Never wonder what to serve with ham and bean soup again. I’ve got you covered with over 20 side dishes! From roasted veggies, to scalloped potatoes, to applesauce…there’s a recipe for everyone here.
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You’ve made up a delicious batch of ham and bean soup. It has all the fixings, all the flavors, and the smell is wafting throughout the house.
All of a sudden, you realize you need a side dish. You don’t have all day to prepare something…what should you make?
What Goes Well With Ham and Bean Soup?
Thankfully, there are plenty of side dishes that pair well with ham and bean soup. And some are SUPER quick and easy to make!
Think things like breads, biscuits, veggies, potato dishes, etc.
Some of these recipes take more prep work, while some whip up in a jiffy.
The point of this article is to be an inspiration. While I’ve provided many recipe links (and a few full recipes), there are also just plain old ideas you can use!
Also, feel free to get creative. For example, you can always choose one of the veggies recommended and add in spices that are in your ham and bean soup recipe to make them tie together!
Best Ham & Bean Soup Side Dishes – the List!
Here are 18 of the most delicious things you can serve alongside ham and bean soup at the dinner table.
One very common side with ham and bean soup is cornbread! You can make either northern or southern style cornbread—whichever you prefer!
Keep in mind that northern style is sweet, and southern style usually isn’t. I personally think the sweet corn bread goes great with ham and bean soup. But I’ve seen people use both as a side dish.
You can also make green chili cornbread—the flavors will go so well with the soup!
Dinner rolls are another great option to go with ham and bean soup. Think fluffy, yeasty rolls slathered in butter. Mmm!
My favorite recipe for dinner rolls is this one by the Stay at Home Chef. It uses instant yeast and a quick rise time, so you can have the rolls on the dinner table without any extra fuss!
Other roll recipes to try:
- Air Fryer Pull Apart Rolls (pictured above)
- Garlic Knots by I Heart Eating (I love these!)
- Extra soft dinner rolls by Sally’s Baking Addiction
3. Scalloped Potatoes or Au Gratin Potatoes
Who doesn’t like a good scalloped potato dish? The heartiness of ham and bean soup pairs wonderfully with potato dishes.
Personally, I’ll opt for the latter. 😉
4. Simple Arugala Salad
Erin from Platings & Pairings says she serves her ham and bean soup with a simple arugala salad. I think this is a great idea!
You can also do a simple green salad with whatever leafy greens you have in the fridge.
Whichever option you choose, a salad is an awesome choice of a side dish because it is lighter and fresher than the soup.
5. Corn on the Cob
Here’s another side to try: corn on the cob! You can make it using your desired method, but here’s what I love to do:
- Cut each corn crosswise once
- Toss corn with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Put the corn on a baking sheet and roast at 500 degrees for 20 minutes or until the corn kernels are plump and tender
- Combine spices or herbs with softened butter and brush on the corn when done
The butter mixture at the end is optional, but it makes this corn divine! You can use whatever spices that your ham and bean soup calls for to make it more cohesive.
Personally, I love doing smoked paprika or old bay seasoning with the butter. Yum!
6. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Another veggie to serve on the side is sweet potatoes! You can actually prepare the sweet potatoes a variety of ways.
I love chopping them up and roasting them on a sheet pan with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper until tender. Again, you can also add the spices or herbs that the soup calls for.
However, you can also make mashed sweet potatoes or even sweet potato fries!
I’ve also seen people recommend sweet potato casserole (with added sweetness and marshmallows). This is one idea I don’t think I would care for—but if you like it, go for it!
8. Green Beans or Asparagus
And the vegetable options go on! There are really quite a few veggies that go well with ham and bean soup.
You can easily blanch a batch of fresh green beans for a light side. Or, go all in and make green bean casserole.
Asparagus is yet another good one. While some people don’t like asparagus, there are ways you can make it oh so tasty! Like by adding garlic, parmesan, and lemon in this recipe.
Back to more carbs…buttery, flaky biscuits are another delicious side!
You can choose to make a simple drop biscuit if you are low on time. OR, you can go for the real deal—flaky, buttermilk biscuits loaded with butter.
Not the healthiest option, but oh so good. Check out this recipe from Crave the Good (pictured above). It only calls for 5 ingredients, but they are maximized well to make a super flaky texture!
9. Garlic Bread
While you can go simple on flavor and do a bread like rolls or biscuits…
Why not try garlic bread? Pair some fresh garlic you have laying around (and maybe some herbs that are about to go bad in the fridge) with a loaf of bread, and you have a wonderful side dish.
I recommend the following recipe from Diane Morrisey on Instagram. It looks SO GOOD! The best part is, it is a pull-apart garlic bread. The whole family will love it!
More Side Dish Recipes:
- What to Serve with Quiche
- Sides for Chicken Alfredo
- Best Side Dishes for Pot Roast
- Meatball Sub Side Dishes
Coleslaw is another side dish that works well because the crunchy texture contrasts well with creamy soup.
You’ll still get vegetables in, without having to go with a standard green salad.
If you love coleslaw, then check out this recipe with 5 stars from Inspired Taste.
A sweet side dish is also an option with ham and bean soup. You don’t want to go TOO sweet, but applesauce is a good in-between.
Buy some fresh apples from the grocery store and make a homemade batch for optimal flavor and texture.
Apples and pork are a classic food pairing, so you really can’t go wrong serving this!
12. French Fries
Who doesn’t love ham and potatoes? Classic french fries are a nice crispy addition to a meal with soup.
You can make your own from scratch with russet potatoes. Oven baked fries are healthier, but not as crispy as deep fried.
If you want to try deep fried, but don’t have a frier, you can use a dutch oven with netural oil!
13. Bacon Rice
This might sound unusual, but hang in there with me. Rice is good as a side dish for soup, and adding bacon makes it an awesome addition to ham and bean soup specifically—2 types of pork used at the same time.
Here is my recipe for Bacon Rice—trust me, it is delicious!
- 1.5 cups brown rice
- 2 1/3 cups water or chicken broth
- 5-6 slices bacon
- 1 small yellow onion
- Salt and pepper
- Mix together rice and water in a square baking pan.
- Fry up the bacon slices until crisp. When cool, crumble it.
- Dice 1 small yellow onion (or half large onion). Cook the onions in the hot bacon fat until softened.
- Add the onion and bacon to the rice and water.
- Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven at 375 degrees for an hour, or until the rice is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
14. Parmesan Rice
If you don’t have any bacon on hand, you can use the same method as shown above to cook brown rice but without the bacon. Make sure to still use the onion, and chicken broth for the liquid. Then, stir in parmesan after the rice is done. Delish!
Alternatively, you can simply make brown or white rice according to the package and sprinkle on parmesan afterward. This is a great ultra-simple option.
15. Creamed Spinach
I’ve never actually tried creamed spinach (not a big cooked spinach fan) but I hear it goes amazingly well with ham and bean soup!
This recipe by Crayons and Cravings uses onion, garlic, and several types of cheeses for a delicious result.
I might even have to try it! 😉
16. Grilled Cheese
If you don’t want any fancy sides, grilled cheese is a great way to go. Most everyone has cheese and bread already in the pantry, right?
One great way to make grilled cheese is by using sourdough bread. It gives the sandwich such a great flavor!
17. Collard Greens
Collard greens also work great—especially southern style collards!
You’ll start with some bacon, onions, and jalapenos. Then add garlic, ham, chicken stock, and more spices and sauces for flavor.
The greens go in last, before simmering the whole dish for a few hours!
Try out this recipe from Chili Pepper Madness for a delicious batch of your own. The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily use the same ham that you used for the soup!
18. Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
There’s one last vegetable that goes great with bacon…brussel sprouts! Nothing compares to a good batch of brussel sprouts and crumbled bacon.
This healthy veggie dish makes a great addition to ham soup. You’ll be all loaded up on vitamins and nutrients!
My favorite way to make brussel sprouts is to roast them on a sheet pan with olive oil, then add crispy bacon afterward.
Ham and bean soup is delicious, but you can make it an even better meal by adding a yummy side dish! Whether you choose cornbread, rice, veggies, or something else, you’re sure to have a great meal that the whole family will love. And once you’re done with this one, here are some other soups to try: