Simple, delicious and comforting, cheesy scalloped potatoes and ham is made with layers of tender sliced potatoes and leftover ham covered in a rich creamy sauce. It’s the best casserole to serve as a dinner main or side dish!
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Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole
Potatoes are a must when it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, but I tend to go a little overboard. I’ve made everything from cheesy mashed potatoes to twice baked potatoes to easy cheesy potatoes and everything in between.
This year, I’m making a filling and satisfying easy scalloped potatoes and ham. Which is a version of cheesy scalloped potatoes with the bonus addition of sweet, smoky, and salty ham!
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple. Scalloped potatoes and ham is easy, requires no fancy ingredients and serves a crowd!
- Side dish or main. Make it as a side for your Thanksgiving menu and Christmas dinner or use leftover holiday crockpot spiral ham to make it a main dish the next night!
- Make ahead. Make it the night before either fully cooked or uncooked. Either way, pop it in the oven before you’re ready to serve!
- An anytime dish! From Easter to Christmas, or Monday to Sunday dinner, this scalloped potatoes recipe is always a hit.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Potatoes: This type of potato recipe is pretty flexible so go ahead and use what you have. Russet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, or even red potatoes would work.
- Diced ham: If you’re not using leftover ham, pick up a small one from the store or use ham steak.
- Cheesy sauce: It starts with a simple roux of butter, onions, garlic, and flour then turns into a thick and creamy cheesy bechamel sauce with the addition of milk and freshly grated cheddar cheese.
Substitutions and Variations
- Protein: If you’d rather use bacon instead of ham you can.
- Cheese: You can also swap the sharp cheddar for Swiss cheese, Gruyere, Colby Jack, Parmesan cheese or Monterey Jack cheese.
- Onions: Slice your onions in rings and you have a version of potatoes au gratin!
- Potatoes: For a little shake-up, use sweet potatoes and make something similar to savory scalloped sweet potatoes.
- Herbs: Add some fresh chopped rosemary or oregano to the sauce or some parsley for garnish.
How to Make Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- Slice potatoes into rounds. Slice 1/8 inch thick then layer 1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with 1/2 of the ham and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Make cheese sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter, then add garlic. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper and continue cooking. Reduce heat to medium-low, whisk in the milk and then 1/2 cup of the cheese.
- Add sauce layer. Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the potatoes and ham. Use the rest of the potatoes and ham to layer on top. Cover with the remaining sauce.
- Bake. Cover casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Even slices. Use a mandoline to ensure thin even slices. This helps to make sure some of the rounds are not overcooked or undercooked, but they’re all evenly cooked.
- Double the recipe. Easily make twice as much of this easy casserole! Just make sure you’re using a large enough dish.
- No need to parboil the potatoes. Since the potatoes slices are so thin there is no need to parboil your potatoes first. Boiling them first can also cause them to become waterlogged and prevent them from absorbing the sauce.
- Don’t skip the rest time. Straight out of the oven, it’s creamy, saucy, and hot. Give it a chance to settle and firm up a bit, that way it’s not falling off your serving spoon.
If your cheesy ham and potatoes casserole is the main dish, serve it with a side of green beans or green bean casserole or try roasted broccoli and cauliflower. For a holiday dinner, this easy cream corn casserole is a favorite.
If scalloped potatoes and ham are served as a side, it can replace any potato side dish. Serve it with oven roasted turkey over the holidays or baked BBQ chicken for a weeknight dinner.
Ok, so we cheated a bit. We’ve given you a bit of scalloped and a bit of au gratin. Although very similar, scalloped potatoes are traditionally made without cheese, and au gratin potatoes are made with.
I couldn’t resist adding cheese for the best comfort food, but you’re more than welcome to leave it out.
No, you don’t. There is a method of soaking potatoes in ice water to draw out as much starch as possible when trying to crisp up the potatoes, such as when making homemade french fries. We’re not doing that, so no need to soak them.
Yes, assemble up to 24 hours in advance then cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it the next day.
You can also bake it completely for 50 minutes, cool completely then refrigerate it overnight. The next day, bring it to room temperature for 30 minutes, then pop in the oven to heat through until hot and bubbly!
Once cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
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Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- 2 pounds potatoes , thinly sliced into 1/8" rounds (about 4 cups), divided
- 1 ½ cups diced ham , divided
- 1 teaspoon salt , plus a pinch for the potato slices
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper , plus a pinch for the potato slices
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese , divided (plus more, if desired)
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 8×8-inch or 7×10-inch pan.
- Line 1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom of the pan. Spread 3/4 cup ham over the top. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter and onions until the onions are softened. Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute. Whisk in flour, remaining salt, and remaining pepper. Cook another minute. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and whisk until smooth. Bring to a light simmer and add 1/2 cup cheese. Stir until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour 1/2 the sauce over the potatoes. Line the remaining potatoes over the top. Spread the remaining 3/4 cup ham over the potatoes. Cover with the remaining sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top and bake 15 more minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle fresh parsley. Serve warm.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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