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Ham Hock and Beans

Our ham hock and beans uses canned beans and smoked ham hock to create a flavorful meal that can be served as a main dish or side.

What’s the best way to flavor pinto beans? We use pork cuts, like ham, bacon, and ham hocks. For today’s recipe we’re sharing Kim’s ham hock and beans. By using canned beans, you can cut down the cook time drastically.

Most dried beans can take anywhere from 3-4 hours depending on how you cook them. However, Kim’s version is done in just 90-minutes! All the flavor of slow-cooked beans in half the time.

The trick is to create a flavorful broth and then add the canned pinto beans. Let the mixture cook just long enough for the canned legumes to soak up that tasty ham hock broth.

The finished ham and beans in a bowl.

How to make ham hock and beans with canned beans?

First, grab a large stock pot or Dutch oven.

Place it over medium heat and add the diced onion, minced garlic, dried bay leaves, black pepper, ham hocks, chicken stock, and water.

Pork, onions, and other ingredients in a pot.

Next, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low-medium.

Let the broth simmer for about an hour to bring out all the flavors from the ham and spices.

Then, open the can and drain and rinse the pinto beans. Carefully, add them to the simmering broth.

Canned pinto beans added to the broth.

Afterward, stir the ingredients together and then let them continue simmering for 15-30 minutes.

If you want, you can use tongs to break apart the ham hocks and separate the meat from the fat.

An aerial view of the finished beans in a bowl.

Last, once the beans have finished simmering, turn off the heat and serve!

I love eating these beans with my spicy jalapeno cornbread. But, a sweet Southern cornbread will work too.

That’s it, your ham hock and beans, using canned beans, recipe is done! Kim and I hope you enjoy it and wish you all the best 🙂

Ham and beans served in simple white bowl.

Recipe Tips:

  • Be sure to discard the bay leaves before serving the ham hock and beans. They’re basically inedible.
  • While the recipe uses canned beans, you can use dry ones. However, you’ll need to increase the cook time by 2-3 hours (depending on the bean) and you’ll need to keep an eye on the pot while it simmers. The recipe may require more liquid as the broth evaporates over time.
  • White or Great Northern beans are an excellent substitution for pinto beans. Also, lima beans pair well with ham hocks.
  • You can freeze the recipe once it’s cooked and cooled. When stored properly in the freezer, it should hold for about 2-months.
  • Serve these ham hock and beans with a side of Fried Okra, Masa Harina Cornbread, a Yeast Roll, or a slice of bread.

Don’t forget to check out our Ham Hock and Beans web story!

Top-down view of the ham hock and beans in a bowl.

Ham Hock and Beans

4.5 from 13 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings

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  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves minced or pressed; about 2 small cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • 62 ounces pinto beans four (15 ½ ounce) cans of beans, drained and rinsed


  • In a large soup pan or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the chicken stock, water, ham hocks, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper.
    1 large onion
    2 teaspoons garlic cloves
    2 bay leaves
    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 ham hocks
    4 cups chicken broth
    4 cups water
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to cook for 1 hour or longer for a richer flavor.
  • After 1 hour, add the pinto beans. Stir to combine, and continue to simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
    62 ounces pinto beans
  • Remove any meat from the ham hock, and stir it into the beans. Discard the bay leaves before serving.
  • Serve hot with cornbread.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of about 1-cup of the ham hocks and beans. Actual calories will vary.
*Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container, in your fridge, for up to 3-days. For information and tips, please refer to the post.


Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1138mg | Potassium: 808mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 4mg
Recipe Rating


Monday 20th of February 2023

I am making this today. I had some fresh carrots that I sliced and put in the broth as it all simmered. I'll put the kidney beans in later. They are already cooked in the can at the factory. Thank you Fritomann


Monday 20th of February 2023

Carrots are a great addition. We hope you enjoy the ham hock and beans. Have a lovely evening! :)


Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Could you use pork broth instead of chicken?


Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Hi Angie!

Yes, pork broth would work. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :)

Patricia Smith

Thursday 16th of December 2021

Is it safe to can pinto beans that are cooked with hamhocks


Thursday 16th of December 2021

Hi Patricia,

Unfortunately, we're not sure. We don't can food, so we're not able to provide an answer about canning. However, one of our other readers may be able to help, so we've approved your question in case someone else wants to chime in. Have a wonderful weekend! :)