There is nothing better than cheese and noodles. It’s impossible to be unhappy and eat cheesy noodles simultaneously. Add ham and you will be smiling all the way to the kitchen sink.
This casserole was born out of 3 needs
- I had leftover holiday ham
- I was craving a good, old-fashioned casserole from my childhood.
- I needed it to be gluten free – I couldn’t use the condensed soup go-to’s of my not too distant past.
I mentioned I needed to use up leftover ham, but don’ let this fool you. I add this dish to my regular dinner rotation for a few reasons.
- My family devours it.
- It’s an inexpensive dinner option for those ‘tight-budget’ times we all have every now and then. a ham steak at the grocery store is usually between $3-$4.
- You can make it the day or a couple days before and keep it in the fridge – just cook it the day you plan to serve it. It’s WAY better that way.
- 1 Lbs. of Gluten Free Noodles (I use Gluten Free Barilla Pasta)
- 2 Cups Diced Ham
- 1/4 Stick Butter
- 2 Cups Milk (any %)
- 1/4 Cup Flour (I use Pillsbury Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)
- 2 Cups Moteray Jack Cheese – Divided (Shredded)
- 1 Cup Frozen or Fresh Peas
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 – 1/2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 tsp. Smoked Paprika
- Salt/Pepper to taste (I don’t usually add extra salt or pepper. I find the seasonings work well together).
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil noodles according to package directions and set aside when cooked.
- Dice the ham
- In a Saucepan melt the butter on low heat.
- Once the butter looks like this add the flour, gradually. And whisk until it is fully incorporated. Once it’s incorporated cook for an additional minute, stirring consistently and keeping a watchful eye allow the butter and flour to cook so the ‘flour’ taste is cooked out of the mixture. The flour and butter will start to small nutty or toasted.
- At this point add the milk gradually. It will thicken fast and then get thin once all the milk is added. Continue to whisk the sauce over medium heat until it becomes creamy. This process could take up to 10-15 minutes. If the sauce doesn’t thicken after the 10-15 minute mark you may need to, slightly, increase your heat. When the mixture becomes creamy you are done and you can turn off the burner.
- Add all of seasonings: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Worcestershire, Smoked Paprika, and salt/pepper to taste (Although I end up NOT adding these because the ham, cheese, and Worcestershire end up giving the dish enough salt). Stir this ingredients until completely combined.
- In the same pan add the noodles, peas, cheese, and ham and fold until every noodle is coated with the sauce and other goodies.
- Transfer to your favorite casserole dish (I know you have one) and top with the remaining cup of cheese.
- Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes place a lid on the casserole and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- remove from the oven and serve immediately! If you are my husband you will add hot sauce.
Living life one leftover at a time,