Ham and cheese casserole made with leftover ham. It's made without condensed soup, too! Creamy ham and cheese with noodles. Uses 1 ½ cups of leftover ham, and is made in an 8x8 dish.
You're looking at the only casserole my toddler will eat. I don't blame her--this leftover ham and cheese casserole is so creamy, cheesy and comforting! I love it just as much as she does! It's basically macaroni and cheese with ham and extra spices; who wouldn't love that?
Leftover ham casserole:
If you follow me on instagram, you know that I'm a firm believer in only making one dinner. It's something I decided before I even had kids. I put a lot of effort into cooking, and the idea of spending 30 minutes to make a dinner for adults. Cooking an entirely separate meal for kids was never going to work for me.
I grew up in a home with two working parents, and dinner was always homemade. Trust me, I know how lucky and blessed I am to be able to say that. It wasn't until I became an adult did I see the super powers of my mom, cooking a delicious dinner after a day at work.
My parents also cook all of the holiday meals, even today. Ham is something we serve for both Easter and Christmas, occasionally it appears on New Year's Day with fluffy biscuits. Speaking of, have you seen my small batch of biscuits?
Leftover ham recipes:
This ham and cheese casserole with noodles uses 2 cups of leftover diced ham. If your ham is shredded or pulled into chunks, it works here, too! Or, if you're just craving this cheesy casserole, buy ham steaks at the store and dice them. I've seen pre-dice ham at the store too, but in my opinion, the small dice is more for salads. Tiny cubes of ham will work for this casserole, but reduce it to 1 cup, okay?
Leftover ham casseroles usually contain a can of two of condensed soup. Personally, I try to avoid canned soups because of their sodium and preservative content. My recipe here makes a homemade version of condensed cream of cheddar soup. That said, the recipe makes about 10 ounces of homemade condensed soup, so if you're not up for making it, it's easy to substitute a can!
I've seen leftover ham casserole made with cream of cheddar soup, cream of chicken soup, and even cream of celery soup. They all sound delicious, but in our house, cheese always wins!
Ham and cheese casserole:
If you're the one that does all of the cooking on Easter (or for any celebration, really), your leftover casserole recipe should be so simple! This ham and cheese casserole has easy steps:
- Cook half a pound (8 ounces) of your favorite pasta shape in boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain and add to a bowl.
- Next, either crack open a can of condensed cream of cheddar soup, or make your own. To make your own, melt equal parts of butter and flour in a small saucepan. Add milk, cream and salt, pepper and spices. Cook until thickened, and then stir in freshly grated cheddar off the the heat.
- Combine the leftover ham, soup mixture, and a hefty scoop of sour cream in the bowl with the pasta. Stir to combine very well.
- Pour everything into a greased 8x8" baking dish, and sprinkle additional grated cheese on top.
- Bake and serve with sliced scallions!
The 8x8 square baking dish I use the most is this one. I love it because it's oven safe, cleans up so well, but is still pretty enough to serve at the table.
Plus, I make a small carrot cake in it, too!
In my opinion, the reason this ham and cheese casserole is better than the rest is because I use both onion powder and garlic powder in it! Onion powder is such an integral flavor for me in the kitchen, as I grew up with most things sprinkled with onion salt on top! Buy a small jar, and then you'll see that I use it in a lot of recipes!
Onion powder is important in my Whole30 salmon cakes, my Cowboy Steak recipe, and my Skillet Lasagna recipe! Onion powder is used a lot in processed foods to make things taste super savory and delicious.
You can use any type of short-cut pasta for this dish: I used rotini, but egg noodles or penne would work, too!
I hope this ham and cheese casserole recipe helps you use up any leftover ham, and that your family loves it as much as mine does. In fact, I think my family looks forward this more than actual Easter dinner!
- 8 ounces rotini pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup cream, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups leftover diced ham
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar, divided
- 2 scallions, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375, and lightly butter an 8x8" oven-safe dish.
- First, cook the rotini pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente--about 1-2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute until homogenous. Whisk constantly.
- Next, stream in the milk, ¼ cup of the cream, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Lower the heat and cook while stirring occasionally until slightly thickened. It will take about 5-8 minutes, and the mixture will coat the back of a spoon when it's properly thicken.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cream sauce, sour cream, 1 cup of the grated cheddar, ham and the sliced scallions. Stir well to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup of grated cheese. Drizzle the remaining ¼ cup of heavy cream evenly over the mixture.
- Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 5 minutes to slightly crisp up the cheese on top.
- Let stand for 5 minutes before scooping and serving.
Instead of making your own cream sauce, you can use 1 can of condensed cream of cheddar soup. For this, omit all ingredients starting with flour and ending with garlic powder. Just use one can.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 891mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 25g