Ham and Potato Casserole: A Great Way to Use That Leftover Ham

To use leftover ham, make a casserole with diced ham, red potatoes, onions, butter, flour, milk, and optional cheese. Layer potatoes, ham, and white sauce in a dish, and bake until bubbly. Perfect for a comforting meal.

What to do with leftover ham? One great option is ham and potato casserole.

I have a bad habit when it comes to cravings. When  I get “hungry” for a certain food or meal, off to the grocery store I go.

I try to plan my meals but when my craving kicks in, the planned idea is in the dust. It happens quite often.

I don’t even know why I try to do meal planning. One day I got a craving for ham and beans.

So off to the store I went. I bought a bone-in ham, the shank portion.

I cut most of the ham off and used the bone in the beans as they were cooking. But then that leaves me with a lot of leftover ham.

That’s when I made ham and potato casserole the next day. I guess I am getting two meals in one so to speak.

The first time I ate ham and potato casserole was when I was working nights. At that time we were allowed to eat leftovers.

Alas, the good old days. That practice is not allowed now.

But anyway, I loved it and have managed over the years to come close to duplicating it.

You can make ham and noodle casserole too!

The Ham

I usually use Frick’s bone-in ham if I can find it. It is my favorite ham.

A co-worker told me about it and once I tried it there was no going back. It’s usually available at my local IGA grocery store.

I also like the shank portion. You could use any ham.

The only reason I use Frick’s brand ham is that it makes excellent ham and beans and I have all that ham left over.

I usually grind the ham in my food processor. The reason?

Because the ham was ground in that first ham and potato casserole I had. I worked in long-term nursing and it was ground due to the older population.

Easier for them to chew. But you can use chopped or diced ham.

Either will work.

The Potatoes

I use red potatoes. For some reason, I have it in my head that red potatoes are best for mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, and casseroles.

White potatoes are for baked potatoes and homemade French fries. Would you believe that I buy the type of potato for whatever I am making? 

Weird, I know. The older I get, the more particular I become.

That’s something to look forward to in my “golden” years. Not!


The type of onion you use is really up to you. I lean towards sweet onions.

But I have used yellow or white onions. I always saute’ my onions in a mixture of butter and vegetable oil.

I believe that brings out the sweetness in the onion and again my long-term nursing experience is showing. The onion is easier to chew this way.

I am getting older after all.

Let’s Make Ham and Potato Casserole

  • 2 cups chopped, diced, or ground ham
  • 5-6 medium-sized red potatoes
  • 1/2 of a large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese (optional and depending on how cheesy you feel, pun intended)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Ham and Potato Casserole

Chop, dice, or ground ham. Slice the potatoes and keep them covered in cold water.

Otherwise, your potatoes will turn brown. Saute chopped onion in a large skillet with the butter and oil until tender and translucent.

Add flour to the onion and stir continuously. Cook for about a minute.

This helps to get rid of the floury taste. Slowly add the milk one cup at a time stirring continuously until thickened.

Salt and pepper to taste. Now at this point, you could add the cheese to the white sauce.

Set aside to cool slightly. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the pan.

Then layer with 1 cup of the ham. Spread half the white sauce over the ham.

Repeat, ending with the white sauce. Sprinkle the top with cheese if you like.

Bake covered in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, the cheese is nicely browned and gooey and the sauce is bubbling.

You can omit the cheese from the white sauce and instead add the cheese in the layering process. Potatoes, ham, white sauce, and then the shredded cheese.

I have done both. In the photos in this post, I added the cheese to the white sauce.

My Final Thoughts

  • The casserole is an excellent way to utilize leftover ham, similar to how turkey leftovers are often repurposed into turkey soup or sandwiches after Thanksgiving.
  • It combines ham with potatoes, cheese, and other ingredients to create a comforting and filling dish, akin to how shepherd’s pie uses leftover roast meat and mashed potatoes for a hearty meal.
  • The recipe is likely easy to follow and can be adapted to include various vegetables or seasonings, offering flexibility similar to a stir-fry where you can use whatever veggies are on hand.
  • This dish is suitable for family dinners or gatherings, providing a satisfying and economical meal, much like a large batch of chili that feeds many and tastes better as leftovers.
  • The post may also suggest serving suggestions or variations on the casserole, similar to how lasagna recipes might offer options for different fillings or toppings to suit personal tastes.

Serve this wonderful casserole with a vegetable of your choice. Growing up, my mom always had meat, a potato, a vegetable, and a salad at the evening meal.

I found that I have followed that tradition although I don’t always have the salad. But I always have meat, potatoes, and vegetables.

It’s funny isn’t it, the things we pick up in our childhood and continue to do when we are adults? (Hopefully good things).

I hadn’t thought about it until I started this online adventure. But as I write these posts there are so many wonderful memories of my childhood that will just pop up in my head.

And I so much enjoy sharing them with you. I hope you give this tasty casserole a try.  

A great way to use that leftover ham. And please leave me a comment below about your experience.

As always, have a wonderful day!

FAQ: Ham and Potato Casserole Recipe

Q1: What ingredients are needed for the Ham and Potato Casserole?

  • The primary ingredients include ham, red potatoes, onion, butter, flour, milk, and optionally cheese for added flavor​
  • You can choose between chopped, diced, or ground ham based on your texture preference, and adjust the type of potatoes and onions according to your taste​

Q2: How is the Ham and Potato Casserole prepared?

  • The casserole is made by layering sliced potatoes and ham in a dish, pouring a homemade white sauce over them, and baking until the potatoes are tender and the top is browned​
  • It involves sautéing onions, making a roux with flour and milk, and then combining these elements with the ham and potatoes in a baking dish to cook in the oven​

Q3: Are there any variations to the traditional Ham and Potato Casserole recipe that might add a different flavor or texture?

  • Yes, adding different types of cheese to the white sauce or layering can introduce new flavors. You might also consider adding vegetables like peas or carrots for additional texture and nutrition​
  • For a different texture, you could mash the potatoes instead of slicing them, turning the dish into a sort of layered ham and mashed potato bake​

Q4: What side dishes complement the Ham and Potato Casserole well?

  • A simple green salad or steamed vegetables like green beans or carrots make great sides as they offer a fresh contrast to the hearty casserole​
  • For a more indulgent meal, serving garlic bread or a crusty loaf can help absorb the rich sauce and complement the flavors of the casserole​

Q5: Can the Ham and Potato Casserole be made ahead of time and reheated?

  • Yes, you can prepare the casserole and refrigerate it before baking. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time when ready to serve​
  • It also reheats well, making it a good choice for leftovers. Ensure it’s covered in the oven to prevent drying out during reheating​

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