What to Do With Your Holiday Ham Bone

Don't throw it away! What to do with your leftover ham bone.
I am super-frugal. I'm afraid I drive my family crazy on occasion with my "oddness." 

Is it odd to save the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving to make turkey stock? 

Or to save the ham bone to use later? I think it's smart and extremely tasty.

After dinner I cut the rest of the ham off the bone and save the meat for leftovers. Ham sandwiches are so good. So is ham with au gratin potatoes. 

But what do you do with the ham bone? Don't throw it out!

Do this with the ham bone

The ham bone goes into a zippered freezer bag and into the freezer until enough time has passed that we're no longer tired of ham. You know what I mean.

Then I use it to make ham and bean soup or split pea soup. You'll find both of the recipes right there.

Ham and bean soup from Oak Hill Homestead

Sure, you can make either dish with just plain water, but the little bits of ham on the bone - and the flavoring of the bone itself - lend so much more flavor to your soup.

Can't you just taste that bowl of beans, ham and vegetables with some corn muffins or homemade bread? And that great flavor came from something that most people throw away after their holiday meal.

What to do with your holiday ham bone

Of course, it doesn't have to be the ham you served for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner; I save the bone every time I bake a ham.

You'll find directions for making ham and bean soup here, and how to make split pea soup here. Don't worry, both are very easy to make.

Your family will think you slaved over the stove all day - but you can even make these hot, delicious and filling meals in the slow cooker.

Check out this post if you're making turkey instead of ham for the holidays: What to Do With Your Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass.

Don't throw out that ham bone when your Thanksgiving dinner is over. Here's what to do with it instead.

Stretch your holiday food budget by using your holiday ham bone in simple, delicious recipes.

For more delicious, frugal meal ideas and homesteading posts, subscribe to The Acorn, Oak Hill Homestead's weekly-ish newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I'd love to see you there!

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
Facebook | InstagramPinterest | Subscribe


  1. We keep all of the bones to make broth, soup or beans. It just makes sense, Kathi, so maybe the folks that don't keep them are the odd ones...... (-:


  2. Perhaps they are, Fern, perhaps they are. :-)

  3. I make ham soup, also know as, my Birthday Soup (BTW, my birthday was yesterday and I did NOT have my Birthday Soup! Boo!). My Mom used to make this for me on my birthday and it is still one of my favorites.
    Fill a large pot with water, boil the bone at least 2 hours, longer if possible. Take out the bone, make dumpling batter (6 eggs, a bunch of flour and some water...sorry, I don't measure), drop by spoonfuls into the broth. When they are done, I add a little more flour into the empty dumpling bowl, add some soup, mix and pour it back into the soup, to thicken a bit. Finally, stir in almost all of a small container of sour cream. You can add some ham pieces to either the soup, or your bowl, but I prefer it as is. Sometimes, I'll get my dumpling batter just so, that some parts will fall off before the dumpling completely cooks...I call this dumpling dust, and it is magical! Can't wait to have some of this after Christmas! Since December is my "Birth Month" (why celebrate just one day?), it still qualifies as having it for my birthday!
    Merry Christmas!

  4. Happy birthday, Angie! Yum, that soup sounds so delicious. Thank you for sharing the directions with us! Enjoy your Birthday Month.

  5. Hi Kathi, I am visiting from Home and Garden Thursday. Your ham looks delicious and thank you for sharing your soup recipe.
    Have a blessed and happy Christmas!

  6. Thank you for visiting, Gina. Wishing you a happy Christmas too!

  7. Mmmm... Perfect for a cold winter evening! Thanks for sharing this post at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  8. Marci, hearty soups on a winter evening are so good, aren't they? They both fill you up and warm you up.

  9. Thanks for adding this to the From The Farm! It's another great favorite this week! Hope to see you again soon!

  10. Thank you, Heather!

  11. That sounds good. We also make a pasta with black olives, parmesan cheese, and ham that would work well.
    Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. I hope we see you there again today!

  12. Ooh, Kelly, that sounds good too. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Congratulations! You'll be featured this week at My Flagstaff Home!


  14. Thank you, Jennifer!

  15. There's nothing like homemade stock and homemade soup! Pinned to my Love Your Leftovers Board on Pinterest. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop, Kathi. Happy New Year! Hope to see you again on Monday January 4th!

  16. Thank you so much for the Pin, April. Have a happy new year!

  17. We made two hams yesterday for Easter so looks like I'll be making some stock and soup with it! Thanks for linking up the idea to the Easter Leftover Makeover Blog Party.

    1. What a treasure, Val! You'll make a LOT of stock!

  18. I have used the turkey carcass to make turkey stock but I never thought to use the ham bone for soup. Great tip!

    1. Hi, Mother of 3 - that ham bone makes the most delicious bean soup! I hope you'll give a try.


Thank you for stopping by. I hope you will leave a comment - I would love to hear from you. If you wish to email me instead, please click here. Thank you!