Scalloped potatoes and ham is classic old-fashioned comfort food with creamy sauce, melted cheese, and thin slices of tender ham and potatoes. This hearty dinner is the perfect use for leftover ham.
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Homemade scalloped potatoes with ham are one of our favorite comfort foods. With these easy step-by-step photo instructions, you get perfect results the first time and every time.
As usual, I read way too many recipes, but most were very similar. The inspiration piece will be a Pioneer Woman recipe on Food Network. But I could use several others as inspiration also.
A few changes to simplify the instructions, add step-by-step pictures, decrease the fat some, and, most importantly, change the cooking time.
I know this is cooking for two, and I have included instructions for a half recipe. But this full-size recipe fits our lifestyle. Since it is the whole meal for us, we will eat a double serving, plus we love leftovers.
I had initially rated this a solid four, but the evolution of the recipe with 25+ repeat cookings has made it to the five range. Low 5 but still a 5 for me—excellent comfort food.
Scalloped vs. Au Gratin Potatoes
Scalloped is anything baked in a casserole with a sauce that could be cheese or any other sauce. Au Gratin means “with cheese.” So this recipe could be called Scalloped or Au Gratin or Scalloped Au Gratin.
Take the cheese out and just use a white sauce and you have Scalloped but not Au Gratin. Now you know.
So, this could also be called Au Gratin potatoes and ham. I was brought up calling this scalloped, so I'm using that, but Au Gratin may be more correct.
All potatoes will cook about the same, so use what you want and have available, but usually, Russet potatoes are used. Russets have thick skin and are generally peeled.
This recipe needs about 1 ½ to 2 pounds of sliced potatoes. A medium Russet potato is 6-8 oz.
Other potatoes, like Yukon Gold potatoes, are commonly used, and since they have thinner skin, I like to leave the skin on but remove it if you want.
Any ham that is "bit size" will work well. The amount of ham you use is flexible. For this full-size recipe, about ¾ pounds which will be approximately 3 cups of sliced ham, is suggested but a bit more or less is acceptable.
Dice ham will also work, but I find sliced ham more traditional.
Mild cheddar cheese is excellent in this recipe, but Monterey Jack or Gruyere are also commonly used. But use the cheese you like or love.
👨🍳How to Make Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Scrub and peel the potatoes if using Russets. Slice the potatoes thin—I prefer about ⅜ inch thick but no thicker than ¼ inch thick.
I always use a mandolin and suggest you use one too if you have one—it is tough to cut this amount of potatoes consistently. If you use a mandolin, please follow the manufactures safety instructions to prevent an unscheduled trip to the emergency room.
Make a roux with butter and flour, then slowly add milk while whisking. Use the same butter for cooking the onion before making the roux, and you can leave the cooked onion while making the roux.
For more details on roux, see How to Make Gravy from Scratch.
Make three layers of first potato slices, then cheese and ham, then sauce. On the top layer, double the cheese, and place on top of the casserole.
⏰How Long to Cook Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Most reference recipes suggest total cooking times of 60-70 minutes. While it is "done," there is still a little firmness in the potatoes that my wife and I don't like.
I have done this 20 plus times, and I now do about 2 hours of total cooking time. So I have changed the instructions, but feel free to cook for the original recommended 40 minutes covered and 25 minutes uncovered if you want firmer potatoes.
Your casserole is done when the potatoes are "fork tender" to your liking.
👨🍳How to Make a Scalloped Potatoes and Ham for Two
Make a smaller version of scalloped potatoes and ham for two or one. This is an easy recipe to cut in half, but the work doesn't decrease that much. With the decrease in size, the serving number decreased from eight to four. Leftovers are good refrigerated for four days or frozen for 3-4 months.
- Use a 6X9 or 8X8 pan for a half recipe.
- In the recipe card, adjust the number of servings to 4. That will do the math an change the ingredient amounts displayed. WARNING- this does not adjust the instructions, so you will need to follow the amounts in the ingredients and not the instructions.
- Cooking time will be a little shorter, so check a bit early for fork tender.
🔪How to Making Ahead
Assemble completely and seal airtight. Refrigerate for 2-3 days. Or freeze for 2-3 months.
If frozen, thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
❄️How to Store Leftovers
For short-term storage of leftovers, seal well and refrigerate for 3-4 days. For longer-term storage, freeze for 3-4 months.
Reheating in the oven is preferred. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
📖Scalloped Potato Recipes
Also, see What to Do With Leftover Ham for ham ideas.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional.
Scrub, peel, and slice 4 medium russet potatoes— 1 ½ to 2 pounds. Slice thin—about ⅜ inch thick. A mandolin is recommended if you have one. If you use a mandolin, please follow the manufactures safety instructions.
Chop 1 small onion. Chop or slice your ham into bite-size pieces.
Over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter and add the onion. Cook until clearing—about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons flour and mix well. Continue to cook and whisk for about 2 minutes until browning some.
Add 3 cups of milk slowly while continuing to whisk. Whisk and cook until thickening well. About 3-4 minutes. During this part, add 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
Prep a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish with a coat of butter.
Add about ⅓ of the potatoes—top with ⅓ of the ham, ½ cup cheese of choice, and ⅓ of the sauce. Repeat two more times but use a full cup of cheese on the top layer over the ham.
Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 90 minutes, then uncover and cook another 20-25 minutes until nicely brown and bubbling.
Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Old Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
- 4 russet potatoes - medium cleaned and sliced thin. Peeling optional
- 1 onion - small chipped
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 4 tablespoon flour - ¼ cup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheese of choice - Monterey Jack or cheddar are good choices
- ¾ pound ham - dice or cut into small bite size bites. About 3 cups. A bit more or less is fine.
- Preheat oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional.
- Scrub, peel, and slice 4 medium russet potatoes— 1 ½ to 2 pounds. Slice thin—about ⅜ inch thick. A mandolin is recommended if you have one. If you use a mandolin, please follow the manufactures safety instructions.
- Chop 1 small onion. Chop or slice your ham into bite-size pieces.
- Over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons butter and add the onion. Cook until clearing—about 3-4 minutes.
- Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons flour and mix well. Continue to cook and whisk for about 2 minutes until browning some.
- Add 3 cups of milk slowly while continuing to whisk. Whisk and cook until thickening well—about 3-4 minutes. During this part, add 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- Prep a 9 by 13 baking dish by coating it with butter.
- Add about ⅓ of the potatoes. Top with ⅓ of the ham, ½ cup of cheese, and ⅓ of the sauce. Repeat two more times, but use a full cup of cheese on the top layer.
- Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 90 minutes, then uncover and cook another 20-25 minutes until nicely brown and bubbling.
- Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
My Private Notes
- Easy to cut in half. See the instructions below.
- Use a mandolin to slice the potatoes to save your fingers and time. But be careful with the mandolin.
- Use potatoes of your choice, but I like Russets.
- Cheese of your choice. I use cheddar or Monterey Jack.
- The original recipes ( many of them) suggest total cooking times of 60-70 minutes. While it is done, there is still a little firmness in the potatoes which my wife and I don't like. I have cooked this 30+ times, and I now do a total of almost 2 hours total cooking time. So, I have changed the instructions but feel free to cook for the original recommended 40 minutes covered and 25 minutes uncovered if you want firmer potatoes.
- I scale this up or down depending on how much leftover ham I have.
- Good refrigerated for 3-4 days, and can be frozen for 3-4 months.
Instructions for half size:
- Use a 6X9 or 8X8 pan.
- In the recipe card, adjust the number of servings to 4. That will do the math and change the ingredient amounts displayed. WARNING- this does not adjust the instructions so you will need to use the amounts in the Ingredients, and not the Instructions.
- Cooking time does change a little, so check it a bit early.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: This recipe was originally published on April 12, 2014. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.