Last updated on June 18th, 2021 at 10:30 pm
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham has layers of tender potatoes and meaty ham drenched in a velvety white sauce. Topped with melted cheddar for a cheesy, creamy, and hearty side dish!
I’m a huge fan of casseroles. Big flavors in a big batch, and good for a crowd? Yes, please. This Chicken Parmesan Casserole, Sausage Pesto Tortellini Casserole, or Cheesy White Pizza Casserole will be the star of your next potluck!
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham sound fancy, doesn’t it? But this dish is made of the humblest ingredients— ham, potatoes, cream, and cheese. Seasoned with garlic, onion, broth, paprika, and herbs. Then, all baked up in the creamiest, melt-in-your-mouth layers.
This is comforting and filling in the very best way. What sets this dish apart is the way it’s constructed. The thin potato slices soak up that rich sauce, while the chunks of meat add a nice bite.
Since we’re doing this in layers, you can taste all those delicious components in every forkful. The familiar flavors make it a no-brainer if you’re serving kids or picky eaters! I’m telling you: serve this once, and you better be ready for everyone to request it again and again.
What are scalloped potatoes?
This cooking technique hails from France. It’s made of spuds cut into thin rounds, then baked as a casserole dish with milk or heavy cream.
The most basic form of this dish only calls for milk, butter, and heavy cream. For seasoning, salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg. The casserole is topped with buttered breadcrumbs so that the top layer crisps up.
The beauty of this dish is that it’s so versatile. You can protein and veggies in there to make this side into a main. Also, the simple flavors lend themselves well to the addition of herbs, different cheeses, and other variations I’ll talk about later.
For my version, I add ham, cheese, and herbs to the base recipe. The ham adds a nice smokiness, and it’s subtle enough to not take away the spotlight from the rest of the dish.
How to make Scalloped Potatoes and Ham?
Preheat the oven:
Set your oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×13 casserole pan.
Make your creamy sauce:
- First, start by cooking the onion in butter until soft. Then, add your herbs, garlic, and flour. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Next, slowly whisk in a little of the milk at a time. It may lumpy at the beginning, but keep whisking. It will smoothen out.
- Stir in your seasonings, broth, and cream. Boil for a minute.
Layer the dish:
- Slice your potatoes thinly and chop the ham.
- Then, layer them with the sauce. Make sure the topmost layer is the sauce.
- For the last 15 minutes, top with cheddar.
- Let the baked dish rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Recipe variations and substitutions:
You can do so many delicious variations to this homemade dish:
- Use thick-cut bacon instead of ham, or use both!
- Also, feel free to throw in some baby spinach, bell peppers, fresh kale, or mushrooms to the white sauce.
- Want it extra herby? Stir in some pesto into the cream mixture.
- Create a sweet and savory version by using sweet potatoes. You can also half white and half sweet.
- Experiment with cheese! I like this with some gouda, mozzarella, gruyere, pepper jack, or fontina. You can also sprinkle some crumbled feta, goat cheese, or diced brie in there. You can even try it with blue cheese!
- In addition, mix some grated parmesan into the sauce for extra cheesiness.
- Top with butter-toasted breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs for a crunchier topping.
- For a gluten-free version, replace the flour with the gluten-free variety.
- Use Cajun seasoning, ranch seasoning, or other dried seasoning blends in the sauce.
- For a little kick, add horseradish.
Best potatoes to use:
Any variety will do, but Russets and Yukon hold up really well to the sauce and baking even when sliced thin.
What to serve with Scalloped Potatoes and Ham?
Can you freeze scalloped potatoes with ham?
Yes. I recommend leaving the dish a tiny bit undercooked before cooling and freezing. That way, the spuds won’t break apart when you bake it again but become perfectly-cooked and tender.
More delicious side dishes:
- Crispy Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Creamed Spinach
- Perfect Sautéed Mushrooms
- Homemade Coleslaw
- Crack Corn Salad
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Use a mandolin slicer to get uniformly thin cuts.
- Caramelize the onion for more complex flavor.
- Also, cut the ham into smaller chunks so they integrate better with the layers.
- You can also replace the ham with shredded chicken.
- Double the garlic if you love all things garlicky!
- Mix in some red pepper flakes, diced jalapenos, or cayenne powder if you like it spicy.
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme (finely chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cream (or half and half)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 pounds white potatoes (sliced in about ⅛" thick rounds)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked ham (diced into small cubes)
- 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 9x13" baking dish and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add the onion. Cook onion until onion tender.
- Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, flour, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and add milk a little at a time whisking very well between each addition.
- Next, stir in the cream and chicken broth, into the mixture. Add paprika, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil, boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Arrange ⅓ of the potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Topped with ⅓ of the ham, distributing evenly, next, and ⅓ of the sauce. Repeat the layers.
- Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20-30 more minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.