This One Pot Ham and Cheese Pasta Recipe is the perfect way to use up that leftover holiday ham. A quick and easy recipe that’s loaded with pasta, cheese, and loved by kids and adults alike!
Please tell me I’m not alone in loving holiday leftovers more than the actual dinner. However, I do have a few rules for holiday leftover recipes:
- Has to be quick and easy.
- Can’t make a mess.
- Must be DELICIOUS!
Enter this one pot ham and cheese pasta! It’s super quick and easy, made in one pot for easy cleanup, and it’s SO GOOD!
Savory, juicy leftover ham, tender pasta, gooey cheese, and tangy mustard…I mean come on. It doesn’t get better than that!
- Unsalted Butter – melted and used to sauté the onion.
- Yellow Onion – adds texture and a sweet, caramel-y flavor when sautéed.
- Salt and Pepper – enhances other flavors and adds a little hint of spice.
- Ham – any cooked and cubed ham will work great. Try using leftovers of my honey dijon crockpot ham or ham with pineapple sauce!
- Pasta – I use bow tie pasta, because I love the texture mixed with the diced ham, but any smaller pasta shape would be fine (cooking time may vary).
- Garlic – rounds out the other flavors with it’s subtle nuttiness.
- Dijon Mustard – gives the pasta a tangy kick of flavor.
- White Wine – adds a light and sweet flavor to the pasta. Serving this to kiddos? Replace with white grape juice, water, or broth.
- Water – used to cook the pasta and serves as the base for the cheese sauce.
- Salt – enhances other flavors.
- Swiss and Parmesan Cheese – melted together to form a tangy, nutty, creamy cheese sauce.
How to make
Literally throw everything into a pot and 20 minutes later, you’re golden!
- Melt butter in a large stockpot then add in onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is tender.
- Mix in cubed ham, pasta, garlic, mustard, white wine, water, and additional salt.
- Simmer until the pasta is cooked al dente, stir in Swiss and parmesan until melted, then serve and enjoy!
What ham to use
What pasta to use
Any short cut pasta will work. I love using bow tie pasta in this recipe, but macaroni, rotini, penne, shells, etc. should work! Keep in mind, if you change the pasta, cook time may also change.
- Make it creamier. Replace 1/2 cup of the water with heavy cream.
- Spice it up. Sprinkle in a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for an extra kick.
- Add veggies. Toss in some frozen peas for a little “pop” of color, texture, and nutrients.
What to serve with ham and cheese pasta
Meat (check!), pasta (check!) . . . give me some veggies, a roll, and a salad and we’re good to go!
How to store
Leftover ham and cheese pasta will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or heat on the stove with a splash of white wine until warmed through.
Happy Holiday Eating!
One Pot Ham and Cheese Pasta
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 large yellow onion sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound cooked ham diced
- 1 (16 oz) box bow tie pasta
- 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup white wine or 1/2 cup water, but wine adds more flavor
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt more or less to tsate
- 1 (8 oz) block swiss cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large stockpot.
- Once melted, add in onion, salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until tender.
- Add in ham, pasta, garlic, mustard, wine (if using), water, and additional salt.
- Bring to a simmer and simmer for 9-13 minutes, stirring regularly, until pasta is al dente.
- Remove from heat and stir in swiss and parmesan.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary, and enjoy!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.
This post was originally published December 14, 2017 and has been updated to provide more detailed content.