Ham Casserole is one of the most popular dinner dishes in the United States. In fact, if you Google ham casserole recipes, you can find over 150 of them in the first 10 responses. There is cheesy ham casserole, ham potato casserole, ham casserole with egg noodles, casserole made with creamy sauce, and cream cheese casserole. You can pretty much make ham casserole out of whatever you have in your kitchen, as you’ll see in our recommendations below.
What is a Casserole?
Casserole means saucepan in French, and it is thought that the first ones were in France. It is a meal made of several different ingredients baked in a casserole dish or any deep baking dish.
The first casserole dish, according to historians, was made in 1250 and it was something between lasagna and macaroni and cheese. Back then, casseroles were community pots that everyone in the neighborhood shared so they always had a variety of ingredients. It was most often pasta sheets with water, grated cheese, and spices with a few vegetables thrown in.
In the United States, a casserole has five components including sauce, vegetables, starch like pasta or rice, and a protein like ham. They often have a topping like cheese or something crunchy like crackers or breadcrumbs.
Tips and Tricks for Preparing Ham Casserole
Whipping up a casserole isn’t as hard as you’d think. However, these tips and tricks will enhance your dish even more.
Do not use pre-shredded cheese. Shred or grate your own cheese for the best flavor and texture. Pre-shredded cheese is coated to prevent sticking, and it does not melt as well.
To get the most creamy texture, use the best cream. Also, if you want a golden brown topping, add some crushed Ritz crackers on top and put it in the broiler for five minutes before serving.
You can also make your ham casserole ahead of time. Just prepare everything in the casserole dish and then refrigerate overnight covered in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then, all you have to do is bake it the next day.
Even picky eaters love cheesy ham casserole because of all the ooey gooey cheese sauce.Do not par boil your potatoes unless you are making something with a short cooking time when using fully cooked ham.
Our Recommended Ham Casserole Recipes
Leftover ham casserole
Any kind of cooked ham you have such as cubed ham or diced ham from a previous meal can be the beginning of a delicious ham casserole. You can include some condensed cream of chicken soup or chicken broth, whole milk, eggs, vegetables like green beans, corn, or peas, and some melted butter and cheese. One easy ham casserole recipe calls for diced potatoes, sour cream, diced ham, and cheese with condensed soup, dijon mustard, and fresh parsley.
Cheesy ham casserole
Ham and cheese go together nicely no matter what else you put in your casserole. If you love egg noodles, you can use those, add some garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and some kind of vegetable like chopped bell peppers, frozen peas, or broccoli florets. Swiss cheese and ham casserole is one of my family’s favorites, but you can make it with sharp cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, smoked gouda, mozzarella, or cotija cheese.
What to Serve with Ham Casserole
- Fresh fruit goes well with any kind of ham casserole. Especially pineapples and cherries. These fruits are also a good source of vitamin C and have no saturated fat.
- If you are worried about nutrition, calories, and fat, remove any fat from the ham and use fat-free condensed cream of chicken soup and light cheese.
- Another way to serve ham casserole is with a fresh salad made with shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and a bit of Italian dressing.
- Use leftover ham casserole to make soup, stew, or another casserole.
- You can bake casserole in the oven, make it in an instant pot, or even use your slow cooker.
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