You paid a lot for that Easter ham. Don’t waste those tasty leftovers — or worse yet, ruin them by constant reheating. Ham is a versatile ingredient, and you can find lots of uses for leftover ham besides cheese sandwiches. We found six thrifty ways to turn those Easter leftovers into yummy new meals.
Casseroles use up not only your leftover Easter ham, but whatever else you have in your fridge or pantry. Make a budget-friendly weeknight treat with ham and scalloped potatoes. After all, potatoes are cheap, too. Or, dice up some ham and toss it into your favorite mac-and-cheese recipe. You can go gourmet with a dish of cheesy gnocchi casserole, starring your leftovers.
Soups aren’t only for winter, and they’re perfect for combining Easter leftovers with other cheap ingredients. How about split pea and ham soup? You can find more recipes on the back of your package of split peas (also an economical buy). Or check out the recipe on the bag of dry lentils or navy beans — bet your meaty ham bone will dress them right up.
Take a twist on the usual spaghetti carbonara with the addition of ham instead of bacon. The recipe calls for country ham (a highly salted variety), but you can substitute leftover Easter ham. Or try a creamy dish of pasta with ham and peas. We bet the kids will take a time out from gobbling their Easter candy to try these meaty noodle dishes.
Who doesn’t love pie? Make a main-dish pie, like your favorite quiche, or even a pot pie, using your leftover Easter ham for the meat. Buy extra eggs when they’re on sale for Easter for quiches and frittatas for more frugal meals. For something a little different, try this recipe for a ricotta, ham and scallion tart.
Yes, you can put ham in your savory baked goods. Some folks like a little minced ham in their biscuits, and ham and cheese muffins might be a big hit at your next brunch.
If you must go the sandwich route, at least change it up a little with a good ham salad. (You really don’t need a recipe, just mince the ham finely and add a little mayo and your favorite pickle relish.) For a fancy version of good ol’ ham-and-cheese, bake up a batch of croque monsieur. Work your leftover Easter ham into empanadas or calzones for some international flair.
Note: Leftover ham should be kept refrigerated and used within 3 to 5 days. Or you can wrap it well and freeze if for up to a couple of months before the quality deteriorates. Be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator before using.
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