Ham and Cheese Ranch Pasta Recipe
Ham and Cheese Ranch Pasta Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Ham and Cheese Ranch Pasta Recipe

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To cut the fat in this makeover recipe, we reduced the amount of butter from 1/4 cup to 1 tablespoon, switched the cheese to a reduced-fate Mexican cheese blend and chose lean ham over regular. These changes cut the calories by nearly a third and reduced the fat, saturated fat cholesterol and sodium by more than half.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES:10 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES: 10 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 306 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 612mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 2g fiber), 20g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 lean meat.


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a Dutch oven, melt butter; whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk and seasonings. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  2. Reduce heat; fold in sour cream until blended. Add ham and pasta; cook and stir until heated through. Remove from the heat; stir in Mexican cheese blend until melted. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Makeover Ranch Ham 'N' Cheese Pasta in Light & Tasty August/September 2003, p53

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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LPHJKitchen User ID: 7521213 265045
Reviewed Apr. 23, 2017

"My kids LOVE anything with Ranch so this was a big hit! I was skeptical of the ham and pasta combinations but to my surprise - the flavors went together well! Next time, we will try it with chicken!"

jmkasprak User ID: 2880256 224960
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2015

"It was just okay for my taste."

kdwarren User ID: 3452511 214526
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2014

"I normally make this when I have leftover ham. It is quick, easy, and has good flavour. Great weeknight meal when time is rushed. I never use the parmesan cheese and I only use about one cup of the shredded cheese and I don't feel this detracts from the taste at all."

Brenda MH User ID: 4949513 129109
Reviewed Sep. 7, 2014

"Great flavor combination, only thing I changed was that I used Monterey Jack cheese instead of the Mexican blend."

jtermont User ID: 1863534 205629
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2014

"I absolutely love this dish. I have made it several times and love the flavors. I have made it with chicken to cut back a little on salt. Highly recommend."

gillettcookie User ID: 3422974 128192
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2013

"we made this tonight. My 13 yr old picked out the recipe fm the Comfort Food Diet cookbook. I let her cook it since it was simple enough... and we had all the ingredients. She was proud of herself and we all enjoyed it. quick and easy too!! Very good... thanks!!"

angela mcguire User ID: 1710080 64556
Reviewed Apr. 6, 2013

"This dish is a hit every time I make it! I think people love it because of the dill in it. It's perfect to feed a lot of people."

[email protected] User ID: 4441258 140463
Reviewed Jun. 30, 2012

"I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. It was GOOD! I was expecting another boring mac and cheese recipe, but this is far from it. Perfect !"

tobinhouse User ID: 1724221 70453
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2011

"Very good recipe. It makes a lot so plan on several people or you can freeze for future use."

teri396 User ID: 3790128 48886
Reviewed Aug. 27, 2011

"flavor was good texture was off, but i used half penne and half macroni. it was what i had."

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