If you are making a special holiday meal for Christmas or Easter dinner, chances are that a giant baked ham is on the menu. If you're like me, you will get a ham that is much bigger than you need just so you can have a lot of leftover ham. That way you can make your favorite leftover ham recipes!
Easy Leftover Ham Recipes
Whether you are looking to use those leftover ham slices or just the ham bone, there are tons of delicious recipes you can make starting the next day that the whole family will love. The best part about ham is that whether you're trying to use up a leftover holiday ham, or you happened to buy ham steaks at the grocery store, or you have leftover ham deli meat, any kind of extra ham can all be used in the same way.
Whether you plan on making some kind of ham and cheese casserole, ham and cheese sliders, or an easy bean and ham soup, the options are limitless.
Below you will find the best leftover ham recipes to make good use of that leftover ham!
Full Recipe Instructions
Leftover Ham Recipes + Ham and Pea Pasta Carbonara
CLICK TO PLAY RECIPE VIDEO
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 8 ounces ham (thinly sliced)
- 10 ounces peas (steamed)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup parmesan (grated)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper (as desired)
- Ensure all ingredients are chopped/measured/prepared before you start cooking. The goal is to time the recipe so that the pasta has finished cooking at the same time the ham, pea, and onion mixture is done.
- Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water.
- Heat butter and oil in large saute pan and cook onion over medium high heat until golden brown, about five minutes. Add ham, peas, and garlic and cook long enough to heat through.
- Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine eggs, parmesan and heavy cream. Whisk to combine.
- Prior to drain pasta, add about ½ cup of the cooking water to a measuring cup in case it is needed to thin the sauce later on.
- Drain hot pasta and return to pot. Add hot ham and pea mixture. With the heat off, add the egg mixture to the hot ingredients and stir very well to combine. The hot ingredients will cook the egg enough to turn it into a wonderful sauce without scrambling the egg. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
- Freshly grated parmesan always melts better than pre-shredded. Either will work for this recipe, but finely grated cheese from a block is best.
- For the best carbonara, the trick is to transfer the hot pasta directly out of the pot of salted boiling water and into the sauce, away from additional direct heat to avoid curdling the egg. This can be done either in the pasta pot or in a dish.
- Although any kind of pasta can be used, spaghetti is really your best choice because it has a sufficiently large ratio of surface area to volume. This means that the cylindrical shape of each spaghetti noodle will maximize it's contact with the sauce, thus ensuring the sauce gets properly cooked.
- To avoid having the egg scramble, never add the egg in carbonara sauce over direct heat. You use the heat from the freshly cooked pasta to heat and cook the sauce. You can also avoid curdling by setting your eggs out at room temperature a few hours before using them. That will decrease the temperature delta between your eggs and the hot pasta.
- Leftover pasta carbonara can be reheated, but you must do it gently. My recommendation for reheating would be to either heat on the stove, covered, over very low heat. The alternative would be to heat in the microwave at a low power, say 30-50%, and to stir it often to ensure it gets heated evenly.
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