Slow Cooker Appalachian Soup Beans

Appalachian soup beans, an American  staple  from the Eastern US mountains- are made with simple seasonings, fatback, and sometimes ham in the slow cooker.
Appalachian Soup Beans

Appalachian Soup Beans

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

The raffle in this post is sponsored by #NationalSlowCookerMonth and by associated product sponsors (Banza, Camellia, Rhodes Bake &  Serve). As well, I received product for use in developing this recipe. All recipe content and opinions are my own.

Appalachian Soup Beans (slow-cooker) is my recipe of the day with #NationalSlowCooker Month. Each day this week there  will be  postings from associated bloggers, including myself.

Most of these recipes will demonstrate the use of sponsor  product, which we received, free of charge.

Today, my recipe was developed using beans I received from Camellia brand.

Camellia Beans

For this event,  I am  posting Appalachian  Soup Beans today. using product  from Camellia, and again on Wednesday posting Fiesta Chicken Sandwiches using product from Rhodes, and Friday’s offering will be Chicken and Rice Soup using product from Banza.

Check my event schedule on the right sidebar to see when I will be in, for this event as well as others.

Appalachian Soup Beans

Appalachian Soup Beans#NationalSlowCooker Month

Tuesday’s Slow Cooker Recipes


Without a doubt, Appalachian Soup Beans  is sort  of a tricky title, since they really are not a soup, per se.

In the  American Appalachian region which extends along the eastern mountain ranges from southern New York to northern Georgia and from central Ohio and Eastern Kentucky across the mountains descending into low country (basically- as this is simply put), this is absolutely a traditional day to day subsistence fare  of the common people.

What are Appalachian Soup Beans?

The soup  beans consist of minimally seasoned pinto  beans which are served with chow chow (cabbage relish) and corn bread on the side. It is not always served with meat such  as ham,  since hard times can mean doing without.  If you can  afford it, ham makes a tasty addition.

What is Fatback?

Appalachian  soup beans have a seasoning of fatback,  which is a thick piece of pork fat that comes from up on the back instead of pork belly. You may see some recipes using bacon or salt pork. While you can get away with  it, it is not how it is commonly done.

Obviously, the  fat cooks down somewhat into the beans and while there may be a little bit left, I discard that before serving.


Chow Chow on Top

Not surprisingly, chow chow is very southern and  something country women would put up from their gardens where they grew cabbage. My own grandmother enjoyed putting up chow chow every year, not just in Appalachia, but across the south and west towards Texas.

It does look  slightly different in areas, with the chow chow around Pennsylvania having a chunkier look than what I find further south. It doesn’t  really matter which type you have, except deciding on mild or spicy.

And Cornbread as a Side

As corn bread is a matter of personal  preferences, it can be a thing of fighting words. I am kind of middle ground-

I  like sweeter cornbread to go with things like baked chicken. For soup beans and things of this nature,  I demand the corn bread not be of the sweet type.  Yet I was raised to crumble it right into what liquid was there with the beans, to soak that up. And sweet cornbread, which tasty by itself, would just be gross tasting here.

Meal in One for Simple Folk

The beans are really going to be a meal in  a bowl. And  if you want something  with it, I might suggest some greens on the side if you want to feel you are  eating healthy.

But the coal mining families of Appalachia often do not have the luxury of eating healthy, and just want a meal on the table. And beans are hearty enough to hold you until next time.

It’s Po’ Folk food, but tasty and from the heart.

Appalachian Soup Beans

Appalachian Soup Beans

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Appalachian Pawpaw Muffins

Appalachia pawpaws are not  papayas or the type  from the “Jungle Book”-  for those you have to go to the other side of  the globe.

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Apple Spice Dump Cake

Apple Spice Dump Cake

Homestyle Hamburger Gravy

This is often served with rice or on toast points as well, We have a naughty name for it when it is made with beef mince or dried beef either way.

Homestyle Hamburger Gravy

Appalachian Tomato Gravy

Appalachian Tomato Gravy

Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

Old-Fashioned Potato Soup

Giveaway Time!

There is a giveaway associated with this event, so jump right on  in and give it  a shot.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest runs 1/20/2020 at 12:00 a.m. till 1/27/2020 at 11:59 p.m.
Prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen.

The #NationalSlowCookerMonth bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway.

Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter giveaway and contest is open only to US residents.’

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #NationalSlowCookerMonth posts or entry. Thank you to our sponsors Banza, Camellia, and Rhodes for providing prizes

Appalachian Soup Beans

Appalachian Soup Beans

Sue Lau
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Appalachian
Servings 8


  • slow cooker


  • 1 pound Camellia brand pinto beans soaked overnight
  • 6 ounces fatback pork
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pound diced ham optional
  • salt to taste
  • Cornbread for serving
  • Chowchow for serving


  • Soak pinto beans in cold water overnight, then drain.
  • Add beans to the slow cooker along with the fatback pork, onion, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, and six cups water.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours, then stir in the ham and cook 2 hours more.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Traditionally served in bowls topped with chow chow and slices of cornbread on the side.


From the kitchen of
Keyword crockpot, slow cooker, Soup beans
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Appalachian Soup Beans

4 responses

  1. Oh Sue! This looks like the perfect dish to make! It’s been quite chilly here and this not only would warm me up but makes enough to freeze for another day.

    • Yes, I think the difference in the Appalachian one is mostly the fatback and lack of mirepoix, relying on the chowchow for more flavor. So many beans, so little time. We could play in the kitchen to no end cooking up new ones! <3

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