There are recipes that are staples for your family. You know the ones. They are the recipes you don’t even look at anymore. You make the meals on autopilot. One of those meals for our family is this freezer pinto beans with ham recipe. In fact, I have been making this recipe for so many years that I didn’t even realize how long it took to make until making it for you. Don’t let that scare you away from making it, though. The hands-on time is minimal and it makes 2 whole meals you can freeze for later. Oh, and did I mention that it’s delicious?! Make it and find out for yourself.
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- 1 32 oz Bag of Dry Pinto Beans
- 2 Sticks of Margarine (1 cup)
- 1 Leftover Ham Bone (With some meat still on it)
- Water (12+ Cups)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
Place your beans into a large pot and cover with water.
Boil the beans for 1 hour. Add more water as needed to keep the beans covered the entire hour.
Drain you beans in a strainer and pull out any bad ones (these are the ones that are still hard or discolored ones). Transfer your strained beans to a bowl and set off to the side.
Put your ham bone into your pot and cover with water.
Boil the ham bone in water for 30 minutes. Again, add water as needed to keep the bone covered during cooking.
Next, move your ham bone to the strainer with tongs (don’t pour out your water).
Add your beans to the ham bone water.
Bring your beans to a boil again. Boil them for an additional 2 hours. Remember to add more water as needed and stir occasionally.
- I recommend setting a timer for every 20-30 minutes to remind you to check on them and give your pot a stir.
While your beans are boiling, remove the remaining pieces of ham from the bone. Throw out your bone when done.
Cut the ham into small pieces and toss into the bowl your beans rested in.
Turn down the heat to low on the beans and add your ham, margarine, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir to incorporate all of the ingredients.
Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until everything has thickened.
This makes a large amount of beans. If you are serving to your family for dinner, divide the batch in two and freeze half for a later meal. To freeze both meals, allow the beans and ham to cool to room temperature and add each half to a separate gallon freezer bags. Freeze for up to 30 days (longer if using a vacuum seal system like a FoodSaver). Our family love to have sweet cornbread with our beans. Make this easy on yourself by mixing up a box of Jiffy Muffins according to instructions. Next, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar to the mix. Note: don’t add more than this because adding too much will result in hard, cornbread chips instead of moist deliciousness.
You can’t beat the price of this meal. Even adding the cornbread still brings it to $3 per meal! For our family that works out to 60¢ per person. Talk about a frugal meal to add to your monthly meal plan! Get more awesome meal ideas like healthy freezer-friendly chicken nuggets or easy bacon and broccoli alfredo on our recipes page.