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Leftover Ham Recipes: Soup to Salad

Ham is the gift that keeps on giving. After its starring role in the feast, it goes on to provide ham and bean soup, ham salad, ham casserole and other fare.

So the Easter dinner was a success. You carefully considered what to serve with ham; the wine was perfect and the cheeses perfectly complemented the baked ham. However, there’s still enough succulent glazed leftover ham to provide a few more meals. So, what to make with leftover ham? We are here to provide you with some terrific ideas!

A seasoned ham with slices on a platter with citrus halves and leaves for a Holiday showpiece.

Leftover Ham and Bean Soup

Probably the most popular of leftover ham recipes is ham and bean soup. This is best if you have a bone-in ham, because the bone is what gives the stock body and flavor. And if you’ve prepared your ham on the grill, the stock will be even more smoky and flavorful. However, if all you have is leftover meat from a boneless or spiral-sliced ham, no problem! You can make a quick ham and bean soup by using chicken stock or vegetable stock.

You’ll want about 2 cups of meat, so ensure there’s enough on the bone. Any extra ham can be used in other recipes we’ll give you later. If you have time to plan ahead and soak them overnight, dried white beans (cannellini, Navy, or Great Northern) will give you the best flavor and texture. The packaged 15-bean blends are excellent, too; feel free to toss the little seasoning packet to cut back on sodium. A good meaty ham bone will give you plenty of flavor.

Here is an excellent basic Ham and Bean Soup recipe. A couple of variations:

  • Use 3 or 4 bay leaves instead of the thyme, or use 1 or 2 bay leaves and half of the thyme;
  • Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in olive oil before adding to the soup. Also, add a couple of cloves of garlic if you wish.
  • For a Tuscan-style soup, add a couple of handfuls of chopped fresh kale with the rest of the vegetables. Use sage and/or rosemary to taste along with the thyme and/or bay leaves.
  • Mashing some of the beans is entirely optional; many people prefer a more brothy soup with firmer beans.

Leftover Ham Salad Recipes

Ham salad is a yummy dish made from leftover ham. Dice the ham and mix it with creamy mayo, tangy mustard, chopped pickles, onions, and seasonings. It’s a tasty blend of flavors and textures – the ham is savory and the other ingredients add some zing. You can use ham salad in sandwiches, wraps, or eat it with crackers. It’s a great way to enjoy ham in a different and delicious way!

Everybody knows about tuna salad; did you know you can do the same thing with ham? You’ll want the cooked ham chopped finely or ground before mixing with mayonnaise and other ingredients. A food processor or an old-fashioned meat grinder will make quick work of it. This is a terrific basic ham salad recipe from Food Network; many others (easily found on the Internet) add hard-cooked eggs.

Spiral-sliced Ham with a round and slices of Baby Swiss Cheese on a platter with Dijon mustard and flowers on the side.

Leftover Ham Casserole

When in doubt, throw together a casserole…or a “hot dish” if you’re from Wisconsin or Minnesota. In the Midwest, a casserole generally consists of leftover meat, a carbohydrate (generally pasta or potatoes) and perhaps a vegetable, bound together with a white sauce, gravy or cream soup, and either Cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese.

Most of these recipes are geared toward dinner, but many are suitable for breakfast or brunch. And this Wisconsin Cheese Strata from Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is a delicious take on the classic egg bake breakfast casserole that will help you use up that leftover ham and cheese(s) from Easter dinner.

Ham is the gift that keeps on giving. After its starring role in the feast, give it new life in the classic ham and Swiss sandwich as well as in a variety of excellent meals throughout the week.

Ham and Swiss Platter

Other Leftover Ham Ideas

Leftover ham is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes beyond the common ones above. Here are some ideas on what to do with leftover ham:

  • Ham Sandwiches or Wraps: Use thin slices of ham in sandwiches, wraps, or paninis. Pair it with your favorite cheeses, veggies, and condiments for a quick and tasty meal. Ham and Swiss cheese are a particular popular pairing.
  • Ham and Cheese Omelette: Dice the leftover ham and use it as a filling for a ham and cheese omelette. This is a great breakfast or brunch option.
  • Ham and Potato Soup: If bean soup isn’t your thing, make a hearty ham and potato soup by combining diced ham with potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and broth. Season it with herbs and spices to taste.
  • Quiches or Frittatas: Add diced ham to quiches or frittatas for a protein-packed breakfast or brunch option.
  • Ham Fried Rice: Incorporate diced ham into fried rice along with vegetables, scrambled eggs, and soy sauce for a quick and delicious meal.
  • Ham and Cheese Pasta: Mix diced ham into your favorite pasta dish along with cheese, cream sauce, and vegetables.
  • Ham and Cheese Melt: Layer ham and cheese on top of toasted bread or English muffins, then broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Ham and Vegetable Stir-Fry: Use diced ham in a stir-fry along with a variety of vegetables and your choice of sauce.
  • Ham Pizza: Top your pizza with sliced or diced ham, along with your favorite pizza toppings and cheese.
  • Ham Croquettes: Create ham croquettes by mixing diced ham with mashed potatoes, forming them into patties, coating them with breadcrumbs, and then frying or baking.
  • Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken: Butterfly chicken breasts, stuff them with ham and cheese, then bake or grill them for a flavorful main course.
  • Ham and Egg Breakfast Burritos: Roll diced ham and scrambled eggs into tortillas along with cheese and veggies to make breakfast burritos.
  • Ham and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms: Fill mushroom caps with a mixture of diced ham, cheese, breadcrumbs, and herbs, then bake until golden and bubbly.

Remember that when using leftover ham in recipes, you can adjust seasonings, sauces, and other ingredients to suit your preferences. The options are endless, and you can get creative in the kitchen to make delicious meals with your leftover ham.

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