I'm often asked to bring this comforting casserole to potluck dinners, and it's a favorite of my family's, too. The rich and creamy easy-to-fix dish is a great way to use leftover baked ham. -Molly Seidel, Edgewood, New Mexico
- 1 package (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Dash pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
- 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
- 1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
- 1/2 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 11 crackers)
- Minced fresh parsley, optional
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile in large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Reduce heat. Add the cheese; cook and stir until melted. Stir in the ham, mushrooms and pimientos. Drain macaroni; stir into ham mixture.
- Transfer to a greased shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs; dot with remaining butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Cheesy Ham Macaroni in Taste of Home June/July 2003, p29
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