Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham is an easy leftover ham and potato casserole that’s smothered in a creamy homemade cheese sauce. It can easily be served as a side dish or as the main event.

We make a ham just once or twice or year but I kind of wish we would do it more often. I’ve got lots of leftover ham recipes that my family loves, like Ham & Cheese Biscuits or One Pan Ham & Cheese Tortellini.

A wooden spoon holding a serving of the Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole

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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Recipe

If you have leftover ham after Easter like we always do, then this recipe is for you! Or maybe you just like ham. And cheese. And potatoes. Then this recipe is for you too.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham is an easy ham and potato casserole made with a homemade cheddar cheese sauce and baked to creamy, bubbly perfection. It’s based on my grandma’s cheesy potato recipe and we’ve been making it in our family for longer than I’ve been alive.

Cheese potatoes and ham casserole is a classic recipe often seen at Christmas right next to the stuffing and green beans.

Scalloped potatoes are different from au gratin potatoes, but they both have a luscious, creamy sauce. Au Gratin just has cheese added, while scalloped potatoes have none. I like to call this recipe a hybrid of the two.

Ingredients For Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole

  • Russet Potatoes – I’ve also used yukon gold potatoes or new potatoes, but russets are my spud of choice.
  • Cheese Sauce – butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper, and cheddar cheese, The cheese should be freshly grated off the block for best results. Feel free to add other cheese, like Gruyere and Parmesan.
  • Ham – Use leftovers from the holidays, or buy a thick ham steak at the store. Either will work well.
  • Optional Garnish – Fresh chopped chives and paprika.
A wooden spoon digging into to this cheesy ham and potato casserole

How To Make Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole

Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

I love this recipe because it’s so easy and tastes incredibly rich and creamy and salty – better than any cheesy potato casserole I’ve ever had. Ham and cheese is undeniably one of the most perfect combinations and they fit together so well in this casserole.

  1. Boil water in a large pot over medium-high heat, and add the potatoes whole and unpeeled. Reduce the heat to medium-low and boil them for about 20 minutes to cook them most of the way through. They will be slightly tender, and you should be able to pierce the skin with a fork, just not all the way through. Drain the water and set the potatoes aside to cool.
  2. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel them and slice them with a paring knife. I usually just slice them with a sharp knife but you could use a mandoline.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, make the cheddar cheese sauce. The sauce is a basic bechamel sauce with grated sharp cheddar added. Melt some butter and add a little flour, whisking together and cooking for several minutes.
  4. Whisk in milk and simmer until the sauce is thick, then remove from the heat and add shredded cheddar, stirring until it’s melted.
  5. Layer the potatoes, ham, and cheese sauce mixture in a large casserole dish. Top with more shredded cheddar, a final handful of diced ham, and some paprika.
  6. If you like to garnish, add fresh minced chives or parsley as well.

Pro Tips

Try adding some fresh herbs, like fresh thyme or oregano to the milk while simmering for the sauce to have another layer of flavor.

A wooden spoon with a serving of potato and ham casserole

Why Do You Boil The Potatoes First?

One of the major differences that sets my casserole apart is that we parboil the potatoes, meaning we boil them until they are about halfway cooked, then peel and slice them. This ensures that the potatoes will be creamy and soft and cooked all the way through in under 30 minutes of baking time.

Most casseroles that start with raw sliced potatoes always have comments stating that the potatoes are unevenly cooked. You won’t have that problem with my Grandma’s Scalloped Potato recipe with ham!

The potatoes release starch as they are boiled, making the slices, and therefore the casserole, less starchy.

FAQs

What type of potato is best for scalloped potatoes?

Russet potatoes or Yukon Golds will work best for this recipe. Both will hold their shape well and will be easy to slice.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the casserole up to 2-3 days in advance. Prepare and bake the casserole as directed. Let it cool completely and wrap it with aluminum foil, then store in the fridge for 2-3 days, or add a few extra layers of foil and freeze. Before reheating, thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350℉ for 25-35 minutes or until warmed through.

Can I double the recipe or reduce the number of servings?

You can cut the recipe in half and use a smaller, 8×8-inch baking dish. Or you can double it and use 3 large casserole dishes.

A plate of Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating

Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and these potatoes will last several days. You can reheat a large portion in the oven, or use a microwave for individual portions.

Freeze: Cool the potatoes entirely and place in an airtight, freezer-safe container. You could also freeze them in the pan, then pop them out and wrap them in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 4-6 months.

Reheat in the microwave: Best for single servings. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Place into the baking dish and cover with foil to keep them from drying out. Bake as the recipe directs.

Reheat in the oven: Best for larger portions or more than one serving. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Place into a baking dish and cover with foil to keep it from drying out. Bake at 350℉ for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.

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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

4.71 from 17 votes
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and Ham is an easy leftover ham and potato casserole smothered in cheese sauce and served as a side dish or entree.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 442kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • Paprika for garnish
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 cups cooked chopped ham
  • Fresh chopped chives for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F and grease a 13″x9″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Scrub potatoes and place them, whole, into the boiling water. Cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from the water and let sit until cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is golden brown; about 2 minutes. Stir in milk and cook, stirring often, until thickened; about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce seems too thick, you can stir in up to ¼ of a cup of milk.
  • Gently peel potatoes and slice into ⅛ inch rounds. Place ⅓ of the potatoes overlapping in a single layer in the baking dish, seasoning with salt and pepper. Top with about half of the ham. Spoon about ⅓ of the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes and ham.
  • Repeat with another layer of potatoes, ham and cheese sauce, then finish with a final layer of potatoes and pour all of the remaining cheese sauce over the top layer of potatoes. Spread to ensure all of the potatoes are covered.
  • Sprinkle with ¼ cup shredded cheddar (if desired) and paprika (about 1/8-¼ teaspoon).
  • Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly.
  • Garnish with fresh minced chives and serve immediately.

Notes

Nutritional information is based on 6 large main course servings. If you plan to serve as a side dish, you could easily get 8-10 servings.

Storage

Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and these potatoes will last several days. You can reheat a large portion in the oven, or use a microwave for individual portions.
Freeze: Cool the potatoes entirely and place in an airtight, freezer-safe container. You could also freeze them in the pan, then pop them out and wrap them in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 4-6 months.
Reheat in the microwave: Best for single servings. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Place into the baking dish and cover with foil to keep them from drying out. Bake as the recipe directs.
Reheat in the oven: Best for larger portions or more than one serving. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Place into a baking dish and cover with foil to keep the it from drying out. Bake at 350℉ for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.

Nutrition

Calories: 442kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 23gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 863mgPotassium: 783mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 805IUVitamin C: 8.6mgCalcium: 415mgIron: 2.1mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

    1. I haven’t tested it in a crockpot. But I don’t generally like cheese in a crockpot because it can easily burn.

    1. You want to bake it first and then cool it completely. Wrap with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw completely before baking (it can take up to 2 days to completely thaw in the fridge so keep that in mind).

  1. Good recipe. I just made this. I think the recipe needs adjustments. I would like to say that in order to fill up a 13″ by 9″ baking dish, you need to use 3-4 lbs of potatoes, not the 2lbs that the recipe called for. I ended up having to quickly peel 2 more potatoes, and cook in the micro-wave, then slice to be able to cover the top. Also amount of sauce needs to be increased and it needs to be thinner. I ended up adding 2 Tbsp of margarine and about 1/2 cup of half and half, while it was baking, because it was dry and not getting bubbly.

  2. This has become a go to recipe when I have leftover ham! It’s just delicious. I don’t always have green onions but it’s good without them too.

  3. Just made these tonight. This was my first attempt at scalloped potatoes and this recipe was amazing!! My 16 & 18 year olds ate up 3/4 of the dish for dinner. Sooo good! Thank you for sharing this. I really think boiling the potatoes first makes such a difference because they’re so soft and creamy.

  4. Quick question: is there a specific reason for nonfat milk over 2% for the béchamel? I’m planning on making this for my future mother-in-law on Easter. Thanks!

    1. It’s a personal preference. You can use a different milk if you prefer. Just make sure the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork when you remove them from the water, and if the cheese sauce is too thick, add a little bit more milk. Good luck!

  5. This recipe is so delicious, but so easy to make!

    The parboiling of the potatoes is one of the things that sets this recipe above all the others is the secret you gave us! Parboiling the potatoes first!! WHY did I never think to do that??

    One thing that I noticed with the recipe, though, is that I couldn’t find when to add in the onions, so I added them to the butter, sauteeing them for about 5 minutes before adding in the flour.

    1. Hi Robyn, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Yes, par-boiling really is such a great trick! There aren’t any onions in the recipe though.

  6. Loved this dish. Super simple yet hearty meal. Once my white sauce became a little too thick, I added white wine rather than more milk. Giving it a cheese fondue flavor!!

  7. I am assuming I can make these ahead of time. Making tonight for supper tomorrow. if I put it all together and put in the fridge then pull out ahead of time before baking that should be ok right?

    1. Yes that should be fine. You may want to add a little bit of cooking time to allow for coming to room temp.

  8. I made these today for my family and they loved them. Served them with eggs and toast for a huge Sunday breakfast. They were devine!!!!