beans. Cover with water and cook. Serve with some homemade cornbread. Comfort food at its best! #southern #crockpot #leftoverham #slowcooker #hambone



  • Rinse and sort the beans for any pebbles. Add the rinsed beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ham to the crockpot. Add water. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours, until beans are tender.
  • Remove ham bone, shanks or hocks and pull off the meat. Add meat to the crockpot and mix. Serve with cornbread.


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  1. Made these beans last night, and they were delicious! I used a cubed ham steak (about a pound), 1 small chopped onion rather than onion powder, added 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika and cooked them for 22 minutes in the instant pot. They are delish served over rice! Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Love this recipe, I add a diced onion and a couple of diced carrots, the onion adds flavor the carrots add color. I freeze the leftovers in one cup servings, perfect for one person.

  3. This was so good! I added a couple of pinches of chicken bouillon after reading the comments. I love simple recipes like this; almost zero effort with big rewards! I’m going to try it tomorrow with bacon instead. Thank you for this great recipe!

      1. Would you use 6 cups chicken broth instead of water or just replace some of the water with the broth?

  4. Serve with chopped fresh white onion and crumbled cornbread. This ain’t rocket science folks, but it’s damn good.

  5. This is ALWAYS my go to recipe when I have leftover ham. So few ingredients and so easy! End result is DELICIOUS! It’s one of my favorite recipes of yours. Right there next to your instant pot lasagna soup recipe. Thank you for contributing to my family’s happiness.

  6. If I’m using cubed ham, do I add it at the beginning of the 8 hours or just throw it in at the end?

    1. When I make bean soup, to make the broth thicker when done I run the masher through the beans a couple of times to mash a few up and I use ham bouillon instead of chicken.

        1. Sonia , if you look at the Mexican section at the grocery store there you will find GOYA brand Ham seasoning , It is a small yellow box with red and brown vertical stripes , in it are either 4 or 6 small packages of powdered seasoning . I use it all the time . Good luck !

  7. This dish was amazing and so comforting. I followed the directions exactly and it was full of flavor. I am making it again tonight. My whole family loved it, including my picky 7 year old.

  8. In the actual list of ingredients the recipe does not specify the amount of beans. You have to scroll up and read through everything to finally find it. 1 Lb. so that’s a smaller bag oh 454 grams
    Making this today but doubled the recipe amount for the beans.
    Looking forward to dinner

    1. Only you can answer that. I don’t know what you consider to be salty. The dish as written isn’t salty at all, so it might be ok.

    1. Hello! Super excited to try this recipe, however I’m a little nervous about cooking time since I soaked beans overnight. Do you have any idea about how long soaked beans for this recipe will need to cook?

      1. I’ve never soaked the beans, so I do not know how long they will take to cook. You will just have to check on them as they cook.

  9. I just finished mine!!! I used a chopped yellow onion instead of onion powder. So easy, so delicious! Hint: amp up the flavor with beef or chicken broth/stock instead of water! I just need to whip up some cornbread and my 80 year old dad will be in heaven! This is his meal delivery from me!

  10. I let my great northern beans soak overnight. I also chop up one onion. I use chicken stock you buy from the grocery. It makes a richer soup.

  11. love your recipes. got an instant pot for a gift and am still afraid to use it, too many choices so my slow cooker is still the go to for cooking. keep them coming.

  12. I make this all the time it is one of my families favorite dinners. I do use vegetable broth instead of water. It adds so much extra flavor!

  13. Hello my name is Vicki Whittington and I was wondering if I can add the ham the whole time it is cooking in the crockpot? Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Vicki – that is what I do. I just dump everything in the slow cooker and let it cook the entire time. Enjoy!

  14. I'm going to make this. I'm also going to try making my baked beans in the crockpot now. Everyone loves these!
    Dried baby lima beans(I'll cook them with 7 cups of water in crockpot.Then 1/2 way through I'll add 1 large chopped onion,and 1 lb cooked bacon +grease.last 2 hours I'll add bottle of ketchup and dark brown sugar to taste.EVERYBODY loves these beans,though they all hate regular frozen lima beans. People think there's molasses,but that's the dark brown sugar.So much easier than soaking,boiling beans first.Thanks Stephanie

  15. I'm going to make this exactly like you said except I'll add an onion.
    Everyone loves my baked beans made from dried Loma beans with bacon,onion,ketchup,and brown sugar.I'm going to use my crockpot now for the beans & onio,adding the bacon halfway,and ketchup,brown sugar the last hour. This will be so much easier than soaking,boboiling. I'll just have to add about 5 cups of water.Thank you!

  16. I am making this tomorrow….I have beans soaking now and will place in crock pot in the morning with my ham hock, and some ham meat…thinking about using the chicken broth idea…when should I add the onion??

  17. Just made this for a pig roast tomorrow. I did add fresh onion and hard boiled eggs since that is how the PA Dutch do. It is SO easy to make in the crock pot! Super thick also!! I was able to make 1 1/2 the recipe size in a 6 qt. pot.

  18. Easter ham bones going in the crock pot tomorrow with beans. Yum. Perfect timing: it was 72 degrees today and will be in the 50's tomorrow.

  19. This is in my crock pot now with my Christmas ham bone. Used some chicken broth from my freezer for 2 cups of liquid and added some garlic salt. Following Steph's advice did not presoak beans, but have cooked on high for the first couple of hours. The house already smells great!

  20. How many servings does the recipe yield? Just wanting to make sure 1lb of beans is enough for the family. 🙂

  21. made this today in my 4 qt ~ cause i had a huge ham bone in freezer, used dried white beans and only 5 cups water cause i was striving for creamy (not soupy) ~ perfection! a surprisingly nice change from our usual fare, will make again. thx for sharing with this northern gal:)

  22. I would never had thought to cook beans in a crockpot. I will be fixing this next week. Only I will be using smoked turkey instead of pork. Thank You!!!

  23. Trying this dish tonight. Used my tightly wrapped frozen ham bone that I had from last Christmas…..added diced onion, sprinkle of celery salt (no stalks on hand), sprinkle of Nature's Seasoning, 1 bay leaf, diced garlic clove, and a tablespoon of brown sugar as others suggested. Hope this one is a crock pot winner since I normally prepare my beans on the stove top!

  24. I wondering if I need to do anything different so that I can pressure can after the 8 hours? My husband drives a tanker and this would be great to warm his old bones while out on the road this winter.

  25. My dear MIL taught me to make this soup but we add tomato juice to the recipe and when ready to serve, chop up a hard boiled egg into the bowl and serve. The hard boiled egg not only adds flavor but thickens it. Do not freeze with the egg in it or reheat it with it, as the white of the egg will end up tasting like rubber. We soak our beans overnight but also cook on top of stove in big pot. Have never tried using the crock pot but might have to try it. I could soak the beans overnight in same crockpot insert, drain and then use same crockpot insert to make the soup. One less pot to wash!

  26. I made this yesterday and it's a definite keeper. I used 1 lb dried northern beans, .5 lbs navy beans (soaked overnight), 1 49.5 oz can Swanson’s MSG-free chicken broth (w/Worcestershire & Louisiana hot sauce), 2 smoked turkey legs, and approx. 6 stalks of celery. Cooked on low 6 hours, high 2 hours. It was very good, but had a little bit of an odd flavor (maybe from smoked turkey legs, or maybe from MSG-free broth), I couldn't quite put my finger on the odd flavor. It was even better the next day and the slightly odd flavor was hardly noticeable. Next time I may try un-smoked turkey legs instead. I used smoked legs because I had seen a couple other comments that mentioned that. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!!

  27. I soak my white northern beans overnight. I did find garlic flavored chicken broth, and used it for 2 out of the 6 cups of liquid. It added flavor without doing anything extra. I also used a smoked ham hock, and cut up 2 hickory smoked ham steaks for extra meat. Turned out great!!

  28. I soak my white northern beans overnight. I did find garlic flavored chicken broth, and used it for 2 out of the 6 cups of liquid. It added flavor without doing anything extra. I also used a smoked ham hock, and cut up 2 hickory smoked ham steaks for extra meat. Turned out great!!

  29. Steph Ive been cooking beans and cornbread for years but this shortcut is great!,, and just as delicious if not better

  30. I cook ham & beans (I use mixed beans which is pinto & great northern) all the time on the stove. Serve them over rice with cornbread. I am definitely going to try this crockpot style.

  31. Mine is very watery. Wanted it thicker, like in your picture. Wondering if it's because the ham I used had a LOT of fat. I trimmed of all I could. Wondering if that is the reason. Also, is there a way to thicken it up? Thanks!

    1. You could always a little cornstarch or flour dissolved in water. You need to make sure the water is boiling when you add it and keep stirring till its well incorporated.

    2. You could always a little cornstarch or flour dissolved in water. You need to make sure the water is boiling when you add it and keep stirring till its well incorporated.

  32. well………..Im back……………made the meal and some cornbread muffins to go with it. It was tastey…but……my meal did not have anywhere near the sauce you have in your picture. It is thick like a casserole type meal. Now I know I can add more water to some of the leftovers and make it more soupy…..which I probably will…..but just saying…….mine was thick and not like a soup. But we will eat it!……and I always appreciate all the recipes you put online and have tried several of them and have alwyas been please, so I thank you.

  33. thi recipe is in the slow cooker as I write………..sure hope it turns out cause I am not one for cooking these type of beans and have always wanted to.

  34. Thanks so much for postie this recipe! My Grammy and momhave been making this my whole life and I'm so excited to be able to bring it to my own families table 🙂 cooking now and it's cold outside…..perfect!

  35. Thanks for the great recipe! This is a family favorite we call it three little pigs soup:) I always soak beans first with a little salt to so they are easier to eat.

  36. I grew up eating these. We would always put the beans over the sliced corn bread and then drizzle white vinegar on top of that. So yummy.

  37. I made this this Christmas morning using the ham bone from our Christmas ham. I didn't use the crockpot to cook this but I can see how easy it would be for next time. I placed the beans and ham bone into a pot with 1/2 water and 1/2 low sodium chicken stock to cover. When the meat started pulling away from the bone I took it out and shredded the ham off the bone. I got about 1 cup of meat. I added about 1/2 cup more ham. salt, pepper and I added 1 tsp of parsley (I will put less next time, but it was okay). Very good. I'm fixing some cornbread to go with this for the evening meal. It makes a very full pot so I'm freezing some of it for another cold winter day. Thank you!

  38. I absolutely LOVE this recipe! I have it on Pinterest on my 'Success!' board so I don't lose track of it. Thank you for posting it!

  39. If I want to double the amount of beans (2 lbs) do I need to double the amount of water? I'm not sure I could fit 12 cups of water, 2 lbs beans, and 2 lbs ham in my crock pot. Sorry if this is a dumb question. I don't cook and I'm new to the crock pot world as well.

  40. This is s recipe I grew up on! I always save the ham bone with some meat left on it! And throw it in the freezer….. I never do m8ne on the crock pot though…always on the stove….just like gma used to….but I add onion, celery, lots of garlic, and a 1/4 c brown sugar!

  41. This is s recipe I grew up on! I always save the ham bone with some meat left on it! And throw it in the freezer….. I never do m8ne on the crock pot though…always on the stove….just like gma used to….but I add onion, celery, lots of garlic, and a 1/4 c brown sugar!

  42. I found this recipe on Pinterest at about 3 pm. I had a pound of great northern beans and a canned ham. I decided it would be great for dinner, so I boiled the beans for about 15 minutes with some chicken broth, bacon bits onion & garlic, then I plan to put them in the pressure cooker with the cut up ham. I cant wait to see how it comes out. Thanks!

  43. So glad I came across this crockpot meal. Thanks! I did make some adaptions because I've never been known to 'follow' a recipe exactly 😉 I added a small chopped onion/4 garlic cloves, shredded carrots (in bag from grocery), one half diced yellow pepper, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 cup water and 1 cup white wine. I also added fresh rosemary and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. It's delicious, filling, and my whole family loves it 🙂

  44. I made this recently and it was delicious. I used a ham bone I purchased from the Honey Baked Ham Store. They happened to have a lot of bones at the time, so they sold it to me buy one get one free, so I froze one. Can't wait to make this again!!

  45. To make this recipe or navy bean soup etc. taste REALLY good, don't use water — use chicken broth. You'd be surprised at the increased flavor.

  46. I made a ham in the crockpot last night for dinner and I have the bone/ham left over, can I use this with the beans for this recipe?

    1. I eat this often and I haven't died yet. I've read about toxins in uncooked kidney beans, but nothing about cooking beans without soaking.

    2. I just read an article about toxins in beans, it said that the toxins are highest in undercooked red kidney beans. So I would think that as long as they are thoroughly cooked you should be ok.

  47. I found this recipe yesterday and it will be Thursday night's dinner!
    I went to Walmart and found a package of spiral ham chunks and pieces! $3.60 for a 1.6 lb package. I have the beans so this is a really economical meal!

    Can anyone direct me to a good cornbread recipe? I like it moist and made it once in my cast iron skillet but cannot find that recipe.Thanks.

    1. Mr Food Down South Cornbread recipe…. My parents who were raised in the south absolutely love this corn bread…. although I bake it in a pie pan….

  48. I found this today and even though it's summer and hot I didn't want to toss the ham bone. Will make good lunches this week. I skipped the onion powder and added an onion and several chopper celery stalks. Wish I would have read the chicken broth idea before I added the water, but it should still work out ok.

  49. This is in my crock pot now. I'm a little curious as to how it will turn out. I have doctor's appts today so I there was no way I was running around 7mths pregnant and than slaving in the kitchen all evening before I go to bed, lol. I tried your Red Beans and Rice Crock Pot recipe, and we really didn't like it…but this one sounds so much better in my opinion!

  50. I made this yesterday and it was yummy. I took a small bowl to work today and I think it's even better the second day!! Only change I made was to used 4 cups chicken broth for some of the water. I will be making this a lot!!

  51. This has become one of our very favorite meals! I substitute smoked turkey tails for the ham and it's absolutely delicious! Thanks for a great recipe for our winter meal rotation 🙂

  52. I have a package of sliced Ham, pretty thick. could i just use that in this? its already cooked so would i put it in after the beans are done or let it cook all day?

  53. I am putting this in the crockpot right now. Nothing like comfort food on a rainy day. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

  54. James – I would drain the beans and add a little water. I would cook the beans and ham about 15-20 minutes on the stove. It won't be the same with canned beans, so I can't guarantee that it will be like the photo.

  55. Do I need to drain and add water if I bought canned beans? Also, how long does 1 lb of ham need to cook if the beans are just being warmed?

  56. KidsAhead – I would think you would need about 4 cans – you also won't need to cook this very long at all since the beans are already cooked. You are basically just warming them up.

  57. I'm trying this today w/ gluten free cornbread. Sounds like the perfect winter meal. I only have canned beans – how many cans do you think? 2?

  58. I just picked up 3 ham bones from Honey Baked Ham store for $3. Then picked up the northern white beans and I'm putting them in the crock pot tonight. I'm adding red onion and BACON! because I read that in these comments! yummy! cannot wait for dinner tomorrow!

  59. We have a bone from Honey Baked Ham that is too big to fit into the crock pot so we got out our big stock pot to do tis on the stove instead. Would you just simmer this on the stove for the same 8 hours? Or should I bring it to a boil first and then reduce the heat and cook it for less time?

  60. I love this blog and have made many delicious recipes from here. I have this one cooking right now and I gotta tell you, it has been in the crock pot since this afternoon and I am not enjoying the smell of the boiled meat. My husband assures me it will be delicious. I will let you know. :o)

  61. I grew up eating bean soup and since moving away I haven't made it for my family…until now. I will be making it today..although I did soak my beans overnight just out of habit and will be putting them and my ham in the crockpot shortly.

  62. I've taken the beans and "stir fried" them for just a couple of minutes in some bacon grease before adding them to the broth-it gives them a nice slight toasty/hearty taste. I'm also going to use this recipe with black-eyed peas for New Years day. Cooking down the ham hock broth now!

  63. Cooking this in the crockpot right now. I just added some farmer John diced ham. So simple. Being from the south I am used to eating beans this way. This will be a new dish for my Mexican husband.

  64. I pinned this and went to the store before actually reading. So i bought small white beans of northern beans….will it make a difference? I hope not. Im rinsing the beans now.

  65. Bernadette – that is a larger ham than I usually use. I would cut the ham in pieces and you should be fine. I wouldn't cut the water down too much. The beans need enough water to cook.

  66. Ryan – I think onions and/or bacon would be a great addition to the dish.

    I would chop up the ham steak and let it cook the whole 8 hours. The ham I used was already cooked and it was fine in the crockpot all day.

  67. Also, I am using a "center cut ham steak" (slice)….would I want that in there the whole 8 hours, or would I add it a little later?

  68. Thanks,and the total cost for this meal was…$7.49 the most expensive thing was the smoked turkeylegs I used at $3.28! I love a great money saving meal idea!

  69. I bought a bone in 5.5 lb ham and pre cooked that overnight in the crockpot with some vegetable broth. It was falling of the bone this morning, enough to shred easily. I will put the meat back in the crock pot with the beans and chicken broth instead of water and whatever juices came from cooking the ham last night. I'll also use less beans since we like our soups a little thicker but so far it looks good. The ham wasn't salty at all either. I've always just thrown my beans in the crock without pre rinsing or boiling and they came out fine :).

  70. thank you so much for posting this recipe, i have mine on right now, its a surprise dinner for hubby, i hope he likes it, thanks again

  71. I've had this going for 8 hours and it's still real watery and the beans are tough… Any advice? I've turned it up to high for the last hour..

  72. I have started using smoked turkey legs instead of ham or ham hocks. Healthier and can't tell the difference

  73. I live in South La. In our neck of the woods most of us cook our White beans with Salt Meat. To reduce the salt we boil the meat first. I will add my salt meat in the last 2 or 3 hours. This will be the first time I cook my beans in the crock pot.

  74. Saw this on Pinterest. It's in the slow cooker right now. It seemed like a tasty low budget meal. I had roma beans in the pantry and tins of ham, turkey and chicken. Combined all three so I would have close to the 1 lb of meat. I'm winging it and we will see how it turns out!

  75. I am cooking this at home now. I used a Pork Butt Roast because I was worried about not having enough meat in the dish for my husband. I am hoping that it will work with the dish.

  76. Marisa – you can just use some diced up ham in the dish if you don't want to use the ham hock.

  77. My husband doesn't like the taste of the ham hocks..maybe I get smoked. Are there other cuts or bones that arent smoked?

  78. This sounds so good! I have a nice big ham bone and I wondered what to do with it.
    But I always heard that salt will toughen the beans. Are great northern beans different somehow? Or have I been mistaken?

  79. If I have a few cans of northern beans and wanted to make this in the crock pot, how would you recommend cooking it? Drain and rinse beans then add water? Cooking time and setting? Thanks!

  80. If you like your bean soup with a little less liquid remove the lid and turn to high for a while. I think it is good to add 1-2 TBS brown sugar, it adds just a little something that this soup needs.

  81. I grew up eating this! Reminds me of Sunday afternoons in the winter at my grandparents' house. I've been craving it forever, and lo and behold – found the recipe here!

  82. I just made Ham and Beans and am getting ready to blog about it. Tis the season. 🙂 I'm so glad to find out that Honey Baked sells bones year round. Great information.

  83. Ahh I think I found my soul mate here. My husbands name is Tad, I love to cook and bake, and I love that your blog is "Plain Chicken." The question is you you like "Naked Noodles" I too have expanded my eating selection as I get older, but still just love things simple. I will defiantly enjoy your blog:) Thanks

  84. Just made the same thing for the hubs using a leftover bone. He loves this. But never thought to use the crock pot. SO much easier.

  85. This is on our menu for Monday. My Grandma used to make ham and beans for me when I was a little girl, so this is comfort food for me, too! Thanks for the recipe!

  86. So simple, yet so delicious! I can't wait to try this. Anything with beans, has me excited these days!

    xo. A Southern Bee Diary


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