Easy and Comforting Ham & Bean Soup with Leftover Ham

February 21, 2022

This ham and bean soup with leftover ham recipe is a great comfort food recipe that is low cost and uses cooked ham from a previous meal. It’s an easy way to turn one meal into two! 

If your family is anything like mine, then ham is a staple at your holiday gatherings. Maybe it’s the midwesterners in us, but it’s not a day of celebration without a giant spiral ham on the table. 

easy ham and bean soup

The nice thing about spiral hams is how easy they are to cook and how many meals you can get from cooking once. Typically, when you buy a ham at the grocery store, it’s already pre cut and pre-cooked. All you have to do is heat it up in the oven and cover it in glaze. You really cannot ruin a ham, and you definitely cannot fail with this ham and bean soup recipe!

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Ham and Bean Soup for Leftovers 

The leftovers from a spiral ham can be used for so many different dishes, but this ham and bean soup is our favorite. This soup is one of those dishes that gets better over time—the flavors meld and it’s so flavorful. 

This leftover ham soup also freezes really well so you can make a giant pot and save it for later to complement any meal prep or meal planning you’re doing. This soup is a great option for letting it cook low and slow all day. 

If you want to make a batch of this ham and bean soup to save for later, I recommend using these freezer containers to save your soup for another day. 

easy ham & bean soup recipe

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup

The best way to make this leftover ham and bean soup is in a large enameled cast iron dutch oven and letting it cook low and slow. I love to use my Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch oven for this recipe and many others. 

I saved the ham bone from our last holiday dinner. I wrapped it in parchment paper and stored it in a freezer bag until I was ready to cook this ham and bean soup. 

Once I was ready, I pulled out the ham bone with a fair amount of meat on it and put it in my Dutch oven with six cups of water. I brought that to a boil then added my seasonings as well as one cup carrots, half cup onion and one cup celery. Then I added two cans of great northern beans, turned the heat to low and let it simmer for an hour. 

How to Store Leftover Ham & Bean Soup

This leftover ham and bean soup recipe is great because it freezes so well. Like I said earlier, I make a large pot of this soup and store it in freezer containers like these.

How long does this soup last in the freezer?

Freezing this leftover ham and bean soup is great because you can have a delicious and savory meal very quickly. I try to use this soup within six months.

If you’re looking for more comfort food recipes, check out these posts!

Easy beef bolognese for a quick weeknight dinner

Dutch oven smothered chicken and potatoes

Dairy-free tomato soup that’s ready in minutes

Easy Ham & Bean Soup

This soup is a great way to use leftover ham from the holidays, stretch your budget and fill your belly with comfort food.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • Cast Iron Enameled Dutch Oven


  • 6 C water
  • 1 ham bone with meat on it
  • 2 Cans great northern beans, drained
  • 1 C diced carrots
  • 1 C diced celery
  • 1/2 C diced white onion
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tsp thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Add water and ham bone to dutch oven and bring to boil. Allow to boil for 15 minutes.
  • Add all other ingredients to dutch oven, turn heat to low, allow to simmer for at least half an hour or longer as desired.
  • Remove ham bone from dutch oven, and pick off any remaining ham to add back into soup.
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