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

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 equals 306 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 612 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 20 g 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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Reviewed Apr. 16, 2015

"It was just okay for my taste."

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."

Reviewed Sep. 7, 2014

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

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."

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!!"

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