Creamy Ham Casserole*

It is January 3rd…which means that the holidays are officially over and reality is setting back in. For most this means that they have to go back to work. For me, this means that I have 24 days left in Tampa. That’s right…I’m moving. On January 27th, all of my belongings will be packed up and shipped north to Jacksonville, Florida. And to be honest, I am not thrilled. I have considered staging a protest and chaining myself to a palm tree, but then I remembered that Jorge pays the bills and he totally will leave my whiny ass behind and I have become very accustomed to indoor plumbing. So seeing as I have no other choice, I have put on my big girl panties and have decided to be positive about it deal with it.

But, thanks to my decision to deal with it, our house is starting to look like a hoarders house. Since we are moving in 24 days, there is no reason for me to open all of my Christmas presents (except for the beautiful new pot my Granny gave me, I am human after all). So all of our new gadgets and house items have remained in their packages…stacked in the dining room. And recently there have been some amazing ‘Day After Christmas’ and ‘New Years’ sales that I couldn’t resist…and so the stacks of what we can not touch have grown. And now every night at dinner they are there looming over us reminding us of the ever impending move. And after a rather self pitying day of looking at all the cool gifts I can’t open, I decided that the only way to get over it was to make a big casserole, because in case you didn’t know, casserole = comfort.

This recipe was surprisingly delicious. I am normally not a ham lover, but thanks to Christmas leftovers I had to get creative. And I stumbled upon this recipe in one of my Cooking Light cookbooks and thought it sounded great. And it  was a huge bonus that I already had everything I needed to make it! Yes, I even had the Chive & Onion cream cheese…it is my favorite cream cheese, ever. And if you are curious, no I don’t even mind that I have onion breath before 8am most days.

 

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Creamy Ham Casserole

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat egg noodles
2 quarts boiling water
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup fat free milk
1 10oz can reduced-fat, reduced sodium, cream of mushroom soup
2 cups (8 oz) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 (6 oz) tub light cream cheese with chives and onions, softened
2 cups chopped lean ham
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Directions:

Cook noodles in 2 quarts boiling water for 2 minutes. Add broccoli and carrots and cook 3 minutes more. Drain immediately. You do not want to over cook your noodles, otherwise you will end up with a soggy casserole.

Combine milk, soup, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese in a large bowl; mix well with a whisk. Add noodle mixture and ham and stir well.

Spread the noodle mixture evenly in a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated with olive oil (or Pam). Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over casserole.

At this point you can choose to freeze the casserole to eat at a later date or you may cook it immediately:

To freeze: Wrap unbaked Casserole with heavy duty foil. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to eat, remove casserole from freezer and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes (this ensures your baking dish will not crack while baking from the heat). Then bake, covered, at 350 degrees, for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.

To bake immediately: Cover casserole with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.

Per Serving: Calories: 332, Fat: 12.5, Carb: 25, Fiber: 5, Protein: 22.5

Adapted from: Cooking Light

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16 Responses to “Creamy Ham Casserole”

  1. 1

    Amy's Cooking Adventures — January 2, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    Looks great, I am always looking for new casseroles!

    Good luck with the move!

  2. 2

    ashley — January 3, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    happy new year and good luck with the move!

  3. 3

    JulieD — January 3, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Good luck on your move, I’m sorry it’s somewhere you don’t want to move though. BUT you’ll be closer to Atlanta, are you going to BHF? I registered already…

  4. 4

    ErinsFoodFiles — January 3, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

    Moving sucks, so I can somewhat feel your pain. However, mine was just a cross-town move, so I can’t imagine moving further! :( Hopefully you’ll find lots of new opportunities in Jacksonville. (PS. The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the same division of NFL as the Tennessee Titans.)

  5. 5

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — January 4, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    Jessica, I couldn’t agree more about casseroles being one of the best comfort dishes. This ham casserole looks SO delicious. I’m sorry to hear that you’re dreading your upcoming move, but with relocation comes a fresh start and a chance to find new friends, things to do, and local food! I hope it’s an easy move for you anyway, and hope to keep seeing delicious recipes like this once you’re settled! Thanks for sharing, and Happy New Year to you and Jorge!

  6. 6

    Anna Johnston — January 4, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

    Moving is the next best thing to stabbing oneself to death with a fork!!!!!!!! Sympathies to you sista…, glad you’ve put your big girl panties on & doing it anyways…. indoor plumbing does that to you. :)

  7. 7

    Brooke — January 6, 2011 @ 12:38 am

    Yummy! Looks good…comfy food!

  8. 8

    Jean — January 13, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    I must admit, my Cooking Light cookbook has been getting some attention lately, too. But you know, the recipes I’ve tried have been great so I know I would like this. Beautifully photographed!

  9. 9

    Projects in meat stretching, part 1. : Brynna Begins — February 25, 2011 @ 1:03 am

    […] 3: (Coming up this week) Casserole with ham, broccoli, cheese, whole wheat egg noodles, and some other stuff.  But not carrots, […]

  10. 10

    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — November 1, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    After the weekend of snow, travel, and feeling under the weather we needed some serious comfort food. Oh boy did we find it with this! This casserole had everything going for it. Rachel and I loved it. We’re featuring it on this weeks Taste Test Thursday. Will tweet you the link when it goes live!

    • Jessica replied: — November 1st, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

      So glad y’all liked it Chris! :-)

      And thanks ahead of time for the link!

  11. 11

    Renee — November 11, 2012 @ 12:40 am

    Love, love, love this recipe! I have made it numerous times since I stumbled across it! The only thing I did different was I used Philadelphia Cooking Cream –Italian Herb & Cheese, because my grocery store didn’t have the chive and onion cream cheese. Loved it so much I’ve just continued to use that. Bonus: my kids like it!! It’s my new favorite comfort food casserole!

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