Satisfy Your Cravings with Southern Style White Beans Recipe

Are you on the hunt for a hearty, comforting meal that is both easy to make and full of flavor? Look no further than my Southern Style White Beans recipe. This classic Southern dish is made with dried white beans, ham hocks or a ham bone for a rich, smoky flavor that will transport your taste buds to the heart of Dixie.

Not only are white beans a delicious and nutritious way to add protein to your diet, but they are also incredibly versatile. My recipe is perfect for those who want to experiment with different ways of cooking beans – whether it be in the slow cooker, instant pot, or on the stove.

As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I have developed this recipe over years of trial and error. The result is a dish that is easy to execute but doesn’t compromise on taste. All you need are some basic ingredients and a little bit of patience – and trust me, it will be worth the wait.

So get ready to settle in for some true comfort food – this Southern Style White Beans recipe will become a new staple in your household.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Style White Beans
Southern Style White Beans

Are you in search of a hearty, delicious, and easy-to-make southern-style meal? Look no further than this mouth-watering Southern Style White Beans recipe! I guarantee that you will love everything about this dish, from the combination of salty ham hocks or ham bone with creamy white beans to the aromatic onions and bell pepper.

When it comes to the ingredient selection, one of the highlights is definitely the dried white beans – often used in soups and stews, but in this recipe they form a delicious base for more robust flavors. You can even customize the recipe with your favorite type of bean, whether navy beans, butter beans or cannellini beans.

But what really sets this dish apart is the slow cooking process. After placing the beans in a pot with salt and pepper (and ham hock or ham bone), bring them to a boil before reducing heat and simmering them for hours until tender. By cooking the beans low and slow, all those yummy flavors of ham soup goodness develop within every spoonful.

This dish also offers plenty of flexibility – you can cook it in a slow cooker, crock pot or instant pot if you’re short on time. The beans make for a warm, comforting meal served over rice or as a standalone soup on chilly nights.

With so many varieties of white beans, varying spices that fit your taste buds and several preparation variations available for this recipe; there isn’t anything stopping you from customizing each subsequent meal. So what are you waiting for? Try out this Southern Style White Beans recipe for yourself and experience the best Southern style cuisine that will have your friends and family asking for more.

Ingredient List

 These creamy southern-style white beans are the ultimate comfort food!
These creamy southern-style white beans are the ultimate comfort food!

Before diving into the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this hearty and flavorful Southern Style White Beans dish.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pound of dried white beans (great northern or navy beans work well)
  • Ham hocks or a leftover ham bone
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil

Optional ingredients:

  • Dried cannellini beans (instead of navy or great northern beans)
  • Butter beans or kidney beans (for added creaminess)
  • A cup of cooked white rice (to serve with the beans)

With these simple ingredients in hand, you’re ready to create a delicious meal that will transport your taste-buds straight South.

The Recipe How-To

 A classic southern dish, these white beans are soft, buttery and savory.
A classic southern dish, these white beans are soft, buttery and savory.

Now that we have all of the ingredients ready, it’s time to get cooking! Follow these steps below to create the perfect southern-style white beans:

Step 1: Soak and Rinse

Start by soaking 1 pound of dried white beans in a pot or large bowl filled with cold water for at least 8 hours. Once soaked, thoroughly rinse the beans in cold water.

Step 2: Cook Ham Hocks or Ham Bone

Cook 2-3 ham hocks or a leftover ham bone in a separate large pot or dutch oven until tender.

Step 3: Prep Bell Pepper and Onion

In a skillet, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add in 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped bell pepper, and 1 tablespoon of **chopped black pepper. Sauté until tender.

Step 4: Combine Ingredients

Once the ham hocks are tender, remove them from the pot and add the soaked and rinsed white beans. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by at least an inch. Add in the sautéed onions, bell peppers, and black pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5: Cook!

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for at least 2 hours or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally during cooking so that they cook evenly.

Now your slow-simmered Southern Style White Beans are ready to be enjoyed! Serve them as a side dish or with cornbread for an authentic Southern meal.

Substitutions and Variations

 These creamy white beans will make you feel like you're sitting on a porch swing in the south.
These creamy white beans will make you feel like you’re sitting on a porch swing in the south.

As a chef, I know that cooking is all about reinventing recipes and letting your imagination run wild in the kitchen. In this section, I will share with you some substitutions and variations to the Southern Style White Beans recipe to make it even more enticing.

First of all, instead of ham hocks or ham bones, you can use ham bone broth, which will give the beans a deep and rich flavor.

If you don’t have dried white beans on hand or want to mix things up, try using navy beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, butter beans or cannellini beans. Each of these variations will add a distinct texture and flavor to the dish.

For those who prefer a more creamy texture to their beans, consider adding in some great northern beans or even a can of creamed corn.

Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy this dish by swapping out the ham for vegan alternatives such as smoked tofu or tempeh. To keep things healthy and light, substitute the meat for mushrooms or roasted root vegetables, like sweet potatoes or carrots.

Try adding in diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash for a sweet twist on this classic dish. Or include some chopped kale during the last 20 minutes of cooking time for an added boost of nutrition.

Finally, if you are feeling adventurous and looking to jazz up your white bean recipe even further, toss in some cooked rice or quinoa during the final stages of simmering. This will create a hearty one-pot meal that is packed with protein and fiber.

No matter how you choose to mix it up, these substitutions and variations are sure to bring your Southern Style White Beans recipe to new heights.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect dish for a cozy night in, you'll love how satisfying these white beans are.
The perfect dish for a cozy night in, you’ll love how satisfying these white beans are.

The flavors of this Southern Style White Bean dish stand proudly on their own, but there are certain pairings that have the power to elevate this dish to new heights.

I suggest a nice slice of cornbread to go with it, which would absorb the savory broth and complement the creamy texture of the beans. A side salad consisting of fresh greens with a tangy vinaigrette will add some crunch and color to your plate, making for a perfect balance.

If you’re looking for something more filling, you can serve these white beans over rice or mashed potatoes. The starches will soak up all the delicious juice and make each bite more satisfying.

This Southern Style White Beans recipe also pairs well with smoked meats like grilled chicken or roasted pork tenderloin. Their earthy and smoky notes harmonize perfectly with the bold flavors of ham hocks and ham bones.

As for drinks, I would suggest serving this hearty meal with something slightly tart to cut through the richness of the beans. A glass of cold lemonade or iced tea would be ideal. Alternatively, an effervescent beer like pale ale or IPA would also work.

Finally, don’t forget that this dish is incredibly versatile; as such, it can be paired with many other colors, flavors & even textures. All you have to do is get creative!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The ultimate side dish for any southern-inspired meal, these white beans are easy to make and delicious.
The ultimate side dish for any southern-inspired meal, these white beans are easy to make and delicious.

Like a great book, this Southern Style White Beans recipe gets better with time. The beans take on more flavor as they sit, so don’t be afraid to make a big batch for later.

Make-Ahead: If you’re planning to make Southern Style White Beans for a weeknight dinner or a weekend gathering, I’d recommend getting a head start by soaking the beans overnight. Once you’ve got your soaked beans ready to go, it’s easy to prepare the dish ahead of time. If you’re using a slow cooker, simply combine all of the ingredients and let them cook on low for 8 hours. If you’re using an Instant Pot, set it on manual high pressure for 30 minutes.

Storing: These creamy white beans will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days if stored in an airtight container. To reheat them, simply microwave or place them in a pot on the stove over low heat until warmed through.

Reheating: If you have leftovers and want to reheat them, there are a couple of ways to do so. The easiest method is to microwave them in a covered container, stirring every once in a while until they are piping hot. You can also reheat them on the stovetop over low heat. Just be sure to add a bit of liquid (water or broth) so they don’t dry out.

Overall, these beans are extremely versatile and work great as leftovers. They can be served as a hearty side dish on their own or paired with other dishes like rice or cornbread for a full meal experience.

Tips for Perfect Results

 These white beans are packed with flavor from aromatic herbs and spices.
These white beans are packed with flavor from aromatic herbs and spices.

When it comes to making southern-style white beans, there are a few tips and tricks that can ensure perfect results. From selecting the right beans to ensuring they are tender and flavorful, these tips will help you create a comforting and delicious dish every time.

The first tip for perfect results is to choose the right type of bean. While navy beans are often used in northern-style bean dishes, dried white beans like Great Northern or Cannellini beans work best for southern-style white beans. These types of beans have a creamy texture when cooked and hold up well in soups and stews.

When cooking the beans, be sure to soak them overnight before beginning the recipe. This will help soften the beans and reduce overall cooking time. If you’re using a slow cooker or crock pot, you can skip this step, but be prepared for longer cooking times.

Adding ham hocks or a ham bone to your dish will add depth and richness to the flavor profile. If you don’t have any on hand, try using diced ham instead for a similar flavor.

While salt and pepper are essential ingredients in any recipe, it’s important not to overdo it when seasoning your southern-style white beans. Start with a small amount of salt and black pepper, then adjust to taste as needed.

To ensure the beans are tender and fully cooked, cover them with water or broth during the cooking process. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for about four hours or until the beans are tender. Be sure to check on them occasionally while cooking and add more liquid if needed.

Finally, garnish your dish with chopped onion, bell pepper, or fresh herbs like parsley or thyme. These ingredients not only add flavor but also provide a pleasing texture contrast to the creamy white beans.

By following these tips and tricks, you can make great southern-style white beans that are hearty and full of flavor. Perfect for cold winter nights, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser that will quickly become a staple in your meal rotation.


Now that you know how to make the best southern-style white beans, it’s important to address any concerns that might come up as you prepare this dish. In this section, I’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the ingredients, cooking methods, and variations to give you an idea of what entails this recipe. Knowing the answers to these questions will help ensure that your white beans turn out just perfect!

What are white beans in the South?

Baby Lima beans, also known as butterbeans, have a smooth and creamy texture with a buttery taste. They are among the starchiest of beans and are commonly found in soups, stews, succotash, casseroles, or seasoned simply with spices and herbs. Down in the southern regions of the United States, they are often simmered with ham or bacon and enjoyed with a serving of rice.

What to pair with white beans?

When it comes to white beans, their mild flavor and creamy texture make them an ideal match for earthy herbs such as rosemary and sage. For a heartier meal, pair these beans with rich meats like beef and lamb, or add an umami kick with some grated parmesan cheese.

What is the difference between great northern beans and white beans?

According to Vince Hayward, who holds the position of president at Camellia Brand beans, the main contrast between the northern and cannellini beans can be attributed to the cannellini’s robust and hearty nature. The cannellini appears to have a thicker skin and a more intense bean flavor, making it a more suitable option for dishes like soups and stews.

What is the difference between white beans and cannellini beans?

Cannellini beans are large white varieties of beans that have a smooth, silky flesh and a thin skin. They are a great choice for dishes where you want the bean to keep its traditional kidney shape, such as salads or other recipes where the beans remain whole.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you want to enjoy a hearty and satisfying meal, then you need to try my Southern Style White Beans Recipe. This dish is perfect for any occasion – whether it’s a cozy night in or a big family gathering. With its creamy texture and savory flavors, it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

The reason why my recipe is so exceptional is that I use only the finest ingredients, like dried white beans, ham hocks, and black pepper. You won’t find any shortcuts or substitutes in this recipe – just pure, authentic southern style flavor.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients, allow enough time for cooking and follow my instructions for the best southern-style white beans you’ve ever tasted.

Trust me, once you have enjoyed the first bite of these delectable white beans; you will be craving some more!

Southern Style White Beans

Southern Style White Beans Recipe

Down here in Alabama, Southern Style White Beans would be a main dish, usually served with turnip greens and a large chunk of cornbread. However, it makes a delicious side as well. Many love to top a bowl of these beans with corn relish, tobasco sauce, or clear pepper sauce. Even better the next day!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 336.3 kcal


  • 4 cups dried white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ham hocks or 1 ham bone, with some ham still remaining
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • black pepper or red pepper


  • Place beans in a large pot. Fill water to four inches over the beans.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat on top of stove.
  • Add ham hock or bone, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce and simmer covered for three hours or until beans are soft.
  • Add water as needed to keep beans covered.
  • I have always eaten these beans cooked extra-soft but you may keep them a little firmer!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 102gCalories: 336.3kcalCarbohydrates: 60.9gProtein: 23.6gFat: 0.9gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 597.5mgFiber: 15.3gSugar: 2.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans
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