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Don’t throw away that bone! Make this super easy and flavorful ham bone and bean soup. Full of nutrition and even freezer friendly!

ham bone and bean soup

I cooked a ham! A giant ham, to be exact. I’ve honestly never actually cooked my own ham for my family until this past Easter weekend. We all LOVE when my Mom has a ham for holiday dinners and we often head home with tons of leftover ham (and sometimes a bone). This year, since it was just going to be us again, I thought I should try the ham myself!

The ham was DELICIOUS and so easy. I did a spiral ham with an apple cider glaze. You can’t beat that sticky crust that you get from a sweet glaze on a ham! So good.

Anyway, the ham was also huge, which means we have a ton of leftovers. I froze most of it, because my family is getting a little sick of ham and cheese sandwiches! There are so many good ideas out there on the Internet for leftover ham, but I just knew I would be making a bean and ham soup! It’s one of my favorites! It’s also a great way to use that giant ham bone up (although Baker had a few other ideas in mind for the ham bone).

ham bone and bean soup

How do you make soup with a leftover ham bone?

If you’re visiting this recipe, chances are you have a giant ham bone on hand that you’re looking to do something with! The nice thing about using the bone in soup is that it naturally flavors the water used in this soup as it cooks, basically making a ham broth at the same time. You only need water, no other flavored stock for this recipe!

To make this ham bone and bean soup, start by dicing up a few veggies and then sautéing them in a large soup pot, along with some chopped up ham.

You’ll need:

  • carrots
  • celery
  • yellow onion
  • garlic

Sauté the veggies until slightly soft and crispy, then add the garlic, before adding the diced ham. Cook for a little bit, allowing the ham to crisp up a bit, before dropping in the beans, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and a couple of bay leaves, before placing the ham bone in the pot.

I used butter beans in the soup, but you can substitute for any white bean. If you wanted to use dried beans, you would need to cook these first before adding them to the soup! 

Pour the water over the mixture, then turn the stove to high heat to bring everything to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 60-90 minutes. A longer simmer time will result in even more flavor!

Once the soup is done cooking, remove the ham bone. You can shred any of the cooked meat off the bone and add it back into the soup! 

What do you serve this ham bone and white bean soup with?

We love topping this with a bit of shaved parmesan cheese and some extra pepper. If you want something on the side, you could serve this up with some garlic breadsticks, cheesy cornmeal drop biscuits, or these 30 minute dinner rolls (my fave).

This soup makes enough to serve your whole family, about 5-6 servings. The soup freezes very well too! So if you make too much or you’re just tired of ham, think about saving half in the freezer to take out for another day! Just thaw it overnight in the fridge, then reheat the soup in a pot until warmed.

A hearty, healthy soup that makes the perfect use for that leftover ham bone!

ham bone and bean soup

ham bone and bean soup


Some of my other favorite soups from the blog:

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ham bone and bean soup

Ham Bone and Bean Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Katherine | Love In My Oven
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 5-6 servings 1x


Don’t throw away that bone! Make this super easy and flavorful ham bone and bean soup. Full of nutrition and even freezer friendly!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced into small pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups leftover ham, chopped
  • 1 can (400 mL) white beans*
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ham bone (meat still stuck to it)
  • 67 cups water
  • optional: shredded parmesan, fresh parsley, pepper for serving


  1. In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and turn the temperature to medium-high. After a couple of minutes, add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, before adding the diced carrot and celery. Sauté all the veggies for about 5 minutes, or until slightly tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, before adding the chopped ham. Cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beans, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Then add the ham bone, followed by the water. Turn the heat up to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, turn the temperature down to a simmer and put the lid on, simmering for 60-90 minutes.**
  3. Remove the ham bone, and remove the cooked ham from the bone, before adding it back to the soup. Serve the soup immediately, topping it with parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and a bit of pepper.

Once cooled, leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for 3-4 days, or up to 2 months in the freezer. Thaw the soup overnight in the fridge before reheating.


*Use any white bean you want, I used butter beans for this recipe!

**The soup will taste great after 60 minutes, but if you have extra time, leave it to simmer for an additional 30 minutes for even better flavor!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
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Ham Bone and Bean Soup

About Katherine

Heeey! Thank you for stopping by! I like 30-minute dinners and giant peanut butter cups made with only 3 ingredients. I LOVE food! If you do too, you're in the right place.

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  1. My mother always made this soup when we had a leftover ham bone from the holidays Katherine. Brings back memories. A bowl of comfort. Looks delicious!

    1. I have heard that same memory from a few others too, and it makes me so happy! I definitely have the same memory! Comfort food!

  2. A ham bone – how nostalgic! When I was a kid, a ham bone (and some other meat bones and leftovers, especially smoky) was a staple ingredient for some recipes. You cannot believe how delicious that split pea soup with ham bone was – so rich and filled with amazing smoky notes! Indeed, I haven’t had that soup like forever (Perhaps, 20 years maybe), and thanks to you, I am craving it now! hehe.
    This soup looks and sounds utterly tasty too, and the most importantly so hearty!

    1. YES Ben! Split pea soup with the ham bone – I know exactly what you mean. It was a toss up between the split pea soup and this bean soup. They’re both so delicious thanks to that bone!!

  3. This soup looks so soothing, hearty and delicious, my mouth started watering as soon as I saw the photo of the veggies being sautéed with the ham! Looks wonderful!!

    1. Thanks Catherine!! So good – ham is so delicious isn’t it? I’m still not sick of it!!

  4. Wow ! Thank you for bringing the memories back ! My grandmother used to do this kind of soup. She would add some preboiled buckwheat instead of pasta and it was so delicious !

    1. Oh I like the idea of buckwheat in the soup! Thanks for that idea! I think many people grew up with some version of this soup!!

  5. Mmm this is bringing back memories of when my Mom would do this with the leftover bone from Easter ham! This soup looks heartwarming and delicious!