Leftover ham is never a bad thing. These 6 recipes are proof.

It happens whenever we serve ham for Easter. On Monday morning, The One and I open the fridge, logy from overindulging in carbs, and find a chunk of porcine goodness staring us down.

It goes without saying that The One will make his split-pea soup using the bone instead of hocks. But we’re always left scratching our heads asking, “How are we going to use up all this leftover ham?”

One year, I came up with the ham, cheese, and potato casserole below, and since then, it’s become a yearly staple. I encourage you to try it if you haven’t. Honestly, it’s reason enough to buy and cook a whole ham.

And, of course, there are Julia’s eggs Benedict, cheesy-porky omelets, more potatoes and ham, and just about any salad–leafy or potato–can benefit from ham.

Still need more ideas? Fold some into easy empanadas. Stir chunks into your favorite sourdough bread. (Don’t forget to toss in a handful or two of grated cheese and lots of black pepper). Slip some into grilled cheese sandwiches. I could go on and on.

Tell me: If you’re a ham lover, what do you do with all your leftovers?

xo,

The word "David" written in script.
A ham, cheese, and potato casserole in a large rectangular dish, on a red-and-white striped towel.
David Leite
1 of 5

Ham, Cheese, and Potato Casserole

This ham, cheese, and potato casserole is our new definition of decadent comfort food. Layers of cooked ham, thinly sliced potatoes, shallots, and gooey cheese are baked in a rich cream sauce until crispy and golden.
Recipe

I’ve made this ham and potato casserole probably five times, and it’s outstanding. I use regular milk instead of cream just to lighten it a bit. And I saute some garlic with the shallot instead of rubbing it on the dish. Always delicious and always gets rave reviews. It’s even delicious at room temperature or cold the next morning.–Davey


An arugula salad with country ham, pears, and honey vinaigrette, topped with chopped walnuts in a white bowl.
Marcus Nilsson
2 of 5

Arugula Salad with Country Ham, Pears, and Honey Vinaigrette

Make sure you remove not only the inedible rind but also any excess fat from the cooked country ham. The profound taste of that fat is just too strong, a poor match for the pears
Recipe

This arugula salad recipe is so very simple to make but so beautiful and delicious. Talk about visually appealing!

Every bite is something different–the slight saltiness of the ham, the tart sweetness of the pear, the nutty crunchiness of the walnuts, the little peppery bite from the arugula all topped off with a lovely sweet vinaigrette. Each individual ingredient is so good but tastes even better mixed together! The toasted walnut oil added a pleasant nutty smokiness.

We had this with guests, and every single adult requested the recipe. I (deliberately) made too much vinaigrette, so my family and I had the salad the next day again (aw, shucks), but this time we topped it with shards of Parmesan in addition to the other yummy bits.–Brenda


A cooked ham and cheese omelet in a small skillet with a spatula sliding underneath to flip it.
Steve Painter
3 of 5

Ham and Cheese Omelet

This ham and cheese omelet is so tasty that you'll make it often, even if you're not short on time or energy. Toss some salty ham in there and you've got a winning meal, any time of the day.
Recipe
A Dutch oven filled with ham and potatoes sarladaise on a white and red linen cloth.
Marcus Nilsson
4 of 5

Ham and Potatoes Sarladaise

Ham and potatoes sarladaise is just a fancy French way of saying “Hey, got leftover ham? This is a fantastically comforting thing to make with it!” The addition of parsley and garlic make it rustic and quick to prep.
Recipe

The ham and potatoes sarladaise was a wonderful dish to make with leftover ham. My family loved it! I did add onions while frying the potatoes, though! Definitely would make this again.–Lori


Two Julia Child's eggs Benedict on a white plate with a side of asparagus.
nicolesy
5 of 5

Julia Child’s Eggs Benedict

This eggs Benedict from beloved Julia Child is made with hollandaise sauce, poached eggs, buttery brioche (or English muffins), and ham. The perfect brunch recipe. (How can you say no to Julia!)
Recipe

Amazing! This eggs Benedict recipe is divine, especially the Hollandaise!–Mike M.


Leftover Ham FAQs

How long can leftover ham be stored in the fridge?

Leftover ham can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Store it in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Can you freeze leftover ham?

Yes. Sliced or chopped leftover ham can be frozen in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

What’s the best way to reheat ham to avoid it drying out?

Reheat your ham in the oven or on the stovetop with some additional liquid to prevent it from becoming tough or dry.

To reheat the ham in the oven, place it in a baking dish with a few tablespoons of broth or water. Cover tightly and heat in a 325°F oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes per pound.

To reheat the ham on the stovetop, place the ham in a skillet with a few tablespoons of broth or water. Cover the skillet and set over low heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally.

If you’ve got a leftover ham bone, don’t toss it! It adds incredible flavor to this slow cooker split pea soup, which is another great use for leftover ham.

A grilled ham and cheese sandwich on a wooden cutting board.

6 Recipes for Leftover Ham

5 / 2 votes
Perhaps the easiest way to use up your leftover ham is to stuff it between two slices of bread, schmear on some butter and mustard, top it with cheese, and grill until golden. Behold, our favorite ☞ GRILLED HAM AND CHEESE SANDWICH.
CourseMains
CuisineAmerican
Servings1 sandwich
Calories522 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 slices white bread
  • About 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter or clarified butter at room temperature or melted
  • Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 thin slices cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup grated or 2 thin slices Gruyère cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Place both slices of bread on your work surface. Spread some of the butter on top of each slice of bread, then spread the mustard on top of the butter. 
  • Pile the ham and cheese on a slice of bread, season with salt and pepper to taste, and then top with the other bread slice, mustard-side down.
  • Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium or medium-high heat. Gently place the sandwich in the skillet and let it cook, flipping once, until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Grab your spatula, flip it onto a plate, and prepare for your day to get exponentially better.

Notes

Check out the full recipe post for our testers’ reviews, more info, and tips on making the best grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches Cookbook

Adapted From

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

Buy On Amazon

Nutrition

Serving: 1 sandwichCalories: 522 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 23 gFat: 37 gSaturated Fat: 20 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 129 mgSodium: 1106 mgPotassium: 243 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 3 gVitamin A: 937 IUVitamin C: 13 mgCalcium: 368 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
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About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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4 Comments

  1. Yum! I like that Green Eggs and Ham idea, avocado makes everything better. I make ham quiche sometimes with spinach and mushrooms. And I have a delicious ham salad wrap recipe that uses up the little bits too small for slicing. But I still love a thick slice of fresh baked ham on sourdough bread with real mayonnaise best.