16 Best Ham Recipes

Ham is a staple in every carnivore's kitchen — and for good reason. The reliably tender cut of pork leg can be counted on to pack a flavorful punch of smokiness and saltiness in savory dishes. You can usually find it perfectly paired with a range of cheeses (a classic combo on cold cut sandwiches) or stealing the show when presented as a grand, glazed, and spiral-sliced masterpiece on a family dinner table.

But while ham serves as an everyday go-to for quick lunches and one-pan dinners, it can also be incorporated into all sorts of different recipes — from soups to salads to fancy-pants French classics like chicken cordon bleu and croque-madames.

So if you have some leftovers on your hands or are simply in search of a fresh new way to enjoy your favorite cut of pork, you've got plenty of options when it comes to hamming it up, whether it's cured, smoked, sliced, or diced.

1. Classic Muffuletta

If you're looking to seriously upgrade your next lunch hour, pack this classic muffuletta sandwich. Hailing from the Sicilian immigrant community of New Orleans, this Italian-inspired creation features piled-high layers of all sorts of pork cold cuts — including mortadella, soppressata, and, of course, plenty of ham — along with provolone cheese and a savory olive spread.

All of the ingredients are stuffed between two halves of a light and fluffy muffuletta loaf, which gives the sandwich its name. And don't worry about letting it sit while you wait for your lunch break — it tastes even better after resting at room temperature for a while.

Recipe: Classic Muffuletta

2. Smoked Pineapple Ham

Turn your next family feast into a delicious Hawaiian holiday by combining the sweet and savory flavors of pineapple and ham. This crowd-pleasing recipe calls for a hefty 10-pound, bone-in ham, which delivers up to 13 servings, so it's great for large groups.

The ham is topped with pineapple rings, drenched in a sweet glaze consisting of brown sugar, pineapple juice, and pineapple preserves, and then slow-cooked in a smoker for up to five hours. In the end, you'll have a perfectly tender and juicy hunk of ham that's ready to slice up and enjoy. It may be a bit time-consuming, but it's worth it.

Recipe: Smoked Pineapple Ham

3. Split Pea Soup

You can always count on some hearty soup to deliver the perfect dose of warm and fuzzy nostalgia — and the split pea variety is a classic. We love this version of the nourishing comfort food because it's packed with not only veggies but also lots of meaty goodness in the form of cubed ham chunks and a smoked ham hock, which simmers with the soup mix to provide extra flavor.

The best part about this recipe (besides eating it) is that it only requires one big pot to prepare, so you'll be left with minimal cleanup afterwards.

Recipe: Split Pea Soup

4. Croque-Madame

Care to add a little French flair to your brunch? You can't go wrong with a croque-madame — a gussied-up ham and cheese sandwich topped with béchamel sauce and a fried egg.

Despite its fancy name, you certainly don't have to be a professional chef to whip one up — although you might feel like one while making the béchamel (don't worry, we'll walk you through it). If you're craving a more refined way to enjoy your sliced ham beyond a typical cold cut sandwich, this is it.

Recipe: Croque-Madame With Tillamook Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar

5. Italian Easter Pie

Don't be fooled by its distinctive name — this Italian favorite can be enjoyed well beyond the Easter holiday. The savory pie is packed with ham, salami, pepperoni, and prosciutto along with three types of cheese: ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan.

It's then baked to perfection in a rustic homemade pie crust. While it's definitely loaded with a generous amount of fillings, the final result provides a surprisingly light and fluffy slice that's still substantial enough to serve as a main course. 

Recipe: Italian Easter Pie

6. Savory And Sweet Monte Cristo Sandwich

If you love to pair your French toast with bacon in the morning, this sweet and savory Monte Cristo sandwich is about to become your delicious new best friend. Consider it an all-in-one twist on the breakfast staple, featuring layers of ham, provolone cheese, and fruity fig jam.

Everything is combined between rich and fluffy slices of challah bread, which then get soaked in a batter of milk, eggs, and cinnamon. It's all fried in butter and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, resulting in a decadent dish that supplies a full spectrum of flavor with every bite.

Recipe: Savory And Sweet Monte Cristo Sandwich

7. Southern Collard Greens

To add a dose of Southern comfort to just about any meal, scoop out a heap of these leafy and meaty collard greens. This mouth-watering veggie dish gets its punch from the addition of hickory smoked ham hocks (aka pork knuckles).

Along with the greens, the ham hocks are slow-simmered in a seasoned broth, which tenderizes both ingredients and softens the ham until it effortlessly falls apart into bite-sized chunks. The collard greens become infused with the smoky flavor of the meat, making for a hearty and juicy side dish.

Recipe: Southern Collard Greens

8. Baked Ham And Swiss Cheese Sliders

Mini sliders do well as a game day snack or backyard hors d'oeuvre since they're easy to grab, go, and enjoy in just a bite or two. And while you'll typically find them in burger form, this ham and cheese version is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

Featuring sturdy pretzel buns and a chewy filling of salty ham slices and gooey melted Swiss, these petite sandwiches are best served warm out of the oven, topped with a generous amount of tangy stone ground mustard. It's almost as if you're combining all three sports stadium favorites — pretzels, burgers, and hot dogs — in one.

Recipe: Baked Ham And Swiss Cheese Sliders

9. Classic Ham Salad

Bringing together the savory richness of ham and mayonnaise with the bright and refreshing flavors of celery, white onion, pickles, and mustard, this chopped ham salad is as well-rounded as it is versatile. Consider it a stand-in for classic tuna or chicken salad — it can be enjoyed as a hearty sandwich spread or a stand-alone side dish paired with bites fresh off the grill.

However you choose to serve it, the creamy mixed salad is sure to become a satisfying new favorite that you'll keep coming back to, especially since it takes just 10 minutes to prepare and requires absolutely no cooking.

Recipe: Classic Ham Salad

10. Classic Chicken Cordon Bleu

Impress the guests at your next dinner party with a serving of homemade chicken cordon bleu. The beloved classic serves as a surprisingly simple way to elevate a plain chicken breast by stuffing it with ham and cheese, coating it in breadcrumbs, and frying it.

The crispy outside acts as the perfect complement to the soft and gooey ham and cheese filling, while the smokiness of the ham livens up the milder flavor of the white meat chicken. As the French say, bon appétit!

Recipe: Classic Chicken Cordon Bleu

11. Cuban Sandwich

It's double the meat, double the deliciousness when it comes to the Cuban sandwich. A true pork lover's dream, the Cubano boasts layers of both roast pork and ham, along with Swiss cheese, crunchy pickles, and zesty yellow mustard.

To create this Floridian favorite, you'll need a loaf of Cuban bread, which should end up with a golden crust and some signature brown grill lines, courtesy of a panini press or stovetop grill. Every bite is loaded with melted cheese, soft pork, and the perfect crunch of pickles. For some extra crispiness, pair it with a side of potato chips.

Recipe: Cuban Sandwich

12. Herby Ham And Bean Soup

No matter the season, you'll want to curl up and get cozy with this rich and aromatic soup. It is chock-full of ham, beans, veggies, and, as its name suggests, plenty of herbs. The light and botanical flavors of rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves find a savory anchor in the smokiness of the added ham hock, which becomes more tender as it stews until the meat practically falls off the bone.

Add in the heartiness of the cooked legumes, and you have yourself a comforting concoction that'll leave your belly full and your taste buds happy.

Recipe: Herby Ham And Bean Soup

13. Ham And Cheese Strata

Tired of the same old scrambled eggs? Shake things up and start your day on a high note with this unique dish. A strata is a sort of baked casserole, and this recipe features breakfast favorites like chopped ham, cheddar, and Swiss layered with sliced bread and a whisked mixture of eggs.

Top it all off with corn flakes (another morning staple) before popping it in the oven. The result? A fluffy, chewy bite complemented by the added crunch of cereal. It's basically all of your breakfast favorites combined in one pan.

Recipe: Ham And Cheese Strata

14. Classic Croque Monsieur

If you don't have a trip to Paris planned anytime soon, a taste of this bistro classic is just the thing to hold you over. A croque monsieur could be considered the French version of a grilled cheese — it's a toasted sandwich stacked with melty Gruyère, plus the delicious additions of savory sliced ham and creamy béchamel sauce.

Instead of frying it up in a stovetop pan, however, the sandwich is baked and then broiled, which gives the outer layer of béchamel and cheese a crisp and golden crust that melts in your mouth.

Recipe: Classic Croque Monsieur

15. Ham With Muscadet And Herby Crème Fraîche

Nothing says "sophisticated celebration" quite like wine, so why not dress up your next holiday ham with a bit of a boozy tipple? Suitable for just about any feast-worthy occasion, this recipe features a 10-pound hunk of cured, smoked bone-in ham gloriously braised and glazed with a sweet and tangy blend of Muscadet wine, brown sugar, and mustard.

Bake the pork to perfection and serve it alongside a light crème fraîche sauce upgraded with a bouquet of herbs for a truly full-bodied meal worth toasting.

Recipe: Ham With Muscadet And Herby Crème Fraîche

16. Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu

Traditional chicken cordon bleu comes coated in crunchy breadcrumbs, but if you're in search of a keto-friendly or gluten-free version of the dish that fits your dietary needs, look no further. This inventive recipe features the same white meat chicken breast stuffed with our go-to ingredients — yummy ham and gooey Swiss — but swaps out the breadcrumbs to create an equally crispy and flavorful crust using a blend of Parmesan and almond flour as a coating.

After a quick pan fry and trip to the oven, these chicken, ham, and cheese roll-ups are ready to serve. And you don't have to be a keto-eater to enjoy them.

Recipe: Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu