Summer is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen and use up those leftovers from previous meals. One ingredient that I always seem to have an abundance of is leftover ham. Rather than letting it go to waste, I've come up with some fantastic summer meal ideas that utilize leftover ham in fresh and delicious ways. In this article, I'll be sharing my favorite summer recipes that feature leftover ham, so let's dive in!
Nothing screams summer more than grilling outdoors, and these ham and pineapple skewers are the perfect addition to any barbecue. To make this refreshing dish, simply cube leftover ham and fresh pineapple, then thread them onto skewers, alternating between the two ingredients. You can even include some bell peppers and red onions for extra color and flavor. Brush the skewers with your favorite barbecue sauce, and grill until the pineapple is slightly charred and the ham is heated through. Serve with a side of rice or a simple green salad for a delicious summer meal.
If you're looking for a light and tasty meal idea, these ham and cheese stuffed peppers are just the thing. To make this dish, cut bell peppers in half and remove the seeds. In a bowl, combine diced leftover ham, shredded cheese (I like using cheddar or mozzarella), and cooked rice. You can also add in some diced tomatoes, onions, and other veggies if you'd like. Stuff each pepper half with the ham mixture and bake in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 20-25 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted. Top with fresh herbs and enjoy!
For a simple yet satisfying brunch or lunch option, try making a ham and vegetable frittata. In a large skillet, sauté diced leftover ham, onions, peppers, and any other vegetables you have on hand. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the ham and veggies in the skillet and cook over medium heat until the edges begin to set. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top, then transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the frittata is fully set and the cheese is golden brown. Slice into wedges and serve with a fresh salad for a perfect summer meal.
When the weather is hot, sometimes a cold sandwich is just what you need to satisfy your hunger. To make a delicious ham salad, simply dice leftover ham and mix it with chopped celery, onions, and your favorite mayonnaise or yogurt-based dressing. Season with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings. Spread the ham salad onto slices of fresh bread or stuff into a pita pocket, and enjoy a refreshing and easy summer lunch.
For a lighter take on a classic chowder, try this ham and corn version. In a large pot, sauté diced leftover ham, onions, and bell peppers in some butter or oil. Add in corn kernels (fresh or frozen), chicken broth, and a splash of milk or cream. Season with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices (I like to add a bit of smoked paprika for a smoky flavor). Let the chowder simmer for about 20 minutes, then serve with crusty bread for a comforting and hearty summer meal.
Fried rice is a quick and easy dish that's perfect for using up leftover ingredients, including ham. Simply sauté diced leftover ham, onions, and any other desired veggies (I like to use peas and carrots) in a large skillet. Add in cooked rice and stir to combine, then push the mixture to one side of the skillet. In the empty space, scramble some eggs, then mix everything together. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, and any other desired seasonings, and enjoy a delicious and easy summer dinner.
Quiche is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for any meal, and this ham and Swiss version is perfect for a summer brunch or dinner. To make this quiche, simply prepare your favorite pie crust and press it into a pie dish. In a bowl, combine diced leftover ham, shredded Swiss cheese, and sautéed onions. Spread this mixture into the pie crust, then pour a mixture of beaten eggs and cream or milk over the top. Bake the quiche at 375°F (190°C) for about 40-45 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown. Allow the quiche to cool slightly before slicing and serving.
This ham and asparagus pasta salad is a delicious and refreshing dish that's perfect for a summer potluck or picnic. Cook your favorite pasta according to the package instructions, then drain and rinse under cold water to cool. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, diced leftover ham, blanched asparagus, and cherry tomatoes. Toss with your favorite Italian dressing or a simple vinaigrette, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with some crumbled feta or goat cheese for an extra burst of flavor.