Guide for Pressure Canning Ham and Bean Soup

Bowl of ham and bean soup
Pressure canning ham and bean soup begins by cooking the soup. Once the soup is ready, carefully ladle it into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Process the jars in a pressure canner for 75-90 minutes, adjusting the pressure per your altitude.

What Is The Best Canning Method For Canning Ham And Bean Soup?

The best canning method for canning ham and bean soup is pressure canning. This method ensures the soup is safely preserved by using high heat and pressure to eliminate bacteria and create a shelf-stable product.

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Bowl of chunky ham and bean soup

Ham & Bean Soup Canning Recipe

  • Author: Adam


Whether you have a ham bone, ham hocks, or leftover ham from Easter, these humble ingredients can transform a ham and bean soup recipe. If you want homemade ham and bean soup on hand throughout the year, this recipe is perfect and can be made with the ingredients you have in your pantry!


  • 1 pound dried beans (white beans, Navy beans, or great Northern beans)
  • 1½ quarts water or chicken broth, if desired
  • 3 cloves garlic, equivalent to 1½ tablespoons crushed
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 5 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 6 ounces carrots, sliced
  • ½ pound fully cooked ham diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 68 peppercorns or ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste, plus more salt for canning
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped


  1. To begin, soak beans overnight if necessary, or use the quick-soak method, allowing them to soften and become tender.
  2. Rinse the beans thoroughly and place them in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cover them with 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for an additional 2 minutes. If you don’t mind the extra cooking time, you can use a stock pot, instant pot, or pressure cooker.
  4. Remove the soup pot from the heat, cover it, and let the beans sit for one hour. Drain the beans.
  5. Sauté the onions and garlic.
  6. Return the beans to the soup pot and add 1½ quarts of fresh water or chicken broth. Also, add the ham pieces, chopped parsley, minced garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
  7. Simmer the soup on the stovetop, covered, for 45 minutes.
  8. Add the carrots, celery, and onions, and cook for an extra 15 minutes until it thickens.
  9. If you’re not canning the soup, add salt as desired and serve it hot.
  10. If you’re canning the ham soup, prepare the canning jars and lids following general canning guidelines.
  11. Add 3 quarts of water to a pressure canner and bring to a simmer.
  12. Fill the sanitized canning jars two-thirds full with ham and veggie pieces using a slotted spoon and canning funnel.
  13. Ladle the hot canning liquid into the jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  14. Remove any air bubbles by running a soft kitchen utensil like a spatula around the inside of the jar.
  15. Wipe the jar rims clean with a damp paper towel.
  16. Place the lids and screw bands on the jars, tightening them to fingertip tightness.
  17. Put the covered and sealed jars into the pressure canner, setting them on the canning rack inside using canning tongs.
  18. Cover the pressure canner and vent the steam for 10 minutes before placing the weight on and building pressure to the recommended level per canner type and altitude:

Dial Gauge Pressure Canners:

  • 0-4,000 ft: 11 lbs
  • 4,001-6,000 ft: 12 lbs
  • 6,001-8,000 ft: 13 lbs
  • 8,001-10,000 ft: 14 lbs

Weighted Gauge Pressure Canners:

  • 0 – 2,000ft: 10 lbs
  • 2,001ft and up: 15 lbs

Post Processing

  1. Process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes.
  2. After the processing time, remove the canner from the heat, allowing the pressure to drop completely. Carefully open the lid and use canning tongs to remove the hot jars. Let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
  3. Check that all the jars have been sealed properly, remove the screw band rings, wipe the jars clean, label them, and store them in a pantry away from direct sunlight.


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 495kcal
  • Sugar: 4.1g
  • Sodium: 971mg
  • Fat: 7.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 71g
  • Fiber: 18g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Cholesterol: 43mg

Is Canning Soup With Meat In It Safe?

Canning soup with meat can be safe with proper processing. The critical factor is ensuring that the soup reaches and maintains a high enough temperature during the canning process to kill any harmful bacteria, such as botulism.

This is typically achieved through pressure canning, which increases temperatures more than water bath canning. It is important to follow approved canning recipes and guidelines, including processing times and pressure levels specific to the type of meat and ingredients used.

Additionally, proper sterilization of jars and lids, as well as adequate acidity or pH levels, play a role in ensuring the safety of canned soups with meat.

Canned vegetable and beef soup
Canned soup with meat

Can Ham And Bean Soup Be Water Bath Canned?

Ham and bean soup cannot be safely water bath canned due to the nature of the ingredients. Ham and bean soup is considered a low-acid food, and to ensure its safety, it must be pressure canned.

Hot Pack Vs. Raw Pack For Canning Ham And Bean Soup

When canning ham and bean soup, the hot pack method is considered better than the raw pack method. The hot pack method involves fully cooking the soup before canning it. In contrast, the raw pack method involves packing raw ingredients into jars and allowing them to cook during the canning process.

The hot pack method is preferred because it offers several advantages:

  1. Pre-cooking the soup allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more flavorful end product.
  2. It helps to remove excess air from the ingredients, ensuring better heat penetration during the canning process.
  3. The hot pack method reduces the risk of potential spoilage or uneven cooking that can occur with a raw pack.
Woman adding raw pork to a soup mixture
Cooking soup for hot-packing

How To Store Canned Ham And Bean Soup

To store home-canned ham and bean soup properly, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the jars have cooled completely before storing them.
  2. Check the seal on each jar to ensure the lids don’t flex up and down.
  3. Remove the metal screw bands.
  4. Label each jar with the canning date for easy tracking, and use the oldest jars first to maintain freshness.
  5. Store the jars somewhere cool, dry, and dark, such as a cellar or pantry, away from direct sunlight and excessive heat.

What Is The Shelf Life For Canned Ham And Bean Soup?

The shelf life of home canned soup can vary but typically has a shelf life of 1 to 2 years. During this time, the soup should maintain its quality and flavor.

However, it’s essential to note that the best-used-by date can depend on various factors, such as the specific recipe, processing method, storage conditions, and the quality of the ingredients used. To ensure the best taste and safety, it is recommended to adhere to the “best used by” date indicated on the jar or the specific guidelines provided by a trusted canning resource.

Can Leftover Bean Soup Be Canned?

Leftover bean soup can be canned, provided you have stored it properly and it is still within a safe timeframe for consumption. Before canning, ensure that the soup has been refrigerated promptly after cooking and hasn’t been sitting out at room temperature for too long.

It’s important to follow standard canning guidelines, including proper sterilization of jars, lids, and utensils, as well as using appropriate processing times and methods. Remember to assess the quality of the soup before canning, discarding any spoiled or questionable portions to ensure the safety and freshness of the final product.

Is It Safe To Can Ham Broth?

It is safe to can ham broth if proper precautions are followed. Ham broth is a low-acid food, so it must be pressure canned to eliminate any potential bacteria, such as botulism.

Ensure that the broth is properly prepared, strained, and free from any impurities. Follow approved canning recipes and guidelines, including proper processing times and pressure levels specific to broth, to ensure the safety and quality of the canned ham broth.


Adam was fascinated from an early age by his father's car and his mum's kitchen. His love of home food preparation stems from her. From baking to roasting and freezing to canning, he has always followed the lessons she taught him all those years ago.

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