Chunks of savory, smoky ham are added to perfectly seasoned, gooey, cheesy pasta. Mac and Cheese with Ham is a dinner you’ll make more than once.
Mac and Cheese with Ham
Is there anything better than a hearty, home-cooked meal of creamy mac and cheese? There’s nothing quite like the nostalgia it brings. Still, this mac and cheese with ham is light years ahead of anything I had as a kid.
This isn’t your blue box of macaroni. The seasonings in this dish are a fabulous blend of savory and spicy, and you can easily tailor it to suit your preference. Just increase the cayenne for more of that lingering heat.
Macaroni and Cheese with Ham
I’ve tried a lot of different recipes for macaroni over the years. This mac and cheese with ham recipe is one of the best-tasting, easiest versions that I’ve ever had. Honestly, this meal is so simple, it’s hard to screw it up.
However, for those who need a gluten-free mac and cheese, I’ve got you covered! You can skip the flour and simply replace the milk with heavy cream (1½ cups of cream, total). All the other steps and ingredients remain the same.
Mac and Cheese with Ham Recipe
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:
- pasta (macaroni, Cavatappi, penne, or shells)
- whole milk and heavy cream
- garlic powder and onion powder
- ground mustard
- cayenne pepper
- cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
- salt and pepper
- diced ham
- frozen peas (optional)
Start by bringing about 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat in a large pot. Add a few tablespoons of salt. Then add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain, but do not rinse the noodles.
In the same pot used for the pasta, combine ½ cup of milk and the cream over medium heat. While it heats up, whisk together the remaining milk with the flour, garlic powder, mustard, onion powder, and cayenne in a small glass bowl.
Ham Mac and Cheese
When the milk on the stove begins to steam (not boil!) add the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Continue whisking until the milk thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the shredded cheese, a handful at a time, stirring with a spoon or spatula to melt. Remove from the heat once all the cheese has melted. Then, add the pasta and stir to coat. Mix in the ham and frozen peas (if desired).
Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
Looking for more great recipes like this easy stovetop mac and cheese?
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Melted Parmesan cheese, fresh garlic, and tender chicken are twirled with fettuccine noodles in this creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta.
What’s not to love about a fully loaded pasta salad filled with chewy bites of bacon and chunks of hard-boiled eggs? This creamy pasta has a bright, smoky dressing made with just a few ingredients and it’s a perfect match for the bacon and eggs.
Creamy and cheesy, with wonderful lingering heat, this Green Chile Mac and Cheese is a keeper, transforming the quintessential comfort food into a dish that is positively irresistible.
Pasta and sausage in a rich tomato pasta sauce is topped with an abundance of cheese to create this Cheesy Sausage Pasta. Everything bakes and melts together to create an irresistible dinner for any cheese or pasta lover!
This Creamy Italian Sausage and Tortellini is a perfect quick weeknight dinner. It’s quick and easy and the cream sauce is lighter, but still full of flavor.
Macaroni and Cheese with Ham
- 1 pound dried pasta macaroni, cavatappi, penne, or shells
- ¾ cup whole milk divided
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard OR 1 teaspoon of yellow or Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon granulated onion
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 ounces freshly shredded cheddar cheese about 1½ cups
- 4 ounces freshly shredded Monterey Jack cheese about 1½ cups
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper adjust to taste
- 1 cup diced ham
- ½ cup frozen peas OPTIONAL
- In a large pot, bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil. Bring the water to a boil and then add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente, being careful not to overcook. The pasta should still have a nice chew to it. Drain and do not rinse.
- In the same pot used for the pasta, combine ½ cup of milk and the cream over medium heat. In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the remaining milk with the flour, garlic powder, mustard, onion powder, and cayenne. Whisk until smooth.
- When the milk on the stove begins to steam (not boil!) add the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Continue whisking until the milk thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the shredded cheese, a handful at a time, stirring with a spoon or spatula to melt. Remove from the heat once all the cheese has melted.
- Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to coat. Add the ham and mix throughout. Stir in peas, if desired. Taste and add salt, only if needed.