13 Mouthwatering and Amazing Dishes to Serve with Ham and Beans

Ham and beans are a classic comfort food that most people would love to prepare and serve at home. It’s a classic dish that’s perfect for cold weather or whenever you need a filling meal.

Ham and beans are easy to make, filling, and satisfying, making it a staple dish in many households. 

As much as it is satisfying on its own, you can elevate your ham and beans to the next level by pairing them with delicious, flavorful side dishes. But what to serve with ham and beans?

This blog post will share with you some quick and amazing dishes to serve with your ham and beans that will leave you and your guests feeling satisfied.

What is ham and beans? What does ham and beans taste like?

Ham and beans are a traditional dish composed of cooked white beans simmered with ham. The resulting flavor is savory yet slightly sweet, thanks to the presence of the ham. 

Ham and Beans

The broth absorbs all the flavors from the meat and aromatics while also imparting a subtle smokiness that further enhances this delicious meal. 

To complete it, add some freshly chopped herbs like parsley or chives for an even tastier experience.

Best Sides to serve with ham and beans

1. Cornbread Muffins

Sweet and savory cornbread muffins are a classic combination of ham and beans, bringing out the flavors in both dishes. 

Cornbread Muffins

The sweetness of the cornbread helps balance out the savory flavors of the ham and beans. You can butter the muffins or dip them in the sauce from your ham and beans.

2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts are easy to make and add a crispy and earthy flavor to your meal. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The crispy texture of the Brussels sprouts made with the caramelized natural sugars compliments the soft texture of the beans, while the balsamic adds some tang!

3. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a crunchy and refreshing addition to a rich and heavy dish like ham and beans.


The creaminess of the coleslaw helps balance out the saltiness of the ham and beans, and the slight tang from the vinegar enhances the flavors.

4. Corn on the Cob

Steamed or grilled corn on the cob is a classic summer side dish that pairs perfectly with ham and beans. 

The sweetness of the corn compliments the savory flavors in the ham and beans, making for a delicious and hearty meal.

5. Mashed Potatoes

A classic side dish like mashed potatoes is an easy and perfect pairing with your ham and beans. 

Mashed Potatoes 

The creamy mashed potatoes have a neutral flavor, which makes them a perfect accompaniment to the complex flavors of your ham and beans.

Discover More: 15 Creative and Delicious Ways to Serve Mashed Potatoes in a Vegetarian Meal

6. Green beans Almandine

Add a crunch to your meal with green beans and almandine. 

The recipe can be made quickly and served hot or cold, and the added saltiness from the almonds brings out deeper flavors in your ham and beans.

7. Mac and Cheese

Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Mac and cheese could work with almost anything on the table, and ham and beans are no exception. 

Mac and Cheese

Creamy mac and cheese are a perfect addition to the saltiness of ham and beans and add a rich and creamy flavor.

8. Biscuits

Warm and buttery biscuits are an excellent pairing with ham and beans

Homemade biscuits are tender, flaky, and have a slightly salty flavor that perfectly complements the salty flavors found in ham and beans.

9. Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables like zucchini, squash, and asparagus complement the soft and creamy texture of beans and ham. 

Grilled Vegetables

They are a healthy addition to your meal, adding vital nutrients to your diet while keeping the meal deliciously indulgent.

10. Bacon-wrapped Pineapple

The bacon-wrapped Pineapple dish is the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors

The crispy, salty bacon compliments the sweet and tangy flavor of the pineapple, making it a delightful complement to your ham and beans.

11. Collard Greens

Collard greens are a traditional southern dish that’s perfect with ham and beans. 

Collard greens

The bitterness of the greens adds a nice contrast to the sweetness of the beans and ham.

12. Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is an ideal classic side dish that accompanies well with just about any meal.

Garlic Bread

The garlicky flavor of the bread is perfect for cutting through the richness of the ham and beans.

13. Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole is an ideal sweet and savory dish that’s perfect for pairing with ham and beans. 

The sweetness of the sweet potatoes adds an excellent contrast to the smoky flavor of the ham and beans.

Learn More: 15 Quick and Amazing Side Dishes to Serve with Casserole

Main course to eat with ham and beans

A great main course to enjoy with ham and beans is a classic Southern-style ham and bean bake. 

This dish can be prepared in the cookstove or on the stovetop and consists of diced ham, cooked navy beans, garlic, onion, tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, thyme leaves, bay leaves, and pepper. 

The ingredients are perfectly combined in a casserole dish and then baked until the vegetables are tender and the juices from the ham have been absorbed by the beans. 

Serve this comforting dish with a side salad or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.

Appetizers to serve with ham and beans

Ham and beans are a classic combination that can provide a comforting and hearty meal. 

To make this meal even more special, try adding one of these delicious appetizers to your dinner table:

1. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is a creamy dip that combines roasted red peppers with chickpeas for an irresistible blend of flavors. (Recipe)

Serve it with whole-grain pita slices for a healthy snack that’s sure to please.

2. Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Make this simple yet elegant appetizer by wrapping dates in bacon and roasting them in the oven until crispy. 

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

The salty bacon accompanies perfectly with the sweetness of the dates, making it an irresistible treat.

Try More: 22 Dishes That Go Perfectly with Bacon-Wrapped Dates

3. Fried Cheese Sticks

Kids and adults alike will love these crunchy cheese sticks served with warm marinara sauce on the side for dipping. 

You can skillfully customize this recipe by using different types of cheese or herbs for extra flavor.

4. Baked Artichoke Dip

Baked Artichoke Dip is a warm artichoke dip loaded with high-quality cheeses, seasonings, and herbs for a rich and creamy texture that’s sure to please any crowd. 

Baked Artichoke Dip

Serve it straight from the oven with fresh-cut vegetables or crackers for scooping up every last bit!

5. Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon

Add some elegance to your appetizer course by pairing sweet melon slices with salty prosciutto and serving them together as finger food. 

These bite-sized morsels are perfect for popping into your mouth in between bites of ham and beans!

6. Warm Spinach Salad

Warm Spinach is a salad that combines fresh spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion in a tangy sherry vinaigrette dressing for a light yet satisfying start to any meal featuring ham and beans as its centerpiece dish.

7. Grilled Shrimp Skewers

For a more unique spin on shrimp cocktail, skewer the shrimp before grilling them to perfection over medium heat until they turn pink and juicy with just a hint of smoky charring on the outside edges. 

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Serve them alongside tangy mustard dipping sauce or your favorite steak sauce for an unforgettable taste sensation!

What else is served with ham and beans

Drinks to pair with ham and beans

1. Citrus- and Herb-Infused Water

It is a light, refreshing drink that pairs perfectly with the complex flavors of ham and beans. 

The citrus notes bring out the sweetness in the beans, while herbs like rosemary or thyme complement the saltiness of the ham. 

Add some mint leaves for a hint of cooling freshness.

2. White Wine

A dry white wine is an ideal companion to ham and beans – its acidity will cut through the richness of the dish while highlighting its subtle textures. 

white wine

An unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio would work well.

3. Beer

Choose a beer that is bright in flavor but not overly hoppy or malty for a good contrast to the salty and savory elements of this dish. 

Blonde ales or Pilsners are a great option; they’re light on the palette yet have enough body to stand up to hearty flavors without overwhelming them.

Find Out More: Best Food to Pair with Beer| The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Pairing

4. Apple Cider

Sweet apple cider complements both sweet and savory dishes nicely, making it an ideal beverage to pair with ham and beans. 

For added complexity, opt for a hard cider instead; these varieties tend to be slightly more tart than their non-alcoholic counterparts, creating a balance between sweet and savory flavors in your meal.

5. Sparkling Water with Fresh Fruit Juice

For a festive, non-alcoholic option, try combining sparkling water with your favorite fresh fruit juice (like orange or pineapple). 

This bubbly beverage pairs wonderfully with smoky and salty dishes like ham and beans, as it provides just enough sweetness to offset their strong flavors without overpowering them completely.

6. Hot Tea

A hot cup of tea is always welcome after a hearty meal like this one – its earthy notes provide an interesting contrast to the distinct umami flavor of ham and beans while providing plenty of warmth on even the chilliest winter days! 

Hot Tea

Try going for an herbal blend that features floral hints like lavender or chamomile – they’ll bring out even more deliciousness from your meal’s various elements!

7. Mulled Wine

Rich red wines make delicious additions to winter meals – especially when you add some warming spices into the mix! 

Mulled wine has become very popular over recent years due to its comforting flavor profile; 

Try simmering cloves, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, allspice berries, cardamom pods, star anise pods, ginger root slices, honey/sugar/honey syrup (optional), brandy (optional), in your favorite red wine before serving it alongside your plateful of beans and ham for extra indulgence!

Desserts to go with ham and beans

1. Apple Pie

Apple Pie is an ideal classic American dessert that is a perfect complement to a hearty ham and beans meal. 

Apple pie

The sweet and tart flavor of the apples goes nicely with the smokiness of the ham, while the flaky pastry crust adds an irresistible crunch. 

Apple pie is also a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber, helping to round out a balanced dinner.

2. Strawberry Shortcake

Another classic comfort food, strawberry shortcake, is a delicious accompaniment to ham and beans. 

The smooth creaminess of the cake works wonderfully with the sweetness of the strawberries, while the lightness of the cake helps balance out the heavier meal. 

Strawberries are fully packed with antioxidants and vitamin C for an extra nutritional bonus.

3. Rice Pudding

A creamy bowl of rice pudding is a comforting way to end any dinner, especially one featuring ham and beans. 

Rice Pudding

With its subtle sweetness, this dessert can be dressed up or down depending on what toppings you choose—try adding raisins or chopped nuts for some extra texture and flavor! 

Plus, rice pudding provides essential minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and more.

4. Banana Cream Pie

Rich in banana flavor without being overly sweet, this creamy treat is perfect for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth without going overboard after dinner. (Recipe)

The soft cookie crust provides just enough crunch to bring texture into play against the smooth filling inside—and bananas are full of beneficial nutrients like potassium and vitamin B6!

5. Cobbler

For those wanting something warm after dinner but not something too heavy or overly rich in flavor, Cobbler is an excellent choice for ham and beans meals! 

Fruit Cobbler

It typically features seasonal fruits like peaches or apples so you can enjoy whatever happens to be in season at the time—Plus, it often includes less sugar than most other desserts, so it’s healthier, too!

What are the best flavors to go with ham and beans?

When pairing ham and beans, there are many creative options that can enhance the flavors. 

One of the tastiest combinations is smoky bacon with white beans such as navy or great northern beans. 

The salty bacon adds a depth of flavor to the creamy white beans. Another delicious option includes adding a savory twist with spicy chorizo sausage. 

This robust sausage pairs well with pinto beans for a hearty combination. For vegetarians, replace the meat with mushrooms for an equally satisfying experience. 

To further enhance the flavor, add aromatics such as chopped onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to create a flavorful base. 

Lastly, incorporating herbs like thyme and bay leaves gives layers of aroma and freshness to this classic dish. 

With these ingredients at your disposal, you can create some delectable dishes that everyone will enjoy!

Discover More: 39 Delicious Side Dishes to Complement Ham and Bean Soup

How do you jazz up ham and beans?

To jazz up ham and beans, try adding a variety of vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, green peppers, or garlic. 

You can also incorporate herbs and spices like thyme, oregano, paprika, or cumin for extra flavor. 

Finally, stir in some Worcestershire sauce or crushed red pepper flakes to give your dish an added kick! Enjoy!

ham and beans

How do you display ham and beans on a platter?

To display hay and beans on a platter, start by arranging the hay in a circular pattern around the edges of the platter. 

Place larger pieces in the center and smaller pieces around the perimeter. Layer evenly with the beans, filling all gaps between the hay. 

The beans will add a subtle color contrast to the arrangement while highlighting the delicate nature of the hay. 

For added visual interest, consider adding some edible flowers or other herbs as garnish. 

To complete your presentation, lightly sprinkle some extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt over the top for added flavor and texture.

Tips on How to Choose the Most Suitable side dishes for ham and beans

1. Consider the type of beans you are using – different types of beans will pair better with certain side dishes

2. Think about what flavors work best together – for example, ham and beans might go well with a sweet potato casserole or a creamy macaroni and cheese

3. Choose sides that are easy to prepare – this can save time when preparing your meal

4. Balance out your plate by adding some vegetables as a side dish – steamed broccoli or roasted Brussels sprouts would be great options

5. Get creative! Try something new like roasted cauliflower, sautéed mushrooms, or even mashed potatoes as an alternative to traditional sides

6. Don’t forget the bread! Cornbread, biscuits, rolls, or dinner rolls all make excellent accompaniments to any ham and bean dish

7. Finish off the meal with a light dessert such as fruit salad or angel food cake for a sweet ending.

8. Enjoy your homemade ham and bean dinner! With the right side dishes, it can be a delicious and nutritious meal for the whole family.

Wrap Up on what to serve with ham and beans

In conclusion, there are many side dishes that pair well with ham and beans. From cornbread to roasted vegetables, there’s something for everyone. 

These quick and amazing dishes are perfect for complementing the flavor of the beans and ham. 

Whether you’re looking for a refreshing side dish or a comforting one, these dishes are sure to satisfy. 

So, next time you’re making ham and beans, try pairing it with one of these delicious side dishes!


How much ham and beans per person?

Assuming that everyone will have an equal share, there will be one cup of ham and beans per person. 

Ham and beans can provide a good source of lean protein as well as fiber, which is important for digestion and heart health. 

Additionally, the various vitamins and minerals found in both ham and beans make them beneficial additions to any meal.

What to serve with soup besides bread

Aside from bread, soup can be served with crackers, toast, croutons, grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, and various types of pasta. 

Crackers offer a crunchy contrast to the soft texture of soup, while toast adds another layer of flavor. 

Grilled cheese sandwiches give a savory boost to any broth-based soup. Salads such as Caesar or Greek add freshness and are a great way to pack in more vegetables. 

Pasta comes in many shapes and sizes – anything from egg noodles to macaroni can be added to soups for extra substance. 

For those looking to get creative, one could even consider serving tortilla chips on the side for an extra twist.

What is the best vegetable to serve with ham?

One of the best vegetables to serve with ham is roasted Brussels sprouts. 

This delightful green veggie is not only full of flavor, but it’s also packed with nutrition and fiber. 

Roasting Brussels sprouts brings out their innate sweetness and complements the savory flavor of ham. Together, they make a perfect pairing that will delight any palate. 

For a one-of-a-kind experience, try topping the roasted Brussels sprouts with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to add a salty crunch.
To round out your plate, consider serving mashed potatoes or creamy polenta on the side.

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