Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham feature thin slices of potatoes drizzled with cream and layered with ham and cheddar for a decadent comfort food recipe that’s also a great way to use up leftover holiday ham!
Today’s recipe is a classic, folks — creamy, cheesy, decadent scalloped potatoes — and since ’tis the season for holiday ham, why not toss some of that in as well? It’d be a lot cooler if you did. 😉
Who doesn’t love Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes? Tender, paper-thin slices of potatoes, infiltrated with cream and layered with obscene amounts of cheese. Comfort food? Yes. Diet food? No…but nonetheless perfect this time of year as a holiday side dish, or delicious anytime as a warming meal on a chilly day.
Speaking of holidays, do y’all typically cook ham on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas? If so, this recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up those leftovers. Adding ham takes this dish from a decadent side dish to a complete main course. The pops of salty ham are a perfect contrast to the silky, cheesy potatoes, providing a lovely little surprise in every bite.
And now for a few tips, and then I’ll stop blabbing and get on with the recipe. I always use a mandoline slicer (*affiliate link) to cut my potatoes because if there’s anything tricky about making Scalloped Potatoes, it’s getting the potato slices evenly and thoroughly cooked. I find that using a mandoline gives me more consistent results since the thickness of every potato slice is identical. Plus, a mandoline slices thinner than I’m capable of doing with a knife, which shortens the baking time as compared to thicker, knife-cut potatoes.
That being said, you absolutely do not need a mandoline to make this recipe! Slice your potatoes with a knife as thinly as you can manage and, if necessary, just be prepared to add a little more baking time until all of the potatoes are perfectly tender. If the top starts to brown too much before the potatoes are done, you can always cover with a sheet of foil for the remainder of the cooking time.
Also? Feel free to change up the cheese in this recipe. When I use cheddar, I try to make sure it’s sharp or even extra-sharp, which is more flavorful when melted than mild or medium cheddar. I’ve also made this recipe with Swiss cheese, which I think is a nice surprise and plays beautifully off of the ham. Gruyere is fabulous if you’re feeling fancy, and Parmesan is yummy to use in conjunction with other cheeses. Finally, while I haven’t tried Pepper Jack here, I think using it in conjunction with mild and creamy Monterrey Jack would give this recipe a zesty little kick.
So what’s your favorite kind of cheese to use in scalloped potatoes? And what’s your favorite way to use up leftover ham? Get the best of both worlds — and a steamy plate of delicious winter comfort food, to boot — with these Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham! You can always start your diet on New Year’s, am I right? 😉
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham Recipe
- 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 pounds gold potatoes, about 6 medium
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, about 6 ounces
- 1 1/2 cups diced ham
- 3 heaping tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a shallow 2 to 2 1/2-quart baking dish with softened butter.
- In a saucepan set over low heat, combine half-and-half, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook until bubbles just begin to form around edges of pan. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Peel and slice the potatoes very thinly; pat dry with paper towels. Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in prepared baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the half-and-half mixture, 1/2 cup grated cheddar, 1/2 cup diced ham, and 1 heaping tablespoon Parmesan. Repeat layers two more times.
- Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until potatoes are completely tender when you insert a thin knife in the center. If surface is browned but potatoes are not tender after an hour, you may cover with foil and continue baking until potatoes are done to your liking. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
- If you have a mandoline slicer, it is recommended for cutting the potatoes, as it will produce very thin slices of the same thickness, which promotes even cooking.
- Potato slices will start to brown if exposed to the air too long, so if you're not assembling the dish immediately, you may put the potato slices in a bowl of cool water to prevent browning. Drain and pat dry before proceeding with recipe.
This recipe was originally shared over at Lil’ Luna.
More Ways to Use Up Leftover Ham or Turkey
- Slow Cooker Corn & Potato Chowder with Ham
- Chicken (or Turkey!) Taco Crescent Ring
- Cheesy Ham & Grits Breakfast Casserole
- Broccoli Cheese Orzo with Chicken (or Turkey!)