Almost all leftover ham recipes use diced ham. With this in mind, you may want to take your leftover ham, dice it into half inch sized cubes, and place it into zip top freezer bags. If you take the time to pre-measure the bags out into half or full pound bags, you can then just grab the ham you need from the freezer without having to try to cut and weigh it all out when the ham is one big frozen block of ham ice. I suggest weighing the ham out into half-pound bags, this way if your recipe calls for a pound and a half of leftover ham, you just have to grab three bags.
1. Deviled Ham
Deviled ham makes a great sandwich spread or dip. As a sandwich, deviled ham is best on toast, but as a dip it elevates your favorite cracker to hors d’oeuvre status.
- ½ pound of leftover ham, cut into half-inch cubes
- 3 green onions, minced
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- ¾ teaspoon dried tarragon
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon dried, ground ancho pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)
- Mayonnaise (to temper heat)
- Place the ham in your food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the green onions and pulse for 30 seconds.
- Add the sour cream and mustard.
- Pulse for 30 seconds.
- Add the celery, dried tarragon, cayenne pepper, ancho pepper, hot sauce, and a dash or two of the Worcestershire sauce.
- Pulse until combined.
- Taste for salt and pepper; add needed salt and pepper and pulse to combine.
- Taste and adjust for heat. If the deviled ham is too devilish (hot), add one tablespoon of mayonnaise at a time, pulsing to mix.
- Once you get the flavor just right, put the deviled ham in a bowl and let rest, covered, in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
2. Quick Marinara Sauce
- 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
- 2 small cans of tomato paste
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano, and thyme
- Place a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the garlic, onions, and oil.
- Cook until the onions soften a bit and the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Add the herbs.
- Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
- Taste for salt and pepper
- You can add ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes for more flavor if you like.
- If the sauce is too pasty, add a bit of water or red wine to thin it out.
3. Ham Lasagna
One of my favorite leftover ham recipes is ham lasagna. The secret to fabulous lasagna is the sauce and the real secret to the sauce is bechamel sauce. This may sound complicated, but it’s not. It adds a depth of flavor to your dinner that will set your lasagna apart from all others.
- 1 ½ cups of diced ham
- 1 box of no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ cup of Romano cheese, grated
- 1 ½ jars of marinara sauce (or use the recipe given below)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of milk, warmed
- 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup of Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook over a medium low flame.
- Let this roux cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally for about four minutes.
- Whisk in the warmed milk, nutmeg, a pinch of the salt and pepper, and ½ cup of Romano cheese.
- Continue to whisk over the heat until the sauce is smooth.
- Taste for salt and pepper.
- Add a cup of marinara to the sauce and whisk to combine.
- Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.
- Place a layer of noodles on the bottom of the pan.
- Spread a half-cup of ricotta cheese over the noodles.
- Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
- Sprinkle with grated Romano.
- Pour a thin layer of the bechamel sauce over the cheese.
- Spread ¾ cup of ham over the sauce.
- Pour a layer of marinara over the ham.
- Top with a layer of noodles.
- Spread a layer of bechamel sauce over the noodles.
- Repeat the layering processes.
- Top with a layer of noodles and cover the noodles with marinara sauce.
- Sprinkle Romano cheese over the sauce.
- Bake for 30 minutes, top with mozzarella, and then bake for 5 minutes more or until the mozzarella is melted.