With kids that need all your attention, household chores, and overflowing laundry, you deserve a break at dinnertime. Preparing simple dinners are often the only way to do it. (Who else is going to cook dinner tonight besides mom?)
I want to share with you a very easy Ham & Potato Casserole that will blow your family’s socks off and give you as much of a break as possible.
Busy Night Ham & Potato Casserole
I like to change up my recipes from time to time. When I made this Ham & Potato Casserole, instead of using regular white potatoes that need peeling, I used the small yellow Yukon Gold Potatoes. Yukon Gold Potatoes might have a higher price but I could skip the peeling so they are worth it! You just have to cut them in quarters, throw them in cold water with some salt. Let them boil until fork tender and then drain.
Gathering more ingredients, I grabbed two ham steaks (the kind with no fat on them) and cubed them up. I also gathered my ingredients for the cheese sauce. I love cheese sauce! As a kid, we never had this casserole at my house, but we had it at school. My parents didn’t love cheese so when I got married, I had my chef husband to show me how to make a good cheese sauce.
A cheese sauce is traditionally called a Béchamel Sauce. They look scary to make because it could clump or curdle, but I’ve learned how to make it and I’m going to share it because, there is so much that you can do with this sauce. You can change it up to make something totally different, but the base is the same.
Make the Cheese Sauce:
I like to use heavy cream or half & half to get the sauce started. Put the cream into a saucepan over medium heat. Immediately, I add the flour while the cream is cold and whisk it vigorously to get all the lumps out of the flour. Keep whisking. This will come to a boil, when it does, turn the heat down, add salt and pepper. It may boil over if you’re not careful, so removing it from the heat may be necessary to slow the boil. Cook the mixture so the the flour will cook and lose it’s flour taste, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the cream from the heat and add your cheeses. I typically use cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or whatever I have in the refrigerator. That’s the beauty of this sauce, YOU CAN USE WHATEVER CHEESE you want.
Serve with salad greens or broccoli to round out your meal. It can’t get much simpler that that. I use this casserole when I can’t think of anything else for dinner, when I’m tired, or when I want something hearty. My kids love it and I can expect clean plates all around.
Serves: 8 servings
- ½ stick of butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 4 cups Half and Half or milk
- Shredded Cheese of any kind, 1 8oz bag
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package small yellow/white potatoes
- 1 package of cooked ham, cubed
- Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
- Chop and boil potatoes in salty water
- Chop (or buy ham already chopped) Ham into cubes
- Melt butter in sauce pan
- Wish in flour, making a rue to thicken the sauce. Cook for a few minutes, whisking the whole time.
- Whisk in half and half
- Mix in heavy cream
- Salt and Pepper mixture...remember you can put more in, not take it out.
- Cook for about 5 minutes
- Take sauce off heat, add in ½ cup cheese
- In a big bowl, mix ham, potatoes and cheese mixture together. Pour into a baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly brown on top