Ham and Pasta Skillet

Update 5/2011: So, after making this meal for over three years now, I always (always!) chuckle when my husband always (always!) says to me after taking the first couple bites, “Man, this stuff is tasty.” And I remind him that we’ve eaten it at least 25 times and he reminds me that he knows that – he just likes to reaffirm it’s tastiness. Simple and quick to put together, this is hands down my favorite way to use up ham leftovers. I find myself wanting to buy a 20-pound ham….just to have the leftovers to make this delicious pasta.

What To ServeSteamed broccoli or roasted cauliflower or even corn on the cob
A simple green salad (or for something more fancy this Gourmet Green Salad)
Fresh, seasonal fruit

Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner

Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner


  • 1 pound small tube or shell pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups fully cooked ham, diced
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions – only cooking until al dente since pasta will continue to cook and soak up liquid when added to the skillet.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter is melted. Add pepper, onion, and garlic and cook until vegetables are tender, about 4-6 minutes. Add ham, basil and oregano and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth (or stock) and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half (at first it looks like it will be way to “brothy” but never fear, if you are patient, it will reduce!).
  3. Stir drained pasta into ham and vegetable mixture. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and toss. Sprinkle parsley and remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted from Lydia’s Blog

72 Responses to Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner

  1. Brillante says:

    This meal was amazing. Made it for both mine and my husbands families this year with after Christmas leftovers and there were NO leftovers. Devoured. SO GOOD.

  2. Jo says:

    Super delicious recipe. Didn’t have red pepper so I used green. Oh my goodness, I couldn’t stop eating this. My son said it was AAAAMAZING!!! My husband said it was delicious and that sometimes I surprise him! That was my plan! I knew this recipe was a winner when I saw it. Thank you Mel 🙂

  3. Tammie says:

    After cooking an Easter dinner ham last week, we’ve had a long week of ham leftovers. Ham and bean soup, ham and cheese paninis, omelets with ham, etc. So when I put this in front of my family last night I was almost apologetic. But they LOVED it – all of them 🙂 I don’t like or eat much ham in the first place, but I even went back for seconds. Thank you so much for this (and many other) awesome recipes!

  4. jessica l says:

    Thank you for linking this to your easter menu plan! Made this tonight and it was a huge hit!

  5. I made this recipe tonight and it was awesome. The only change I made was to put the cheese into the sauce so it got all creamy. Delicious!

  6. Lynda says:

    Tried this last night. Only ingredient I didn’t have on hand was sweet red pepper so I used green bell pepper and it was delicious. Great way to use leftover ham. I always buy the biggest ham I can get and use my Foodsaver to shrink wrap the leftovers. Easy to add more ham too if you have more noodles than you want. This is my first post on your site but I love your website and refer to it often. My daughter got me hooked on it!

  7. Sheila says:

    Delicious! Rave reviews from our company (close friends) and they begged to take the leftovers home. Here’s another Mel recipe going into our “Best Recipes” file. You are the absolute best!

  8. Karen says:

    Thank you so much for this easy recipe. I used our left over ham from Christmas (spiral cut) and it was perfect. My husband had thirds! I served it with a green salad and fresh bread and it was a huge hit with my entire family.

  9. Sarah says:

    I can’t believe how delicious this is! I was skeptical, only put it on the meal plan because I was sick of our regular ways of using up ham – and I am SO GLAD I was wrong. This is a seriously awesome dish, deceptively simple, and so fast. I’m eating the leftovers right now and, if possible, I think they are EVEN BETTER than the original meal last night. And everyone liked it. What a gem of a recipe!

  10. Cammee says:

    Best use of leftover ham, hands down! This was sooooo tasty!

  11. Laura says:

    Made this dish with leftover Christmas ham. Whole family loved it!

  12. Erin says:

    Seemed like way too much pasta for the dish, not enough taste for all of the noodles. I’m so sad this didn’t turn out 🙁

  13. Kristina says:

    Hi! This looks really good! But how much lemon juice did you use? How much is “1 T”?

  14. Julianne says:

    I have to say I was skeptical of this meal and only put it on the meal list to appease my ham-loving children. Man oh man, I was the biggest fan of all my family of this meal. This is a simple, filling and very tasty meal. Thank you!

  15. Kimberly says:

    Made this last week with Easter ham and all my kids (and I) loved it – no leftovers! It was quick, easy and delicious. Thank you!

  16. Leftover Ham Recipes | Café Zupas says:

    […] Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Ham and Swiss Griddle Cakes from Recipe Girl Pea and Ham Risotto from Taste and Tell Ham and Cheese Quiche from Jamie Cooks it Up Overnight Ham and Cheese Breakfast Enchiladas from The Girl Who Ate Everything […]

  17. Charlie says:

    Yum! This looks amazing! I’m going to work my way through all of the meals listed in your “39 meals under 30 minutes”. This one is slated for next Tuesday, and I’m already drooling. lol


  18. Mel says:

    Hi Lori – I still haven’t tried it with chicken because we love it so much with ham but I think chicken would be delicious (yes, cubed and cooked would be my vote).

  19. Lori says:

    Hi Mel! Have you tried this with chicken yet? Probably better with cubed vs shredded ?

  20. Jana says:

    Wonderful recipe! Thanks for sharing, and for doing the collage of recipes! I just made the ham and pasta skillet today and the kids and the hubby have already requested it again.

  21. Sue says:

    Hi Mel,
    I just discovered your website. My kids LOVED the pasta & ham skillet! Thanks for the great tips and recipes. I’ve added you to my list of favorites.
    Best regards from Charlotte, NC!

  22. Menu Mondays says:

    […] ham and pasta skillet dinner, […]

  23. Mel says:

    Boedee – probably right around 6 people.

  24. Boedee says:

    How many will this serve?

  25. Hi!! I’ve told you before how much we absolutely love this recipe! Thank you so much again!!

    I blogged about it and you on my blog, here: http://athomewithalley.com/2012/04/02/ham-pasta-skillet-dinner/

  26. […] delicious recipe comes from one of the blogs I stalk read every day. Mel at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, who I have had the privilege of e-mailing back and forth with a few times. And, I have to tell […]

  27. Mel says:

    Lorrie – this recipe is really adaptable so yes, I think the cheddar or colby jack would work fine…give it a different flavor but still be delicious, I’m guessing.

  28. Lorrie says:

    Any suggestions on an alternate to the Parmesan cheese? I dont have it on hand. I have chedder and colby jack? Think it will melt okay and maybe be mac and cheese like?

  29. Monique says:

    I made this tonight and it was EXACTLY what I hoped it would be, light and delicious!!! I cut the recipe in half since it’s only myself, my husband and our 2 year old, I added approx 1/2 a can of green beans that were leftover from Christmas dinner just to get them out of the fridge and used 1 tsp of Italian seasoning blend instead of the basil/oregano bc that is what I had on hand. We all loved it, this will definitely become a staple in our house!!! Thank you for the amazing recipe!!!

  30. Deb says:

    I have oodles of ham leftover from the Slow Cooker Maple Brown Sugar ham I made this weekend (did I mention it was 10 lbs? :)) and this was my first use of it. My husband and I really liked the flavor of this – I don’t know that I’ve ever used basil and oregano on ham before. The kids weren’t crazy about it, but that’s probably because 1) I didn’t have any cool shaped pasta like you used so they were stuck with whole wheat spaghetti and 2) they’re naturally suspicious of dishes with “green flecks” like parsley, basil and oregano. Their loss 🙂

  31. […] – Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner, veggie, […]

  32. Lauren S says:

    Delicious! Made it last night & we (me, DH, & DS 13) all loved it. My 13 year old is not much for food that’s mixed together. He loves ham & pasta, but when he saw them mixed together in this dish he immediately went into “can I have a cheese sandwich” mode. Well of course had him try it & much to his surprise he liked it. In fact, he liked it enough to have a second helping! Now I will tell you that he separated the ham from the pasta and ate them separately, but he did eat them both ~ a hearty portions at that! Will definitely be including this recipe in the regular rotation.

  33. Deb says:

    Made this tonight because I had some leftover pork roast from the weekend and it was FANTASTIC! Came together really easy but the flavor was well developed. Will definitely make this again. Thanks!

  34. Angela says:

    We’ve made this twice in the last month and I completely agree with the person who likened it to the Olive Garden. Definitely! Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover ham and/or pasta. Thanks Mel!

  35. Melanie says:

    Evelyn – thanks! So glad you liked this…

  36. Evelyn says:

    This was SUPER yummy! A great blend of flavors!!

  37. Amy says:

    This was very tasty! I was skeptical while I was making this, but I thought, It’s on the blog, so it’s gotta be good! And it was! My husband loved it, and so did my 3.5 year old son!

  38. Melanie says:

    Amy – this is one of my favorite dinners! I’m glad you liked it too…despite being skeptical at first. Thanks for letting me know!

  39. Melanie says:

    Hey Marcia, I’m relieved that the first recipe you tried worked out for you! I’m more relieved that your non-pasta-loving husband liked it, too. Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate it!

  40. Anonymous says:

    Hi Melanie…this is the 1st recipe (of many) of yours that I’ve tried. My hubby isn’t much of a pasta-with-anything type of guy, so I wasn’t sure how it would go over. His 1st comment was “This is good” then a few bites later it was “yummy” and at the end it was “this is excellent”. You’ve won him over! I did the recipe exactly…thank you so much for all that you put on here…this is a fantastic site. We are trying harder to stay away from processed anything, but we love to cook and eat. Marcia from Eau Claire WI

  41. Jan Russell says:

    This looke very yummy – we are having ham for Christmas dinner, so I’m going to have to remember to make this with the leftovers! Of course, I may have to make it with chicken before that, because it looks so good!Also, I made your sugar gems today and they were GREAT! I only iced half because I wasn’t quite sure how to store them, once they were iced to keep them from sticking to each other and the foil I wrapped them in…anywho I’m going to ice the rest when I am ready to serve them, and I’m going to try some lemon instead of the vanilla to flavor. Just wanted to say they were so easy and SO good! Thanks!

  42. Melanie says:

    Lydia – my pictures are hardly professional. Sometimes I just have to hope everyone realizes the dish is 100 times better than the picture but thanks for the compliment anyway! And thanks for the great recipe – you can see that several have made and loved it!

  43. Melanie says:

    Kristy – thanks for letting me know you tried this and liked it!

  44. Melanie says:

    The Bentley Family – that is not a dumb question, I promise. The best kind of ham to use, in my humble opinion, would be leftover ham from a spiral cut or similar type ham. If you don’t have that, you can ask the grocery store deli to cut you a thick slice of deli ham that you can then cube and use in a dish such as this. If all else fails, simply chop up lunch meat ham – I’m sure it would still taste great!

  45. Maria says:

    I love skillet meals, quick and easy and usually quite tasty!

  46. Kristin says:

    We just had it and we LOVED it! even the kids – thank you!

  47. grace says:

    164 good, eh? i’m glad you speak kid because that’d just confuse me. 🙂great dinner, melanie–easy, healthy, and delicious means win, win, win.

  48. Deborah says:

    You know I’m all about the easy dinners, and this one sounds like a real winner!

  49. Melanie says:

    Hey Kristin – my kids loved this, too, which is always a bonus. Thanks for letting me know you liked it. I am making your breakfast casserole this week (finally – I’ve had it on my docket to make for months!).

  50. Liz says:

    This was such a great way to use leftover ham! I really enjoyed the combination of all of the different flavors.

  51. Melanie says:

    KA – well, don’t lift me up to saint status as of yet, since my 18 month old wanted nothing to do with this dinner (although the other two kids did eat it great). I am glad your husband and 2-year old loved it, though. Thanks for letting me know!Jan – I’m glad you liked the sugar gems. I think adding lemon to the dough would be wonderful. You’ll have to let me know if you try it that way!

  52. The Mendoza Family says:

    Mel, I’m really so sorry that I waited until you were doing a giveaway before I posted a comment!! Actually, I have a lot of comments because I have made a TON of your recipes!!! I look on your blog almost everyday for dinner ideas and treats too. Amazing. I LOVE every one of your recipes you’ve made!! I’m so glad you’re doing this. You’re taking the guesswork out of it, and if I can follow your directions to the T, I will have a fantastic outcome!! You rock, Mel! You’re my fave!!! 🙂

  53. KA says:

    I made this last night and LOVED it. Also, my husband gave it a 10. AND, my 2 year old ate it right up. You cannot possibly understand the miracle that this is. You are a saint.

  54. The Bentley Family and Aussiemuminthekitchen says:

    Thanks. I’ve never actually cooked a ham myself so the likelihood that I would have leftovers is slim. Thanks for the idea about asking the deli. I’ll do just that. I’m looking forward to trying this. It is on my two week menu.

  55. Peregos says:

    Mel, this looks awesome. We had ham last night and have extra so I was hoping to make this tonight. However, the boys all voted for “green eggs and ham” so hopefully we’ll have some leftover ham again soon. 😉

  56. Momma Kaye says:

    That is funny- I am at my parents and somehow I am signed on under my moms account- but that last one was from me: Lydia 🙂

  57. Angela Baird says:

    So I ended up making this last night…I happened to have ham and a red pepper on hand, but no cottage cheese…wierd, I know. Anyway, we made it with angel hair pasta instead just because I was trying not to go to the store, and it was really yummy. The flavor was really good and hard to explain…peppers, lemon, cheezy, ham…kind-of amazing that it all works together, but it did and we loved it. AND our house smelled like Olive Garden all night! Love it!!!

  58. Melanie says:

    Ang – that is funny that you had the ingredients for this but not the spaghetti pie. I’m glad you liked it – thanks for taking the time to let me know (especially since we know our kids go downhill once we get on the computer!)

  59. Katie says:

    Mmmmm… that look soooo good and comforting!

  60. Kristy says:

    This was yummy. We had it for dinner tonight and loved it! I had diced some ham and put it in the freezer after Christmas and it made this dinner so quick and easy to make. Thanks for sharing!

  61. Marisa says:

    That does sound really good and so easy–right up my alley this month, too!

  62. Kara@ Creations by Kara says:

    Yet another one of your recipes that I am adding to my “to try” list. I just love your blog!

  63. Momma Kaye says:

    Ok- So I’m just going to have to have you take all the food pictures from here on out! You are so good at it- how do you make it looks so good! You are quite the cook! Glad you tried out the recipe- and obviously improved on it! 🙂

  64. Psychgrad says:

    I just made a pork loin last night. This gives me ideas for leftovers. Looks good.

  65. truelifeofjess says:

    I will defintley be trying this recipe. My husband loves dishes like this. Thanks for another great meal Idea

  66. The Bentley Family and Aussiemuminthekitchen says:

    Sorry to as such a dumb question, but what is the best kind of ham to use do you think? I rarely cook with ham.

  67. Liz says:

    I have leftover ham in my fridge right now that is just asking to be made into this dish. The thought of just reheating the ham and eating as is does not sound appetizing. My kids rate my recipes by thumbs up, thumbs sideways or thumbs down. This recipe has noodles and parmesan cheese so I bet this will get a thumbs up with my kids!

  68. Maris says:

    This looks so good! I like ham in omelets, quiche etc but I’m not a big ham sandwich fan. This is great – now I’ll now what to do with leftovers! Nothing beats the looks of those double chocolate cookies though 🙂

  69. Rumela says:

    I like this pasta recipe with ham. It can be made as a fresh dish or with leftover pork. Thus no food will be wasted. Thanks a lot !!

  70. Holly says:

    Great recipe! I found using the < HREF="http://www.harrietcarter.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/_/Pasta-n-More/productID/a0dd9ff9-005d-4646-8721-9090e0553ac5/categoryID/8d7f73b3-495d-4530-9155-1ba9d6058e29/" REL="nofollow" TITLE="Pasta n' More">Pasta n’ More<> from Harriet Carter saves me so much time. I dont know how i did with out it!

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