Old-Fashioned Ham and Beans

How many of you hated soup beans or even chili beans as a kid? How many of you still do? 😉 It’s weird how it was kind of like a light switching on the moment I became an adult. So many foods I hated growing up suddenly tasted wonderful and what was I ever thinking? That’s how it was with me and “soup” beans. My recipe comes from my Grandma Betty. The ingredients are pretty basic, but the manner in which she cooked the beans is what makes these Old-Fashioned Ham and Beans so special. And check out my recipe for turning these fabo soup beans into incredible homemade Ham & Beans to Beanie Weenies. 😊

Old-Fashioned Ham and Beans | Culinary Craftiness

There’s no place like home…

The best place in the whole wide world was my Grandma Betty & Grandpa Punk’s kitchen. The best conversations took place around that humble formica “butcher block” table. Spontaneous eruptions of all my aunts and uncles singing Delta Dawn in 3-part harmony is my favorite memory of all. When I travel home again, I’m so looking forward to hanging with my Tribby clan and I’m beyond thankful Grandma & Grandpa’s house remained in the family. Thank you Josh and Rachel! 🤗💗

Sweet corn bread | Culinary Craftiness

The simple method for cooking the ham and beans is in the oven. They come out perfectly cooked every time. Grandma used a heavy stainless steel stock pot and would slow cook them for 5 or 6 hours. You might think using a Crock Pot would serve the same purpose, but it’s just not the same. Probably a difference in the heating process.

Old-Fashioned Ham and Beans | Culinary Craftiness

The best way to eat Old-Fashioned Ham and Beans

Now I really need to tell you how to eat these delicious ham and navy beans. Firstly, it all begins with a good corn muffin or slice of cornbread. It doesn’t matter so much whether they’re made from scratch or from a mix, the important thing is to make sure they’re sweet and slathered with lots of melty butter. I used to make a great loaf of corn cakes from scratch, but discovered Jiffy turns out awesome with the addition of 2 teaspoons of sugar or 2 packets of stevia per box. Let the batter rest like the box directions suggest for fluffier muffins. Cooling for 10 minutes after baking makes them easier to remove from the paper liners or muffin tin.

Secondly, pile on the ham and beans without being too stingy with the delicious bean broth. Soak the muffins!

Most importantly, if you serve your ham and beans up this way, you might get your kids to eat a bite or two. Maybe even clean their plate and lick the spoon. 😋

Old Fashioned Ham & Navy Beans

*Pre-soak the beans for 12 hours or overnight in a pot of water.*


  • 1 bag (16 oz) dry navy beans
  • 2 pkg Smithfield's Cubed Ham
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 quarts cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 

    Drain and rinse the beans that have been soaking overnight. Pour into a large lidded pot and add the water, onion, ham, salt, and pepper.

    Bake in the oven for 5-6 hours. Check the beans after about 4 hours to make sure there is sufficient liquid – about an inch above the beans – and return to the oven for another hour or so. 

    You can semi smash them for a thicker gravy or leave them soupy. Spoon beans with liquid over buttered sweet cornbread.

Old-Fashioned Ham and Beans | Culinary Craftiness

Now some diets promote eating lots of grains while others say to avoid them at all cost. I’ve always said everything in moderation. In conclusion, sometimes you can have your beans and eat them too. 😁 Happy eating!

Practice kindness :)

About Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mother, family cook, and romance novelist. The very first thing she learned in the kitchen was how to scramble eggs in an old cast iron skillet at the age of five. Her great-grandmother put her on a step-stool at the stove and thus began her passion for whipping up great tasting foods.

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