This Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole makes for a great weeknight meal or potluck dish. The smoked ham, potatoes and cheesy cream sauce combine to create delicious cold-weather comfort food!
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This casserole might as well be called “all the favorite comfort foods piled into one dish” casserole. When I say this Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole is delicious, I mean it’s delicious! For starters, there’s a combination of potatoes and pasta. Why both? Well, why not? In reality, I couldn’t decide whether to go with a potato casserole or a pasta bake…so I just combined them together.
Then there’s smoked ham. Smoked meats make everything better, and the ham flavor really comes through in this recipe. And then the shining star – the cheesy cream sauce. Cheese also makes everything better, and when that cheese is in a cheesy cream sauce? Well hand me a fork!
Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole
This casserole is a great way to use leftover ham after Easter or Christmas. We usually keep a bag of leftover spiral sliced ham in the freezer, but we were all out this time. Turns out you can buy a small portion of smoked ham (pre-sliced) in the meat section at the grocery store. Win!
This recipe also makes a great weeknight meal or a potluck dish. It’s the kind of recipe that’ll have you going back for seconds. Smoky ham combined with cheesy potatoes means this recipe is packed (and I mean packed) with flavor!
As we head into the fall and the holiday season, there will be plenty of treats around our house. A delicious savory meal like this Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole is certainly appreciated! After all, you can’t really eat cookies for dinner. (I mean…you can, but…)
- Ham – as noted above, this recipe is a great way to use leftover ham after the holidays. If you don’t have any leftover ham, you can purchase fully-cooked boneless ham at the grocery store. (I recommend a smoked ham if you can find it!)
- Cheese – This recipe includes 2 different types of cheese – both from Cabot Creamery. A good sharp cheddar forms the base of the cheesy cream sauce. I used Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese – it’s my all-time favorite sharp cheddar! Monterey Jack also makes an appearance in this recipe. It’s a milder (but still flavorful) cheese that melts really well. It also happens to pair perfectly with sharp cheddar!
- Potatoes – I went with Yukon Gold potatoes here as their buttery texture is great in baked dishes. Russets would be total acceptable, too.
- Pasta – Yup, pasta and potatoes in the same casserole. I went with rotini as I wanted a short pasta for this baked casserole. Ziti or penne would also work. If desired, you could turn this into a pasta bake by doubling the pasta and omitting the potatoes. (Same goes for doubling the potatoes and omitting the pasta.) However, I highly recommend the combination of both!
- Butter, Onions, Garlic and Seasonings – Classic base ingredients that bring the flavor. The smoked paprika and dried mustard are key.
- Whole Milk, Half-and-Half, Flour and Sour Cream – ingredients to create that cheesy cream sauce that truly is the shining star of this recipe! It is important to use whole milk to make the sauce. Skim milk won’t thicken up as well.
Whenever it comes to cheese in our house, I always reach for a block of Cabot cheese. Ok, if it’s taco night, then it’s a bag of Cabot shredded cheese. Or if it’s burgers on the grill, then it’s Cabot’s sliced cheddar cheese. You get the point, though! We’re a Cabot Creamery house.
Cabot Creamery is a co-operative which was started as a joint venture by 94 farmers back in 1919. The co-op now includes hundreds of farm families across New York and New England. Cabot also focuses on giving back to the local community and being good stewards of the land. (They earned B-corp status in 2012 as proof of this commitment.) Oh, and they also make fantastic cheese!
Cabot’s cheeses regularly win awards at national and international cheese festivals, and it’s easy to see why. Their Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese is one of the best cheddar cheeses I’ve ever eaten. We always keep several bars in the fridge!
Our 7-year-old son has taken a liking to Cabot’s milder cheeses like their Monterey Jack and Colby. In fact, he made a ham and cheese sandwich using the leftover ham from this recipe along with some sliced Cabot Monterey Jack cheese. I might have taken a nibble or two of that sammich…
If you’re looking for a fantastic comfort food recipe, then grab some cheese and make this Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole. It’s the perfect meal for a chilly day when you just want to curl up with a blanket on the couch! Enjoy!
How to Store Leftovers
Leftovers of this casserole should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, just place the leftovers in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 6-7 minutes. (A microwave works great, too!) I don’t recommend freezing the leftovers as the texture will change.
Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes can substitute Russet potatoes
- 8 oz. rotini pasta can substitute medium shells or penne
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup diced yellow onions
- 1½ tsp minced garlic
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups whole milk
- ½ cup half-and-half divided
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground mustard
- 2 cups diced cooked ham
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1½ cups peas fresh or frozen
- 1½ cups shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese divided
- 1 cup shredded Cabot Monterey Jack cheese
- chopped green onions for topping
- Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set dish aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Peel potatoes and cut into ¾” cubes. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions, but cook for 2 minutes less than al dente. Drain pasta and set aside. (Note: The pasta will continue to cook in the oven.)
- Using a large skillet, add 2 Tbsp of butter and place over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.
- Add garlic and continue sauteing for 1 more minute.
- Add remaining 4 Tbsp of butter. Once butter has melted, sprinkle flour on top. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add milk, ¼ cup of half-and-half, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and ground mustard. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken. (Note: The sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon once it has thickened.)
- Transfer sauce into a large bowl. Add cooked pasta, potatoes, diced ham, sour cream, peas, 1 cup cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese; stir until well combined.
- Transfer mixture into prepared casserole dish.
- Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese (½ cup) on top. Drizzle remaining half-and-half (¼ cup) on top.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue baking for 5-7 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and garnish with freshly chopped green onions. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Looking for more cheesy comfort food recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: