This slow cooker ham bone soup recipe is loaded with beans and veggies in a rich, savory broth. It’s the absolute best way to use up leftover ham!

I always make extra ham around the holidays so I have plenty of leftovers on hand to make soup recipes such as ham and beans, ham and potato soup, ham and corn chowder and this hearty ham bone soup.

A bowl of ham bone soup with beans and vegetables.

What are you making for Christmas this year? I’ve decided to make cioppino, which is a crab and seafood stew, as well as a honey glazed ham. Normally I’d just do one main course but 2/3 of my kids are not into seafood! One of my favorite ways to use up leftover ham is this hearty slow cooker ham bone soup. Putting the leftover ham bone in the crock pot adds SO much flavor and really makes this recipe something special.

Ham Bone Soup Ingredients

To make this recipe, you will need onion, carrots, a ham bone, a bag of dried bean soup mix, chicken broth, thyme, garlic, ham, a can of tomatoes, parsley, salt and black pepper.

How Do You Make Ham Bone Soup?

Rinse the beans, then reserve the seasoning packet in the bag for later use. Place the onion, carrots, ham bone, beans, chicken broth, thyme and garlic in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until the beans are tender. Stir in the ham, tomatoes, seasoning packet and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes, then sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve up a hot steamy bowl of soup.

A slow cooker full of soup with parsley on top.

Tips For The Perfect Soup

  • It’s important to use low sodium broth because ham tends to be quite salty, and you don’t want to end up with too much salt in your soup.
  • You don’t need to soak your beans for this soup, but you will need to rinse them.
  • You may wonder why most of the seasonings get added at the end of the cooking time. Salt and acidity can affect beans while they’re cooking by making them tough, which is why the seasoning goes in after the beans are already cooked.
  • Any type of mixed dried beans will work. I typically use a bag of 15 bean soup which comes with a seasoning packet. If you don’t have a seasoning packet in your bag of beans, you can simply skip that step in the recipe and it will still be delicious.
  • Don’t have a ham bone? Check your grocery store meat counter for ham hocks, they’re very inexpensive and they make the perfect substitute for a holiday ham bone.

Quick Tip

Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 2 months. Store the soup in an airtight container for best results.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of soup can be made from a ham bone?

Is it very common to simmer a ham bone with vegetables and broth to make different types of soup. Some popular options include creamy ham chowder, ham and potato soup, ham and white bean soup or split pea soup.

How long can you keep a ham bone before making soup?

A ham bone will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3 days, or you can freeze it for 3 months. You do not need to thaw a frozen ham bone before you add it to soup.


Crock pot ham bone soup in a bowl topped with parsley.

Flavor Variations

While this soup is delicious as is, you can easily customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Protein: You can also make this soup with leftover turkey by using some or all of a turkey carcass and diced turkey.
  • Beans: Instead of a bean mix, try a single variety of beans such as navy beans, great northern beans, cannellini beans, red beans, chickpeas or black eyed peas.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add some other veggies towards the end of the cooking time, such as mushrooms, sweet potatoes, celery, spinach, kale or green beans.

What’s your favorite way to use up leftover holiday ham or turkey? I’ve got plenty of ideas with my Leftover Ham Recipes and Leftover Turkey Recipes posts!

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Ham Bone Soup Video

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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 26 votes

Ham Bone Soup (Slow Cooker)

AuthorSara Welch
This ham bone soup is loaded with beans and veggies and is the perfect way to use up leftover ham!
This slow cooker ham bone soup is loaded with beans and veggies, it’s the absolute best way to use up leftover ham!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Serves 6 servings


  • 1 yellow onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 20 ounce bag dried bean soup mix
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups diced ham
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Rinse the beans thoroughly; set aside the seasoning packet for later use.
  • Place the onion, carrot, ham bone, beans, chicken broth, thyme and garlic in a slow cooker.
  • Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours, or until beans are done.
  • Remove the ham bone from the slow cooker. Stir in the diced ham, tomatoes, seasoning packet and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


  1. It’s important to uselow sodium broth because ham tends to be quite salty, and you don’t want to end up with too much salt in your soup.
  2. You don’t need to soak your beans for this soup, but you will need to rinse them.
  3. Any type of mixed dried beans will work. I typically use a bag of 15 bean soup which comes with a seasoning packet. If you don’t have a seasoning packet in your bag of beans, you can simply skip that step in the recipe and it will still be delicious.


Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 670mg | Potassium: 1679mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5095IU | Vitamin C: 7.4mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 7.7mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

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5 from 26 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Will substituting some of the chicken broth with ham stock (leftover juice from cooking ham) make the soup too salty?

    1. I think it would be fine, but you may want to use water instead of the rest of the chicken broth just to be sure.

  2. Hi! This looks delicious¡ I plan on making it this weekend. I do have one question though. Do you think this recipe will fit into my 5 quart slow cooker or should I cook it on the stovetop?

    1. I typically make it in a 6 quart slow cooker and it comes about 2/3 of the way up the pot. So I think the 5 quart would be ok, you could slightly decrease the volume of the recipe if you’re not sure. If you choose to make a smaller batch you can adjust the ingredient amounts automatically by changing the number of servings in the recipe card. Hope this helps!

  3. 5 stars
    I cant believe this…even the very hard to please grandson thanked me two times for this soup.!.. your amazing!

    1. You could simmer this soup on the stove top, covered over low heat for about 2 hours or until the beans have softened!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this sort of soup previously, but it’s been awhile, so I looked up recipes. I got in a hurry and put the diced ham in at the same time as the ham bone! I wonder if that will make the ham too mushy? Or what WILL happen? Anyway, can hardly wait to eat it tonight. It’s cold – even here in Texas (42•F) tonight!

    1. That’s not a problem, just add salt and pepper to taste, along with 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder. If you have smoked paprika on hand, add 1/4 teaspoon of that too!

  5. The beans do not need to be soaked first? I am a little hesitant to trust that they will be done, since I have actually soaked beans overnight before and cooked them and they were still hard, which ruined what I was making. Haven’t made anything with dried beans since. And I am hesitant to make this with canned beans, I think they will turn to mush if they cook too long in the slow cooker…. HELP!!!

    1. If you want to soak them, you can. It’s not going to hurt anything to soak the beans! I’ve made this recipe multiple times and never had any issues. If you do choose to soak the beans, you may need to reduce the cook time. You can substitute canned beans, just stir them in during the last 20-30 minutes so they won’t get mushy. Hope that helps!

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! If you don’t have a ham bone, I recommend a smoked turkey drumstick. I just peel and discard the skin, then let the drumstick simmer all day. Pull it out shortly before serving time so it can cool enough for handling. Break up the meat and put it back in the soup. No need to add ham as there’s plenty of meat on the drumstick. This is how I’ve made split pea soup for years and it’s my kids most requested meal! It’s every bit as tasty as ham.

  7. If it weren’t 95 degrees outside, I’d make this today! I usually make split pea soup with my ham bones but will give this a shot once the weather turns cooler.

  8. 5 stars
    I found you by doing a search on what to serve with my ham bone soup … I started reading through your post and all I can say is you had me at Cioppino! :: smile :: I could happily eat cioppino and garlic bread and nothing else everyday for the rest of my life!
    Looking forward to following you and getting more recipes. Oh and btw, what DO you serve with or garnish your ham bone soup?

    1. So glad you’re enjoying the site!! I like to serve my ham bone soup with cornbread or a loaf of french bread. I typically just garnish with fresh herbs! A green salad on the side is always nice too!

  9. 5 stars
    This is pretty much exactly how I make my bean soup, and always have. Sometimes I substitute spicy V8 for some of the broth, and it gives it a greater depth of flavor. It’s not really spicy, just adds flavor. Also, being single, it’s not really feasible to buy even a half ham. I’m fortunate that a local grocery store packages up ham ends that they trim off, which are nice thick pieces, and they sell it for about $6.00. Add a ham hock and it’s an inexpensive meal. I always have plenty to freeze for later.

  10. 5 stars
    I always rinse my beans, too. And I love how you point it out that you can make this soup later after Christmas by just freezing the ham. Awesome idea!

  11. 5 stars
    Yum! I haven’t made a ham soup in eons! I love it! This version with all that variety of beans looks wonderful! I’ll have to give it a try! It’s making me hungry!!

  12. This looks absolutely glorious! We always have leftover ham after Christmas and I must admit I make the same few things year in, year out and it’s getting kind of old! I’m printing this recipe so we can try something new this year!

  13. I love ham bone soup and yours looks spectacular! Merry Christmas Sara – I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your beautiful daughters and the rest of your family.

  14. 5 stars
    Hi Sara, love soup and this is a fantastic new version for me as I always make split pea with the ham bone. Looks delicious!