Deliciously Cheesy: How to Make the Ultimate Ham and Potato Casserole
With a combination of gooey melted cheese, savory ham, and tender potatoes, the ultimate ham and potato casserole is a comforting and satisfying dish that will have your taste buds begging for more.
This cheesy masterpiece is the perfect choice for a cozy family dinner or a potluck party that will make you the star of the show.
Imagine sinking your fork into layers of deliciousness—creamy, cheesy, and loaded with flavor. This crowd-pleaser is easy to prepare and can be customized to your liking by adding your favorite spices, veggies, or even a sprinkle of bacon for an added indulgence.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or need a little help in the kitchen (we got you!), this recipe is foolproof and guaranteed to impress even the pickiest eaters. From the first bite to the last, this ham and potato casserole will leave you craving more of its irresistible, cheesy goodness.
Ingredients for Potato Ham Cheese Casserole
To create the ultimate ham and potato casserole, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Frozen shredded potatoes (like hash browns, diced potatoes, etc.)—mine were about half frozen. Just bash them on the counter to break them apart before opening the bag.
- Unflavored/plain Greek yogurt(or substitute sour cream)
- Cream of chicken soup: before you ask, yes, you can substitute for other “cream of” soups, which changes the flavor. If you prefer a different type of soup, that is fine!
- butter, salt, and optional black pepper
- Cheddar cheese: Cheddar works best for ham, but there are a variety of other great cheese flavors, and it’s fine to substitute
- Cooked ham: This recipe is fantastic for leftover ham from dinner dishes or holidays. Ham can also be purchased already cooked in slices or diced down in the deli department or packaged meat department in the store.
- Rice Krispies cereal (NO SUGAR ADDED! ⭐⭐⭐⭐)
How to make the Ultimate Ham and Potato Casserole
Step by step instructions
Prep Your Ingredients: Start with a large bowl and toss in 1 bag (30 oz.) of frozen hash browns. Add 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, one can (10.75 oz.) of cream of chicken soup, and 1/4 cup (half stick) of melted butter. This is your casserole’s creamy base.
Season: Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder to season our mix. These will add layers of flavor to your casserole. You can also add other seasonings like black pepper here.
Cheese and Ham: Now, for the fun part! Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup of chopped ham. The cheese will melt beautifully when cooked, and the ham adds the savory note.
Mix It Up: Give all these ingredients a good mix to ensure everything is well combined and coated with the creamy mixture.
Into the Pan: Spread your potato mixture evenly into a prepared baking pan. This will ensure it cooks evenly and gets that golden edge we all love.
Crispy Topping: Sprinkle 1 cup of Rice Krispies on top for a crispy finish. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup (half stick) of melted butter over the rice krispies.
Bake: Pop your casserole into the oven and bake for 40–50 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it’s bubbly around the edges and hot in the center.
Tips for a perfectly cheesy and flavorful casserole
- Use freshly shredded cheese for the best melting and flavor. Pre-packaged shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can affect the texture, but its fine in a pinch.
- To save time, you can use pre-cooked ham from the deli counter or pre-packaged meat department. Just dice it into bite-sized pieces before adding it to the casserole.
- For an extra burst of flavor, sprinkle some chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, on top of the casserole before serving.
- If you prefer a crispier top, broil the casserole for a couple of minutes at the end of the baking time.
Variations and substitutions for the Ultimate Ham and Potato Casserole
Add veggies: You can incorporate vegetables like broccoli, spinach, or bell peppers into the casserole for added nutrition and flavor. Just make sure to cook them before adding them to the layers.
Go for different cheeses: While cheddar cheese is classic, you can experiment with other types of cheese like Swiss, Gruyère, or a mix of different cheeses for a unique twist.
Spice it up: If you like a bit of heat, add some diced jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the sauce for a spicy kick.
Bacon lovers: If you’re a fan of bacon, cook some crispy bacon and crumble it on top of the casserole before serving.
Serving suggestions and side dish ideas
This cheesy ham and potato casserole can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or paired with complementary sides.
Here are a few ideas to complete your meal:
For dinner servings, consider pairing it with a vibrant green bean salad for a crunchy, nutty contrast. A simple garden salad dressed in a light vinaigrette can add a fresh, crisp element to your meal, balancing the richness of the casserole.
And for a touch of sweetness, honey-glazed carrots offer a colorful and flavorful complement.
If you’re leaning towards breakfast, this casserole pairs wonderfully with fluffy scrambled eggs or feta fried eggs for an added protein boost. A platter of Fresh Fruit Salad, with its juicy and refreshing flavors, makes for a light and healthy side that cleanses the palate.
And you can’t go wrong with Warm Buttermilk Biscuits; their buttery, soft texture is perfect for sopping up any leftover creamy sauce from the casserole, rounding off a hearty breakfast spread. I like to make air fryer biscuits for ease and I use this American biscuits recipe when I want to get homemade.
Storing and reheating the Ultimate Ham and Potato Casserole
If you have any leftovers, you can store the casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place a portion in the microwave or bake it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.
Frequently asked questions about making the Ultimate Ham and Potato Casserole
Can I prepare the casserole in advance?
Yes! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time, cover it with foil, and refrigerate it overnight. When you’re ready to bake it, remove the foil and follow the baking instructions.
Can I freeze the casserole?
Yes, you can freeze the unbaked casserole for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before baking as directed.
Can I use a different type of potato?
While russet potatoes work best for this recipe due to their starchy texture, you can experiment with other varieties, such as Yukon Gold or red potatoes. Just keep in mind that the texture and cooking time may vary slightly.
Can this dish be made in a slow cooker?
Yes! Just spray down a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for the topping, and put into a slow cooker. Layer on Rice Krispie topping and drizzle with melted butter. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for about 5 hours.
Do I have to use ham?
You can always leave the ham out, of course, and then it simply becomes a traditional funeral potato side dish, but I always feel like the addition of proteins makes it even more hearty and easily translates to a full dinner.
Testimonials and reviews from satisfied readers
“I made this casserole for a potluck, and it was a huge hit! Everyone kept asking for the recipe. It’s so cheesy and delicious!” – Sarah Y.
“This is now a family favorite in our house. The flavors are fantastic, and it’s so easy to make. Highly recommend!” – Mark H.
“I’m not usually a fan of casseroles, but this one changed my mind. The combination of ham, potatoes, and cheese is unbeatable. I can’t wait to make it again!” – Lisa L.
Enjoying the mouthwatering goodness of the Ultimate Ham and Potato Casserole
The ultimate ham and potato casserole is a crowd-pleasing dish that delivers both flavor and comfort. With its creamy texture, gooey melted cheese, and savory ham, it’s a recipe that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Whether you’re looking for a simple weeknight meal or a dish that will impress at a potluck, this ham and potato casserole is a winner. So, grab your apron, preheat your oven, and get ready to enjoy the irresistible cheesy goodness of this ultimate comfort food.
Ham And Potato Casserole (Rice Krispie Topping)
- 30 oz. frozen hash browns shredded potatoes
- 1 cup unflavored/plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, if preferred
- 10.75 oz. cream of chicken soup
- 1 stick of butter divided and melted
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste, also feel free to add black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped ham
- 1 cup Rice Krispies cereal no sugar added
- Prep Your Ingredients: Start with a large bowl and toss in 1 bag (30 oz.) of frozen hash browns. Add 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, one can (10.75 oz.) of cream of chicken soup, and 1/4 cup (half stick) of melted butter.
- Season: Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder to season our mix. You can also add additional seasonings at this point if you prefer a specific taste (like black pepper).
- Cheese and Ham: Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup of chopped ham. Give all these ingredients a good mix to ensure everything is well combined and coated with the creamy mixture.
- Into the Pan: Spread your potato mixture evenly into a prepared baking pan. We used a round 3-Quart Dish.
- Crispy Topping: Sprinkle 1 cup of Rice Krispies on top for a crispy finish. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup (half stick) of melted butter over the rice krispies.
- Bake: Pop your casserole into the oven and bake for 40–50 minutes. You'll know it's done when it's bubbly around the edges and hot in the center.
Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.