Got Ham? We Have 7 Recipe Ideas To Make It Appetizing Again

Leftover ham can be delicious!
japanese fried rice with tonkatsu recipe image

Whether you have leftover ham or not, there is a reason to be extra creative during the holidays. No Christmas dinner is short on food so if you have leftovers, make great use of it the next few days. Here are a few ways we think you should transform any leftover ham into something delicious: 

Photo by Toto Labrador

1 Swap out bacon for ham in soup.

Put all of your favorite ingredients into one delicious soup! Does the recipe call for bacon? Use ham instead! Bacon is just as sweet and meaty as ham and it makes a great-tasting substitute that’s not too far off the flavor you are aiming for. 

Photo by Rico Jose

2 Make mashed potato patties. 

If you have leftover mashed potatoes, too, these savory potato pancakes are the perfect holiday breakfast! Just chop up the ham, add an egg or two, toss in any other meats, vegetables, or fresh ingredients you want to add it and mix it with the mashed potatoes. Fry these like you would pancakes.

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

3 Mix it into embutido

Not all kinds of embutido are the same! Isn’t that a great thing? There are many ways to make embutido and one of those ways is to use ground chicken instead of ground pork. This still results in a tender meaty roll but when you add in finely chopped ham, you just amped up the flavor of the savory and sweet all in one step. 

Photo by Aldwin Aspillera

4 Make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. 

Make the kids extra happy and eager to eat when you make these sandwiches. Not only do these have ham and cheese stuffed into them, but you also don’t have to do much since these are regular sandwiches cut differently. Plus, if you have a delicious gravy, beef jus, or plain ketchup that the kids want to dip these into, it’s easy since these are shaped to be dipped. 


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Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

5 Make breaded ham.

If you love the chicken cordon bleu or the Japanese tonkatsu, then you’ll love this version that adds a layer of ham to the chicken. You no longer just have a simple meal on your plate when you make this. Plus, the fried rice that this is served with also has ham in it so it’s a doubly-packed ham meal that we’re sure you won’t forget any time soon. You may just do this recipe more often, it’s that good! 

Photo by Patrick Martires

6 Stuff it into empanadas. 

There is something very homey about empanadas, but we think it’s because it really does remind us all that it’s a homemade meal. Instead of the usual chopped chicken or ground beef filling, why not take a page from the kiddos and make it a ham and cheese stuffed version? You’ll have more than just the kids clamoring for these hand pies when they find out what’s in it! 

Photo by David Hanson

7 Add it to your weekly monggo.

You don’t have to wait for Meatless Fridays to enjoy a delicious bowl of munggo, especially when ham chunks are added to the mix. This munggo hack not only makes this meatier with every bite, you add a slight sweetness and savoriness that plain monggong guisado recipes don’t have. 

Don’t turn away from leftovers! These are the components that could trigger your creativity in the kitchen. After all, you don’t want to let it go to waste since it was so delicious just the night before! Let the food (or the ham!) tell you what it can do, then take the reins and create dishes that are delicious, made even better with a little pizzazz from the leftover ham. 


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