The Pioneer Woman · Dec 23, 2016

5 Ways to Use Leftover Ham by Dara

If I had to choose between a fancy meal of ham with all the fixin’s and a leftover ham sandwich, the sandwich would win every single time. In fact, there’s a good choice the ham wouldn’t even make it into the sandwich, as I have a tendency to just cut pieces of ham off the bone and eat them straight. Tell me I’m not the only one!

Embarrassing snacking habits aside, having leftover ham in the house means that we have dinner options for days. While there are some obvious things you can make with ham—split pea soup, scalloped potatoes and ham sandwiches come to mind—I wanted to share some of my favorite leftover ham ideas that veer away from these classic recipes.

Panini-ize it

Sure, you could make a regular ham sandwich with cheddar cheese and mustard. But why not take things up a level? Spread some Dijon mustard on two slices of crusty bread, then add ham, cheese (Brie would be my choice), and apple slices. Cook in a panini press until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Tuck some fresh arugula inside of the sandwich before eating. (A Cuban-Inspired Sandwich would also be a great option.)

Serve it for brunch

Whenever I have leftover sausage or ham, or extra veggies in the fridge, I make a crustless quiche or baked egg casserole. Breakfast for dinner reigns supreme in my house, and this can also be served alongside a green salad for dinner. Scroll down and I’ll walk you through my recipe for Ham & Broccoli Crustless Quiche!

Pasta Bake

Baked pasta is fantastic way to feed a crowd. Cook some penne pasta until it’s almost al dente (about 2 minutes less than usual), then toss the pasta with some ricotta cheese and chopped ham. Spread a layer of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, then layer the pasta mixture with additional tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and fresh basil. Bake in a 350ºF oven until the cheese is bubbling, about 50 minutes.

Go with Crepes

Have you ever tried baked crepes? Mix up a savory crepe batter (no sugar) and cook a stack of the thin pancakes. Sauté together a mixture of savory ingredients, such as onions, garlic, mushrooms and ham, and stir in some mascarpone cheese. Fill the crepes with the savory mixture, roll them up and place in a baking dish. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, then bake in a 350ºF oven until the crepes are warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Soup It Up

You can’t have a list of leftover ham ideas without including soup! While the obvious choice is a classic split pea soup, try branching out to a creamy ham and potato chowder, a tomato- and broth-based ham and bean soup, or a healthy slow cooker version that’s packed with ham, barley and vegetables.

Now for the crustless quiche recipe! Start by chopping broccoli into small florets. At the same time, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.

Add the broccoli to the boiling and water and cook for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and immediately rinse with cold water (or plunge into a bowl of ice water) to stop the broccoli from cooking further.

Whisk together some eggs, egg whites (I like to lighten things up when I can), water, cottage cheese, thyme, salt and pepper.

Pour the egg mixture into a pie dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the broccoli, some chopped ham and feta cheese over the egg.

Bake until the egg is set, then let the quiche cool for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.

That right there makes a healthy and delicious meal. If you have any other favorite recipe ideas for leftover ham, I’d love to hear them!

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