Mac and Cheese with Ham

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Mac and Cheese with Ham

Mac and Cheese with Ham is a creamy, cheesy, comforting meal. The addition of diced ham turns mac and cheese into a hearty main dish meal. This is a pretty basic mac and cheese recipe that begins with a bechamel sauce made with butter, flour, and milk.

Mac and Cheese with Ham

I added both sharp yellow cheddar cheese and white cheddar for a total of 3 cups of cheese. The cheese along with 1 pound of cooked pasta, (I used the traditional elbow but any shape will do), and diced ham are added to the bechemel. I also like to add a small amount of nutmeg for flavor.

Creamy baked Mac and Cheese with Ham

The whole mixture is poured into a casserole dish, topped with buttered Panko crumbs and baked until hot. If you like, you can add a little cayenne pepper or diced jalapenos to spice it up.

Mac and Cheese with Ham is creamy and filling. Perfect comfort food for any time of year. Add a simple salad and you have a super easy, kid-friendly meal.

Creamy baked Mac and Cheese with Ham

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Mac and Cheese with Ham
 
Prep time
Cook time
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A creamy cheesy macaroni and cheese with diced ham and a buttery panko crumb topping.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound elbow pasta, cooked and drained
  • ½ stick butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1½ cups shredded yellow sharp cheddar
  • 1½ cups shredded white cheddar
  • 8 ounces ham, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup panko crumbs or homemade bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add milk in a slow, steady stream whisking to keep from lumping.
  3. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture is thick and bubbly. Whisk frequently during this time.
  4. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Reserve ¾ cup of cheese and place remaining cheese in pot and stir until melted.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta and ham. Transfer to a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining ¾ cup cheese.
  6. Combine panko crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.

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21 thoughts on “Mac and Cheese with Ham

  1. I used xtra sharp cheddar, a 4 year aged sharp cheddar and a Gouda, total of 5 cups of cheese. Also added a little garlic powder, regular breadcrumbs instead of Panko and dusted a few w/ cayenne pepper! It was amazing! My husband usually does the cooking in the house and he loved it!
    I also like to do mini loaf pans (6) instead of a big 9×13 size!

  2. Instead of panko. I used leftover crushed cheezits or other crackers, crushed and mixed with butter. It’s also time to use up any left over cheese. I had a small piece of cheddar and 1/4 tub of feta. Any leftover cheese will work. I hate throwing things away. Even boil up leftover boxes of pasta that have been languishing in the cup boards. We buy elbows for pasta salad, penne for baked pasta, even broken up spaghetti noodles will do. It’s a shame to throw away good food, we might as well use it up. A baked mac&cheese is a good way to use up thawed frozen veggies too. No one minds veggies mixed into lots of cheese.

  3. Just made this tonight and it was awesome! I added a few things just to try. I chopped and fried up 2 onions, I added a tsp. of ground mustard and a few dashes of hot sauce for the hubby….I also did not have white cheddar but used mozzarella instead. I almost forgot, I doubled the panko because I love crunchy!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe…its a keeper!

  4. Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and I love that you added ham to yours. It looks delicious especially with that crumb topping! Mmmm so so good!

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