Mom’s Molasses Ham and Beans

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 7 hours


8 servings

Updated: Sep. 30, 2023
This is a recipe my mom made frequently while I was growing up. It's perfect for a cold day when you don't want to bother with lots of cooking. My mother actually used lima beans, but not many people are into those, so I tweaked this dish to make it more enjoyable for my own family. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
Mom's Molasses Ham and Beans Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) navy or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 smoked ham hocks (about 1 pound)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • Optional: Pickled jalapeno peppers and pickled red onions


  1. In a greased 5-qt. slow cooker, combine first 11 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 7-9 hours.
  2. Remove ham hocks. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into small cubes; return to slow cooker. Stir in crumbled bacon. If desired, serve with pickled jalapeno peppers and pickled red onions.

Can you freeze Mom's Molasses Ham and Beans?

Freeze cooled beans in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add water or broth if necessary.

Molasses and Beans Tips

I don't have a slow cooker. How can I make this dish?

If you don't have a slow cooker, you may bake this dish at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours.

What do I do if the sauce gets too low?

If the sauce gets too low while cooking, add a bit more tomato sauce.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 521 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 1543mg sodium, 93g carbohydrate (45g sugars, 13g fiber), 24g protein.