Ham and Bean Soup is a fast and easy recipe for leftover ham using ingredients you have on hand, ready in one hour! Slow Cooker and Instant Pot methods too.
EASY HAM AND BEAN SOUP
This tasty soup is like our original Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup with some slight adjustments and made much faster. Like less than an hour total time to make fast! This soup recipe is just as warm and delicious, and it’s a great way to use leftover Baked Ham during the holidays.
Ham and Bean Soup is a go-to comfort food all year long, but especially when the nights are cold. It’s such an easy recipe with canned beans, cooked ham, sautéed veggies, herbs, and broth. No soaking beans overnight or simmering for hours. If you like the low and slow method, there are instructions in this post for slow cooking, plus Instant Pot and dried bean variations.
Quick and easy Ham and Bean Soup can be made with leftover bone-in ham or cooked ham from the deli or butcher. Use a thick cut ham steak or you can get the precut cubed ham. You don’t want to use deli slices because they won’t give much flavor or texture.
Ham and Bean Soup is a hearty one pot meal for dinner in less than an hour. It’s a great recipe for busy weeknights or when you exhausted from all your holiday cooking. Bread is all you need to complete your meal so serve Ham and Bean Soup with Dinner Rolls, Cornbread, or Beer Bread.
MORE SOUP RECIPES
Tips for Ham and Bean Soup
- This Ham and Bean Soup recipe has a thinner broth. If you like a thicker broth, remove 1 cup beans after the soup has cooked and puree. Stir back into the soup until hot and serve.
- Ham is naturally salty so wait to season your soup. Once soup has finished cooking, taste it before adding salt as needed.
- Cut your carrots, onions, and celery all about the same size. This makes sautéing and cooking them evenly easier.
- This ham soup recipe doesn’t use a ham bone, you can add it if you have it for even more flavor. Make sure to brown it before adding and remove before serving.
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VARIATIONS ON HAM AND BEAN SOUP
- Veggies: Other veggies like spinach, kale, green beans, peas, and zucchini would tasted delicious in this ham soup. You can also add potatoes, sweet potatoes, or squash and cook for about 10-15 minutes longer.
- Ham Bone: If you have a ham bone, brown it in a skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side before adding to bring out the flavor.
- Ham Hocks: Ham hocks or ham shanks will add a smoky flavor to your soup! Add a smoked ham hock to the soup with the chopped ham and simmer for an hour or until the meat is falling off the bone.
- Ham Broth: For the ultimate hammy Ham and Bean Soup recipe, make ham broth with your ham bone ahead of time. Bring 8 cups of water and a ham bone to boil and then simmer covered 1-3 hours.
- White Beans: White beans like cannellini, navy beans and great northern beans taste the best with ham, but you can use what you have one hand. You can also use dried lentils or canned black-eyed peas without adjusting cook time.
- Dried Beans: If you want to use dried beans, soak overnight covered in water. Drain the water and increase the broth to 8-10 cups. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until beans are tender.
Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup
- In a skillet, melt butter and add onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until onions are soft, 3-4 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour onion mixture in a slow cooker.
- If using a hambone, brown on both sides 3-4 minutes. Add to crock pot.
- Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot, except canned beans*.
- Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high 3-4 hours.
- Add canned beans to slow cooker and cook on high additional 30 minutes.
- *You can add dried beans in the beginning and they will cook with soup. Soak beans overnight before using.
Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup
- Set Instant Pot on Sauté function and cook onion, celery, and carrots in butter 3-4 minutes. If using hambone, cook with onion mixture.
- Once onions are soft, add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Turn Instant Pot off while you add the remaining ingredients.
- Secure lid and seal valve. Set Instant Pot to Soup function for 20 minutes*.
- Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then quick release. Stir and serve.
- If using dried beans, soak overnight and increase cook time to 30 minutes.
EASY MAIN HAM DISH RECIPES
HOW TO MAKE HAM AND BEAN SOUP
- Serve: Ham and Bean Soup can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours. To keep out longer, serve in a crock pot on warm for up to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Store: Cool Ham and Bean Soup before placing in an airtight container and refrigerating for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove top over low medium heat.
- Freeze: Once soup has cooled completely, freeze in sealed containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stove top.
Ham and Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion , diced
- 2 carrots , diced
- 2 stalks celery , diced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 cups ham , diced
- 45 ounces white Cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups chicken broth
Add the butter to a large dutch oven over medium heat with your onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper.
Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.
Add in the garlic and stir well, cooking for 1 minute.
- Add in the ham, cannelini beans, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and chicken broth and stir well.
On medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.