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Grandpa Joel’s Vegan Ham Hocks and Beans

My Grandpa Joel's Vegan Ham Hocks and Beans are a New Year's Day tradition in my family—they're said to bring good luck!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Sarah De la Cruz


For the Beans:

  • 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup carrots small dice
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 15 ounces
  • 2 cans navy beans small white beans, alternately use black eyed peas

For the Condiments

  • 1 package of cornbread prepared according to package instructions (I use Ener-G egg replacer, dairy free butter, and plant milk, and add 1 cup of frozen corn kernels)
  • 1 small white onion small dice
  • 1 jar sweet gherkin cornichon pickles (reserve juice for serving, and dice pickles)


To prepare the beans:

  • Heat the oil over medium in a large pot.
  • Add the onions and carrots and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and allow to cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add the liquid smoke, smoked paprika, mustard, sugar, molasses, bay leaves, and salt, and stir well.
  • Add the tomatoes and beans.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer, covered, until the carrots are fork tender.

To serve:

  • Ladle a big scoop of beans in each person's bowl.
  • Set out bowls of pickles, onion, and pickle juice, as well as cornbread.
  • Allow each person to crumble cornbread on top, followed by onions, pickles, and about 1 tablespoon of pickle juice.
  • Enjoy!


We typically prepare a double portion of this recipe, often starting with 1 pound of dry beans, and then preparing them before proceeding with the recipe above. The quantities above should be enough to serve 4 adults for dinner.