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This Mac and Cheese with ham recipe is an easy one pot meal and a delicious way to use up leftover ham. Simple comfort food the whole family will love and ready in 30 minutes!

mac and cheese with leftover ham on a serving spoon.

Easy Ham Mac and Cheese Recipe

We always have a lot of ham to use up after Christmas and Easter, so I am always looking for easy recipes with ham. I based this easy recipe off of my creamy stove top mac and cheese.

Like my classic mac, this cheesy pasta is made completely in one pot for easy clean-up — because we have enough dishes during the holidays, right? This easy ham recipe is also simple and comes together quickly. You can be eating in about 30 minutes!

ham, heavy cream, macaroni pasta, cheese, butter mustard, chicken broth, cream cheese and spices.


You only need a few simple ingredients from the grocery store for this cheesy macaroni recipe. Full ingredient amounts are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Cooked ham — cut into bite-size pieces. If you don’t have ham leftovers, you can use deli ham, but the slices will be thinner.
  • Macaroni — I use elbow pasta, but you can use shells, penne or rotini or other short pasta shapes.
  • Chicken stock — or chicken broth for added flavor
  • Heavy cream — the base of the creamy sauce
  • Cream cheese — makes it extra creamy
  • Butter — to fry the ham and for the cheese sauce
  • Cheddar cheese — I used mild cheddar, but you can use medium or sharp cheddar cheese. Just be sure to shred your own cheese, as pre-shredded cheese does not melt as well.
  • American cheese — I love using thick slices from the deli. It makes the sauce even creamier.
  • Mustard — I use Dijon mustard or deli mustard. It adds extra flavor that pairs well with ham
  • Seasonings — a little sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder. I kept the seasonings light because the ham has lots of flavor on its own.

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese with Ham

I like to fry the ham in a little butter first. This step really brings out the smoky ham flavor. You can skip this part if you like. Then, remove the ham to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

fry ham in skillet.

Next, cook the pasta in the broth over medium-high heat until just barely al dente. Stir in the heavy cream, cream cheese and spices, and cook over medium-low heat until pasta is done. Then, gradually add the cheddar and American cheese.

add cheese to macaroni.

When the cheese is fully melted, stir in the mustard and chunks of ham. When everything is well combined and coated in creamy cheese sauce, you are ready to serve this creamy mac.

stir cooked ham into macaroni.

Substitutions and Variations

You can use water instead of broth to cook the pasta. If you have an Instant Pot, try my Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Ham.

Use Colby Jack cheese, Monterey Jack cheese or smoked Gouda for a different flavor. You can also use a combination of different cheeses.

If you are using boiled ham or deli ham, you may want to add paprika or smoked paprika for more flavor.

Add thawed frozen peas if you want mac n cheese with peas.

large pot with macaroni and cheese with ham on table.


Store leftover mac in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on low heat on the stove. You can freeze leftover pasta in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.

ham mac and cheese on fork.

More Leftover Ham Recipes

If you love ham, try my Cheese Tortellini with Ham and Peas or Ham Casserole or Leftover Ham Sandwich recipe.

5 from 5 votes

Mac and Cheese with Ham

By: Dee
This Mac and Cheese with ham recipe is an easy one pot meal and a delicious way to use up leftover ham. Simple comfort food the whole family will love and ready in 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 cups cooked ham cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 cups mild cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 oz American Cheese about 4 slices
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  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. add ham and cook until heated through. Remove to a plate, and cover to keep warm
  • In the same pot, bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat
  • Add the macaroni, and cook until just barely al dente, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Reduce heat to low or medium low, and stir in the heavy cream, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Allow to simmer on low heat until pasta is done
  • Add the remaining tablespoons of butter and the cream cheese, and stir until melted
  • Stir in 1 cup of cheese at a time until cheese melts and cheese sauce is creamy
  • Add the mustard and ham, and stir until well combined



For best results, shred your own cheese.
I use sliced American cheese from the deli, which is about 4 slices or 4 ounces. You can use all cheddar, if you prefer.
You can sub water for the broth, but you may need to add more salt and pepper, to taste, before serving. If using deli ham, you can add a little paprika or smoked paprika for extra flavor.
I like to let the cream sit out at room temperature while I prep the ingredients so it’s not to cold going into the sauce. This prevents the sauce from becoming grainy.


Calories: 675kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 42g, Saturated Fat: 24g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 139mg, Sodium: 1518mg, Potassium: 331mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1321IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 502mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating


  1. Jesse says:

    Incredibly delicious and also surprisingly easy to make! I suspect I’ll be having this many times in the future 🙂5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much, Jesse! Glad you liked the recipe!

  2. Tim says:

    This is the creamiest mac n cheese ever! Did add the ham too! You can’t go wrong with this combo!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      So glad you liked the recipe, Tim. Thanks!