Picture this: a bubbly, warm, cheesy pasta dish studded with hearty ham and topped with buttery, delicious bread crumbs. This ham and noodle casserole is as easy to make as it is delicious, and we’d be willing to bet that it’ll become a family-favorite in no time!

This recipe is…

This recipe, though not the most sophisticated dinner you’ll make, will leave your family full, happy, and begging for you to make it again tomorrow! We’re not kidding – this warm, bubbly, cheesy ham and noodle casserole checks every single box for a family friendly, YUMMY dinner.

One of my favorite parts of this dish is the fact that you can use leftover (yes, leftover!) ham instead of buying it just for this recipe. That alone makes this recipe ideal for after holiday meals where you’ve got more leftover ham than you know what to do with!

If you’re looking for other family favorites, we’ve got you. Our homemade hamburger helper is always a hit, you can’t go wrong with crispy ground beef tacos, and this BBQ chicken pizza is beloved by all.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s family-friendly – this is a recipe that the entire family will truly LOVE. It’s cheesy, comforting, and really, really delicious.
  • It’s easy – while this recipe isn’t quite a one-pan meal, it’s still really easy to pull together. You’ll have to boil the noodles and make the cheese sauce separately, before the entire thing goes into the oven, but both of those things are quick and easy to do.

Ham and Cheese Casserole Recipe Ingredients

This recipe calls for a handful of simple ingredients. I bet you have at least a few of them on hand already! Find ingredient notes (including substitutions and swaps) below.

  • Shredded cheese – you’ll need shredded mild cheddar cheese for this recipe. I recommend grabbing a block and shredding it yourself if you can – it makes the process slightly longer, but it will melt better and more evenly than pre-shredded cheese!
  • Ham – if you have leftover ham, cube it and use that! If you don’t, grab some from the grocery store.

A full ingredient list with exact amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Recipe Variations and Modifications

  • Make it gluten-free – make this dish gluten-free like we did by using gluten-free noodles (Barilla GF noodles are our favorite and can be found at most local grocery stores) and gluten-free panko bread crumbs.
  • Use a different noodle shape – the noodle shape really doesn’t matter here. Short noodles are definitely preferable (rotini, bowtie, shells, etc.), though, so just don’t grab spaghetti or linguine noodles for this recipe!
  • Use crackers instead of bread crumbs – feel free to crumble your favorite crackers and mix those with butter instead of using bread crumbs, if you’d like.

How to Make Ham and Cheese Casserole

For this recipe, you’ll start by boiling your noodles, then making your cheese sauce, and then combining them all together to make the dreamiest family-friendly casserole. Follow along below.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the noodles according to package instructions minus 2 minutes, reserving a 1/2 cup of pasta water for later.

Step 2: In a large sauce pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and let it melt over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of flour, and toss until all of the butter is absorbed. Add the milk a half cup at a time, and then add the salt and pepper. Whisk to combine until smooth, then add in the cream, continuing to whisk, then the mustard and paprika.

Step 3: Turn the heat to medium low, add the cheese to the creamy sauce, and stir until totally melted (at least 5 minutes). Keep scraping the bottom to make sure it doesn’t burn. If your cheese sauce does not look like the sauce above (gravy-like), whisk the reserved pasta water in.

Step 4: In 9×13 casserole dish, add the noodles, chopped ham, and cheese sauce, and toss to combine.

Step 5: In a separate bowl, melt 1/2 stick of butter and toss with breadcrumbs.

Step 6: Spread the bread crumbs over the casserole.

Step 7: Bake the casserole for 30 minutes, and then broil for 2 minutes.

Step 8: Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Tip

Shred your own cheese! Because of the anti-caking agents put on store-bought pre-shredded cheese, you’ll get a more even melted texture if you shred a block of cheese yourself rather than buying pre-shredded cheese from the grocery store.

How to Serve

Serve your ham and cheese casserole all on its own or alongside a green veggie (like simple arugula salad or roasted green beans).

How to Store and Reheat

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To reheat, simply pop a serving into the microwave for 1-2 minutes or reheat several servings in a pot on the stovetop for 7-8 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the secret to getting a smooth cheese sauce?

If your cheese sauce seems lumpy, add the reserved pasta water into it! Whisking that into the sauce will ensure a luscious, creamy texture.

What kind of ham should I buy if I don’t have leftover ham?

Thick-cut deli ham will work great here! That’s actually what we used in the photos you see above.

If you tried this Ham and Cheese Bake or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Ham and Cheese Casserole

5 — Votes 2 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Picture this: a bubbly, warm, cheesy pasta dish studded with hearty ham and topped with buttery, delicious bread crumbs. This ham and noodle casserole is as easy to make as it is delicious, and we'd be willing to bet that it'll become a family-favorite in no time!

Ingredients  

  • 12 ounces shell or rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • pounds ham, leftover or deli ham, thick-cut, diced
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup panko

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook noodles according to package instructions minus 2 minutes, reserving a ½ cup of pasta water for later.
  • In a large sauce pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and let melt over medium heat. Add ¼ cup flour, and toss until all butter is absorbed.
  • Add the milk a ½ cup at a time, then add salt and pepper. Whisk to combine until smooth. Add in the cream, then the mustard and paprika, and whisk to combine again.
  • Add the shredded cheese to the creamy sauce, then turn the heat to medium low and stir until the cheese is totally melted. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure it doesn't burn. If your cheese sauce does not look creamy and gravy-like, whisk the pasta water into the sauce.
  • In a 9×13 casserole dish, add the noodles, chopped ham, and cheese sauce. Toss to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, melt a ½ stick of butter, toss it with the bread crumbs, and then sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over top of the casserole.
  • Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, then let the casserole broil for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Recipe Variations and Modifications:
  • Make it gluten-free – make this dish gluten-free like we did by using gluten-free noodles (Barilla GF noodles are our favorite and can be found at most local grocery stores) and gluten-free panko bread crumbs.
  • Use a different noodle shape – the noodle shape really doesn’t matter here. Short noodles are definitely preferable (rotini, bowtie, shells, etc.), though, so just don’t grab spaghetti or linguine noodles for this recipe!
  • Use crackers instead of bread crumbs – feel free to crumble your favorite crackers and mix those with butter instead of using bread crumbs, if you’d like.
Recipe Tip:
Shred your own cheese! Because of the anti-caking agents put on store-bought pre-shredded cheese, you’ll get a more even melted texture if you shred a block of cheese yourself rather than buying pre-shredded cheese from the grocery store.

Nutrition

Calories: 919kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 2281mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1205IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 415mg | Iron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 919
Keyword: ham and cheese casserole, ham and noodle casserole

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Brandi Schilhab


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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Easy, especially since I had all ingredients on hand (even snuck in a 1/8th cup of nutritional yeast) and everyone loved it. Our side was fresh juiced veggies. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! I needed veggies so I sautéed chopped chard, kale and mushrooms with garlic and added them in halfway through the layering and added remaining cheese sauce on top. Used crushed GF crackers as a topping and the leftovers are lovely!