If you're looking for something quick and comforting that puts leftover ham to good use, this ham casserole is the cheesy answer for your dinner plans.
Mother’s Ham Casserole Recipe photo by Taste of Home

There’s a reason casseroles continue to be a mainstay at the dinner table. They’re classically comforting, always delicious and a great way feed a crowd. This ham casserole recipe is all that and more.

Warm and cheesy, this casserole is a great leftover ham recipe that also uses pantry staples like potatoes, cheese and bread crumbs. Plus, you can make it in advance, which is always helpful for busy families looking for insanely easy casseroles for dinner. And, if you don’t yet know how to make a roux, this ham casserole is a great way to learn how to make the base for the thick, cheesy sauce that brings this dish together.

Ingredients for Ham Casserole

  • Ham: Have extra ham after the holidays? This recipe puts it to good use. You can also use deli ham, a ham steak, or other types of ham that are already cooked. Just make sure the ham is cut thick, as opposed to thin deli slices, so you can cut it into cubes.
  • Vegetables: This recipe calls for a mix of potatoes, carrots, celery, bell pepper and onion. Use fresh vegetables if possible, but you can always skip the chopping and use frozen vegetables in a pinch.
  • Butter: Butter is key in making a from-scratch white sauce, which starts off as a roux. Don’t let the butter overcook before adding the flour, or you’ll have a brown butter roux! It will still taste delicious but will be flecked with brown bits.
  • Flour: Flour is another key ingredient in the roux, which helps build the white sauce for this casserole.
  • Milk: Milk transforms the roux from a paste into a sauce! I like to use whole milk for this rich sauce, but you can also use 2% or skim.
  • Cheese: It wouldn’t be a casserole without a bunch of cheese! This dish uses shredded cheddar cheese, though you could certainly add in other cheeses like pepper jack or Gruyere.
  • Bread crumbs: We use soft bread crumbs for the topping. Note: These are not toasted like your crunchy homemade bread crumbs!


Step 1: Boil the potato mixture

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large pot of salted water, bring the potatoes, carrot, celery and water to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the vegetables, and set aside.

Step 2: Saute the ham mixture

In a large skillet, saute the ham, green pepper and onion in 3 tablespoons butter until tender. Add the cooked potato mixture, and mix well. Transfer to a greased 1-1/2-quart baking dish.

Step 3: Make the sauce

In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Reduce the heat, add the cheddar cheese, and stir until melted.

Step 4: Bake the ham casserole

Mother's Ham Casserole Ft24 11789 Jr 0308 3TMB STUDIO

Pour the cheesy mixture over the ham. Top it all off with a sprinkle of soft bread crumbs. Bake until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: If the casserole starts to darken too much, cover it with aluminum foil.

Recipe Variations

  • Add more vegetables: This dish is easy to make your own. If you happen to have any other veggies on hand that you’d like to add, simply add them into Steps 1 or 2. I would recommend spinach, broccoli, bell pepper, pearl onions, cauliflower, zucchini or even cherry tomatoes if they’re in season.
  • Change up the topping: Instead of soft bread crumbs, try crumbling up Ritz crackers or saltines for the topping, or add french-fried onions of sliced almonds. Or take inspo from Tex-Mex recipes, and top with crushed up tortilla chips. Garnish with chopped green onions, chives or parsley for a pop of green and flavor.
  • Make it a breakfast casserole: This dish can pass as a breakfast casserole, especially if you top it with an egg. You can use frozen shredded potatoes instead of the diced potatoes, which will give it that extra breakfast edge.
  • Make it spicy: If you like a little heat, add some hot sauce to the base or some sliced up jalapenos or poblano peppers. They’ll go great with the cheesy sauce.

How to Store Ham Casserole

To store leftover ham casserole, let the casserole cool, then cover it and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

How to Freeze Ham Casserole

We don’t recommend freezing this dish uncooked because of the cheese sauce component. You can, however, freeze the baked casserole for up to three months. Once cooled, tightly wrap the entire casserole or individual portions, and store in the freezer. To reheat, let the casserole thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake in a 350° oven until heated through. For more tips, here’s our ultimate guide to freezing food.

Ham Casserole Tips

Mother's Ham Casserole Ft24 11789 Jr 0308 2TMB STUDIO

How do you make “soft” bread crumbs?

To make soft bread crumbs, simply tear bread into pieces and place in a food processor or blender, then cover and pulse until crumbs form. One slice of bread yields 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbs. Use them immediately, or toast them for longer storage.

What can you serve with ham casserole?

You can serve any green vegetable with ham casserole. Steamed broccoli and spinach are simple, healthy choices, or try cooking kale. You can also pair most side salad recipes with this rich main course.

Watch how to Make Mother’s Ham Casserole

Mother's Ham Casserole

This ham casserole recipe was one of my mother's favorite dishes and it always brings back fond memories of her when I prepare it. It's a terrific use of leftover ham from a holiday dinner. —Linda Childers, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Mother’s Ham Casserole Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min.


6 servings


  • 2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
  • 7 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a saucepan, bring the potatoes, carrot, celery and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large skillet, saute ham, green pepper and onion in 3 tablespoons butter until tender. Add the potato mixture. Transfer to a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
  4. Pour over ham mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake until heated through, 25-30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 360 calories, 23g fat (14g saturated fat), 87mg cholesterol, 1157mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 18g protein.