Ham, vegetables and noodles covered in a cheesy cream sauce combine for a dish that tastes like an indulgence but is ready to serve in under 30 minutes.
It is time for casseroles to make a comeback. Is it possible that a dish so simple could hold such sway over us as it comes bubbling out of the oven. Casseroles are deliciously special in their simplicity: filling, binder and crust. There is science behind it, but as a comfort food casseroles are just pure magic.
If you follow on Instagram, you know that I promised a few weeks ago that more 30 minute meal recipes were coming your way. Keeping my word, I have been whisking up a storm to get them to you. I hope you enjoy the first of many in the new collection created to put quick, casual comfort back in your mealtime.
Reasons to enjoy this Smoked Ham Peas and Carrots Bake
- It is easy to make and ready to eat in about 30 minutes!
- It is perfect for busy weeknights and also for entertaining guests
- Budget -friendly and leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days
- Versatile – Great for using up leftover meat and veggies
- Family-friendly comfort food – kid tested!
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Keeping it simple, the pan is also the mixing bowl for all the mouth watering goodness going into our casserole. Living casually means it’s okay to not pull out another dish when you don’t need to. Speaking of that, you could even use an oven-safe pan and save the next step of transferring the ingredients to a baking dish. Just put the topping on now and in the oven it goes. More casual living ease.
Looking for more Meaty Bake recipes?
- Country Ham and Potato Bake – creamy smoked sauce and melted cheese
- Italian Sausage Bean and Tomato Bake – so much more than a can of beans
To get the authentic, bubbling hot from the oven casserole experience, I used a baking dish. I can feel the nostalgia wash over me as I see that rectangle pan on the counter cooling.
Pro Tips for making the BEST Smoked Ham Peas and Carrots Bake
- Use the right pasta – long strand pastas like linguine or spaghetti might work, but when a recipe has been tested with short strands, use those for best results.
- Reserve a cup of the pasta water – if you need to thin out the mixture nothing beats the starchy, salted water from the pasta. Adds flavor too!
- Add 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne if you love heat!
- Don’t over bake the casserole – remove when just golden brown and the edges are bubbly to avoid drying out. Cool slightly before cutting.
- When it comes to using spices, keep the shelf fresh by storing spices in a cool, dark place, away from direct heat or sunlight. In tightly closed containers whole spices will stay fresh for about 4 years, ground spices for about 2 to 3 years and dried herbs for 1 to 3 years.
Helpful Tools and Ingredients to make this recipe
- Dried Thyme – This is my favorite brand: Organic, Gluten Free and no additives. You can buy Thyme in any grocery store but quality and freshness may vary.
- Cast Iron or other oven-safe skillet – if you want to skip the baking dish and go right to the oven. I love my cast iron skillet. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet will develop a non-stick surface that can go safely from the stove top then right into the oven. There are few non-stick skillets that are oven safe, so I go for my cast iron every time! This one has a silicone handle sleeve so you won’t burn your hands!
- Casserole Baking Dish – Pyrex glass baking dishes are my go to. No scratching, rusting or chipping and made in the USA.
Smoked Ham Peas and Carrots Bake
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- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook egg noodles al dente, according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and continue to whisk until combined to make a roux. Whisk milk into the flour mixture a cup at a time. Make sure there are no lumps and the sauce is smooth before adding more milk. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Stir in the salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.
- Add the mozzarella, ham and vegetables to the sauce and stir until the cheese is melted. Fold in the cooked pasta until coated with sauce. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. **If the mixture seems too thick, add pasta water 1/4 cup at a time until consistency that let’s you easily stir the mixture.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan or microwave. Stir the breadcrumbs into the butter.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the pasta mixture, then sprinkle the beadcrumbs over cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly. Cool slightly before cutting and serving.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
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