Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Shari Mason
Ham and bean soup is a hearty soup made with ham, beans, and various vegetables. I find it very inexpensive to make, not to mention it’s the ideal dish to serve on a chilly winter day.
But what to serve with ham and bean soup for a hearty family dinner? We created a list of the best side dish options that we usually pair with ham and bean soup. Keep reading to find out.
Top 15 Food Items to Serve With Ham & Bean Soup
1. Corn Bread
Green chile cornbread pairs well with ham and dry beans because it has a pleasant sweetness complementing the soup. I find it delicious because it adds a more hearty texture to the dish, as you can chew on cornbread while eating ham and beans.
Green chile cornbread has a spicy kick, especially if you add chopped jalapenos. I usually temper the heat by serving the cornbread with creamy applesauce, coleslaw, or any creamy dressing.
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2. Potato Chips
Potato chips with delicious ham and beans soup is a great and filling dish. Potato chips are a classic and crunchy side dish that pairs perfectly with a warm soup. They provide a satisfying texture contrast to the creamy soup and can be made easily at home with just a few ingredients.
Potato chips (and sweet potato fries) may appear to be one of the best fall side dishes, but you can make them anytime.
Cooking Note: When cooking potato chips or sweet potato fries in the oven, use coconut oil or olive oil rather than butter, which will burn at low temperatures. Find out how to remove the burnt taste out of soup here.
3. Sweet Potato Casserole
A bowl of this wholesome and comforting side dish with a cup of ham and bean soup recipe is a must-try. This can be a great choice if you’re looking for a light, savory, and perfect accompaniment to a ham meat-based meal.
The crusty bread edges enhance the natural sweetness and richness of the sweet potato. I tried making this delicious meal once with leftover ham and potatoes from our fridge.
4. Tomato & Lettuce Salad
Everybody will love this salad as it’s easy to make. This is one of the favorite side dishes for a complete meal.
You can use whatever vegetables you have, but combining tomato and lettuce makes up a great recipe; also, added with red onion to give it a little more flavor.
Easy Recipe Tip: You can add tomato paste or any dried spices to your liking for extra flavor to your bean soups.
5. Collard Greens
Collard greens, as a side dish, are an excellent accompaniment to ham and bean soup. They’re high in vitamins and minerals while complementing the soup’s strong flavors nicely.
This filling meal has a slightly bitter flavor, so I usually season it with some spices before serving it with ham and bean soup.
6. Garlic Bread
Big slices of warm, crusty garlic bread ham are ideal for mopping up the soup’s earthy, salty, savory flavors. You can make your garlic bread from any bread you have.
Score it deeply and spread garlic butter with your favorite herbs into the grooves. Bake until the butter melts and the bread is browned and crisp.
Coleslaw complements ham and beans soup well as it contains shredded vegetables you can chew on while eating your bean soup. It’s a refreshing change from the salad classic dish, particularly if you enjoy a creamy coleslaw dressing.
Suppose you prefer your coleslaw dressing to be more tart, substitute rice vinegar for white vinegar so, your coleslaw dressing won’t be too tangy or acidic.
8. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a delicious vegetable that goes well with ham and bean soup. It adds the right sweetness to balance the dish’s savory elements.
Roasted squash produces a soft and tender texture that complements the soup. Roasting is also the best way to extract all the natural sugars and add a smokey flavor to the dish.
This smokiness will work beautifully with the earthy beans and salty ham.
The best thing about biscuits is how versatile they are; you can include anything from dried fruit like cranberries or raisins to cheese in your biscuit dough.
By incorporating savory ingredients such as herbs and cheese, you can reduce the sweetness of your biscuit dough.
Another option is to substitute sour cream for the milk. It will give the finished product a tangy, acidic flavor that complements the ham and beans well.
10. Coconut Rice
Coconut rice is a simple side dish to serve with ham and beans. I usually cook rice according to package directions, then add a can of coconut milk and some chopped red chili for a little heat.
You can prepare this soup with any bean or lentil soup. Besides, this dish has a lovely soft texture that isn’t gummy or mushy like other rice dishes. A final drizzle of lime juice (or lemon juice) adds a burst of flavor to the otherwise subtle flavors.
11. Creamed Spinach
A hearty meal like ham and bean soup will fill you up nicely. Creamed spinach is one of the excellent side dishes because it is high in protein and low in calories.
Also, you can make double batches and freeze half of it to eat throughout the week.
12. Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
These tasty green veggies are high in Omega-3 fatty acids , fiber, and Vitamin C. The sprouts will have a crisp, caramelized outside and a tender but firm inside after being sautéed. So, it pairs well with ham and bean soup or creamy tomato soup.
To add more flavor, you can add chile powder, chopped walnuts, or any flavors you love to your sauteed brussels sprouts.
13. Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
These delightful pumpkin dinner rolls are the perfect addition to any fall-themed meal, especially when paired with a hearty ham and bean soup.
We usually make them at home using a basic roll recipe, pumpkin puree, and warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg to the dough.
Allow the dough to rise, shape it into rolls, and bake until golden brown. The result is a soft and fluffy roll with a touch of sweetness that pairs perfectly with the savory soup.
14. Homemade Crostini
Crispy and crunchy, homemade crostini is a great way to add texture and flavor to your ham and bean soup.
You can make one at home using my recipe. Slice a baguette into thin rounds and brush each side with olive oil.
Bake in the oven until golden brown and crispy. I usually rub a garlic clove on the crostini for an added flavor boost. Serve alongside the ham and bean soup for a satisfying and flavorful side dish.
15. Cheese Toast
Cheese toast is a simple, delicious side dish that compliments savory soups like ham and bean soup.
To make it at home, toast a slice of your favorite bread, top with shredded cheese, and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly. You can use any cheese you like, but I prefer a sharp cheddar
for a more pronounced flavor.
Add toppings such as chopped herbs, sliced tomatoes, or crispy bacon for a more complex flavor profile. Serve hot alongside the ham and bean soup for a comforting and satisfying meal.
What wine is best to serve with ham & bean soup?
Ham and bean soup is best served with wines like Pinot Noir or Zinfandel. Also, you can serve it with Riesling or Chardonnay to complement the sweetness and saltiness of the ham hocks (or ham shank).
How do you make ham & bean soup?
To make ham and bean soup, add broth, bay leaf, beans, garlic, onion, pepper, celery, and carrots to the crockpot. Stir to mix all the ingredients, then add ham bone.
Cook in high heat until the beans are tender. Discard bay leaf and remove ham bone, then set it aside to cool. When the ham bone has cooled, dice meat, if any, and return it to the soup. Season it to taste.
Culinary Tip: You can use any kind of beans, like pinto beans , navy beans, white beans, canned beans, or dried beans. Also, you can use chicken stock or beef stew broth for better flavor.
Ham and beans soup is one of the easy recipes I learned from my Mom, and it is easy to prepare at home. Whatever side dishes you serve with your ham and beans, remember that it will be even better if you prepare them with love.
There are numerous other ways to serve ham and beans that will add a unique twist to your meal. I usually pair ham and bean soup with Southern cornbread, sauteed collard greens, pumpkin dinner rolls, and garlic bread.
Aside from the dishes mentioned above, you can try it with garlic spaghetti, sweet and sour greens, and turnip greens.
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