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ham and cheese casserole


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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total: 50 minutes

Servings: 4


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Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook for about 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions for al dente. Drain well.

Step 3

Meanwhile, melt ¼ cup butter in a large Dutch oven over low heat. Whisk in the flour; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the room temperature milk. Increase the heat and cook for 2-4 more minutes, stirring constantly, until the white sauce bubbles, thickens, and becomes creamy. Remove the pot from the heat.

Step 4

Stir in the gruyere, cheddar, 1 teaspoon salt, a dash of black pepper, and the nutmeg. Add the cooked pasta and the diced ham to the pot with the sauce. Stir to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, stir in a little bit more milk to thin to the desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Step 5

Transfer mixture to a greased 2-quart (about 8-inch square) baking dish.

Step 6

In a small bowl, stir together the panko breadcrumbs, melted butter, and a dash of garlic powder. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the top of the dish.

Step 7

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown. Serve hot and garnish with a dash of paprika or chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

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