If you have any holiday ham leftover in your refrigerator right now, there is a good chance you may throw it out after this weekend if not consumed or added to a split pea soup, salad, sandwich, omelet, quiche, or some other savory dish calling for this salty sweet cured meat.
However, I have a great noodle casserole recipe for you which calls for cubed ham and broccoli your family will love. The cheesy seasoned cream sauce is made from cheddar cheese and milk and thickened with corn starch – no canned creamed soup in this recipe. Partially cooking the penne pasta and broccoli together reduces the overall baking time and produces the perfect texture (in my opinion) for both ingredients in the final product.
The casserole is topped off with a thin sprinkling of buttery panko bread crumbs to give this dish the perfect topping and a noticeable crunch with every bite.
If you are accustomed to heavy cream based casseroles, give this lighter version a try. I personally love serving this alongside a big leafy salad and a few slices of fresh fruit on each plate to make it a balanced meal.
This dish also makes a great potluck dish to bring to your next gathering. I recently made 2 pans and brought them to my daughter’s softball game where we sat as a large family of 20 people cheering Mimi on. There were no leftovers and everyone loved it!
Recipe: Ham and Broccoli Noodle Casserole
An easy ham, broccoli, cheddar, casserole made with a delicious cream sauce and penne pasta noodles. Topped with a crunchy buttery panko topping, this casserole recipe is a crowd pleaser.
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup corn starch
3 small chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon yellow or Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces dry penne pasta
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli
4 cups chopped ham (small 1/2 - 1-inch cubes)
8 ounces shredded medium cheddar cheese
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
With the heat turned off, add the milk, water, bouillon, and corn starch to a medium sauce pan and stir until the corn starch has dissolved.
Turn the heat on to medium-high and add the salt, garlic salt, poultry seasoning, mustard, and pepper.
Once the mixture begins to come a mild simmer, turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
In a medium-large pot, bring 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to boil.
Add the penne pasta and broccoli to the pot and cook for 6 minutes. The pasta will be partially cooked and the broccoli will be tender.
Strain the pasta and broccoli with a colander over the sink.
With the heat turned off, return the pasta and broccoli to the large pot and stir in the ham.
Add the cheese to the cream sauce and stir until mixed in but not melted.
Pour the cheese-cream sauce into the large pot and mix the sauce with the noodle mixture until well coated.
Transfer everything to a greased 9x13 casserole dish and gently pat the mixture down with a spatula.
In a small bowl, mix the panko with the butter.
Evenly sprinkle the panko mixture over the unbaked casserole.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake the casserole uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.