Whether you made a holiday ham for Christmas or Easter, you likely have a mountain of meat remaining post-feast. Luckily, we have delicious ideas for how to use leftover ham in creative ways, including the bone once that’s all that’s on the platter.
Let’s play a word association game, shall we? If I mention the words “holidays” and “leftovers,” please raise your hand if the first thing that came to mind was turkey. Turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey pot pie…you get the idea.
But news flash, Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday meal that lives on in the form of delicious reincarnations for days after the main event. That’s right, I’m looking at you, Christmas/Easter ham. Because it wouldn’t be a proper holiday meal without wayyy too much food being prepared, chances are you’ll have plenty of smoked beast remaining once dinner comes to a close. Check out some favorite ideas in case you’re in need of a little leftover ham recipe-ration.
You’ve been giving your kitchen quite the workout prepping a full holiday feast, so please, don’t feel guilty about phoning it in with this super-simple classic dish. Go on, dice up the leftover ham and bust out those frozen peas, you’ve earned this easy dinner win. Get our Sauteed Peas and Ham recipe.
Our Smoky Mac and Cheese recipe calls for bacon, but finely diced leftover ham can easily take its place. Despite the addition of smoked gouda, smoked paprika, and smoked almonds, the overall effect is pleasantly mellow (not like eating a campfire).
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You can’t just follow up a holiday feast like that with a plain old ham and cheese sandwich for lunch the next day. Please, way too basic. (And let’s face it, deviled ham is not everyone’s jam.) The sweet and savory vibe of retro-favorite Monte Cristo sandwich is one option, or you could go for the appropriately over-the-top French bistro favorite: the Croque Madame. I say bring on the creamy béchamel, crisp cheese crust, salty ham, and oozy fried egg, please. Also acceptable: this over-the-top Pre-Dawn Pileup breakfast sandwich.
Here’s a thought: Instead of wrapping up all those leftovers to be dealt with and repurposed at a later date, why not take some of that ham and just a little bit of time to prep this easy savory casserole? This way, you get to take the next morning to sleep in, comforted by the knowledge that an hour’s cook time is all that stands between you and one heck of a delicious brunch—or dinner, when you add a salad. Get our Ham, Cheese, and Mushroom Strata recipe.
Ham and eggs are a classic breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner) combo, but why not switch things up with ham and grits? Cheddar cheese and hot sauce ride along…and if you still feel like something’s missing, a fried egg makes a fine topper for this bowl. Get our Fast Ham Grits recipe.
Leftover ham on a biscuit makes for a great bite, but mixing chopped ham and shredded cheese right into the dough for tender scones is a bold new move that maximizes flavor. Get our Ham and Cheese Scones recipe. Or, for a similar treat that’s much easier to make, try our French Ham and Cheese Quick Bread recipe.
Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between Biscuits and Scones?
Or, if you’d rather go the “A for effort” route with your leftover ham, there’s really nothing more impressive (or deeply satisfying) than this classic French egg, ham, and cheese tart. Props to this rendition for the clever addition of sweet caramelized leeks and tangy sour cream to the filling. Get the Quiche Lorraine recipe.
This pot pie gets bonus points for using store-bought pie crust for an easy dinner, but if you also happen to have leftover mashed potatoes, put them on top instead for a shepherd’s pie hybrid (swineherd’s pie?). Get the Ham Pot Pie recipe.
This leftovers-inspired variation on the beloved Italian dish presents the winning combination of salty, savory ham with a rich, creamy rice porridge. And, in addition to being efficient and seasonally appropriate, the recipe also calls for everyone’s favorite trendy green: kale. (So it counts as healthy, right? Kind of?) Get the Ham and Kale Risotto recipe.
Hawaiian pizza haters will disagree, but the combo of smoky pork product and pineapple is made even better with spicy jalapeño slices. When you have leftover ham, use juicy chunks of it in place of the bacon called for…or use both if you like things extra meaty. Get the Hot Hawaiian Pizza recipe.
Related Reading: A Beginner’s Guide to Working with Yeast, Plus a Pizza Dough Recipe
Once you’ve used the prime pieces of leftover smoked ham to make all of the above, reserve the bone and a cup or so of the remaining meat for this easy, delectable grand finale dish. It’s a hearty, hug-you-from-the-inside kind of soup that’s also damn tasty. Get our White Bean and Ham Soup recipe.