You know you love ham with potatoes, so let’s put the two together in a big, cheesy casserole of Scalloped Potatoes and Ham! Delicate slices of golden potatoes are layered with gooey cheddar cheese, cubed ham, and sautéed garlic and onion, encapsulated in a big, beautiful casserole with a crispy Parmesan cheese lid.
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Why You’ll Love These Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
- Old Fashioned Favorite. It’s not a holiday without old-fashioned scalloped potatoes and ham, and this recipe is THE BEST. I perfected them over the years in various forms, from Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, to Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Cheese, to Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes.
- Easy. Many scalloped potato recipes have you make a separate béchamel sauce, but that’s somewhat of a pain. To keep it quick and easy, I toss thinly-sliced potatoes in flour, then layer with cheese and a broth-milk-garlic-onion sauce. The white sauce melds and thickens while it cooks in the oven.
- Ultra Creamy. You can taste the richness and comfort in every bite.
- Cheesy. A duo of Parmesan and cheddar in the potatoes and on top for that yummy, crusty casserole lid. Want more cheese and potatoes? (Who doesn’t?) Try Twice Baked Potato Casserole.
How to Make the Best Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
To best make scalloped potatoes with ham, a mandoline is your friend, which allows you to thinly and evenly slice the potatoes.
- Potato. I recommend Yukon gold potatoes over russet for scalloped potatoes, as they have a naturally buttery flavor, making the dish more rich. You can swap russets if you prefer.
- Ham. Use diced, cooked ham. This recipe is perfect for using leftover Crockpot Ham, or you can pick up precooked, thick-cut ham from the deli counter.
- Cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese is the classic choice to layer with scalloped potatoes, but other melty cheeses such as gruyere would be divine. Parmesan cheese is sprinkled on the top for a final cheesy, salty finish.
- Milk. This recipe uses milk instead of heavy cream, but still leaves the scalloped potatoes plenty creamy.
- Broth. Using broth for part of the sauce, rather than cream or more milk, balances the richness of the ham and cheddar cheese.
- Butter. For sautéeing the onion and garlic.
- Onion. Mix in the milk and broth sauce to layer in flavor.
- Garlic. An essential ingredient when there are potatoes involved (like these Garlic Mashed Potatoes).
- Salt and Pepper. Season with salt to taste, as the saltiness of your ham may vary.
- Fresh Herbs. Fresh chives, thyme, or parsley make a pretty final garnish.
- Cook onion and garlic in butter.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the milk, broth, salt and pepper.
- Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.
- Toss peeled and sliced potatoes in flour.
- Spread one-third of the potatoes in a casserole dish.
- Layer milk-broth mixture, followed by ham, and cheddar cheese.
- Repeat and end with cheddar. Bake scalloped potatoes and ham, covered, at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes, then uncover and bake 25 minutes more. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and then broil until golden and bubbly. Let stand. ENJOY!
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container after cooled in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. You can make these potatoes ahead and reheat them. Gently reheat leftovers in an oven-safe baking dish covered with foil in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through, adding additional splashes of milk as needed. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave until hot, though I recommend the oven for the best texture.
- To Freeze. Store cooked and cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Note that potatoes do tend to become mealy when frozen, so only freeze as a last resort, or if you don’t mind a less than optimal texture.
Meal Prep Tip
If you know you’re going to freeze your potatoes, I recommend not cooking them all the way. The potatoes will hold up better in the freezer, and you will finish the baking process when you’re ready to reheat them.
What to Serve with Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- Soup. Asparagus Soup for spring and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup for fall.
- Salad. 7 Layer Salad is beautiful, Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing is always fresh, and Arugula Salad is my go-to staple.
- Additional Casseroles. Because you can’t have too much cheese during the holidays (or ever), make some Corn Casserole or Cauliflower Casserole.
Turn leftover scalloped potatoes and ham into breakfast! Serve a fried egg on the side or right on top.
They’re great for lunch the next time too, with green beans or a simple side salad.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Mandoline. For easy, uniform slicing.
- Casserole Dish. Essential for any and all baked sides.
- Liquid Measuring Cups. These are my favorite for measuring liquids.
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion 1/4-inch diced
- 6 garlic cloves minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes about 6 to 8 medium potatoes
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 1/4 to 1/2-inch diced cooked ham
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh chives thyme, or parsley, optional for serving
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In a medium pot or skillet with high sides, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Adjust the heat as needed so the onion softens but does not brown. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the milk, broth, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper. Set aside.
- Peel the potatoes. With a mandoline slicer (this is the easiest!) or a sharp chef’s knife, carefully cut the potatoes into VERY thin slices (about 1/8-inch thick; don’t cut larger or they may not cook through). Place the potato slices in a large bowl and sprinkle with the flour and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. With your hands, toss to combine
- Spread one-third of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the prepared dish. Spoon 1 cup of the milk-broth mixture over the top and sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the ham and one-third of the shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat layers twice more, so you have 3 layers each of potato, milk-broth, ham, and cheddar (you’ll end with the cheddar).
- Lightly mist a large piece of aluminum foil with nonstick spray. Cover the dish with the foil, placing it spray-side down, and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 25 additional minutes.
- Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Turn the oven to broil. Return the pan to the oven and let broil until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 1 to 3 minutes (keep an eye on it!).
- Sprinkle with the herbs. Allow the dish to stand at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes to allow the milk mixture to set and thicken. Enjoy hot, with additional salt and pepper to taste (the amount of salt you need will vary based on the saltiness of your ham and broth).
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Frequently Asked Questions
The two dishes are very similar, and some use the terms interchangeably, but au gratin potatoes may be considered more decadent, as they have cheese in the cream sauce and the potatoes are sliced more thinly.
Yes, you can substitute other types of meat in scalloped potatoes, such as bacon, sausage, or even cooked chicken.
Yes! Prepare the casserole as directed, but do not bake. Tightly wrap the casserole dish with foil, and then refrigerate up to 24 hours before cooking.