It is almost back to school time when we will be making more casseroles and slow cooker dinners. Still I wanted a comforting cheesy casserole last night. I think the thought of all I had to do today was overwhelming me. I had a bag of frozen potatoes and a ham steak in the freezer so Cheesy Potato and Ham Casserole was dinner.
This isn’t your normal cut and serve casserole. It reminds me more of the Cheesy Hash Browns from Cracker Barrel. They are not firm but they are not overly saucy either. I added the ham because, well, I like ham. If you don’t like it you can leave it out.
I served this with a hearty green salad for a complete meal.
Cheesy Potato and Ham Casserole (No Canned Soups)
- 1 (32 oz) bag frozen potatoes, thawed – can be diced or shredded
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups whole milk or half and half
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb. ham, cut into small cubes (great for leftovers!)
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or crushed corn cereal
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Sprinkle flour over melted butter and stir for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk to the butter/flour mixture. Bring mixture to a low simmer. Allow to cook at low simmer for 5 – 8 minutes until thickened. Remove pan from heat and stir in cheeses. Add ham to the cheese mixture. Stir well and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Place thawed potatoes in baking dish and pour cheese sauce over pan. Spread evenly over pan.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter with bread crumbs until all are coated. Sprinkle over casserole top before baking.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until topping is browned and cheese sauce it bubbly. Check tenderness of potatoes by piercing with a fork.
- Remove pan from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.