Recipes » Main Dish Recipes » Slow Cooker White Beans with Smoked Ham Hocks

Slow Cooker White Beans with Smoked Ham Hocks

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This Slow Cooker White Beans with Smoked Ham Hocks recipe is a big, warm bowl of comfort that takes only 15 minutes to prep.
4.6 from 26 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
A serving of white beans garnished with tomato and onion.

If you’re craving a big, warm bowl of comfort, you just have to try my Slow Cooker White Beans with Smoked Ham Hocks. This is a delicious and simple to prepare ham and beans recipe that you can put in a crockpot in the morning and come home to for dinner! 

This comfort food classic includes meaty smoked ham hocks, Great Northern beans, carrots, and onions in one simple slow cooker recipe. Pair it with a pan of homemade cornbread and call the family to the dinner table.

A serving of white beans garnished with tomato and onion.

Besides the delicious, smoky ham hocks and creamy beans, the great thing this recipe has going for it is that it takes about 15 minutes of hands-on time and no soaking needed for the beans! Just do your quick prep work and let the crockpot take over.


  • Loaded with veggies in every bite 
  • Gluten-Free
  • Simple to prep
  • “Prep it and forget it” dinner 
  • Affordable 
  • Stores well 

About the Ingredients

Photo showing all the ingredients used in the recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious ham hock and white beans slow cooker recipe:

  • Smoked Ham Hocks – when choosing ham hocks, look for ones that have lots of meat on the bone. I see many these days that are mostly skin and bone. If you’re unable to source the ham hocks, you can substitute smoked turkey wings or cooked, cubed ham.
  • Onions, Carrots, Celery, and Garlicstandard aromatic vegetables used in many stocks, broths, and stews.
  • Thyme – to substitute fresh thyme, triple the amount.
  • Olive Oilregular olive oil is fine, no need for extra virgin here.
  • Dried Great Northern Beansyou’ll need one pound. No soaking needed for this recipe!
  • Chicken Stockeither canned or homemade.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Slow Cooker White Beans with Smoked Ham Hocks

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Prep and Saute the Vegetables

  • Cut the onion into medium (1/2-inch) dice. Peel the carrots and cut them and the celery into approximately 1/2-inch pieces. Coarsely chop the garlic.
  • Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling it to coat the pan.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic cloves, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onions begin to appear translucent.

Add the Ingredients to the Cooker

  • Place the sauteed vegetables, ham hocks, and dried beans in a large (6-quart or larger) crockpot.
  • Pour in the chicken stock.

Cook

Cook on low for 8 hours.

COOK’S TIP 
Check your beans after about 6 hours. The cooking time will depend on your slow cooker.

Remove the Meat from the Ham Hocks

  • About 1 hour before the cooking time is complete, remove the ham hocks and let them cool until they can be handled.
  • Remove and discard the bones, fat, and skin from the ham hocks. Chop or shred the meat and return it to the cooker with the beans.
  • Add the salt and continue cooking until the beans are completely tender.

Serving

A serving of beans with garnish in a white bowl.

Garnish individual servings with diced fresh tomato, diced red onion, and/or snipped chives.

Variations 

  • If you have leftover ham, you can use it in place of the ham hocks. Cut the ham into about 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Smoked turkey wings are a great substitute for ham hocks if you prefer not to use pork.
  • Navy beans can be used in place of Great Northern beans. 

What To Serve With Ham and Beans 

  • Cornbread is my bread of choice to serve with beans. Enjoy it slathered with lots of butter.
  • A tomato salad is great on the side.
  • Arugula salads also pair well with the flavors in this recipe.
A spoonful of white beans held over a slow cooker.

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A serving of white beans garnished with tomato and onion.

Slow Cooker White Beans with Smoked Ham Hocks

This Slow Cooker White Beans with Smoked Ham Hocks recipe is a big, warm bowl of comfort that takes only 15 minutes to prep.
4.58 from 26 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 319kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 tblsp. fresh
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large meaty smoked ham hocks
  • 1 pound dried Great Northern beans
  • 6 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Optional garnishes: diced fresh tomato, diced red onion, snipped chives

Instructions

  • Cut the onion into medium (1/2-inch) dice. Peel the carrots and cut them and the celery into approximately 1/2-inch pieces. Coarsely chop the garlic.
  • Place a skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling it to coat the pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onions begin to appear translucent.
  • Place the vegetables along with the ham hocks, beans, and chicken stock in a large (6-quart or larger) slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • About 1 hour before the cooking time is complete, remove the ham hocks from the slow cooker and let them cool until they can be handled. Remove and discard the bones, fat, and skin from the ham hocks. Chop or shred the meat and return it to the slow cooker with the beans.
  • Add the salt and continue cooking until the beans are completely tender.
  • Garnish individual servings with diced fresh tomato, diced red onion, and/or snipped chives.

Notes

Ingredients:
  • Smoked Ham Hocks – when choosing ham hocks, look for ones that have lots of meat on the bone. I see many these days that are mostly skin and bone. If you’re unable to source the ham hocks, you can substitute smoked turkey wings or cooked, cubed ham.
  • Thyme – to substitute fresh thyme, triple the amount.
  • Olive Oil – regular olive oil is fine, no need for extra virgin here.
  • Dried Great Northern Beans – you’ll need one pound. No soaking needed for this recipe!
  • Chicken Stock – either canned or homemade.
Variations
  • If you have leftover ham, you can use it in place of the ham hocks. Cut the ham into about 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Smoked turkey wings are a great substitute for ham hocks if you prefer not to use pork.
  • Navy beans can be used in place of Great Northern beans.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Cornbread is my bread of choice to serve with beans. Enjoy it slathered with lots of butter.
  • A tomato salad is great on the side.
  • Arugula salads also pair well with the flavors in this recipe.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 679mg | Potassium: 881mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1758IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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Two bowls of Slow Cooker White Beans with Smoked Ham Hocks presented on a wooden board with a kitchen towel and spoons.

— This post was originally published on January 14, 2014. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

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Recipe Rating




28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love all dried beans recipe and this one is delicious …. With some cornbread, I call it my meal in a bowl

  2. I soaked the beans overnight. Left it on all day in the slow cooker.when I got home it was more like pasta or mush. What can I do to fix it.

    1. David – you’ve over cooked the beans. You can’t fix it at this point but next time you make it, don’t soak the beans before cooking. Like the recipe says, you put everything (dried beans included) in the slow cooker and cook on low temp for 8 hours. Actually, as I said in the post, my beans were completely done after about 6 hours. Depending on your slow cooker (they’re all different) you may get different results.

  3. I’m making this now. I only have one ham hock (couldn’t find any at the market), but I do have a ham steak in the freezer. Do you think this would work out OK?

  4. I made this tonight & served it with some leftover cheesy grits. It was AWESOME! Very flavorful & got a thumbs up from hubby & son. Will definitely make this again!

  5. My wife’s family has been making this for ever and from what I have seen it is impossible to foul it up 2 main ingrediants plus plus few veggies (your choice) salt & pepper to taste and you are in heaven

  6. Thank you so much for this recipe!!! Am excited to make it for dinner tonight…just have a couple of questions….is it possible to cook on high (since I really don’t have 8 hours)…and did you guys soak the beans overnight before cooking? I may have to do the “quick soak”!! haha

    1. Wanda – you can give it a try on high. I’d suggest 4-5 hours but check during the cooking whether you need to add more liquid. And, no, I don’t soak the beans beforehand.

  7. This recipe turned out wonderful!!!!! My husband absolutely loved it!! I wouldn’t change a thing about it and will definitely make this again!! Thank you so much!!

  8. I make my ham & beans in the crock pot always but no veggies added.
    Great northern beans, smoked hocks & water. We add chopped onion & catsup to each serving bowl and serve with cornbread. YUM!!

  9. This looks really warming and comforting! Ham hocks impart so much flavor so I bet it tastes great too.

    1. It is delicious, Krystle. Not only the ham hocks but cooking the beans in chicken stock adds tons of flavor to this recipe.

  10. I just love your website. I look forward to getting an email from you and seeing what you have cooked up. This is one of my favorites. You can’t beat good ole dried beans and cornbread.

    1. Thank you so much, Kathy! I really appreciate you reading my posts. Hope you find a good recipe or two every now and then.

  11. I came up with something similar from going thru my email newsletters. I used leftover pork roast w/juices, Great Northern beans, shredded cabbage, onions, garlic & carrots. It was DELISH! I have leftovers that I may add some tomatoes to see how that tastes. I’m saving your recipe, though. I think I’d rather have the ham hocks.