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Green Beans and Ham

Serves 4 to 6

This recipe for green beans and ham is an old Pennsylvania Dutch standby. When local green beans are in season, they have this often. Sometimes, it is served as a side dish, but most often as a main dish. It is easy, healthy with a moderate amount of ham and quite versatile. You can use more or less beans or potatoes as desired. My mother sometimes added speckled beans. You can substitute a leftover meaty ham bone for the meat or even a little good smoky bacon for a lighter version.

Green Beans and Ham Recipe Photo

In the old days, the PA Dutch used apple cider vinegar because that was what was available, but I prefer red wine vinegar and sometimes add some to the beans as they cook. For a similar southern recipe, try the green beans with country ham in the similar and related recipes links.


Place the beans, ham, potatoes and onions in a large pot. Add enough water to come about halfway up the ingredients. Add pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and cook until ham and beans are tender, about 1-1/2 hours. (Cooking time will depend on the age of the beans, but they should be very tender.) Remove the ham and cut into bite-size pieces. Taste the beans and, if needed, add salt. Return the ham to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. Place on individual serving plates and pass the vinegar. YUM!

Notes: This recipe makes a one pot meal with some good rye bread. However, my mother usually served a salad with hot bacon dressing on the side, which is in the similar and related recipes, and we drizzled some of the dressing over the beans.