My Mom created this recipe and I really enjoyed it as a child. As an adult, my taste changed just a bit so I modified her recipe to 'kick it up' a bit. It is fabulous even though the ingredients list is quite short! This is a must make with leftover ham and everyone agrees it's absolutely delicious.

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Ingredients

7
Original recipe yields 7 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Rinse beans in a large pot; discard shriveled beans and any small stones. Add 8 cups of cold water. Let stand overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse beans.

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  • Return beans to pot and add ham, onion, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne and parsley and water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until beans are tender. Add more water if necessary during cooking time.

Nutrition Facts

300.3 calories; 18.6 g protein; 42.8 g carbohydrates; 18.2 mg cholesterol; 423.5 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (379)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
10/13/2007
My husband and I loved this recipe with just a few changes. After reading the reviews we cut the sugar in half, but it was still too sweet and too hot for us. So the next day we made another batch and we reduced the sugar to 1 Tbsp. and cut the cayenne in half. I also sauteed the chopped onion and chopped ham in 2 Tbsp of butter to bring out more flavor before adding it to the beans. Both times I precooked the beans after soaking overnight, then put all the ingredients together (including the tip about baking soda, used 1/4 tsp) in a crock pot with just enough boiling water to not quite cover, on high for about 2 hours before dinner. A definite keeper! Read More
(545)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
01/23/2012
I blindly followed the recipe, it being rated 4.5/5 with 200 reviews, which usually means you really can blindly follow the recipe and come out shiny. WAY too sweet, I should have read the reviews first. It's better than the 1 star I'm giving it, but I'm trying (fruitlessly) to make up for you other reviewers who give it 5 stars while changing it completely. STOP IT! Read More
(111)
458 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 257
  • 4 star values: 133
  • 3 star values: 35
  • 2 star values: 24
  • 1 star values: 9
Rating: 4 stars
10/13/2007
My husband and I loved this recipe with just a few changes. After reading the reviews we cut the sugar in half, but it was still too sweet and too hot for us. So the next day we made another batch and we reduced the sugar to 1 Tbsp. and cut the cayenne in half. I also sauteed the chopped onion and chopped ham in 2 Tbsp of butter to bring out more flavor before adding it to the beans. Both times I precooked the beans after soaking overnight, then put all the ingredients together (including the tip about baking soda, used 1/4 tsp) in a crock pot with just enough boiling water to not quite cover, on high for about 2 hours before dinner. A definite keeper! Read More
(545)
Rating: 4 stars
06/08/2005
Awesome! Just like grandma used to make. I reduced the brown sugar slightly to 1/3 cup. And a pinch (maybe 1/2 tsp) of baking soda makes the beans creamy and much less gassy. Read More
(355)
Rating: 5 stars
12/29/2003
Prepares well in the crock pot also! Read More
(227)
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Rating: 1 stars
01/23/2012
I blindly followed the recipe, it being rated 4.5/5 with 200 reviews, which usually means you really can blindly follow the recipe and come out shiny. WAY too sweet, I should have read the reviews first. It's better than the 1 star I'm giving it, but I'm trying (fruitlessly) to make up for you other reviewers who give it 5 stars while changing it completely. STOP IT! Read More
(111)
Rating: 5 stars
07/19/2005
This was so delicious I have been craving it ever since I finished the last triple batch I made;-) A must have in any recipe book. You can also cut back on the brown sugar and it's just as good. I used the canned great northern beans from Bush's to eliminate the need to soak beans overnight. Read More
(101)
Rating: 5 stars
01/07/2007
My husband is a ham & bean afficionado and he really liked this recipe. I thought it was just a little too sweet for my taste and I might cut back just a little on the brown sugar next time to keep us both happy. But I do think that adding that hint of sweetness is what makes the recipe really stand out from all the others. Read More
(90)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/01/2009
I gave this 5 stars because it is a great basic recipe that can be adapted to different tastes and desires. It makes a great soup that has a wonderfully subtle sweet flavor and is extremely filling. My husband was not excited when I told him that we were having beans for dinner but he was pleasantly surprised and even the my son who declared that he did not like beans and ham ate his entire bowl!!! I made this dish into a version of bean and ham soup. To get around the long soaking period place the beans into a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes turn the heat off and then leave the beans to soak for an hour. After the hour soak proceed wiht your recipe as usual. To make my version of this recipe I used frozen ham from our Christmas ham and then filled the pot up to the top with water. After bringing the pot to a boil I simmered the pot with a lid on to reduce the water loss. I used 1/3 cup brown sugar along with salt pepper garlic powder and paprika. While the pot simmered I chopped a small onion and one pound of carrots. I sauted the carrots and onion in butter until soft and slightly browned. After simmering the beans for approximately 2 hours I removed about one cup of beans smashed them returned them to the pot and added the sauted veggies. I then let the pot simmer for about another 10 minutes while I cut crusty bread into slices. WHAT A WONDERFUL MEAL!!! Read More
(77)
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2003
I found this recipe to be very good I have been looking for ideas on how to improve plain ham and beans and came across this recipe and tried it and loved it I will continue to make it this way from now on. I did substitue a 40 ounce jar of northern beans for the pound of dry beans and next time I make it I might reduce the amount of brown sugar just slightly. Read More
(73)
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2008
Add a ham bone and a couple stocks of chopped celery. MMMMMMM - good! Read More
(65)