Talk about Money Saving Tips! This post breaks down how to prepare 7 Meals from one ham. Each meal is creative, delicious, and rather simple to prepare using leftover ham.
Today, I am giving you a game plan that will take one cut of meat and stretch it into seven meals for a family of four hearty eaters. Yes, you read that correctly, 7 MEALS from 1 cut of meat!!
One of my passions in life is cutting down on food waste--both in actual food that goes uneaten and in wasted money that is spent on high grocery bills.
One way I save money and time is through meal planning.
Yes, it does take me a bit of work at the start of the week. But then I know what I am making and can plan to buy accordingly. For example, if I am using cilantro in one recipe, I try to plan a meal that utilizes it later in the week. If I am buying potatoes, a ten-pound bag is always cheaper, so I plan to use potatoes over the next 2-3 weeks. You get the idea. Plus there is no running out last minute to buy this or that, keeping my spending in check.
I am also known in my family as Queen of The Leftovers. I will put ANY leftover food to use. From my carrot peels in my homemade stock to throwing the last bit of salsa into Chicken Chili. I love morphing one meal into a completely new meal. Because I don't know about you, but I do NOT like to eat the same thing every day! Well except chocolate, I can eat that every day for sure!
How to Take One Ham and Turn it into 7 meals
Let's talk about ham.
Growing up ham was always reserved for Holidays and something we all looked forward to. But why not use it more often? My thought is that when ham goes on sale around Christmas and Easter or the week AFTER Christmas or Easter, grab a few and stash in your freezer. You can get a lot of bang for your buck with a ham and a lot of meals.
Let me break it down to you on how I took one 12 pound ham and stretched it to feed my family of 4 for 7 plus meals. (And no, you don't have to eat these meals 7 days in a row--I will share with you how at the end!)
Meal 1: Glazed Ham
I started with my Glazed Ham. It is simple and is the perfect combination between sweet and savory so it pairs wells in any leftover dish. We dined on the ham with Hasselback Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans Almondine But you can serve this dish with whatever side dish your family likes.
Meal 2: Horseradish and Honey Glazed Ham Bread
For this meal, I went back to a recipe that is easy and works for either a dinner or is perfect for packing lunches. Horseradish and Honey Glazed Ham Bread. It is simply bread dough that has been stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese. It is then baked with a sweet and tangy glaze made from horseradish and honey. This is one of my favorites--it is an out of this world take on a sandwich.
Meal 3: Cheesy Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
The next night, I made a family favorite: Cheesy Ham and Scalloped Potatoes. You just can't go wrong with cheesy, salty, creamy goodness.
Meal 4: Pretzel Crusted Chicken Cordon Bleu
Mid-week, I decided to make my son's most favorite meal Easy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu. I also had leftover Green Beans Almondine and Hasselback Sweet Potatoes when I baked the ham, so I had side dishes already ready to go.
Meal 5: Cubano Pizza
Just a little bit of ham is needed to make a fun twist on pizza--a whole wheat pizza crust is topped with mustard, ham, pickle, and Swiss cheese. This Cubano Pizza is a great way to change up a traditional pizza night into a meal with a bit more flavor.
Meal 6: Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets
With the leftover cheese from the large chunk of cheddar I had bought for the Cheesy Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, (the larger package you buy, the less you pay per ounce!) I wanted to make my Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets. One recipe was able to make my family dinner for the night (that I served with a salad and some fresh fruit) and provided a few leftovers for lunches the next day! My kids love these little pockets of cheesy goodness in their lunches. (And yes, they eat them cold, but you can keep warm in a thermos).
Meal 7: Ham and Bean Soup
At this point in the week, I was down to pretty much just the bone from the ham. Which makes one killer Ham and Bean Soup. My husband begs me to make this soup for him. It is hearty and filling and so robust in flavor. Don't tell him, but it is so simple to make too!
There you go--you just made AT LEAST 7 meals from one cut of meat. How is that for a great time and money saver.
And maybe you are thinking that you really DO NOT want to eat ham every day for a single week. Even though each of these meals is a completely new spin on ham, I can understand why you may get sick of ham.
In that case, after you enjoy your serving your roasted ham, cut up the leftovers, and portion them out into freezer-safe containers, or bags, in the portioned amounts you need for each meal. You can also wrap up the ham bone in foil and freeze for later use too. Then when the craving strikes, the meat is ready to go!
Notes on Meal Plan with Ham
- I designed this meal plan to work for a family of 4 hearty eaters. The ham often serves as a supporting cast member, allowing the meat to stretch further.
- You can use any ham recipe you like to start this meal plan out.
- To make meal prep easier, you can use pre-bought bread dough and pizza crust for the Cubano Pizza recipe, Honey Horseradish Ham Loaf, and Hot Pockets.
- If one of these recipes does not appeal to you, try out Monte Cristo Sandwiches, Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast Sandwiches, Ham Corn Chowder, or Slow Cooker Overnight Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole.
- If you are storing your leftover ham in the freezer for future, use, be sure to cut up in chunks or slices and bag in 1-2 cup portions to use later. Freeze the ham bone by wrapping in foil and then placing it in a freezer-safe bag up to 3 months.