What to Do With Leftover Ham by Gordon Ramsay

What to do with that leftover ham? This is a great problem to have. Ham is so useful for now or for later. Let’s review a few great options.

image of a ham on a white plate

I will be talking about a store bought precooked ham. They might be refrigerated sealed at the store, and they might be spiral cut. If you have a different type of ham, I have provided some links with options for most other types of hams.

Food Safety

Before we proceed, please be sure we are dealing with safe leftovers. If it was left in that temperature range for more than 2 hours, it should be considered contaminated and decarded.

The ham should have been properly thawed if frozen and stored refrigerated under 40 degrees.  And have not spent more than two hours in the food danger zone of 40 and 140 °F during serving. See Summer Food Safety for a more detailed discussion.

How to Store Leftover Ham

The first option is the refrigerator. Generally, ham can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, but it can vary some by the type of ham. Please see the FoodSafety.gov Ham Storage Chart for details if you have something other than a store bought precooked ham.

Can You Freeze Ham?

There are those old wise tails that you can not freeze ham. They are so wrong. Ham and ham bones both freeze great.

If I know that I’m freezing some of the ham for later, I do that part of the ham as soon as possible. I seal it well, and if it is a large amount, I divide it into smaller units.

Most ham that you and I are dealing with are good for 1-2 months frozen. Again there is some variability by type of ham. Please see the FoodSafety.gov Ham Storage Chart for details.

To thaw your ham after it’s been frozen allow it to defrost in the refrigerator. Depending on the size, it should thaw in about 24 to 48 hours.

Don’t forget you can also freeze the ham bone.

Ham Recipes

Our Favorite Leftover Ham Recipe

We always buy too much ham just to have this later. Great comfort food.

Old Fashion Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Old fashioned scalloped potatoes and ham, an excellent recipe for an everyday meal or potluck dinner. One of my favorite comfort foods that is easily made from scratch. With these easy to follow step by step photo instructions to get it perfect the first time and every time.

Check out our recipe Add to Saved RecipesGo to Saved Recipes

Everyday Scalloped Potatoes and Ham from 101 Cooking for Two

What to Do With A Ham Bone?

There is not much you can do with a ham bone other than soup. But it is a great option since the broth is just wonderful.

From a “cooking for two” viewpoint, these recipes are just too big unless you have freezer space. If you do, these are great options. If you don’t have freezer space, give the ham bone to a friend.

spoon full of ham and bean soup
close up image of a tablespoon of ham bone vegetable soup
Puerto Rican Ham Bone Soup from 101 Cooking for Two

What to Do with Left Over Turkey?

Ok, a special Easter bonus. Not everybody had ham.

image of a large serving of turkey tetrazzini on a blue plate
Dogs with stuffed Bunnies

The Easter Bunny is in trouble… “Give up the ham or we eat the bunnies.”

Originally Published April 20, 2019

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