Potato And Ham Bake is a simple and easy side dish. With juicy ham, soft melting potatoes, a cream sauce and cheese topping we tick all of the comfort food boxes. Perfect for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or the Sunday roast this side dish has a ton of reasons to love it. This ham potato and cheese bake presents the perfect opportunity for repurposing leftover ham and enjoying the flavor in a different textural way to 'sliced ham'.
Recipes like the Bourbon Glazed Ham give us ham that goes on for days and days.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Everyday ingredients: you will be able to purchase everything you need to make the recipe from your local grocery store. They are all year round simple ingredients that will be easy to get your hands on.
- What's good: potatoes. What is even better? A combination of potatoes, ham, onion, cream and cheese creating a cozy side dish you will make again and again (and again 😂).
- Repurposing leftover ham: even if we are feeding a crowd at holidays and special occasions, there is almost always leftover ham. It gets a bit boring and 'same, same' if we do the same thing with it again and again and again. Using the leftovers in a variety of recipes keeps things interesting, involves no waste and lets us enjoy this festive show piece all over again.
- Easy recipe: on some level I have to stop at saying this recipe is quick and easy as it does need an hour in the oven. However, it is a simple and straightforward potato bake recipe. Once the dish is in the oven it is a matter of letting it cook, checking to see it is cooked through, topping it with cheese and letting that melt.
- Versatile: this oven baked potato side dish is one of those great recipes that is versatile and lends itself to being served in a wide variety of scenarios. Think Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas dinners, family dinners, the Sunday supper or for a special occasion.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Salt and pepper: we use cooking salt and a little bit of black pepper to season the cream before we combine it with the potatoes.
- Garlic powder: this is an excellent pantry staple that comes in handy for many recipes. It saves time peeling and chopping yet still gives great garlic flavor.
- Dried thyme: this is the herb that we use to flavor the potatoes as they cook.
- Mustard powder: also for flavor in the recipe and very much a compliment to the ham.
- Onion: we peel and dice half a large onion.
- Ham: leftover Christmas ham is what you see in the photo above. Cut from the bone and roughly diced into cubes.
- Cream: we want to use heavy cream for the recipe. It is the 'sauce' for the potatoes and we season it before adding it to the potatoes.
- Mozzarella: we use 2 types of cheese for the cheese topping on the potato bake. The mozzarella gives us the 'cheese pull' and the colby cheese (or cheddar) gives us more of the 'cheese flavor'.
- Colby cheese: this is an excellent cheese to use as it melts well and has great flavor. Combined with the mozzarella it is a cheese combo to dream of 😁👌.
Top Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the ham and potato casserole recipe. We start by preparing the potatoes. You will need a vegetable peeler and cutting board to begin with.
- Peel the potatoes (Photo 1)
- Slice the potatoes (Photo 2)
- Slice in halves (Photo 3)
- Gather the sauce ingredients (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Potato And Ham Bake
To make the potato and ham bake, start by using a vegetable peeler and cutting board to peel the potatoes.
Once done, use a mandolin to thinly slice the potatoes. Then use a knife to cut these sliced in halves.
Next gather the cream, mustard powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Add these to a large jug and use a mini whisk or fork to combine. Then set this aside temporarily.
- Stir to combine (Photo 5)
- Add sliced potatoes to bowl (Photo 6)
- Then add the diced ham (Photo 7)
- Add the diced onion (Photo 8)
Next add the sliced potatoes to a large mixing bowl, followed by the cubes of ham and diced onion.
Then give all of these a stir to combine like you see me having done in the photos below.
- Stir to combine (Photo 9)
- Pour in the sauce (Photo 10)
- Stir to combine (Photo 11)
- Transfer into baking dish (Photo 12)
Next pour the seasoned cream sauce over the potato and ham mixture and stir to consistently combine.
Once done, we transfer the potato mixture into a greased baking dish as shown in photo 12 above.
Next place the baking dish into the (preheated) oven and let it bake for 50 minutes. Then use oven mitts to remove it, place it onto a heatproof surface and top with the colby cheese as you see in the photo below.
- Bake, add colby cheese (Photo 13)
Then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top of the colby cheese as shown below.
- Add mozzarella cheese (Photo 14)
Once you have topped the potato bake with both types of cheese, place it into the oven again and let the cheese melt for around 10 minutes.
When the cheese has melted and the time is up, turn the oven off. Then after about 5 minutes use oven mits to remove the baking dish from the oven and place the cooked potato and ham bake on a heatproof surface.
Let the dish start to cool and the bubbles stop popping which will take another 5 minutes or so, during which time the sauce will thicken.
When ready grab a serving spoon and call everyone to the table to get their ham and cheese potato bake on 😁👍.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
When it comes to serving the potato bake, it will pair exceptionally well alongside the Bourbon Maple Glazed Ham.
It is a versatile side dish that will please a crowd, go down a treat and tick a lot of boxes for young and old.
Its not really a meal that you want to have 'in one' as whilst it has a lot of taste, texture and flavor, it is happy to play second fiddle with a main to steal the limelight.
There is the chunks of ham, soft, melt in your mouth potatoes, flavorsome onion, cream sauce and cheese topping. Its a recipe that you can turn to again and again, feel good about using up leftover ham and whip out a family favorite all at the same time.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover potato bake in the baking dish with a layer of cling film pulled tightly over the top and placed into the refrigerator. Or in sealed, airtight containers in the fridge. They can be kept for 3 days and are best reheated before being consumed.
How To Freeze
I personally do not like to freeze this dish. The creamy sauce can become grainy and it just doesn't taste the same. If you choose too, it is at your own discretion.
How to Reheat
To reheat leftovers of the potato and ham bake, place them into a role and pull some cling wrap over the top. Then microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use fresh diced ham if you don't have leftover ham. I recommend 3 cups of diced ham, but you can take it up to 4 cups if you wish too.
- Or you can use diced bacon in place of the ham. In which case I would fry it off on the stove top in a hot pan (no oil needed) before adding it to the large bowl.
- If you want to omit the onion as a texture, you can add onion as a flavor with a teaspoon of onion powder in the cream sauce.
- You can use dried rosemary, chives or parsley as alternatives to the dried thyme.
- For alternative cheese types try tasty (Aussies) and Cheddar (Americans).
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- The thinner you slice the potatoes, the faster they will cook. So thick slices will take a lot longer to cook than thin ones.
- If using leftover Christmas ham pull any cloves out and discard any chunks of ham that are simply 'white fat'.
- There is no need to cover the potatoes with foil whilst there are cooking.
- If you love potato side dishes, then you might also like the Potato And Sweet Potato Bake, Potato And Onion Bake, Garlic Butter Potatoes, Creamy Garlic Potatoes or the Skin on Roast Potatoes 😁👌.
- Want potatoes that are a little more crispy? Try the Duck Fat Roast Potatoes.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to slice potatoes for scalloped potatoes?
The best way to slice potatoes for scalloped potatoes is by using a mandolin. Take care to keep your fingers away from the blade as it is very sharp.
How to jazz up scalloped potatoes?
Some simple ways to jazz up scalloped potatoes are to add some diced ham or cooked bacon, thinly sliced or diced onion and seasoning such as mustard powder and garlic powder.
Can I slice potatoes for scalloped potatoes in a food processor?
Yes! Many modern food processors come with a potato slicing blade. This is excellent to use for scallop potatoes as it makes the process very quick. You will still need to peel the potatoes before putting them through the food processor.
😍 More Easy Side Dish Recipes
Almost more important than the main event, side dishes compliment, contrast and bring diversity to the plate with meaty mains or pasta. Here are some more sides to try on for size:
- Crumbed Mushrooms
- Potato And Broccoli Bake
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Roasted Capsicums
- Tortilla Garlic Bread
- Mashed Peas
- Fried Cabbage and Bacon
- Basmati Fried Rice
- Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Potato And Ham Bake
- 6 large potatoes or 1.2 kg, 2.6 pounds, Note 1
- 2 cups/ 500 ml heavy cream Note 2
- 2 teaspoon mustard powder Note 3
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder Note 4
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme Note 5
- ¼ teaspoon salt Note 6
- ½ teaspoon black pepper also Note 6
- 3 cups diced ham Note 7
- ½ large brown onion skin peeled and diced, Note 8
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese freshly grated using a hand held box grater, Note 9
- 1 cup colby cheese freshly grated using a hand held box grater, Note 10
- flat leaf parsley stems removed, leaves finely chopped
- Preheat the oven: preheat the oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Potatoes: use a vegetable peeler and cutting board to peel the potatoes. Then discard the skins. Once done, use a mandolin or knife and thinly slice the potatoes. Then use a knife to cut the potato slices in halves (optional).
- Cream sauce: next pour the cream into a large bowl and add the mustard powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to consistently combine these and then set aside.
- Combine: add the potato sliced, cubes of ham and diced onion to a large mixing bowl. Then use a wooden spoon to stir and combine. Once combined pour the cream sauce over the top and stir again until it is mixed through.
- Baking dish: transfer the combined ham potato and onion mixture into a greased baking dish. Gently pat the surface to ensure it is a flat layer with no potato slices sticking up too much. Then place the baking tray into the oven (middle shelf).
- Oven bake and cheese topping: let the potato bake cook for 50 minutes. Once the cook time is up, use oven mitts to remove the baking dish and place it onto a heatproof surface. Then sprinkle the colby cheese followed by the mozzarella cheese over the top. Return the baking dish to the oven and let the cheese melt for around 10 minutes. Then turn the oven off and let the potatoes sit in there for 5 minutes.
- To serve: use oven mitts to remove the baking dish from the oven and place it onto a heatproof surface. Allow it to start to cool and the cream sauce stop bubbling and thicken. Once it has, place the potato and ham bake onto a heatproof surface on the table and garnish with chopped parsley.
- Note 1 - Cream: we want to use heavy cream for the recipe. It is the 'sauce' for the potatoes and we season it before adding it to the potatoes.
- Note 2 - Potatoes: a wide variety of potatoes will work for the recipe. Brushed potatoes tend to be a little bit cheaper than washed potatoes. In all potato varieties, we want to peel the skin.
- Note 3 - Mustard powder: also for flavor in the recipe and very much a compliment to the ham.
- Note 4 - Garlic powder: this is an excellent pantry staple that comes in handy for many recipes. It saves time peeling and chopping yet still gives great garlic flavor.
- Note 5 - Dried thyme: this is the herb that we use to flavor the potatoes as they cook.
- Note 6 - Salt and pepper: we use cooking salt and a little bit of black pepper to season the cream before we combine it with the potatoes.
- Note 7 - Ham: leftover Christmas ham is what you see in the photo above. Cut from the bone and roughly diced into cubes. If your ham has cloves, you will need to discard (pulled them out) before chopping the ham into cubes. You can use non leftover ham if you choose too. In which case chunky ham like ham steaks is best not thin slices of deli or sandwich ham.
- Note 8 - Onion: we peel and dice half a large onion. If you don't want the onion texture but do want the onion flavor, you can omit the diced onion and onion 1 teaspoon of dried onion to the cream when adding the garlic powder.
- Note 9 - Mozzarella: we use 2 types of cheese for the cheese topping on the potato bake. The mozzarella gives us the 'cheese pull' and the colby cheese (or cheddar) gives us more of the 'cheese flavor'.
- Note 10 - Colby cheese: this is an excellent cheese to use as it melts well and has great flavor. Combined with the mozzarella it is a cheese combo to dream of 😁👌. Other options to use are tasty cheese (Aussies) and cheddar cheese (Americans). Or a store bought cheese blend to save time if you wish too.
- Serving size: the nutritional information has been worked out on 8 servings. You may well get more of this depending on how much everyone scoops onto their plates.