Are you planning a hearty family dinner and wondering what to serve with ham and bean soup? If so, we’ve got just what you need. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best side dish options that you can’t afford to overlook.
Ham and bean soup is a hearty dish that typically features ham, beans, and a variety of vegetables. The exact ingredients can vary, but common additions include carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes. And the soup is usually flavored with a mix of herbs and spices, such as thyme, bay leaves, and pepper.
This famous soup is believed to have originated in the United States, though the exact origins are unclear. The dish became popular during the 19th century to stretch leftovers and make a filling meal. Today, it remains a popular comfort food in the United States and is often served during the winter months.
Side Dishes For Ham & Bean Soup
So, what should you serve with your chunky, protein-packed ham and bean soup? You’ll want a side dish that compliments your soup’s soft textures and earthy vegetable flavors. And having a side that adds a dose of carbohydrates to the meal is never a bad idea.
1. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a tasty vegetable and the perfect accompaniment to ham and bean soup. It adds the exact amount of sweetness to balance out the savory aspects of the dish.
You can roast your butternut squash to produce a soft and tender texture that pairs well with the soup. Roasting is also the best way to draw out all those natural sugars and introduce a smokey flavor to the meal. This smokiness will complement the earthy beans and salty ham brilliantly.
Coleslaw is a good match when looking for what to serve with ham and bean soup. It contains fresh, crisp shredded vegetables and a creamy dressing, which is a nice change from the traditional salad. This versatile salad typically includes raw cabbage and carrot but can also include onions, celery, and peppers.
The crunchy salad delivers the right level of tang without being too acidic. And the cool, crispness of the vegetables is a nice contrast to the warm, soft textures of the soup.
3. Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are an incredibly tasty addition to almost any meal, including ham and bean soup. Crispy golden brown on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, who could resist? Similar to butternut squash, they offer a terrifically sweet flavor to the meal.
Best of all, sweet potato fries are easy to make and even easier to find at your local store. You could even pick up frozen sweet potato fries if you’re really pressed for time.
4. Garlic Spaghetti
Spaghetti is a classic and timeless side dish. It’s easy to make, and you can prepare it ahead of time. This makes it perfect for individuals who don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. Therefore, garlic spaghetti is a great option when searching for what to serve with ham and bean soup.
This side dish marries the best qualities of pasta with a simple butter sauce infused with just the right amount of garlic. The sauce is creamy but subtle and pairs tremendously well with ham and bean soup.
Applesauce is ideal for folks who want to add light and fruity flavors to their ham and bean soup dinner. Roast ham and applesauce are a common combination, especially around Christmas and Thanksgiving. This is why the sauce pairs so well with the ham and bean soup.
The sauce helps to break down the fiber in the dish. And its sweetness offsets the savory ham and bean soup flavors nicely.
6. Green Chile Cornbread
Due to its mouthwatering sweetness, green chile cornbread goes swimmingly with ham and bean soup. It also makes the dish a little heartier and is a great way to soak up the combined flavors of your soup.
This cornbread is spicy, as chopped jalapenos are a part of its ingredients. Serve the cornbread with creamy coleslaw or a dollop of applesauce to counteract the heat. If you don’t want your cornbread to be too spicy, use less chile powder and other dried spices in the batter.
The best part about biscuits is how adaptable they are. You can include everything from dried fruit like cranberries or raisins to cheese in your dough. If you’re looking for a filling and scrumptious component to add to your meal, why not some biscuits?
You can reduce the sweetness of your biscuit dough by adding savory elements such as herbs and cheese. Another option is to incorporate sour cream instead of milk. It will give the finished product a somewhat tangy, acidic flavor that works well with the ham and beans. Consider adding jalapenos or cilantro to the biscuit batter for a new twist on traditional biscuits.
8. Coconut Rice
Coconut rice is a product of tender white rice, coconut milk, and spices. As you know, rice and soup are a match made in heaven. And the creamy, nutty richness of coconut rice is an ideal accompaniment to the rich, savory flavors of ham and bean soup.
Like other rice dishes, this one has a lovely soft texture that isn’t gummy or mushy. A final squirt of lime juice adds a pop of flavor to the otherwise subtle, sweet flavors.
9. Creamed Spinach
Creamed spinach is a favorite side dish the world over. And it’s an absolute delight when served with ham and bean soup. A side serving of creamed spinach is high in protein and iron and low in calories.
Make your own creamed spinach by combining wilted spinach, white sauce, cream, and seasoning. Or buy it frozen or in “heat and eat” form from your nearest grocery store.
10. Garlic Bread
Ham and bean soup is a great lunch option, especially in those icy winter months. And what better side dish to accompany your hot soup than warm buttery garlic bread? We all know that bread and soup go together like spaghetti and meatballs. And garlic bread takes things up a notch, introducing those herb and garlic flavors we love.
Large slices of warm, crusty garlic bread are a terrific way to mop up the soup’s earthy, salty, savory flavors. You can make your own garlic bread with any bread on hand. Simply score it deeply and spread garlic butter into the grooves with your favorite herbs. Pop it into the oven until the butter has melted and the bread is browned and crisp.
Ham and bean soup is a popular dish, particularly in the cooler temperatures of winter and fall. It’s packed with protein and super easy to make. And it can hold its own as a hearty, balanced meal. These excellent side dishes should give you some new ideas for what to serve with ham and bean soup.