Use Up Leftover Ham In Potatoes Au Gratin For A Savory Twist

Classic potatoes au gratin made with thinly sliced spuds cooked in a creamy and herby cheese sauce are delicious whether you make the decadent side dish from scratch or buy a box of instant ones from the grocery store. They're so comforting that it might be hard to imagine a way to elevate your favorite recipe more, but adding chunks of ham will give them a meaty and savory twist that will please almost everyone at the dinner table. It's also a delicious way to use up any leftovers if you can't fathom another ham and cheese sandwich and want to avoid food waste.

If you have a favorite potato au gratin recipe, it's easy to chop up ham and combine it with the potatoes before it goes into the casserole dish. And if you need a little inspiration, refer to our recipe for creamy ham and potatoes au gratin created by Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye. In this version, Rye uses 6 ounces of diced thick-cut smoked ham from a package, but you can swap in the same amount from leftovers or another variety that you prefer. She layers the ham with the potatoes and onions, then sprinkles the rest on top.

Adding ham to potatoes au gratin

Ham will give your potatoes au gratin a kick of umami with salty, savory, and meaty flavors. The ingredients in the cheese sauce are still essential, but it's important to get the ham right. If you're using leftover spiral ham from a dinner party, then cube about an ounce for every serving. You can also use other types of store-bought ham like country if you want smokey and salty flavors, a honey or maple variety if you want a touch of sweetness, or black forest ham for notes of coriander, pepper, and garlic. Diced pancetta or chopped bacon are also delicious pork products to add similar flavors to the dish of potatoes au gratin. Either way, be sure to cook, chop, and drain off any excess oil as needed before it goes into the potatoes.

When you add ham to the dish, it can be served as a complete meal rather than a side dish. If you want a little more flavor in the potatoes au gratin for it to stand on its own, add peas or leeks for a dose of vegetables and varying textures. A garnish of freshly choppedĀ herbs like parsley or thyme will add bright color and flavor to the dish. Rye suggests serving it alongside steamed veggies like broccoli or kale, and we think a fresh green salad is another refreshing dish to complement the richness of the potatoes au gratin with ham.