Complete your menu with this ham and potato casserole. This hearty, creamy, meaty, ooey-gooey dish is American comfort food at its best.
This casserole features cubed ham, potatoes, melty cheese, creamy sauce, and a breadcrumb crust. Really, what more can you ask for?
Serve it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a special occasion, or on a random Wednesday. It’ll be a hit any time of day, any day of the year.
Aside from it being crazy delicious, it’s also easy to make. And one batch will feed a crowd.
Seriously, there’s not one negative thing about this ham and potato casserole!
Any kind will do- Russet, Yukon, red, you name it.
If you use red potatoes, there’s no need to peel them. The skins are tender enough to be eaten.
You can use frozen hash browns, too. This one’s a timesaver! Just be sure they’re thawed.
You’ll use butter to saute the ham and onions, giving them even more flavor. Salted butter is fine.
But if you want to control the amount of sodium in the casserole, use unsalted.
Cooked whole ham, pre-diced chunks, or leftovers- any cooked ham you have will work.
Yellow or white onions work best. But if you only have red onions, those are fine, too! You can even use shallots.
Chop your onion finely so it incorporates well into the casserole.
White Sauce (Bechamel)
Whisk together butter and flour to create a roux. (A roux is a mixture that can thicken any liquid.)
Add milk to create a creamy white sauce. This is called a bechamel. Season it with salt and pepper.
Grate a block of cheese yourself for the best results. Pre-shredded cheese contains an anti-caking agent that limits its melting potential.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the casserole for an irresistible, crunchy topping. Try using crushed Ritz, too, for a more buttery crust.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Ham and Potato Casserole
- You can slice the potatoes any way you like– cubed, chopped, minced, or shredded. But be sure they’re cut to a uniform shape and size for even cooking.
- Allow the butter, flour, and milk to thicken before you remove it from the heat.
- Be sure your baking dish is large enough. The ingredients in this recipe will fill a 1.5-quart baking dish.
- To cover or not to cover? I don’t think it’s necessary. Covering with aluminum foil is more applicable to recipes with a long baking time.
- This only requires 25 to 30 minutes- over-browning won’t be an issue.
- Want a cheesy topping? Add the cheese after baking. Then, broil the casserole for 1 minute or until the cheese is melty.
- Swap the ham for other meats. Crumbled bacon, ground pork, beef, turkey, chorizo, and sausage are fantastic options.
- Just be sure to cook the meat if necessary. And drain any grease.
- Are you uncomfortable with making a bechamel? No worries! You can use sour cream, cream of chicken soup, or cream of cheese soup instead.
- Don’t be afraid to season the ham, potatoes, and sauce! Just be sure to taste it as you go.
- Rosemary, thyme, onion powder, garlic, cayenne, and chipotle pepper make great seasonings.
- You don’t need to precook the potatoes. Bake the casserole for 1 hour instead. Be sure to slice the potatoes no thicker than 1/4-inch cubes so that they cook through.
- Do you want to try the above method? Cover the casserole with foil to keep the top from browning. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes.
- You can also pre-fry the potatoes with the ham and onions. For this, you’ll want to slice the spuds into small cubes so they’ll cook faster.
- Add more substance to the casserole with vegetables. This is a great technique to sneak in some nutrition. With all the ham, potatoes, and cheese, you won’t notice the vegetables.
- Anything from spinach and asparagus to broccoli and cauliflower florets make fabulous options.
- Spice up the casserole with a dash of red pepper flakes or sriracha.
- Use your favorite kinds of cheese. You can’t go wrong with sharp or mild cheddar, but any melty cheese works.
- Mozzarella, gouda, Colby jack, Monterey jack- take your pick.
This casserole is delicious any time of day. So, here are some of my favorite serving suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This casserole is great with:
Serve it on the side with:
Serve it as an entree with:
Can I Make the Ham Casserole Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! This is another thing that makes this recipe a must-add to your weekly menu rotation.
Prepare 2-3 casseroles and pop them in the freezer. You can take them out anytime!
You can store the casserole either pre-baked or baked.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, label accordingly, and freeze.
A pre-baked casserole will keep well in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Transfer it to the fridge the night before you plan on serving it. Then, remove the wrappings and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.
You can bake it from frozen, but add at least 30 minutes to the cooking time.
If you plan on serving the casserole the following day, refrigerate it. Do not freeze it.
Remove the wrappings and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.
Be sure it is at room temperature before you store it. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it up to 4 days in advance.
Reheat it in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.
How to Store Ham and Potato Casserole
Cover the casserole with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
But this stuff is so delicious you won’t have too many leftovers. So, you can transfer whatever is left into an airtight container instead.
Store the casserole in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm. Stir it well to ensure everything is warm. You may have to heat it again.
For large portions, reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until warm.
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