Easy Au Gratin Potatoes and Ham Recipe is a classic appetizer full of cheesy potatoes and ham. It’s comfort food at its finest and also solves the age-old question of what to do with leftover Easter ham.
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It’s also kid-friendly and impressive enough to serve guests. When my kids were little, this was one of their most requested dinners, and I made it often. And I still do, especially around the holidays when we’re likely to have leftover ham in the fridge.
I confessed in another recipe that I’ve never come across a mashed potato recipe I didn’t like. Well, the reality is, I’ve never met a potato dish that I didn’t like, and this Baked Potato and Ham recipe is no exception. Rich and heartwarming, this flavorful casserole is as easy to make as it is delicious!
- I use unsalted butter and included 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt in the ingredients. However, ham and cheese are already salty, so use only ¼ teaspoon if using table salt. If using salted butter, omit extra salt.
- Feel free to change up the cheese in this recipe and use your favorite or what you have on hand. Look for easy-melting cheeses like Gruyere, Gouda, Munster, Fontina or Havarti. I also often use an Italian or Mexican blend instead of the Monterey Jack.
- If you have some, leftovers should be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. Place them on a microwave-safe plate to reheat, sprinkle a few drops of water over the leftovers and heat on high for about a minute.
- No leftover ham, don’t worry; You can buy individual slices of ham at the grocery store, which works well.
- I like to use red potatoes in this recipe, but feel free to use Yukon Gold or any other type of potato you have on hand. Because of the difference in starch content, the consistency will be slightly different if you use a different type of potato, but the dish will still be delicious.
- A mandolin or food processor with a chopping blade makes slicing your potatoes a breeze. I have a very inexpensive handheld mandolin that I love and it works great. The most important thing is to cut the potatoes as thinly and evenly as possible so they all cook at the same time. You can also slice your potatoes with a sharp knife.
- I usually leave the skin on my potatoes, but you can peel yours if you prefer.
Au gratin potatoes and ham recipe
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ yellow onion finely diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups of milk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound red potatoes, washed and thinly sliced (about 3 medium baked potatoes)
1 ½ cups cooked diced ham (about ½ pound)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
When the onions are done, sprinkle flour on top and whisk. Continue cooking the onion and flour mixture until the flour is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the milk slowly, beating to avoid lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens, which usually only takes a few minutes. Add salt and pepper, mix well and remove from heat.
Spray or butter a medium casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add half of the sliced potatoes, then half of the diced ham and about half of each shredded cheese.
Pour in half of the sauce. Repeat the next layer with the remaining potatoes and ham, pour over the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
Cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil or a lid and bake at 350 degrees F for 40-60 minutes. How long depends on the thickness of the potato slices.
Remove the cover and test your potatoes for doneness by pricking them with a fork. The fork should slide through easily. If you haven’t already, continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so.
Sharon Rigsby is the blogger behind Grits and Pinecones, a cooking and food blog. Check out all of her recipes at gritsandpinecones.com.
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