Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup {The BEST Recipe}

Everyone loves a warm bowl of hearty, home-cooked soup that’s filled with tender beans, smoky ham, and aromatic veggies. Budget-friendly and makes plenty for the whole family plus leftovers.

close up view of spoon scooping out ham and bea soup

Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup

The ultimate comfort food, so easy to make, and will make your kitchen smell like you've stepped into grandma's house.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 50 minutes
Serving Size 8 servings

Equipment

  • 1 6 Quart or larger slow cooker

Ingredients 

  • 1 package 15-bean soup I used Hurst’s HamBeens with Ham Flavor Packet
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 celery stalks sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • pounds Ham hocks or diced ham
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, juice only

Instructions 

  • Add veggies and meat to slow cooker. Rinse and drain the beans, saving the seasoning packet. Add the beans, onions, celery, carrots, onions, ham hocks, salt, pepper, chili powder, and seasoning packet.
    dried beans and ham hocks in slow cooker.
  • Add liquid on top and cook. Pour chicken stock on top. Add in the bay leaves and fresh thyme. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours, until the beans are tender.
    chicken broth and herbs being added to crockpot.
  • Remove meat, mix back in, and add final ingredients. Remove the ham hocks, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Separate the meat from the ham bones, mix the meat back into the slow cooker along with the diced tomatoes and lemon juice. Cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes.
    crockpot with tongs removing ham
  • Serve. Serve hot with crusty bread, garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
    finished soup.

Notes

If you cannot find a 15 bean mix, you can use great northern beans, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, cannellini beans. Dry beans are recommended for this recipe, but canned beans can be used as well. Rinse and drain if using canned beans.
Ham bones or ham hocks add a lot of flavor to this soup, but may not yield a lot of meat. If using either, you may want to have some diced ham on hand to add to the recipe for a heartier meal.
Calories: 557kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 1006mg | Potassium: 804mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 314IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 3mg

Your slow cooker must be at least 6 quarts!

The beans. If you can’t find the 15-bean mix, feel free to mix and match your favorite beans. Great northern beans, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, you name it. Just remember, if you’re using canned beans, give them a good rinse and drain before adding them.

The meat. Smoked turkey legs could work great if you don’t have ham

Adding heat. You can add some diced jalapeños, cayenne pepper, or even a splash of your favorite hot sauce. Adjust to your liking and get ready to feel the burn (in a good way)!

ingredients on wood counter.

🥫 Storage instructions

  • Fridge: Got some leftovers after your feast? Grab an airtight container, ladle in your soup, pop the lid on, and stick it in the fridge. It’ll stay good for up to 4 days. When ready for round two, warm it on the stove over medium heat or nuke it in the microwave until it’s piping hot.
  • Freezer: This soup is a total champ in the freezer. To freeze, let your soup cool down first. Then, ladle it into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags (pro tip: laying bags flat in the freezer saves space!). Your soup will keep its flavor for a good 3-4 months. J
  • Thaw and Reheat: When ready to enjoy your frozen soup, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, you can heat it on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, or in the microwave, stirring every few minutes. Make sure it gets nice and hot before you dig in!
close view of soup in crock pot with ham hocks and beans.

🔍 FAQs

Can I use a different type of bean in this soup?

Yes. 😊 If you can’t find the 15-bean mix, feel free to mix and match your favorite beans. Great northern beans, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, you name it. Just remember, if you’re using canned beans, give them a good rinse and drain before adding them.

I’m not a fan of ham. Can I substitute it with something else?

Smoked turkey legs could work great.

I like my soup spicy. Any ideas?

You can add some diced jalapeños, cayenne pepper, or even a splash of your favorite hot sauce. Adjust to your liking and get ready to feel the burn (in a good way)!

Can I cook this soup on the stove instead?

Sure thing! If you don’t have a slow cooker or prefer the stove, you can make this soup in a large pot. The process is pretty much the same, but you’ll need to simmer the soup on low heat for about 2-3 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Soak Your Beans: If you’re using dried beans, you might want to soak them overnight before cooking. This can help them cook more evenly and reduce the cooking time. Just remember to rinse and drain them before adding to the pot.
  • If you don’t have a slow cooker or prefer the stove, you can make this soup in a large pot. The process is pretty much the same, but you’ll need to simmer the soup on low heat for about 2-3 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Check Your Beans: Cooking times can vary based on your slow cooker and the beans you use. Check for tenderness after 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. You’re aiming for beans that are tender but not mushy.
  • Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh thyme makes a difference in this recipe. If you don’t have any on hand, dried thyme works too – use about a third of the amount.
  • Adjust to Taste: Everyone’s taste buds are a bit different. Feel free to adjust the salt, pepper, and chili powder to your liking. Remember, it’s easier to add more seasoning later than to try to fix a soup that’s too salty or spicy!
  • Add Acid at the End: Adding the lemon juice at the end helps brighten the flavors of the soup. If you don’t have a lemon, a splash of vinegar would work, too.

📘 more slow cooker Recipes

  • Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken and Potatoes
  • Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice
  • Slow Cooker Barbecue Beans
  • Crockpot Potato Soup

🍽 Serve it with

  • Crusty Bread: A loaf of fresh, crusty bread is just what you need to sop up all that delicious broth. You can’t go wrong here, whether it’s a baguette or your favorite artisan sourdough bread.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Take that bread up a notch and whip up a grilled cheese sandwich. The crunch of the toast and the melted cheese make for a perfect partner to the hearty soup.
  • Side Salad: If you want something lighter, a simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette is refreshing. It’ll balance out the richness of the soup.
bowl of ham and bean soup
Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup {The BEST Recipe}

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One Comment

  1. This soup sounds amazing. I’d like to make this soup but because I must avoid gluten I need to create my own bean mix. What quantity of beans should be used in this recipe. Cups or weight please? Thank you