This slow cooker white bean and ham stew with chicken and kale is so easy–just set it and forget it. It is the perfect cooler weather recipe that will bubble away on your countertop all day.

Slow Cooker White Bean Stew with Chicken and Ham in a serving bowl with a spoon

Why We Love This Recipe For Crockpot Bean Stew

With a busy season ahead, I am all about the make-ahead meals right now! So prepare yourselves for many more of these “set it and forget it” kind of recipes to show up here in the months to come.

Not only does having a slow cooker meal make life more doable, but it makes the house smell so cozy! The smoky ham, herbs and pinch of nutmeg make it smell so yummy when we walk in the door!

Just stir the fresh sage and kale in for the last hour of cooking for the best flavor and texture. If you can’t do that because you don’t have time, that’s fine, just add them in the beginning. But don’t add the salt and acid until the very end (they’ll keep the beans from cooking correctly).

Serve this with homemade Whole Wheat Bread or make a batch of Parmesan Leek Muffins to go with it for an hearty Crockpot weeknight meal.

Ingredients For This Recipe

Navy beans

Navy beans are very closely related to the larger cannelloni bean. They have a very soft and silky texture, and are a great source of fiber. They pair extremely well with meat, and are wonderful in stews and soups (which is exactly why I chose them for this recipe!).

Ham

I love using ham in recipes. It’s so salty, which makes it a great match for those velvety white navy beans. I love buying an extra large piece of ham when I make this stew because I can use it for other recipes as well, such as this Slow Cooker Ham Barley Soup with Spinach Pesto, or just eat it plain with a side of mashed potatoes. Yum!

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs

I know this stew already has ham, but hey, two proteins are better than one, right? Chicken thighs don’t always get the best rep, but trust me. They are so juicy and packed with meaty flavor, and as long as you cut off the excess fat, they’re not any worse for you than chicken breasts.

Other Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 cups water, or home-made unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Herbes de Provence
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 cups chopped kale, no ribs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 6 teaspoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Step by Step Instructions For This Slow Cooker Ham And Bean Stew Recipe

Step 1: Combine ingredients & cook

Stir to combine the onion, water or stock, beans, chicken, ham, herbs de Provence, pepper and nutmeg in the insert of a large slow cooker. Cover and set over low heat for 8 hours.

Step 2: Add kale & other seasonings

When the timer has 1 hour remaining, stir in the kale, sage, vinegar or lemon and salt, then cover and continue to cook until the timer goes off, about 1 hour later. Garnish with parsley before serving.

A close up of the Slow Cooker White Bean Stew in a serving bowl

FAQs and Expert Tips

What can I substitute navy beans with?

If you don’t have navy beans or can’t find them, use white Cannellini beans or Great Northern beans.

How to make this stew ahead:

Although this soup requires very little prep and very few steps, it does have to simmer for quite some time. If you want, you could make this in advance, then freeze the soup in individual containers. Simply remove the container from the freezer a few hours before, and finish dethawing in the microwave or on the stove. If you have a busy morning, feel free to set the soup up in the slow cooker insert and refrigerate overnight.

Can you make this in an instant pot?

Yes it will work fine in larger models. If you don’t have a regular crockpot, simply use the slow cooker setting on your Instant pot.

What if I don’t have a slow cooker OR instant pot?

You don’t technically need either to make this recipe. It just makes it so that you can let it sit and cook all day without having to tend to it. However, if you find yourself craving this soup randomly for dinner one night, just make it in a large pot on the stove, and simmer for an hour or so, until all the flavors have melded together.

Additional Hearty Soups and Stew Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Slow Cooker White Bean Stew with Chicken and Ham {gluten-free and grain free} Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Crockpot Ham and Bean Stew with Chicken


  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x

Description

Slow Cooker White Bean Stew with Chicken, Ham and Kale. Fresh sage plus a pinch of nutmeg add flavor to this fix it and forget it crockpot meal. Gluten-free and grain-free.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 cups water, or home-made unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 pound navy beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 cups cubed ham, about 12 ounces
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Herbes de Provence
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 cups chopped kale, no ribs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 6 teaspoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Stir onion, water or stock, beans, chicken, ham, herbs de provence, pepper and nutmeg in the insert of a large slow cooker. Cover and set for low heat for 8 hours.
  2. When timer has 1 hour remaining, stir in kale, sage, vinegar or lemon and salt, cover and continue cooking until the timer goes off about 1 hour later. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Notes

Make Ahead:

Assemble the stew in the insert of the slow cooker and refrigerate, covered, overnight. Place in the slow cooker and follow instructions for cooking. 

Freezing Instructions:

This recipe can be frozen up to three months. Chill before sealing in a storage container and freeze. To thaw, transfer to the refrigerator and let thaw for two days.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 126
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 378 mg
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 14 g

Keywords: Slow Cooker white bean soup,Slow Cooker soup with chicken and ham,chicken and ham soup,chicken and white bean soup,ham and bean soup,