Cheesy, creamy, and comforting, this easy ham and potatoes au gratin casserole is packed with leftover ham, tender sliced potatoes, green peas, and smothered with a cheesy béchamel sauce and extra cheese on top. It's the ultimate comfort food that comes together so easily. Serve it on its own for a delicious and filling meal with a side salad, or as a side dish on your holiday dinner table.
I usually make this creamy ham and potatoes au gratin the day after a holiday meal when I have lots of leftover ham that I need to use up. Some of my other go-to's for leftover ham are creamy Chinese-style borscht soup or creamy ham and potato soup.
- potatoes - Russet potatoes are the best choice for this dish, followed by Yukon gold potatoes, as these are more starchy and add creaminess to the dish. But you can use other types of potatoes as long as they are thinly sliced. To help slice them evenly, I use this mandoline slicer to get the perfect slices every time.
- cooked ham - this recipe is a great way of using leftover holiday glazed baked ham.
- frozen peas - the peas add a nice subtle flavour to this au gratin. You can leave them out of if you prefer, or add in other vegetables like sweet corn and carrots. Just make sure to dice the vegetables that you use into very small cubes.
- cheesy béchamel sauce - a béchamel sauce is essentially a sauce that is made from all-purpose flour, butter and milk, with other flavours added to customize it. Our sauce also has garlic, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and cheddar cheese.
- cheddar cheese - I used sharp white cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top. Any hard cheese that melts easily into a creamy texture will work. You can try swiss cheese or mozzarella.
- fresh parsley - optional, for serving on top.
How to Make the Best Easy Leftover Ham and Potatoes au Gratin
First, layer the casserole. Place half of the sliced potatoes in a single layer at the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole pan and top with cubed ham, peas and onion. Place the remaining half of the potatoes over the mixture. Set aside.
Then, prepare the creamy sauce. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour to form a thick paste similar to the consistency of cake frosting, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in milk and chicken broth until sauce is smooth and uniform. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat and let it simmer until thickened to desired consistency, about 5 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning and cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste (I did not add any salt and pepper as the ham I used was already very salty).
Pour the cream sauce over the potatoes and spread evenly.
Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 50 minutes. Then, remove from oven and sprinkle the remaining cup of cheddar cheese evenly over the casserole. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake uncovered for another 20-25 minutes until the melted cheese turns golden brown on top.
Let the creamy ham and potatoes au gratin cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve.
How to Store
- Make ahead instructions: One of the best things about this dish is that you can easily prep it a day in advance, prior to baking. Just assemble the entire casserole, cover and store in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes to allow it to come to room temperature. Then, bake according to recipe instructions.
- How to store: Store leftover ham and potatoes au gratin in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
More Comfort Food Recipes
- Creamy Potatoes au Gratin
- Cheesy Tortellini and Sausage Bake
- Creamy White Chicken and Spinach Lasagna
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese with White Cheddar
- Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata
- Easy Meat Lasagna
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.