Turn your leftover holiday ham bone into another great recipe. Below is a collection of delicious recipes to use that ham bone in a new way that screams southern comfort food. It's a great way to save money in the kitchen by stretching what food you have and turning scraps into something new that the whole family will love!
Why use the leftover ham bone
Often on holidays, after eating a big bone-in ham, a glorious ham bone is left. If this is your first time being left with a ham bone, you may be wondering what in the world to do with it. Please don't throw it in the trash! It's journey has just begun. There's still plenty of life in it and potential to add meat and flavor to a hearty soup, pot of beans, or green vegetables.
Let's normalize reducing waste by using up every bit of our food, even that leftover bone. Good money was paid for that big bone-in ham for your holiday meal. You might as well make use of the whole thing and make it stretch as far as you can.
How to use the ham bone
One of my favorite parts of a big holiday ham or turkey is making a big pot of soup the next day. It feels so cozy and comforting especially on a cold winter day.
1. First, any extra ham that you can shave off can be used for ham sandwiches, potato and ham casserole, ham and egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches, frittata, etc.
2. Next, we are going to slow cook the bone in another dish. It may look like all of the meat has been picked off of the bone, but after slow cooking the bone in a soup, large stock pot, crock pot, etc, more meat will fall off of the bone that can be used in your dish. Let's make good use of all that goodness!
Favorite recipes to use a leftover ham bone
This is one of my personal favorite ways to use a ham bone. A pot of creamy white beans with cornbread makes me think of my grandma who always had beans on the stove when we came to visit.
2. Crockpot pinto beans There's nothing like a bowl of southern pinto beans made in the crockpot in the cold months. There are very few ingredients in this recipe, but there is still so much flavor thanks to a ham hock or leftover ham bone. Serve with cornbread.
Split peas are another economical food that tastes particularly delicious in a soup paired with smoky salty ham. It's again made in the slow cooker so it is incredibly easy, and tastes a million times better than the canned version you may have remembered as a kid.
This ham soup is hearty and cozy. It's loaded with carrots, onion, potatoes, corn, beans, and ham from the ham bone. Make some crusty bread to go alongside for a cheap but filling meal.
This recipe uses a ham hock, but it's fine to use a leftover ham bone instead. Southern style vegetables often use pork to add flavor, which I happen to love. You could even add baby potatoes the last 15-20 minutes to make it even more hearty.
Collard greens are another vegetable that taste great cooked with pork. These slow simmered collard greens are tender and full of flavor.
7. Red beans and rice with ham
We're getting spicy now! Follow the directions for slow cooker red beans and rice, but omit the sausage. Instead use the leftover ham bone. Simply place the ham bone in the slow cooker along with the other ingredients and when it is all finished cooking, shred the meat that comes off the bone and return it to the red beans and rice.
Potato soup is a delicious soup all on its own, but this recipe is specifically made with a leftover ham bone so it has that yummy ham flavored broth. It's creamy comfort food at its finest.
This one is such a veggie packed healthy meal that is great after an indulgent holiday. The best part is that it can be made on the stove, in a pressure cooker, or slow cooker. Easy and satisfying on a cold day.
10. Ham stock
You are basically just making ham broth the same way you make and use chicken broth or chicken stock. Simply cover your ham bone with about 3 quarts water. Add a couple of bay leaves and roughly chopped vegetables (2 carrots, 1 celery stalk, 1 onion). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer on low for 3 hours. Use this as the base of any flavorful soup.
11. Nana's epic navy bean soup navy beans, fresh thyme, onion, garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes make this soup extra flavorful.
More leftover ideas