Mac and Cheese with Ham

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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.

Mac and Cheese with Ham


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


Mac and Cheese with Ham in a casserole dish.

Mac and Cheese with Ham

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 731kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
A creamy cheesy macaroni and cheese with diced ham and a buttery panko crumb topping.
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound elbow pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded yellow sharp cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar
  • 8 ounces ham, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup panko crumbs or homemade bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • 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.
  • Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture is thick and bubbly. Whisk frequently during this time.
  • Season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Reserve 3/4 cup of cheese and place remaining cheese in pot and stir until melted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta and ham. Transfer to a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
  • Combine panko crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.


Calories: 731kcal

You might also like this Super Creamy Mac and Cheese!

40 thoughts on “Mac and Cheese with Ham

  1. Most recipes is 1/4th of flour and 2 cups of milk…is 4 cups correct?? I just don’t wait to be too milky

  2. It looks perfect. I want to add some heavy cream to it though because it gives a great flavor but at which point would it be best for me to incorporate it into the recipe? Help thanksgiving is next week!

  3. This sounds so good. I am eating boxed Mac n cheese with cubed ham. Would cubed ham work for this recipe? And if so would it be the same amount of ham as the diced ham called for? Also I don’t have a 9×13 pan. I have a large circular baking dish. Would that work?

  4. Loved the recipe. But as a I’m not a great cook….more specific measurements would he awesome. I did a lot of googling…but what is a 1/2 stick of butter? How much dry pasta makes a 1 pound of pasta? I did find the info…but it would have been much easier if it was in her recipe.

    1. Wow. You really don’t cook. Half a stick of butter is just that. You take a stick of butter and cut it in half. As for the macaroni, the box (or bag) is clearly marked with the weight. You go by the dry, uncooked weight.

      1. Our butter is packaged in 1-lb. packages. No sticks here. This must be a USA measurement. The sarcasm is not appreciated.

    2. For future reference if you look at the stick of butter there should be markings on one side that give you different measurements for butter also.
      Keep cooking!

  5. I made this with homemade penne noodles from my Philips Noodle Maker Machine using mostly semolina flour. Also panko and butter crumb topping and extra diced jalapenos. It was amazing with the homemade noodles.

  6. I used medium shell pasta, a smoked ham steak, a little bit of smoked gouda and added smoked paprika. Sooo good! That smoky flavor made it perfect for the holidays. I had made it for my 6 year old and I myself usually don’t like mac and cheese, but it was perfect! Kids and adults alike enjoyed it. Great recipe!

  7. Made this for New Years Day with the last nice fat bit of Christmas ham . My family and I loved it. It was so simple to make according to your directions too. I was really low on milk so I added sour cream and some of the pasta water instead. Also I didn’t have white cheddar so I used more yellow sharp cheddar and also some mozzarella and parmesan I had around. The panko was so nice and fluffy crunchy:-). I love simple stuff like this. It was delicious! Thank you, Christin. Happy New Year!

    1. I am going to add some prepared horseradish sauce for a little kick. My mom used to make this and added horseradish sauce. I just don’t remember how much! Should be interesting.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    1. Thanks for all the great tips for cleaning out the fridge and cupboards Denise! I usually make omelets to use up my leftovers, but next time I’m going to make mac and cheese. πŸ™‚

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. There’s something so comforting about mac and cheese, I can’t get enough of the stuff. Love the addition of the ham, it’s the perfect touch to this!

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