8 Ways to Use Up a Leftover Ham Bone

updated Mar 19, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

If you’re buying a big bone-in ham for the holidays this year, consider this your friendly reminder that you’ll be left with a tasty ingredient after all the meat’s been picked off: The ham bone. So, whatever you do, don’t toss it in the compost bin or trash. Ham bones are packed with so much rich, smoky flavor. Don’t have time to put the ham bone to use right away? No problem, just freeze the bone, as you would any other meat bones and food scraps.

We’ve been asked a few times over the years for ideas on how to use up a leftover ham bone. From soups and stews to smoky greens and more, here are 8 ham bone recipes to try.

1 / 8
Split Pea Soup
The ham bone will impart a smoky aroma that's a natural fit with this hearty soup.
Go to Recipe
2 / 8
Slow Cooker Ham Bone Soup
This slow-cooked soup ekes out every last bit of flavor from the leftover ham bone.
Go to Recipe
3 / 8
Ham Bone, Greens, and Bean Soup
If you've got some leftover ham, you won't regret tossing that in as well.
Go to Recipe
4 / 8
Slow Cooker Collard Greens
While the recipe calls for a few convenient strips of bacon, swapping in a ham bone is a very welcome alternative.
Go to Recipe
5 / 8
Easy Slow Cooker Bean Soup
A ham bone lends a ton of rich flavor to this hearty soup, so you can skip the broth and use water instead.
Go to Recipe
6 / 8
Mrs. Garcia's Black Bean Soup
This soup does not disappoint. It has the depth of flavor that beans develop as they cook, slowly — not to mention the richness from a ham bone that slowly falls apart in the pot.
Go to Recipe
7 / 8
Red Beans & Rice
This dish relies on a ham hock for flavor, though you can easily use that leftover ham bone instead.
Go to Recipe
8 / 8
Ham Stock
When in doubt, simmer the leftover bone into a rich and smoky ham stock. It's the same process as making chicken stock. Just simmer the bone with any carrots, celery, or onion you have hanging around until the broth is nice and flavorful.
Go to Recipe