Ham Mac and Cheese Pasta Bake
Are you looking for a quick and easy meal to make that the entire family will love? Look no further than this delicious Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake. This easy recipe is loaded with ham, cheese, and all the flavors your family craves. Plus, it takes just 30 minutes from start to finish – perfect for busy weeknights. Get ready to enjoy delicious family dinners with this easy Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake!
If you’re looking for a delicious meal that doesn’t require hours of preparation, there are plenty of easy recipes to try. From one-pot dishes and slow cooker meals to simple stir-frys and sandwiches, there’s something for everyone that won’t take much time in the kitchen. All you need is a few ingredients, a little bit of creativity and you can create culinary masterpieces with minimal fuss. So go ahead and explore some Easy Recipes today!
Ingredients Needed for this Recipe
Here’s what you need for this easy weeknight dish
- Penne Pasta– Penne pasta is the ideal noodle for a delicious ham and cheese pasta bake. Its hollow shape holds in the creamy sauce, while its ridges pick up all those tasty morsels of cheese and ham. Another great thing about penne is that it ends up having a wonderful al dente texture after baking; so it has a bite to it without being too mushy.
- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese– Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese is perfect for Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake because it has an intense flavor that complements the salty ham and creamy pasta bake. The sharpness of the cheese really stands out, adding a nice balance to the richness and depth of flavor in the dish.
- Diced Ham– When it comes to selecting the type of diced ham that’s best for Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake, there is no wrong answer. Choosing a cured ham with good flavour is essential, but you can also play around with different textures depending on what else is paired in the dish.
- Sliced Mushrooms– Sliced mushrooms are an excellent addition to a classic ham and cheese pasta bake. Not only do the mushrooms add a delicious earthy flavor, but they also contribute a pleasant texture to the dish. Additionally, sliced mushrooms provide wonderful umami notes that can make all the difference in a pasta bake – balancing out flavors while adding richness.
- Flour– When mixed with its companion water or milk, the flour helps to thicken up the sauce nicely which gives your pasta bake its sliceable consistency without adding unnecessary moisture that could spoil this beloved dish.
- Milk– In a classic Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake, milk is an essential ingredient. It’s responsible for bringing the ingredients together to create a delicious creamy sauce that covers the macaroni and other ingredients. The milk adds flavor and creaminess, creating a rich and velvety dish that appeals to everyone.
- Pepper- Pepper is a perfect ingredient for Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake, as it provides the perfect amount of spice to cut through the creamy sauce. Not only does this create an exquisite flavor combination, but it also provides a slight kick that livens up the dish.
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Is it Preferable to Cook Pasta Before Putting it in the Casserole?
It’s no secret that many pasta casserole recipes require pre-cooking the noodles before you even assemble the dish. This can add an extra step to the process, but it’s necessary if you want your casserole to turn out perfect. Pre-cooking your pasta guarantees that every noodle will be cooked evenly, instead of having some hard centers and other soft edges.
So while taking the time to pre-boil could add a few minutes to your prep process, it is preferable since it ensures that all the ingredients are cooked perfectly. Plus, you’ll end up with a tasty finished product!
How Do You Keep Pasta Bake from Drying Out?
Keeping your pasta bake from drying out can be tricky, but there are a few tricks you can use to ensure it comes out of the oven nice and flavorful. One way to make sure it doesn’t dry out is to start with a slightly soupy sauce. You’ll want enough sauce that the ingredients aren’t soaking in it, but you don’t want so much that they’re swimming.
Another great tip is to add a layer of cheese on top. This will help keep the moisture in and keep the bake from getting overly dried out. Finally, don’t forget to cover your casserole with foil when baking – this will help lock in all the juices ensuring your pasta stays moist and delicious.
What Kind of Ham is Best for a Casserole?
When it comes to choosing a ham for a casserole, there’s a wide variety of options available. Most people like to use either cooked or smoked deli-style hams that are pre-sliced and combine nicely into the dish. Other popular choices include large boiled or baked hams that you can cut up small enough for your casserole needs.
However, perhaps the best option is using cured gammon – or cured ham – as it provides all of the flavor with none of the hassle. Not only does it not need to be cooked beforehand but its thicker texture also helps create an irresistibly savory casserole. So when you’re trying to decide what kind of ham is best for your next casserole, don’t forget about cured gammon!
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More Easy Recipes You’ll Love
- Easy Recipes: Crockpot Candy Chicken
- Easy Recipes: 15 Bean Soup
- Easy Recipes: Chicken Stir Fry in 30 Minutes
- Taco Soup Tostadas
Try These Other Ham and Cheese Recipes!
- Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls
- Instant Pot Ham and Cheese Mac
- Rolled Chicken Cutlets Recipe
- Crock Pot Ham Egg Breakfast Casserole
Ham Mac and Cheese Pasta Bake
This Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake is the perfect weeknight meal. It's easy to make, and it's loaded with cheese and ham. Plus, it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
- 1 Pound Pasta (Penne or Spiral)
- 2 Cups Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 ½ Cups Diced Ham
- 8 Ounces Mushrooms, sliced
- 4 Tablespoons Flour
- 3 Cups Milk* (divided)
- ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
- Boil the pasta according to package directions.
- Mix together 1 cup milk and flour in a large measuring cup.
- Sauté the mushrooms in a large skillet with a little olive oil or butter, if necessary.
- When the mushrooms are cooked place them with the ham and set aside in a bowl.
- In your now empty skillet pour the milk mixture into the pan.
- Stir constantly, adding additional milk to reach desired thickness. Slowly add in up to two cups additional milk while using a whisk and making a roux.
- Add in ¾ c cheese and keep whisking.
- I have even added all the cheese at this time, but then you will not have any shredded cheese to top the casserole with.
- Place your ham mixture and pasta in the bottom of a casserole dish and combine well.
- Pour the cheese mixture over top.
- Top when remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake for 10-20 minutes at 300 degrees until everything is well heated. I have even baked it at 350 degrees.
You can also top with some bread crumbs and additional shredded cheese before you pop it in the oven.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 660mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 28g
This looks like a great recipe! It’s one that my kids would like and easy to make allergy friendly!!
Meredith, this is a very easy recipe to convert according to allergy needs. My kids love it!
Enjoy and thanks for reading.
Thanks for linking this up in my Happy Friday #mushroom event today! Yummy dish, chick! I gave your post a pin using #txbacon hashtag.
Thanks for pinning and it is a tasty dish that is very loved at my house.
Crystal, Thank you so much for sharing your great Ham Casserole with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great Spring week end and come back to see me real soon!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the ham and pasta bake! It’s a favorite at our house.