Ham and Bean Chowder Recipe
Ham and Bean Chowder Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ham and Bean Chowder Recipe

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Meet the Cook: We also call this 2-Day Bean Chowder, since it can be started in the afternoon, chilled overnight and finished off the next day - if you can wait to taste it! -Joe Ann Heavrin, Memphis, Tennessee
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + standing Cook: 2 hours + chilling
MAKES:12-14 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + standing Cook: 2 hours + chilling
MAKES: 12-14 servings


  • 1 pound dried great northern beans
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 255 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 332mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 15g protein


  1. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2-in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Drain beans and discard liquid. In the same kettle, saute onion, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Add beans, ham bone, water, broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, cloves and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Remove ham bone, bay leaves and cloves. When cool enough to handle, remove ham from bone; cut into small pieces and return to soup. Chill for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Skim fat from soup. Stir in milk; cool on low until heated through. Just before serving, stir in cheese. Yield: 12-14 servings (3-1/4 quarts).
Originally published as Ham and Bean Chowder in Country Woman January/February 1997, p29

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Reviewed Jul. 22, 2013

"This was so simple and tasty. My family really loved the thick creaminess of the soup. I can't think of anything I would change."

Reviewed Mar. 18, 2013

"I have been making this for years and everyone always asks for the recipe"

Reviewed Sep. 8, 2012

"Nice and creamy and very satisfying. Looking forward to making it again this winter."

Reviewed Aug. 14, 2012

"By far the best bean soup recipe ever!"

Reviewed Dec. 22, 2011

"This was my first try at any homemade bean soup. So easy to make, and such great flavor.

I did 'tweek' this recipe, as I had 2 ham bones and used more onion and garlic than called for. I also threw in 2 beef bouillon cubes, and of course, some ex-tra cheese. I also used some bacon fat instead of butter. Yes.. all my 'tweeks' added to the over all fat content, but my husband and I eat only small portions, along with a sandwich and salad... a wonderfully tasty complete meal.
I highly recommend this recipe.

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