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Ham and Bean Soup Recipe with Canned Beans

Easy ham and bean soup recipe with canned beans is hearty and nourishing! Made with pantry staples and ready in just 30 minutes it comes together quickly on the stovetop with white beans, leftover holiday ham, carrots and onions.

Love cozy soup recipes? Try ham and potato soup, taco soup and chicken pot pie soup, too!

Ham and bean soup in bowl.
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Easy Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and bean soup is one of my favorite soup recipes! It’s loaded with flavor and comes together in one pot in just 30 minutes. My kids gobble it right up and even go back for seconds.

This recipe is the perfect way to use up any leftover baked ham from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. You can even use the ham bone to make your own broth for an extra delicious flavor. It’s worth the extra effort and brings another layer of depth to the dish. So yummy!

This white bean and ham soup is the ultimate comfort food, especially when served with a warm piece of sweet cornbread or a cornbread muffin. It’s the perfect way to transform your leftovers into a whole new dish!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Made in one pot. I’m a huge fan of one pot meals and this ham bean soup recipe is at the top of my list. No need to dirty up a slew of dishes!
  • Leftover ham. This is the perfect way to repurpose the leftover ham from your holiday celebrations. If you still have extra to spare, consider making these baked ham and cheese pinwheels or these cheesy scalloped potatoes and ham too!
  • Hearty and comforting. Loaded with veggies, beans and ham, this soup is chunky, flavorful and packed with protein to keep you full and satisfied.

Recipe Ingredients

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Ham: Smokey and salty diced ham adds a nice flavor and texture to this soup. I make this recipe the day after a big holiday dinner almost every year whenever I have leftover honey baked ham or spiral ham to use up.
  • Beans: Canned white cannellini beans make this soup extra convenient and delicious. No soaking or precooking required!
  • Aromatics: Chopped onions, celery, carrots and minced garlic are cooked in olive oil until caramelized and tender. Their fragrant aroma is the foundation of this soup.
  • Broth: Use your leftover ham bone to make ham broth for the absolute best flavor. See below for instructions.
  • Corn: Bulk up the recipe even more by adding in frozen corn. If using canned, look for low sodium corn so that your soup isn’t overly salty.
  • Spices: A few bay leaves and either fresh or dried parsley are added to ramp up the flavor even more.


Feel free to use your favorite variety of white beans. Canned navy beans or great northern beans would both work in this recipe. You may also cook your own dried beans if you prefer to use those instead of canned (allow for extra time needed).

Other optional vegetables to include are kale, spinach, peas, or diced potatoes. Fresh thyme or rosemary would also taste great in this soup.

Making Your Own Ham Broth

If you want to take the flavor up a notch, try making this delicious ham broth. All you need is water and the leftover ham bone or ham hocks. That’s it! It couldn’t be easier to make and is the perfect way to get use out of the entire ham.

Ham in pot.
  1. Place leftover ham bone in pot with 8-10 cups water (enough to cover it half way).
  2. Bring to a light boil and then reduce heat and cover with a lid.
  3. Allow to simmer for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Discard the bone and strain any excess fat.
  5. Store in a covered container until ready to use.

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup

Carrots and celery in pot.
  1. Sauté. Cook the onion, celery and carrots in a large stock pot until soft. Mix in the fresh minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
  2. Simmer. Mix in the broth, ham and corn, then add the herbs on top. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes, then mix in the cannellini beans. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes to warm the beans.
  3. Serve. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed (ham can be a bit salty, so you may not need to add in any extra salt). Then ladle into bowls and serve while warm!

What to Serve with Bean and Ham Soup

Ham and bean soup in pot.

Recipe FAQs

How do you thicken ham and bean soup?

This soup has more of a chunky texture, however you could puree some of it to add a creamier consistency. If you’re looking for a truly creamy and thick version, try making my deliciously creamy ham and potato soup instead.

Can this soup be made in the crockpot?

Sure. I recommend sautéing the onions, celery, carrots and garlic on the stove first so the flavors from the vegetables come through, then adding all of the ingredients to the crockpot. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

What spices should I put in ham and bean soup?

The homemade ham broth adds tons of flavor, so you don’t need to season this soup a ton. I added in 1 to 2 bay leaves, as well as some freshly chopped parsley and it turned out great.

If you’re using canned broth and the flavor seems a little bland, you can try adding in thyme or a bit more parsley for extra flavor.

Freezer Tips

This recipe freezes very well. Let it cool completely, then pour into a freezer bag or container. Make sure not to fill it all the way to the top, so that the soup has room to expand. Then store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge or microwave. Then reheat in a pot on the stove until warm. You may need to add a splash of broth if the soup has thickened up too much in the freezer.

Ham and bean soup in bowl.

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ham and bean soup in bowl

Ham and Bean Soup

5 from 8 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Use your leftover holiday ham to make this easy ham and bean soup! Packed full with onions, celery, carrots, ham, beans and corn. This soup is hearty, comforting and done in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 32 ounces broth (ham or chicken broth)
  • 45 ounces white beans (3 cans cannellini beans)
  • 2 cups diced cooked ham
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley (1-2 teaspoons dried)
  • Salt , to taste
  • Ground black pepper , to taste


  • In a large stock pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • Pour in the broth, ham, and corn. Add the bay leaf on top with fresh parsley. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in beans and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste. Serve while warm.


Homemade ham broth: Place leftover ham bone in a pot with 8-10 cups water (enough to cover it half way). Bring to a light boil and then reduce heat and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 30-60 minutes. Discard the bone and strain any excess fat. Store in a covered container until ready to use.
Beans: Navy or great northern beans also work great in this recipe. 
Other mix-in’s: Kale, spinach, peas, or chopped potatoes are all great additions in this soup. 
Freezing: Store in a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months. 


Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 1202mg | Potassium: 1525mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4074IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 219mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free

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