Ham and Beans

overhead picture of the Best Ham and Beans

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Is there any other American dish that screams comfort food more than Ham and Beans and Cornbread? This one-pot meal is so easy to put together and ridiculously affordable to make. I would guess this whole pot of goodness costs around $5!

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In the South, we use Pinto Beans. I know in other regions of the country they use different varieties like Northern Beans, White Beans, and Navy Beans. I’ve tried them all and I personally prefer the Pinto Bean. It’s a little bit denser and stands up to the ham really well.

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Next Level Ham and Beans

Over the years I’ve tweaked my mom’s East Texas method. I’ve added a little of this and that over the years. This ham and bean recipe is the end result of all that this and that😀.

If you’ve never brined your beans then start! Fresh Rosemary, Thyme, and Bay leaves are a must. Add jalapeno, onion, garlic, cinnamon, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder and you’ve just created something happy. I guaranty you won’t make your beans any other way from now on.

How To Make the Best Ham and Beans

Step 1: First you start out by “brining” your beans. This brine doesn’t include salt like a chicken brine does but it does require fresh woody herbs like Rosemary and Thyme Sprigs. Add a few Bay leaves, cover the dried beans with water. Let them soak overnight or boil them for a couple of minutes and let them sit in the warm water for a couple of hours.

Step 2: Once the beans are soaked and softish, drain in a colander and discard the Rosemary, Thyme, and Bay leaves. It’s ok if you don’t get all the leaves but do try and discard the woody stems.

Step 3: Place the beans back into the big pot, cut up and add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Add the seasonings and pour the 6 cups of broth over all the bean ingredients. Cook on medium-high until it boils then turn down and let all the goodness simmer for about an hour or an hour and a half.

Step 4: Once done, let them sit for about 10 minutes. After it’s rested cut up the ham into bite-sized chunks…either with a knife and fork in the pot (should be really easy to break up) or take the ham out and break it apart and add back into the beans.

Step 5: Scoop into bowls and serve with yummy corn bread, buttered french bread, or saltine crackers!

Note: If the liquid is too thin, take about a cup of beans out and mash up with a fork or back of a spoon. Return mashed up beans to pot…it should make the broth thicker. The longer the beans sit the thicker they get.

Ingredients for the Best Ham and Beans

  • 1 pound pinto beans any kind of legumes are good
  • Fresh Rosemary, Thyme, Bay Leaves 4-5 sticks and leaves each
  • water enough to cover the bean in the bean brine
  • 1 ham hock or leftover holiday ham, any ham will do
  • 1 onion, medium size cut up
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 jalapenos to taste, cut up
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth depending on how thick or thin you like
  • 1 tbsp chili powder or to taste
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon more or less to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste add after it’s cooked through

Cooks Tips and Tricks for the Best Ham and Bean Soup👇

To soak or not to soak…

Soaking the beans overnight is the traditional and probably most thought of when it comes to making ham and beans. The major plus to this is you can just put them in the pot, add water and herbs, and comeback the next day and they are ready to cook.

If you didn’t think about it the night before, you can for sure use the method I’ve described in this recipe…bring them to a boil, take them off the heat and let them sit in the hot water for a couple of hours.

If the 2 suggestions above aren’t an option then go for the crockpot method. Put everything in the crockpot in the morning and let cook, low and slow, all day. This is a really great alternative for cooks who work out of the house and don’t get home until late.

Then there is always the instapot…and that, my friends, deserves it’s own post!😍

Peace to you and everyone in your world!

Enjoy💘

More Comfort Soups From TCC👇

Southern Chicken Shrimp Sausage Gumbo…the best you will ever have!

Low Fat Comfort in a big bowl of Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup! It’s Lilly’s favorite!

Spicy Mexican Chicken Soup is the best low carb comfort food!

Easy Southern Cast Iron Cornbread is a great addition to all the above!

Grow your own Rosemary and Thyme cooking herbs…the easiest and most economical way to elevate your homemade dishes!

Best Ham and Beans

Savory Ham and Beans in a medium light broth loaded with fresh herbs, onion, jalapeno, spices, and ham hock ham.
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword beans, cinammon, comfort food, cornbread, ham, herbs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 275kcal
Author Elise

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pinto beans any kind of legumes are good
  • Fresh Rosemary, Thyme, Bay Leaves 4-5 sticks and leaves each
  • water enough to cover the bean in the bean brine
  • 1 ham hock or leftover holiday ham, any ham will do
  • 1 onion, medium size cut up
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 jalapenos to taste, cut up
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth depend on how thick or thin you like
  • 1 tbsp chili powder or to taste
  • 1 tbsp cinammon more or less to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste add after it's cooked through

Instructions

  • Step 1: First you start out by "brining" your beans. This brine doesn't include salt like a chicken brine does but it does require fresh woody herbs like Rosemary and Thyme Sprigs. Add a few Bay leaves, cover the dried beans with water. Let them soak overnight or boil them for a couple of minutes, turn the heat off, and let them sit in the warm water for a couple of hours.
  • Step 2: Once the beans are soaked and softish, drain in a colander, and discard the Rosemary, Thyme, and Bay leaves. It's ok if you don't get all the leaves but do try and discard the woody stems.
  • Step 3: Place the beans back into the big pot, add the cut up onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Add the seasonings and pour the 6 cups of broth over all the bean ingredients. Cook on medium-high until it boils then turn down and let all the goodness simmer for about an hour and a half.
  • Step 4: Once done, let them sit for about 10 minutes. After it's rested cut the ham into bite-sized chunks…either with a knife and fork in the pot (should be really easy to break up) or take the ham out and break it apart and add back into the beans.
  • Step 5: Scoop into bowls and serve with yummy corn bread, buttered french bread, or saltine crackers!
  • Note: If the liquid is too thin, take about a cup of beans out and mash up with a fork or back of a spoon. Return mashed up beans to pot…it should make the broth thicker. The longer the beans sit the thicker they get.

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