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49 Creative Ways to Use Leftover Ham

updated Dec 3, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

When it comes to holiday hams, there are always, always leftovers. Yes, even if you’ve done your research on how to cook a ham and made estimates based on how many people you’re feeding.

But honestly, leftover ham dishes can be even tastier than the centerpiece itself. There are plenty of ways — big and small — that we all can use leftover ham, now and later. Here are more than 40 of the best recipes for using up leftover ham, plus advice on freezing and storing it.

3 Ways to Freeze Ham

Ham freezes incredibly well. Our suggestion? Freeze the ham in different forms depending on how you’ll use it:

  • For soups and salads, cube ham for soups and salads. This also works well if you’re going to make Ham and Cheddar Muffins.
  • For sandwiches, calzones, and roll-ups, thinly slice ham.
  • For cooking with vegetables like green beans or collard greens, cut thick slices of ham.

How Long Does Leftover Ham Last?

Fully cooked hams last for up to a week in their vacuum-sealed packaging. Once reheated, ham is best within three to four days of cooking. Frozen ham lasts one to two months.

Breakfast Recipes with Ham

There are more than a few ways to use ham outside of an omelet for breakfast. And some of these recipes, including the breakfast sandwiches, can be prepped and frozen for future meals.

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Hammy Breakfast Hotdish Recipe
Molly Yeh's hammy breakfast hotdish is cheesy, creamy, and topped with tater tots.
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Baked Denver Omelet
Chop up about a cup and a half of leftover ham for this omelet-inspired casserole.
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Croissant Breakfast Sandwich
Layered with scrambled eggs, ham, cheese, and Dijon, these croissant breakfast sandwiches can be made in advance and frozen for an easy weekday breakfast.
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Green Eggs and Ham
The eggs get the green hue from a quick spinach sauce, in this Dr. Seuss-inspired breakfast.
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Ham, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Quesadilla
This is your classic ham, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich reimagined into a freezer-friendly quesadilla.
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Ham, Cheddar and Chive Egg Bakes
This light and fluffy egg bake is basically a cheater's souffle.
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Western Omelet in a Mug
Just as you’d expect if it were cooked on the stovetop, this omelet boasts light and fluffy eggs studded with diced onion, bell peppers, pieces of ham, and a sprinkling of shredded cheese on top. And it's ready in just 60 seconds.
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Frittata
Add some leftover chopped ham and whatever veggies and cheese you have in the crisper in a skillet for an easy frittata.
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Breakfast Hand Pies
These BEC hand pies call for bacon, but ham makes a great substitute.
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Sweet Potato Biscuits with Ham Recipe

Pair leftover ham with Toni Tipton-Martin's buttery, cinnamon-scented sweet potato biscuits and salted honey butter.

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Sandwiches with Ham

Thinly sliced and smeared with mustard, ham sandwiches are a classic way to use leftovers. These sandwiches use up both sliced and cubed ham, and include make-ahead options as well as warm-pressed sandwiches.

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Ham and Cheese Sliders
These sliders have it all: sweet slices of ham, irresistibly gooey Swiss cheese, squishy Hawaiian rolls, and a savory butter drizzled over top.
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A Very French Ham and Cheese Baguette
Here's the Frenchiest ham sandwich you can make for lunch.
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Monte Cristo Sandwich
If you've every wanted to master this cafe classic at home, here's the step-by-step to doing it perfectly!
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Ham, Brie, Marmalade and Arugula Pressed Sandwich
A swipe of bittersweet marmalade and creamy Brie are a quick way to upgrade your basic ham sandwich.
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Asparagus, Ham, and Cheese Stuffed Buns
The only thing better than breaking open a flaky dinner roll that’s still warm from the oven is a roll that’s warm and filled with ham, roasted asparagus, and melty Gouda cheese.
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Ham, Egg, and Cheese Wraps
These wraps take the trifecta of breakfast foods — ham, eggs, and cheese — and turn them into portable bites that can work as breakfast or lunch.
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Ham, Leek, and Ricotta Toaster Tarts
Grab a pack of frozen puff pastry to simplify these savory hand pies.
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Giant Skillet Grilled Cheese with Ham and Apple
If you're coming for serious comfort, a giant grilled cheese layered with ham is definitely a good idea.
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Cuban Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Miami chef Richard Hales puts his spin on the classic Cuban sandwich.
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Cuban Medianoche Sandwiches
The Cuban medianoche is a close sibling to the more famous cubano. With an identical filling — Swiss cheese, pork, ham, pickles, and sharp yellow mustard — the one distinguishing element here is the bread.
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The Ultimate Croque Madame
A crispier, cheesier version of the French croque madame sandwich, thanks to two layers of a cheese and a smart shortcut.
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Chicken Cordon Bleu-Croque Monsieur
Two classic favorites in one sandwich.
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Ham and Cheddar Lunch Box Muffins

Replace that classic sandwich with these savory muffins, loaded with thick-cut chunks of ham, sharp cheddar cheese, and a pinch of chives.

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Ham Salad

This big batch of ham salad can be used for sandwiches, appetizers, and snacks.

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Soups with Ham

This is the biggest boon of making a bone-in holiday ham! A good bone perfumes pots of beans and soups of every kind, not just split pea. And it’s easy to use. In most cases, you simply toss it in to the beans or the stock, and as the dish cooks, it absorbs the bone’s meaty flavor — as well as any small bits of meat still clinging on.

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Navy Bean Soup
Add this old-time classic to your go-to roster of soups.
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Ham and Bean Soup
All you need is a couple cans of beans, some broth, basic vegetables, and of course the leftover ham to pull together a pot of this quick and easy soup.
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Slow Cooker Ham Bone Soup
If you find yourself with a ham bone, consider this smoky soup a must.
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Easy Slow Cooker Bean Soup
A bag of blended beans, a smoked meaty bone, and a slow cooker turn into dinner.
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Split Pea Soup
This easy recipe for classic split pea soup flavored with thyme and a smoked ham hock, with the option to make it vegetarian.
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Fridge-Clearing Lentil Soup
A hearty pot of lentil soup is always a great way to use up leftovers, no matter how much you've got.
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Ham and Potato Soup
Turn leftover ham into a cozy bowl of creamy, comforting goodness.
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Ham Bone, Greens, and Bean Soup

This recipe takes the stone soup idea and stretches it out, starting with the bone discarded from a ham.

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Dinner Recipes with Ham

I relish the chance to make split pea soup after Easter, but if that’s not your thing, ham bones are delicious for seasoning greens. Just use them in place of the hock. And the rest of the ham can fill chicken roll-ups, get turned into rarebit, or top biscuits.

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Cauliflower Fried Rice with Ham and Egg
Riced cauliflower makes a tasty substitute for regular rice in this quick and easy fried rice.
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Ham, Asparagus & Gruyère Tart
Flaky puff pastry makes this simple spring tart, topped with ham, asparagus, and Gruyère feel especially fancy.
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Ham Welsh Rarebit
This classic British dish is made of toasted bread covered in a fondue-like sauce of melted cheese and dark ale, and we’ve taken the liberty of adding a few slices of ham to it too.
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Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
Try a weeknight-friendly version of the retro dinner dish, in which crispy breaded chicken and a rosy slice of ham are wrapped around an oozy cheesy center.
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Collard Greens
These collard greens are flavorful without being too salty. All you need is ham hock, two big bunches of collard greens, salt, pepper, and some red pepper flakes for heat.
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Better-Than-Grandma’s Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
A classic recipe for creamy scalloped potatoes with ham that can be made with or without cheese.
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Chicken, Ham & Cheddar Roll-Ups

These chicken roll-ups are such a quick and satisfying dinner, no microwave required.

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Irish Turkey & Ham Cottage Pie

This hearty dish is filled with turkey, smoked ham, scallions, and cabbage, all tossed in a rich parsley sauce, and topped with creamy mashed potatoes.

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Casseroles with Ham

Pair ham with eggs, cheese, and stale bread, and you magically have a sturdy dinner or breakfast to feed a small crowd.

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Ham and Potato Casserole
This rich combination of ham and potatoes in a creamy cheese sauce is comfort food in a casserole dish.
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Black Forest Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Black forest ham, nutty Gruyère, sourdough, and pumpernickel give this take on the ham and cheese breakfast casserole an elegant update.
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Creamy Baked Orzo with Ham, Peas and Leeks
Consider this bright and comforting casserole a must for spring.
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Caramelized Onion, Ham, and Provolone Breakfast Bread Pudding
Get out your springform pan for this fancy breakfast casserole.
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"Ham and Cheese" Breakfast Casserole
This casserole calls for pancetta, but you can easily swap in leftover ham.
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Ham and Cheese Quiche
This classic ham and cheese quiche that only requires five ingredients.
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Country Ham and Onion Quiche
This sheet pan quiche starts with a simple shortbread crust that you press into the pan.
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Baked Croque-Monsieur Casserole
If it’s a brunch stunner you’re after, or a dinner option with breakfast undertones, then this all-in-one baked take on the croque-monsieur should shoot to the top of your must-make list.
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Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach, Chèvre, Smoked Ham
This bread pudding is deeply flavored, brimming with ham, cheese, and fresh herbs.
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