Delicious and Healthy Dollywood White Beans Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’m excited to share with you the recipe for Dollywood White Beans. This dish has become one of my all-time favorites, and I’m sure it will quickly become yours too.

As a chef, I strive to create recipes that are not only delicious but also healthy and easy to make. And this white beans recipe ticks all the boxes. It’s hearty, flavorful and packed with protein and fiber, making it a great option for a wholesome meal.

The origins of this recipe can be traced back to the Granny Ogle’s Ham n’ Beans restaurant in Tennessee, where they serve some of the best white beans in the world. I’ve taken inspiration from their recipe and added my twist to it, making it even more irresistible.

Whether you’re in the mood for a quick weeknight dinner or a cozy weekend meal, this Dollywood White Beans recipe is perfect for any occasion. So grab your apron, and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dollywood White Beans
Dollywood White Beans

Are you looking for a hearty and delicious meal that is both filling and healthy? Look no further than the Dollywood White Beans Recipe. This recipe is a favorite of mine, not just because it’s a signature dish of the legendary Granny Ogle’s in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, but because it’s also incredibly easy to make and can be tailored to fit your taste preferences.

One of the main reasons to love this recipe is the inclusion of smoked ham. The ham adds a depth of flavor that can’t be replicated with any other ingredient. The smokiness of the ham pairs perfectly with the creamy texture of the white beans, making for a truly mouth-watering combination.

Furthermore, white beans are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They’re high in fiber, protein, and essential minerals, making them a great addition to any diet. And with this recipe, you can enjoy all the health benefits of white beans without sacrificing any flavor.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its versatility. You can enjoy it as a standalone dish or pair it with a variety of sides. It’s also a great base for other recipes, such as bean salads, stews, or even a bean and tomato bake. The possibilities are endless!

So whether you’re a fan of hearty and filling meals or simply looking for a healthy and satisfying dish, the Dollywood White Beans Recipe is sure to become a staple in your cookbook.

Ingredient List

Let’s take a look at the ingredients needed to make this Dollywood White Beans Recipe. You will need:

  • 1 pound of dried great northern or cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 smoked ham hock or 1 cup of Granny Ogle’s Ogle Ham, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Note that you can find the Ogle Ham at the Beans and Cornbread restaurant in Dollywood. If you can’t get your hands on it, don’t worry, any smoked ham hock will do.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Soak the White Beans

Before we start cooking, soaking the white beans is a crucial step. Soaking will help to soften the beans and reduce the cooking time. I usually soak the beans overnight, but if you’re in a rush, you can quick soak them by boiling them for 2 minutes and then letting them sit for an hour.

Step 2: Cook the Smoked Ham

Start by cooking the smoked ham in a large pot over medium-high heat. I prefer to use Granny Ogle ham for this recipe, but you can use any smoked ham you like. Cook the ham until it is browned and crispy, then remove it from the pot and set it aside.

Step 3: Saute the Onion and Garlic

In the same pot, add some olive oil and saute the diced onion and minced garlic until they are softened and fragrant. This will take about 5 minutes.

Step 4: Add the Beans and Ham

Once the onion and garlic are cooked, add the white beans, the cooked smoked ham, and enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. You can use Great Northern beans or cannellini beans for this recipe. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 2 hours, or until the beans are tender and creamy.

Step 5: Season and Serve

Once the beans are cooked, season them with some salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some additional flavorings, such as garlic powder, smoked paprika, or chili powder. Serve the Dollywood White Beans hot, topped with some chopped fresh parsley or green onions.

Optional Step: Add Greens

For an extra boost of nutrition and flavor, you can add some mustard greens, spinach, or kale to the Dollywood White Beans during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. This will add some color and texture to the dish, as well as some vitamins and minerals.

Optional Step: Make it a Meal

If you want to turn this dish into a complete meal, you can serve it with some cornbread, rice, or biscuits. You can also add some chicken thighs, green beans, or tomato sauce to the beans for a more filling and satisfying meal.

Enjoy your delicious and healthy Dollywood White Beans!

Substitutions and Variations

If you’re looking to mix things up with this Dollywood White Beans recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try.

First, let’s talk beans. While the recipe calls for Great Northern beans, you can also use cannellini beans or any other white bean variety you prefer. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly depending on the type of bean you choose.

If you don’t have smoked ham on hand, you can use regular ham or even bacon as a substitute. Just be sure to adjust the amount of salt added to the recipe accordingly, as smoked ham tends to be saltier than other types of pork.

For a vegetarian version of this recipe, you can omit the ham altogether and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add some smoked paprika or liquid smoke to give the beans a smoky flavor without the meat.

If you’re looking to add some extra veggies to your diet, try adding some chopped kale or mustard greens to the pot along with the beans. You can also serve the beans with a side of roasted or sautéed green beans for a pop of color and crunch.

Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making a white bean tomato bake by mixing the beans with tomato sauce and baking them in the oven with a topping of garlic, parmesan, and breadcrumbs. Or, you can turn the beans into a salad by mixing them with some olive oil, vinegar, and herbs, or into a stew by adding some diced chicken thighs and simmering everything together until tender.

The possibilities are endless with this versatile white bean recipe, so don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

Once you’ve made a steaming pot of Dollywood White Beans, it’s time to decide how to serve and pair them. This recipe is versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, as a side dish, or as a main course with some crusty bread.

One classic way to serve white beans is with cornbread. The sweetness of the cornbread is the perfect complement to the savory and slightly smoky flavor of the beans. You can also try serving the beans with cooked rice or quinoa to make it a more filling meal.

For a healthier option, pair these beans with a light salad. A simple mix of leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette dressing will add some freshness to the meal while keeping it light and healthy.

If you’re looking to add some protein to the meal, grilled chicken or pork chops would make a great pairing. The smoky flavor of the meat will complement the smoky flavor of the beans, making for a mouthwatering combination.

Finally, if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, consider serving the beans with sautéed greens. Mustard greens or spinach would complement the beans nicely while adding some fresh and bright flavors.

No matter how you serve and pair Dollywood White Beans, they are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

One of the best things about Dollywood White Beans recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, stored and reheated easily. If you’re planning a big gathering or meal prep, this dish is perfect for you.

To make ahead, simply prepare the recipe as instructed, cool it down to room temperature, and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

When it comes to reheating, you can do so on the stovetop or in the microwave. If you choose to reheat on the stovetop, add a splash of water or chicken broth to the pot and stir occasionally until heated through. If you’re reheating in the microwave, cover the dish with a damp paper towel and microwave in 30-second intervals until heated through.

Another option is to freeze the Dollywood White Beans recipe. Let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw the beans in the refrigerator overnight and reheat using one of the methods above.

It’s important to note that the texture of the beans may change slightly after freezing, but the flavor will remain the same.

Overall, Dollywood White Beans recipe is a great make-ahead option that can be easily stored and reheated for a quick and satisfying meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you know how to make Dollywood White Beans, let me share some tips with you to ensure that your dish turns out perfectly every time.

First, when cooking with white beans, it’s important to soak them overnight. This will help to soften the beans and reduce the cooking time. Rinse the beans before soaking, and leave them in a large bowl covered with water.

Second, use a smoked ham bone or smoked ham hock to add flavor to the beans. You can also use diced smoked ham, but the bone or hock will give the beans a richer flavor.

Third, don’t skip the step of sautéing the onions and garlic before adding them to the pot. This will help to release their flavors and make them more aromatic.

Fourth, be sure to season the beans with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that the smoked ham will also add saltiness to the dish, so go easy on the salt until you’ve tasted the beans.

Fifth, if you want to make the dish healthier, you can use olive oil instead of bacon grease or lard. This will reduce the fat content of the recipe without sacrificing flavor.

Sixth, if you want to add some variety to the dish, try substituting other types of beans for the white beans. Great Northern beans, cannellini beans, or even black beans can work well in this recipe.

Seventh, if you want to turn this dish into a complete meal, you can add chicken thighs or mustard greens to the pot. This will give you a one-pot meal that’s hearty and nutritious.

Eighth, when serving the beans, be sure to pair them with a side that complements their flavor. Green beans, a bean salad, or a tomato sauce can all work well.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious and healthy dish that your family will love. So go ahead and get creative with your white bean recipes, and enjoy the many ways you can use this versatile ingredient.


Before we wrap up this recipe article, let’s take a moment to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about making Dollywood White Beans. Whether you’re a seasoned pro in the kitchen or a novice cook, these FAQs will help you troubleshoot any issues and ensure you get the best possible results from this recipe. So, let’s dive in!

How long do you soak great white northern beans?

Soaking beans is an important step in preparing them for cooking. The recommended soaking time varies depending on the type of bean being used. For example, black beans require a soaking time of 4 hours, while great northern beans need to soak for a much longer period of 8-12 hours. It’s crucial to follow these recommendations to ensure that the beans cook evenly and have the desired texture.

What are good white beans?

There are several varieties of white beans available, including cannellini beans (white kidney beans), butter beans (lima beans), great northern beans, and navy beans. These can be found in both dry and canned forms and are commonly available in most supermarkets.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Dollywood White Beans recipe is a true gem that you should not miss out on. With its delicious blend of white beans and smoked ham, it is sure to leave your taste buds craving for more. This recipe is healthy, easy to make, and versatile, making it perfect for any occasion or meal. Whether you want to serve it as a main dish or as a side, this recipe is guaranteed to please. So, what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen, gather the ingredients, and start cooking these heavenly white beans. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Dollywood White Beans Recipe

WBIR from Dollywood. Another good side especially with a piece of cornbread.

  • 3 5/8 lbs white beans
  • 3/8 lb smoked ham, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  1. Mix ingredients together and cook slowly over medium heat approximately 1 hour.
Side Dish
< 4 Hours, Beans, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, One-Dish Meal, Stove Top

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