grandma’s creamy ham & cheese pasta hotdish

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So I was thinking comfort food for dinner last night. But, what to make? I wasn’t really in the mood for chicken, hamburger, or tuna. And then I remembered my favorite ham & cheese casserole. I usually make this after Easter or Christmas when I have a bunch of leftover ham on hand, but there’s no rule that says you can’t enjoy ham other times of the year, right?

This is smoky, creamy, and extremely cheesy. It’s so good served with a simple tossed salad. You can make this with any small pasta. I usually use pasta rings, but this time I tried mini Farfalle (bowties), and they worked very well. Cute too!

~ preheat oven to 350 degrees F. ~

3/4 lb. small pasta (rings, ditalini, shells, mini penne, mini farfalle…)

1 small onion, chopped fine

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

3 heaping cups cooked, cubed ham

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature

8 oz. sour cream

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 Tablespoons Dijon or grainy brown mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs OR crushed potato chips

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Cook pasta according to package directions for ‘al dente’ pasta. Drain well.

Mix all ingredients, except for the Panko and paprika, in a large mixing bowl.

Generously butter a 9×13 baking dish. Spread casserole mixture evenly in pan. Sprinkle top with Panko and paprika. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 12 minutes. Allow casserole to stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serves 8.




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