11 Ham Hock Recipes Full of Southern Flavor

Capitol Hill Bean Soup
Photo: Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Thrifty Southern cooks know the importance of minimizing waste. Using chicken bones for homemade stock, herb stems for added zest, and ham hocks for incredible savory flavor. Ham hocks, also called pork knuckles, are actually a joint that connects a pig's foot to its leg. You can find smoked ham hocks at the meat department in your grocery store. They add depth to any soup, stew, or side dish. These ham hock recipes are big on flavor but low on effort. Many of our ham hock recipes come together low and slow on the stovetop or in the slow cooker, so each element of the recipe soaks up the smoky ham hock flavor. No Southerner can argue: Collard greens and ham hocks are a match made in comfort food heaven, and we've got several recipes to prove it. Smoked ham hocks are the secret to incredible soups like our Creamy Potato-and-Ham Hock Slow-Cooker Soup and Capitol Hill Bean Soup. Plus, did you know ham hocks are part of the reason why Southern classics like Red Beans and Rice and Field Peas taste so amazing? Trust us: If you're looking for old-fashioned Southern flavor, it's time to try one of these timeless ham hock recipes.

01 of 11

Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hocks and Pickled Collard Green Stems

Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hocks and Pickled Collard Green Stems
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hocks and Pickled Collard Green Stems

We were lucky enough that Chef Todd Richards shared this recipe from his cookbook Soul: A Chef's Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes with us.

02 of 11

Creamy Potato-and-Ham Hock Slow-Cooker Soup

creamy-potato-and-ham-hock-slow-cooker-soup
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Creamy Potato-and-Ham Hock Slow-Cooker Soup

We love the slow-cooker method for this recipe, as it helps the potatoes soak up all that smoky ham hock flavor.

03 of 11

Southern-Style Green Beans

Southern Green Beans
Southern Living

Recipe: Southern-Style Green Beans

You only need green beans, a ham hock, water, salt, and pepper to get green beans just like Mama made.

04 of 11

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Kay E. Clarke; Food Stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey

Recipe: Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice

Make this Louisiana classic with the help of your Instant Pot and a meaty, smoked ham hock.

05 of 11

Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks Recipe
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

If you want classic collard greens flavor without having to stand over the stovetop, this is the recipe for you.

06 of 11

Capitol Hill Bean Soup

Capitol Hill Bean Soup
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Capitol Hill Bean Soup

The Senate's restaurant has served a bean soup recipe since 1903. Once you try our version, you'll understand why it's never left the menu.

07 of 11

Classic Fresh Field Peas

Classic Fresh Field Peas
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Classic Fresh Field Peas

If you remember sitting on Grandma's porch and shelling peas, this old-fashioned recipe will bring you back in time.

08 of 11

Garlicky Collard Greens with Confetti Chowchow

Garlicky Collard Greens with Confetti Chowchow
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Garlicky Collard Greens with Confetti Chowchow

Cooking your collard greens in the slow cooker frees up your oven and stovetop for other uses during the holidays. We love the color and bright, tangy flavor the chowchow brings to classic collards.

09 of 11

Instant Pot Black-eyed Pea Soup

Instant Pot Black-eyed Pea Soup
Photography: Alison Miksch, Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland, Food Styling: Melissa Gray

Recipe: Instant Pot Black-eyed Pea Soup

Start the new year on the luckiest note possible with this easy recipe that includes greens and black-eyed peas.

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Emily's Red Beans and Rice

Emily's Red Beans and Rice
Peter Frank Edwards

Recipe: Emily's Red Beans and Rice

New Orleans Chef Alon Shaya's wife Emily becomes head chef of their kitchen when it's time to make red beans and rice, and her legendary recipe will become a favorite in your home, too.

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Robby Melvin's Turnip Greens with Hot Water Cornbread

Robby Melvin's Turnip Greens with Hot Water Cornbread
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Robby Melvin's Turnip Greens with Hot Water Cornbread

There's nothing more comforting than the old-fashioned combination of turnip greens and hot water cornbread.

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