7 Meals from One Ham: How to take one large cut of meat and purpose it for 7 meals for a family of four.
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 everyday! Well except chocolate, I can eat that everyday for sure!
So now back to the meal planning–be sure to sign up to my newsletter to get FREE weekly meal plans delivered to your Inbox every Sunday.
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: Balsamic Fig Glazed Ham
I started with my Balsamic Fig 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 Sweet and Spicy Green beans. 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. (I used the leftover cheese from the Chicken Cordon Bleu) It is then baked with 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: Pretzel Crusted Chicken Cordon Bleu. You all must try this! The salty crust on the outside of this chicken is just stellar. Bonus is that I had made extra Sweet and Spicy Green Beans and Hasselback Sweet Potatoes when I baked the ham, so I had side dishes already ready to go. If you are really in a hurry or need a gluten-free ham recipe, try out my One Pan Gluten-Free Chicken Cordon Bleu.
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 Pretzel 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 Pretzel 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 leftover 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 your are thinking that you really DO NOT want to eat ham everyday 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 of the Balsamic Fig 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!
I hope you found this game plan to use ham beneficial to you and will put these recipes to use the next time you grab a ham at the store.
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 memeber, 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 Pretzel 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 in freezer safe bag up to 3 months.