Did you just make a baked ham for dinner and looking for a delicious way to use up that meaty ham bone? This 15 Bean & Ham soup is the recipe for you! It’s super simple to make, it is a great way to use up that meaty bone, and it freezes well so you can pull it for a satisfying meal anytime! Did I mention how inexpensive it is to make? If you just made a ham and are using the leftover bone, this meal literally costs a few dollars to make the entire pot of soup and makes 16 servings! Who can beat that?

For those who have never made 15 bean soup, you can buy the dried bean mix at almost any grocery store. It’s found with all the other dried beans and it’s an amazing mix of beans that are great in soup. This is also a great way to try out all sorts of beans that you might not have ever tasted! This recipe is also versatile, so if you have leftover veggies hanging around this might be the place to use them! I’ve added jalapenos, bell peppers, and tomatoes to this soup and they have all been good, but this simple version will always be my favorite.

15 Bean & Ham Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Soup
Servings: 16
Calories: 203kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced small
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 20 oz 15 bean soup mix
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 cups reserved ham drippings see notes below
  • 8 cups water


  • Rinse beans and inspect for pebbles/dirt. Discard the seasoning packet that came with the bean mix.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper for 4-6 minutes on medium high heat. When the onions are translucent and the garlic is cooked through, you can remaining ingredients.
  • Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, then cover and shut off heat. Let rest for 1 hour as this will soften the beans since they weren't soaked overnight.
  • After an hour turn heat on the covered soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer soup for 1 hour, stirring every once in a while. After an hour remove ham bone and let cool until you can handle it without getting burned. Remove all the meat off the bone and shred, adding it back to the soup. Discard ham bone. While you are working with the ham bone, the soup should continue to simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes or until beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!


When cooking the ham, add an inch of water to the bottom of the pan.  This will create a flavorful base for your soup.  Simply skim off the fat layer once it cools (I like to do this the day after we have ham and it’s been sitting in the fridge all night) and you are good to go.  Just note this recipe does not call for salt in the initial cooking stage because this liquid is extremely salty, so taste before seasoning and keep the ratio of 1 cup ham liquid to 4 cups water.
The ham bone shouldn’t be completely cleaned of all the meat before adding to the soup.  I like to trim off the ham meat until the bones start getting in the way.  Since the meat will fall off the bone during the simmering, I just leave the difficult pieces for the soup.  For example, I just cooked a 10lb ham and the bone with meat I used for the soup weighed 2lbs, which ended up being 1lb bone and 1lb of ham meat.
This soup freezes wonderfully!  I like to put individual portions in freezer bags and pull the day before I want to eat it.  This make a great quick lunch to take to work or easy dinner if you didn’t have time to cook.  This soup will last 3-4 months in the freezer.  This is why I make this soup every single time I make a ham, so simple and then there’s no wasted ham bone!


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 625mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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