Back when I was a kid, my single mom got some meal plans from the US government for cooking healthy meals on a budget. This Ham, Cheese, & Rice Casserole recipe was one of them.
This is a great way to use the random pieces left over from a Christmas ham.
This Christmas I bought a small Smithfield Spiral-Cut Honey-Glazed Ham (~$13). The small end of the ham, chopped into bits, made up the meat in this recipe.
Ham, Cheese, and Rice Casserole
- 1½ cups chopped Onions
- 2 tbs. Vegetable Oil
- 2 cups Water
- ¼ tsp. Salt (optional)
- 1½ cups chopped Ham
- ½ cup Milk
- 2 cups Minute Rice
- 2/3 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
Makes 4-6 servings in about 15 minutes.
I keep chopped Onions and Shredded Cheddar Cheese on hand in the freezer. If you also use frozen cheese, be sure to let it thaw while you prepare this meal so the last step doesn’t cool the casserole too much.
Salt is optional, especially when using salt-cured Ham scraps. Starting with sliced or spiral cut Ham speeds up the chopping. If you have a lot of Ham scraps, freeze baggies with 1½ cups of chopped Ham in each to make this recipe later.
I buy Milk drink boxes (what I call “shelf milk”) because they are 1-cup portions that last for months without refrigeration.
Many of these ingredients have coupons available online (check Coupons.com and various brand websites). This time around, I got $1 off Kraft Shredded Cheddar Cheese.
- Pull out 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese so it can reach room temperature by the last step.
- In a saute pan (deep fry pan), brown the onions in vegetable oil.
- Add water, salt, and ham. Bring to a boil.
- Add milk and rice and cover. Return to a boil, stirring periodically until liquid is absorbed and rice is done.
- Remove from heat, stir in cheese, and cover. Let stand until cheese is melted.
SERVE & EAT:
As a casserole, Ham, Cheese, & Rice is a 1-dish meal. But, if you would like to have a side dish, I recommend serving a garden salad (cool and crunchy to contrast the warm and creamy casserole) or a green power vegetable (like spinach or broccoli).
Ham, Cheese, & Rice is a moist casserole that freezes and microwaves well.