Penne Casserole With Ham and Peas

Penne, Ham, and Pea Casserole

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
541 Calories
28g Fat
44g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 541
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 94mg 31%
Sodium 868mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 473mg 36%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 472mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This penne casserole with ham and peas recipe is a great use for leftover ham. The ham pasta bake offers a delicious combination of flavors that everyone is sure to enjoy. It's also easy to make, even on a busy weeknight.

The recipe features a cheddar cheese sauce that is mixed with cooked penne, diced ham, peas, and seasonings. It's baked with a cheese and buttery breadcrumb topping, which always makes a casserole just a little tastier.

Serve it with a tossed salad or some crusty homemade rolls for a complete and satisfying meal.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces penne pasta

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups peas, frozen, thawed

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups milk

  • 2 cups diced ham

  • 2 1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or lightly grease it with butter. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  3. In a large saucepan, cook the pasta in boiling salted water, following the package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water.

  4. In a saucepan or sautè pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the green onions, parsley, and garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

  5. Stir in the milk and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the ham and 2 cups of the shredded cheese. Cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is hot and bubbly.

  6. Add the drained pasta and peas to the sauce, mixing well and heating through.

  7. Spoon into the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

  8. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with ​the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the shredded cheese layer.

  9. Bake for about 30 minutes until crumbs are browned, and the casserole is hot and bubbly.

  10. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • To cook the peas with the pasta, add the frozen peas to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking time and add 2 minutes to the cooking time. Drain the pasta and peas together and rinse with hot water.
  • For bread crumbs, tear a few slices of bread and put the pieces in a food processor. Pulse until you have soft crumbs. It's a great use for day-old bread, croissants, or bulkie rolls, and you can make crumbs and freeze them to have on hand for casserole toppings.

Recipe Variations

  • Add oregano, basil, or an Italian seasoning mix to the sauce along with the parsley.
  • Switch to leftover chicken or turkey, or use canned tuna (drained) instead of ham.
  • Change up the cheese using a Gruyere cheese in place of the cheddar.
  • Use a different pasta shape, whatever you have on hand—elbows would work well also.