Ham

29 Leftover Ham Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Transform that crisp, glazed masterpiece into dishes for any time of day.

March 28, 2022
Photo by Ty Mecham

November may be the time for turkey—but the second December and April roll around, 'tis the season for ham. Be it super-simply roasted with spices and brown sugar or baked spiral-style with apricot jam and mustard, there are very few main dishes that stand out on the dinner table like a glazed and glistening ham.

But with every show-stopping ham comes a lot of leftover meat. And delicious though it may be to munch on a couple slices cold, straight from the fridge (a thing we have all done many times), why not repurpose the ham in one of these tasty recipes? From comfort foods like grits and fried rice to egg-topped sweet potato and ham hash and ham-stuffed biscuits, here are our best leftover ham recipes. Don't forget to save that ham bone for a hearty soup.


Our Best Leftover Ham Recipes

1. Ham, Gruyère & Caramelized Onion Galette with a Fried Egg

We think just about anything is improved by adding a fried egg on top, and this savory galette stuffed with caramelized onions, Gruyère, and bits of leftover ham is no exception.

2. Dutch Ham, Gouda & Egg Sandwich (Uitsmijter)

This perfectly salty, satisfying breakfast (or lunch or late-night snack, for that matter) is yours in just a few minutes when you've got leftover slices of ham, cheese, and eggs handy.

3. Savory Oatmeal with Ham, Poached Eggs & Hollandaise Sauce

Classic eggs Benedict meets oatmeal in this hearty breakfast bowl complete with avocado, leftover ham, pesto-swirled oats, and the requisite poached egg smothered in creamy Hollandaise sauce.

4. Country Ham Biscuit with Fig Jam

Feel free to put anything you want in between these soft, buttery biscuits, but we like homemade fig jam and thick slices of ham best.

5. Jean's Kimchi Fried Rice With Spam

This spin on kimchi fried rice (fried egg on top, for the win again) calls for Spam, but you can sub in cubes or slices of leftover ham for an equally tasty result.

6. Sweet Potato, Kale & Country Ham Hash with Maple Red-Eye Gravy

This hash plays on all the breakfast-y flavors you know and love: salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy, plus a little bit of green for balance.

7. Ham, Egg & Gruyère Galette Complète

One reviewer called this breakfast-ready combination of simple ingredients "divine"—and frankly, that's all we need to add it to our to-cook list.

8. Apricot Chutney Ham & Cheese with Spiced Caramel Crust

This sandwich is a perfect study in contrasts, combining crunchy cinnamon and sugar–crusted toast, sweet and tangy apricot chutney, and salty ham and cheese.

9. Ham & Cheese Croissant Loaf

We can't think of a better way to use up leftover ham: This dreamy croissant loaf is light as air on the inside, and layered and crispy on the outside.

10. El Eme's Mythical "Triángulo" Sandwich With Secret Sauce

This "mythical" sandwich gets its name from its secret sauce, which the recipe's author was finally able to recreate after a trip to the Basque city where she first tasted it.

11. The Monte Cerdo (with Challah, Swiss & Maple-Candied Country Ham)

This sweet-meets-salty sandwich takes French toast and treats it like sandwich bread for a grilled cheese with Swiss and maple-candied ham (which you can make with a bit of maple syrup, brown sugar, and leftover ham).

12. Goat Cheese Grits with Red Eye Gravy, Country Ham, and a Fried Egg

Goat cheese adds a tangy creaminess to the grits and pairs oh-so-nicely with salty country ham and a fried egg. A dose of coffee-rich red-eye gravy adds effortless flavor and turns it into a full diner-style breakfast on a plate.

13. Ham Quiche With a Cheese Cracker Crust

A tender, creamy quiche is studded with plenty of ham and cheddar cheese for a main dish that’s ideal for breakfast, brunch, lunch, literally any meal. A cheese cracker crust gives it a serious cheesy punch.

14. Green Eggs & Ham

While this recipe calls for Parma ham, thin-sliced leftover country ham works just as well. Topped with eggs, pesto, and pesto, it’s a quick breakfast that’s nice enough to serve guests the morning after a big holiday meal.

15. Herby Ham & Gruyère Breakfast Casserole

Use stale brioche and leftover ham to make an impressive breakfast casserole that feeds a crowd. A mix of Gouda and Gruyère cheese are ideal, but a high-quality aged cheddar would be nice, too.

16. Old-Fashioned Ham, Cabbage & Potato Soup

This rustic soup is easy to throw together on any old night with the help of leftover, cubed ham and a few staple vegetables. It’s pure comfort without hours of simmering on a cold winter night.

17. Buttery Ham & Swiss Sliders

You can never go wrong with ham and Swiss, especially when squishy slider rolls and melted butter are involved. Serve warm as a party food or a lunchtime main.

18. Ken Forkish's Hawaiian Pizza

While some recipes call for bacon, a classic Hawaiian pizza is topped with sliced ham. The smoky, sweet ham combines with spicy jalapeños and juicy, tart pineapple for a flavor combo with a dedicated following.

19. Potatoes au Gratin

What can possibly make a bubbly dish of tender potatoes and creamy, cheesy sauce any better? Ham. Diced up leftover ham will make it better.

20. Ham and Cheese Muffins

Who says muffins have to be sweet? These savory morning pastries are as easy to make as they are to eat on the go.

21. Cream Cheese Omelet With Everything Seasoning

Everything bagel seasoning adds oniony, salty, seedy flavor and crunch to this simple omelet. Add thin slices or small cubes of leftover ham to the cream cheese filling to take it up a notch.

22. The Glorious Monte Cristo Sandwich

At the intersection of sweet and salty, the Monte Cristo is a classically rich treat of a sandwich. If you eat French toast and think “I sure wish there was ham in this,” then make this immediately.

23. Loaded Ham Quiche

As advertised, this quiche is loaded up with ham, potatoes, peas, and cheese for a one-dish breakfast or brunch. The flaky crust includes seasoned salt and tarragon for flavor in every bite.

24. Fancy Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Skip the deli ham and repurpose leftover ham from Easter in this better-than-average sandwich. There’s the usual ham and Swiss layered on multigrain bread, plus arugula, apricot jam, and Dijon butter.

25. Easy, Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken cordon bleu isn’t exactly trendy, but that’s what makes it so dependably delicious. “What is not to like about this dish of juicy chicken, salty ham and melted cheese, wrapped in its thick, crispy crumb coating,” writes recipe developer Elaine Lemm. Cut a few thick slices of leftover holiday ham and Swiss cheese to lay on the butterflied chicken breast.

26. Cuban Sandwich

A Cuban is a classic ham sandwich that already has so much flavor from marinated pork tenderloin, but it’ll be even better when you introduce leftover Easter ham in place of the usual mediocre deli ham. But a good Cuban is just as much about the meat as it is how it’s pressed—cook it on a really hot panini press until the bread is crunchy and golden-brown and the cheese has slightly melted.

27. Italian Easter Pie

This is a large-format pie made for serving a crowd, but because it’s packed with so many different ingredients, it’s also a great leftovers pie. Pull meats and cheeses from a charcuterie board, plus leftover smoked Easter ham, for a hearty filling inspired by the Abruzzo specialty.

28. Fried Egg Salad From Ideas in Food

Think of this as a no-recipe recipe. This egg salad is more about thinking through methodology than following one specific recipe. If you have butter, leftover ham and chopped onions, eggs, mayonnaise, some herbs and spices, and toast for serving, you will nail this “recipe.”

29. Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

Mornings are hard. Mornings after a holiday weekend are even harder. That’s where this crowd-friendly, 15-minute breakfast recipe comes together. Use ½ pound of leftover Easter ham, grated cheddar cheese, and scrambled eggs to assemble half a dozen breakfast sandwiches.

What's your very favorite way to use up leftover ham? Sandwich ideas welcome. Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • HalfPint
    HalfPint
  • SandraH
    SandraH
  • AntoniaJames
    AntoniaJames
  • Smaug
    Smaug
  • ArlewB
    ArlewB
Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Brand Partnerships at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.

5 Comments

HalfPint March 29, 2022
I like to stir fry leftover ham (julienned), green beans, and a generous dollop of Spicy Chili Crisp. Serve over hot rice. Delicious!
 
SandraH March 15, 2022
Ham Bone Soup, a Melissa Clark recipe, is delicious! Also love leftover ham in pasta with peas, Parmesan and cream.
 
AntoniaJames March 1, 2021
As my grandmother Leah Farley, a witty Irish girl from Philly, used to say, "One ham plus two people equals eternity." ;o)
 
Smaug March 1, 2021
Red Beans and Rice is THE quintessential leftover ham dish (gotta have that hambone), but ham and beans (or any smoked meat and beans) will just about always work.
 
ArlewB December 3, 2019
Stir-frys with green beans & scallions/green onions with a little spicy sauce, garlic, ginger and other Chinese condiments. Sweetness of ham is nice with a spicy sauce in a stir-fry.