Copycat Campbell's Bean & Bacon Soup Recipe | CDKitchen (2024)

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The bean and bacon soup by Campbell's is a long time favorite of many. Now you can nix the can and make it from scratch!

Copycat Campbell's Bean & Bacon Soup Recipe | CDKitchen (1)


ready in:

over 5 hrs

31 reviews


2 cups dried navy beans
6 strips fried bacon, crumbled
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces tomato paste
1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups water
2 cups ham stock
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
3 drops liquid smoke, more if desired
salt and pepper, to taste


Soak the beans in water overnight. Drain well.

Combine the soaked beans, bacon, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, garlic, tomato paste, crushed red pepper, water, and stock in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 3 hours or until the beans are tender.

Remove 1-2 cups of the soup and place in blender. Open the feed tube in the lid of the blender to let steam release. Puree until smooth then return to the pot.

Stir in the wine vinegar and liquid smoke. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

recipe tips

For best flavor, use homemade stock and fresh herbs.

If you prefer a chunkier texture, do not puree the soup.

For a richer flavor, you can saute the onion, carrots, and celery in bacon fat before adding them to the soup.

Adjust the amount of liquid smoke as desired.

Add a bay leaf while the beans simmer. Make sure to remove it before serving.

For a creamier texture, you can add a splash of cream or milk towards the end of the cooking time.

Serve this soup with crusty bread or croutons.

Garnish with fresh parsley or chives, if desired.

Remember to check the seasoning at the end as the flavors will change as the soup cooks.

Liquid smoke is quite potent, so start with a small amount and add more as needed.

Try adding other vegetables like potatoes or turnips for variety.

This soup is a great way to use up leftover ham from holidays or other meals.

common recipe questions

Can I use canned navy beans instead of dried?

Yes, you can use canned navy beans. Drain and rinse them, and reduce the cooking time since they are already soft.

What can I use if I don't have ham stock?

Chicken or vegetable stock can be a good substitute for ham stock.

Is it necessary to soak the beans overnight?

Soaking the beans overnight helps in reducing cooking time and makes them easier to digest. However, if you're short on time, you can do a quick soak by boiling the beans for a few minutes and then letting them soak for an hour.

How can I make this soup vegetarian?

Omit the bacon and use vegetable stock. You can add a bit of smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.

Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

Yes, after soaking the beans, combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the beans are tender.

How do I store leftover soup?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes, this soup freezes well. Cool it completely, then store in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

nutrition data

479 calories, 6 grams fat, 79 grams carbohydrates, 29 grams protein per serving.

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reviews & comments

  1. Joelie REVIEW:
    September 25, 2020

    Even with a few changes because of what was in my cupboard, this was a great recipe.Bean with bacon on steroids. Thank you

  2. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    April 1, 2020

    We made this according to the recipe, and added ham. This yields a good, hearty soup but is no copycat. My dilemma was to rate the recipe on its merits as a "copycat" or as a hearty soup.In comparison to the Campbell's original (which is a lifelong favorite), there's far too much tomato, not enough smoke, and why the celery? There's no celery in the commercial version! As a hearty soup, this is "OK" rather than "to die for." I prefer the texture of this soup to the original (which is too watery when reconstituted according to the label, and too salty if the called-for amount of water is reduced).We will amend this batch by adding more liquid smoke and some sugar, to offset the tang from the tomato. When we try this recipe again, we will omit the celery and use half of the called-for amount of tomato paste. Alternatively, we may substitute tomato sauce (which adds color, but provides a less intense tomato flavor) or even catsup (because I'm not opening a can of product just to use 2 oz).

  3. Scotty G REVIEW:
    March 15, 2020

    This is a great recipe! Campbell's Bean and Bacon is also my lifetime favorite soup!Being March 15 2020, the corona virus is in full swing. I went to the store to get dry beans and the shelf was bare except for a few bags of small red beans. I love red beans so I figured why not? Besides, I had already thawed out the hambone.A few other changes I made: I added a cup of turkey stock instead of ham stock. I didn't have thyme so I used a bit of oregano. I added the bacon but also simmered it with a ham bone and chunks of ham. I knew it wouldn't be like Campbell's but it never would...I didn't add a ton of salt or any of the other additives. But wow! It's got great color, texture a hint of smokiness - yes, you gotta add liquid smoke. Thanks CD Kitchen!

  4. Lauradora REVIEW:
    March 3, 2019

    Yum... but I cheated and added a can of Campbell’s bean soup. I know I know but that way everyone was happy and full! 😁

  5. L. Corbin REVIEW:
    February 12, 2019

    I won't use pork products, but I have been making this recipe for YEARS using three smoked turkey wings or two smoked turkey drumsticks and it's FABULOUS!!! But I increase the water to around 10-12 cups. I also use a lot more minced carrot and celery. This soup never disappoints!

  6. Guest REVIEW:
    January 28, 2019

    First off..thank you for this fantastic recipe and taking the time to post it. Liquid smoke is the main ingredient if you don't have it and don't add it its no going to have that flavor. Made it just like the recipe says and it was fantastic. Love love love it.

  7. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    October 2, 2018

    First, let me say Campbell's Bean n Bacon has been my lifetime favorite soup.... Maybe meal.Since going veggie, I've really really missed it.Tonight I made this recipe without the bacon, making it vegan. Not only did it taste exactly like the canned, it tasted better because it had more carrots which are my favorite part and there is never enough.Changes:No baconNo vinegarNo thyme(Last two based off reviews)Reduced tomato paste to 1-2 oz. And in the end probably added about 1 teaspoon of salt to flavor it.I did use canned beans. Instead of meat based broth, I used veggie broth.Massive change:With it nearly ready to be eaten, had already seasoned it and thickened it with itself, it was still liquids, much like the canned. So I tossed in a cup of rice and let it simmer for 30 minutes stirring it twice.Holy cow..... This is insanely good and I hope I don't eat the whole pot myself.Thank you

  8. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    September 18, 2018

    I just tasted the soup. Took a photo and if I can do it I will include the photo.I did not have the whine vinegar so I used rice vinegar. I cut the tomato paste in half, pause I made. I used about 3/4 of the suggested. I used ham stock from my home canned ham and about a pint of the canned ham shredded and chopped.I was very pleased with the outcome. Looks like a ringer for the original soup.Even though I only gave it a 4 rating for the taste comparison, tomorrow, I believe I will be able to give it a 5, 4.75 for sure. :-)I believe the vinegar is needed to balance out the sweetness of the carrot.

  9. Westernbabe REVIEW:
    March 11, 2018

    I made the ham stock from scratch from a recipe I found on another site. MY husband loves Campbell's Bean & Bacon Soup. However, this had too much thyme and we did not use the liquid smoke. It was an ok soup, but probably won't fix again.

  10. Kim F. REVIEW:
    March 8, 2018

    Wonderful recipe! I did use 4 cans of great northern beans drained not rinsed. After reading the reviews I cut back the tomatoe paste to approx. 2 oz, other than that followed the recipe. Super good and very reminiscent of campbells bean and bacon. Thank you for sharing, will definitely be making again.

  11. Womanofworth REVIEW:
    January 22, 2018

    Like others, I thought it was a little heavy on the tomato paste also. I had a ham bone left over from Christmas and made my own stock and used the meat (about 2 cups) that came off the bone instead of bacon. With reducing the tomato paste to 2-3 oz. in the future, I think it would come pretty darn close to the original. Just remember, some of that flavor you’re not tasting is MSG among other chemicals, so is going to taste different. Otherwise, this is what I did:4 15-oz. cans navy beans, drained but not rinsed1-1/2 cups carrots, minced1-1/2 cups celery, minced1 medium onion, minced1/2 teaspoon dried thyme2 cloves garlic, minced6 cups ham stocksalt and pepper, to taste

  12. LiveToCook REVIEW:
    January 20, 2018

    So, I agree with using a little less tomato paste - but here's the real trick. You have to, absolutely, use real ham stock. Don't use ham base or any packaged kind of stock. It made all the difference with the flavor and complemented what I thought would be a very tangy flavor because of the tomato paste and vinegar. I made this twice - once using ham base and once after having some ham bones to make broth with. It will totally make it taste like Campbells.

  13. trn REVIEW:
    December 1, 2017

    Good soup, but 100% NOT a copycat of the Campbell's Bean with Bacon Soup. Way too heavy on the tomato paste, vinegar, and thyme; perhaps with reductions of these ingredients (as suggested by ClosetFan) it would be closer. I ended up using a lot more ham bouillon (ie less plain water and more ham stock) and twice as much bacon which helped, but still wasn't close to the same. Would recommend at least halving these ingredients and possibly leaving the vinegar out altogether, and at least doubling the ham stock and bacon -- and changing the name of the recipe. It IS a good soup, but it is definitely different and the title is a complete misnomer.

  14. vincerob REVIEW:
    October 28, 2017

    I make this recipe but with left over smoked ham and hock (from my big green egg). Excellent.

  15. donnaq REVIEW:
    October 26, 2017

    I had 4 cups of canned beans, 10 cups of ham stock, and I didn't use the vinegar. I boiled the stock down but it wasn't enough, so I kind of goofed up. I am going to try again with the dried beans. It looked exactly like Campbell's, and since I am very unhappy there is gluten in most Campbell's products, I will definitely try this again. I cook my own food due to dietary therapy and I need my fix!!! But what I did make was not a clone (expected though). I can't wait for another hot bowl of soup.

  16. AnnetteB123 REVIEW:
    September 23, 2017

    I paid attention to ClosetFan and deleted the vinegar and thyme. I also reduced the tomato paste to 2 tbsp. It was really good the first day, but by the second day it was a ringer for Campbell's bean with bacon soup. Yay! Thanks cdKitchen and ClosetFan.

  17. AnnetteB REVIEW:
    September 20, 2017

    I paid attention to the previous changes in this soup but went from 3 oz. tomato paste to 2 oz., and boy did that really get it close to the original soup. I did what one of the previous commenters said and deleted the vinegar and thyme. That with the lowering of the amount of tomato paste brought this recipe so close to the original that I don't think I'll ever use the canned soup ever again. Really, really good. Thanx ClosetFan.

  18. mary REVIEW:
    September 12, 2017

    I agree its a good bean soup, but I was looking for the campbells taste of bean with bacon

    August 31, 2017

    I, too, have been on the hunt for this recipe. Great comfort food that brings back waves of fond memories of Marge Gallagher's kitchen in the 60's. She always had the original Campbell's soup in her cupboard and we never ever got tired of it. So, I've tried several others and this recipe is the best (so far). Thanks for the delicious return to carefree days!

  20. Kitty's August 18, 2017

    Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad soup. The problem is that it's listed as a recreation of Campbell's Bean And Bacon and it's nothing of the sort. It doesn't seem even to be attempting it. I already have a significantly better bean soup recipe of my own creation, I didn't need to spend hours putting together a lesser soup of someone else's devising. I was looking to recreate a childhood favorite. All along I found myself saying "That seems like an odd choice..." and I should have trusted my instincts. Is there a way to petition to change the title of this post? Otherwise, a lot of people will continue to be disappointed.

    • CDKitchen Staff Reply:

      You offered zero input as to why this recipe didn't meet your expectations so we changed your negative rating to a comment. Feel free to be more specific in what you didn't care for as per our review requirements.

  21. Kihay REVIEW:
    December 9, 2016

    Great recipe. .I made it with all chicken broth...It was excellent...

  22. AuntFlower REVIEW:
    October 11, 2015

    I made this today, it is much tastier than Campbell's! I like the fact that I can control the sodium content, and I found the texture more pleasing. Thanks for giving us another tasty way to include beans in our diet!

  23. New guest REVIEW:
    January 18, 2015

    I followed the receipt. This soup is just excellent. I fried bacon first then added all vegetables sauté them in same pan as bacon then continued to follow receipt this is the most excellent soup I used red wine vingar just perfect

  24. missie REVIEW:
    April 26, 2014

    I made this today with a few changes left out thyme added smoked paprika instead & simmered soaked beans with ham bone added rice vinegar instead loved it

    July 4, 2013

    I thought this was not only a good recipe but pretty close to the real cambells version.

  26. ClosetFan December 15, 2011

    Like many of the other reviewers, I was looking for a recipe very close to the Campbell's Soup version. This recipe is OK (with one change), but it isn't close enough I'd consider it a substitute. The texture is right, the taste is wrong as far as matching Campbell's. I've tried this recipe twice (with variations) trying to get it closer to the actual soup recipe and I would suggest the following:1. First time I read this recipe, I was extremely dubious about adding the white wine vinegar at the end, it seemed like too much acid, especially with the tomato paste as well. I was right, it was too much, I couldn't even eat it. Recommend that you omit the vinegar entirely, or if you really like vinegar, add in small amounts and taste in between so you don't go too far.2. The other reviewer who said there's too much tomato paste was right. Did 4 ounces the first time and it overpowered the other flavors. I tried putting only 3 ounces the second time, and even then, the resultant color was too red, the tomato taste was still too strong. The predominant flavor should be smoky, and the beans, not tomato. I'm considering leaving it out altogether in a future attempt.3. Way, way too much thyme. I would consider halving it in future, or leaving it out altogether if you're trying to replicate Campbell's. There's no hint of thyme I can discern in Campbell's (I tasted it right out of the can compared to this recipe).4. Find some way to introduce more smoke flavor into the recipe. I'm not sure how best to do this, adding more liquid smoke didn't do it. I added some ham base (that is used for stock) and that had more of a smoky flavor, and increased the ham flavor, but perhaps I didn't add enough. I might also try adding some smoked ham in future.This is an OK recipe as long as you omit the vinegar at the end, but if you are looking to replicate Campbell's Soup, it isn't close enough as is. Adjustments are needed.

  27. foodie REVIEW:
    April 7, 2011

    I was so excited when I found a recipe for Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup that I couldn't wait to make it. This recipe didn't taste anything like it. It calls for so much tomato paste that it is the predominant flavor in this soup. It wasn't bad tasting but it was not what I hoped for.

  28. biglizqotwf REVIEW:
    March 26, 2011

    this has literally made my decade and a half! i stopped eating beef and pork almost 14 years ago, which meant that i couldn't have my fav meal, bean and bacon with sausage casserole. it's basically breakfast sausage (in the log form, fried up) with 3 cups of rice (cooked) and campbells bean and bacon soup (about 3 ladles full was enough). for years, i couldn't find chicken sausage, and i just found it, then i found this recipe and made it, and did it up like my mommy did when i was a kid. she made it on my bday every year. since i needed it thicker, because i needed it thick like it was condensed, i cooked it with a potato in a slowcooker. the potato was originally to reduce gas, but it thickened up the soup without changing the flavor.even without the mommy recipe, it smells awesome cooking it up. and my bf loved it. i'm REALLY happy!

  29. sherckle REVIEW:
    January 20, 2011

    I've tried many bean&bacon recipes because it's my favorite soup. And campbell's has alway's been my favorite, but this is the best recipe I have ever found. Absolutely delicious. It is not hard to make at all, and is very inexpensive. Thank you!!!!

  30. chixinthestix REVIEW:
    January 20, 2011

    My husband was requesting me to make soup like Campbell's Bean & Bacon. This was perfect! We both loved it. I cooked this in my slow-cooker on low for 10 hours and it turned out wonderful!

  31. Janie REVIEW:
    October 14, 2010

    This really does taste like the Campbell's Bean & Bacon soup I remember as a child - but without the additives. My kids really loved it, including my picky teenage son! He also ate it cold the next day with corn chips as a dip. I used organic ingredients & uncured bacon without the chemicals - so this was really a healthy meal!

  32. littlebit REVIEW:
    October 1, 2007

    I was looking for something like Campbell Bean and Bacon that I remember from when I was a kid. This recipe was even better than I remember. My kids, all reluctant soup eaters, really enjoyed it. It was gone in 2 meals. It will become part of our monthly menu.

  33. mark REVIEW:
    March 14, 2006

    made with fresh farm smoked bacon and added a little extra-- delicious

Please note:
This is a copy cat recipe submitted to CDKitchen by a third-party. This recipe is not an original recipe unless specifically stated and is considered only to be an acceptable "clone" to the original for the home cook to attempt to duplicate. Please also note that many nationwide restaurant chains vary their menus and ingredients by region so the version provided may not be similar to what you may have tried before. All trademarks referenced are property of their respective owners.


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