Ham and northern beans are delicious and comforting whether you are living on a budget or not! Great Northern Beans are mixed with veggies, ham and seasoning and simmered until tender and full of flavor.
Nothing could be more hearty and heart-warming more than this economical entrée.
What are Great Northern Beans?
Sometimes called ‘common beans’ great northern beans have a mild flavor and are a popular addition to casseroles, soups, and stews. Since their flavor is delicate, they’re easily complemented by any kind of meat, but especially the smoky salty flavor of ham!
Navy Beans vs Great Northern Beans
What is the difference between navy bean and great northern beans? They’re not too different, both are a similar shape (and flavor), but great northern beans are a little bit bigger than navy beans. That being said, either bean can be substituted for the other in a recipe.
How to Soak Beans
Rinse beans in a colander and pick out any debris like small stones or twigs. Place in a large pot and cover with enough water to cover the beans plus two inches. Cover and let soak overnight. It’s that easy!
For an even quicker soak, place beans in a stockpot, cover with water plus two inches and bring to a rolling boil about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand an hour.
How to Cook Great Northern Beans
This easy soup recipe is ready in 1, 2, 3!
- First, sauté diced onion in oil until it’s soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Combine beans and the remaining ingredients.
- Bring everything to a boil and then simmer on low until the beans are tender.
To Serve: Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
To cook great northern beans in a crockpot, reduce the liquid a bit, soak the beans overnight and then cook on slow for 8 hours.
Tips for Cooking with Beans
- Soak properly: Keep the beans underwater while they are soaking so they can cook uniformly.
- Rinse and Sort: Be sure to rinse well and sort the beans looking for debris and/or little pebbles.
- Simmer: Once the beans start cooking, keep them at a gentle simmer so they don’t overcook and burst.
- Acidid Ingredients: Always add the salt and other acidic ingredients to the end of the cooking process because salt can sometimes interfere with the rehydration process.
Great Northern Beans and Ham
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Soak Beans 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 50 minutes
Nothing is more hearty and heart-warming more than a basic ham and beans recipe. This is such an easy, economical entrée, it’s healthy and portable.
- 1 pound Great Northern Beans dry
- 1 ham hock or 1 lb smoked ham
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley optional
Rinse beans in a large pot and remove any debris. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Let sit overnight. Drain well.
Cook onion in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
Combine beans, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and seasonings in a pot. Add 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are tender.
Discard bay leaf, taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Place in a saucepan and add enough water to cover at least 2 inches above beans. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. To Cook in Slow Cooker
Reduce water to 6 cups. Soak beans as directed and add all ingredients to a 6qt slow cooker. Cook on low 8 hours.
Calories: 160, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 494mg, Potassium: 458mg, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 10g, Vitamin A: 2612%, Vitamin C: 12%, Calcium: 63%, Iron: 2%
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)