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Ham and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

Turn yesterday’s leftover ham into tonight’s supper with my Ham and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes recipe. It’s a great way to repurpose leftovers into a second, even more delicious, meal. This comforting recipe elevates that plain baked potato into an irresistible supper dish.

Whether you’re looking to repurpose leftover holiday ham or just looking for a recipe that is pure comfort food, these Ham and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes are sure to hit the spot. In addition, this recipe is a great example of the practice of frugal cooking and refusing to let good food go to waste.

A serving of ham and cheese stuffed potatoes on a white plate.

This is a fantastic way to transform simple leftovers into something totally delicious. It came about after a gathering when I found myself with an abundance of baked ham. The thought of wasting all that was unthinkable, so I repurposed it into a dish that is both practical and palate-pleasing. It’s my version of ham and cheese baked potatoes with a Southern attitude.

❤️ Why I Love This Recipe

  • It’s Economical – This is a brilliant way to use up leftover ham, reducing waste and saving money.
  • Comforting and Creamy – The luscious ham and cheese filling is sure to satisfy your comfort food cravings.
  • It’s Versatile – You can easily adapt it to use various cheeses or fillings.
  • So Simple – Looks great on the plate and is so simple to make.

🛒 Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make the recipe.

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  • Baking Potatoes – You’ll want russet potatoes for this recipe. Their fluffy texture is a great complement to the cheesy, creamy filling.
  • Chives – I like fresh chives for a bit of color and fresh onion flavor. If you don’t have them, you can easily substitute finely chopped green onions.
  • Shallots – For some recipes, shallots are just preferable to onions for their subtle, sweet flavor. You can substitute a bit of sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla).
  • Cheese – My two choices for this recipe are Gruyere, which is a type of Swiss cheese that I really like for its creaminess, and sharp cheddar, which is a more budget-friendly alternative.
  • Chopped Cooked Ham – This is the star ingredient in the filling. Use the leftovers from any type of ham that you have on hand, including Black Forest ham, boiled or cooked ham, honey ham, or even Canadian bacon. You can also purchase a package of diced, cooked ham if you want to make this recipe when you don’t have leftover ham available.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How I Make Ham and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

  1. Bake the potatoes either in the oven or microwave. Set aside to cool slightly before continuing with recipe.
  2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, split them open lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp into a medium mixing bowl, leaving a ¼ inch thick shell of potato and skin. Use a fork or potato masher to break up the pulp. Set the potato skins aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and sauté briefly until softened.
  1. Add the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Pour the milk and shallot mixture over the reserved potato pulp in the bowl. Add half the cheese, and all of the remaining ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  1. Stuff the reserved shells with the potato, ham, and cheese mixture. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the remaining cheese.
  2. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.
Ham and cheese stuffed potatoes on a white plate.

❗ My Expert Tips

  • Pricking the potatoes with a fork before baking prevents them from bursting and ensures they cook evenly throughout. Don’t skip this simple but essential step.
  • When removing the fluffy interior of the potatoes, use a small spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving a sturdy shell. It helps to leave a good border around the edge to maintain structure.
  • Choose a cheese that melts well and complements the savory ham. While Gruyere adds a delicious flavor, don’t hesitate to use sharp cheddar for a budget-friendly option.
  • Keep an eye on the potatoes during the final baking step. The goal is a beautifully melted cheese top with a hint of golden brown, which can go from perfect to overdone quickly.

⚠️ My Troubleshooting Tips

  • In case you find yourself with more filling than the shells can hold, simply bake the excess in a small buttered dish. It makes a delightful, creamy side all on its own or a nice lunch with a small salad for the next day.
  • If the cheese isn’t melting to that perfect state of gooeyness, pop the potatoes under the broiler for a minute or two. Keep a close watch to avoid burning.
  • For crispier potato shells, place the filled potatoes on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet. This allows air to circulate underneath, keeping the skins crisp.
  • Taste the filling before stuffing the potatoes. If it seems a bit bland, don’t hesitate to adjust the seasonings. A pinch more salt, a dash of pepper, or even a sprinkle of garlic powder can make all the difference.
  • If your filling is too dry, add a splash more milk for creaminess.

🔀 Interesting Recipe Variations

  • Loaded Baked Potato: Add crispy bacon bits, chopped green onions, and a dollop of sour cream.
  • Cheese Variations: Don’t hesitate to experiment with other cheeses. Sharp cheddar adds a bold taste, mozzarella offers a delightful stretchiness, and a little parmesan can add a savory depth. For a tangy twist, try mixing a bit of cream cheese or goat cheese into the filling.
  • Meaty Mix-Ins: In addition to ham, consider other proteins. Crumbled bacon or pancetta, diced turkey or chicken all make for an equally satisfying option. For a more extravagant version, try folding in some finely chopped cooked lobster or shrimp.
  • Vegetable Add-Ins: To sneak in more veggies, mix in sautéed spinach, kale, or even finely chopped broccoli. Caramelized onions or roasted garlic are also delicious.
  • International Flavors: Try incorporating flavors from different cuisines. Consider a Greek version with feta cheese, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes, or go Italian with ricotta, basil, and sun-dried tomato pesto. A Mexican twist could include cheddar cheese, corn, black beans, and a dollop of guacamole on top.
Ham and cheese stuffed potatoes on a white plate.

🍽️ Ways I Serve Ham and Cheese Baked Potatoes

  • With a Side of Greens: A light, refreshing salad is the perfect counterbalance to the recipe’s richness. Consider a mixed green salad with a vinaigrette dressing, or an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette and parmesan cheese. 
  • Steamed or Roasted Vegetables: For a heartier side, steamed broccoli, asparagus, or a medley of roasted root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets can add color and texture. 
  • Crusty Bread: Serve your ham and cheese stuffed potatoes with slices of warm, crusty bread or garlic bread
  • Soup Pairing: Start the meal with a brothy soup such as a classic chicken noodle or a vegetable minestrone
  • For a Brunch Twist: These stuffed potatoes can also star in a brunch spread. Serve alongside eggs—poached or scrambled for variety—smoked salmon and mimosas or bloody marys for a luxurious morning feast.
  • Dessert Pairings: To round off the meal, opt for a light dessert like a fruit sorbet or a pavlova.

🍚 How I Store Leftovers

Allow any leftovers to cool to room temperature, and then place them in an airtight container. If you’re stacking them, insert parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking. They can then be kept in the refrigerator, where they will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days.

To freeze, start by pre-freezing the potatoes on a baking sheet, making sure they’re not touching, for about 1 to 2 hours until the exteriors are firm. This step prevents them from sticking together later on. After they’re partially frozen, wrap each potato half individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil for added protection against freezer burn and flavor loss. Transfer the wrapped potatoes into a freezer bag or an airtight container, removing as much air as possible from freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To reheat refrigerated leftovers, place them in a 350°F (175°C) oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they are thoroughly heated. To reheat from frozen, simply unwrap and place them on a baking sheet, then warm them in a preheated oven at the same temperature for approximately 25-30 minutes or until they are hot throughout. Covering them with foil during the initial phase of reheating can help prevent the tops from burning.

❓ Questions about Ham and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

Can I use sweet potatoes instead of regular baking potatoes?

Absolutely! Sweet potatoes can be a delicious alternative with their natural sweetness, complementing the savory ham and cheese filling. Be sure to adjust baking time if needed.

Can this recipe be made vegetarian?

Yes, for a vegetarian version, omit the ham and consider adding roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or even some spinach. A touch of smoked paprika can mimic the smokiness of the ham.

Is it possible to prepare this dish ahead of time?

You can prepare the recipe up to the point of baking and then refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, simply bake them until they’re heated through and the cheese is bubbly.

How can I make this recipe healthier?

To lighten up the dish, consider using low-fat milk and cheese, or increase the proportion of vegetables in the filling. You can also opt for turkey ham as a substitute.

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

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A serving of ham and cheese stuffed potatoes on a white plate.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

Turn yesterday's leftover ham into tonight's supper with my Ham and Cheese Stuffed Potatoes. Repurpose those leftovers into a delicious meal!
5 from 3 votes
Print It Rate It Text It
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 317kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons chives chopped
  • 2 large shallots finely minced
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar or Gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces), divided
  • 2 cups chopped cooked ham
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Bake the potatoes either in the oven or microwave. Set aside to cool slightly before continuing with recipe.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, split them open lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp into a medium mixing bowl, leaving a ¼ inch thick shell of potato and skin. Use a fork or potato masher to break up the pulp. Set the potato skins aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  • In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and sauté briefly until softened.
  • Add the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Pour the milk and shallot mixture over the reserved potato pulp in the bowl. Add half the cheese, and all of the remaining ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  • Stuff the reserved shells with the potato, ham, and cheese mixture. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the remaining cheese.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.

Notes

  • Let the leftovers cool completely, and then place them in an airtight container. They can then be kept in the refrigerator, where they will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days.
  • To freeze, start by pre-freezing the potatoes on a baking sheet, making sure they’re not touching, for about 1 to 2 hours. Then wrap each potato half individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil for added protection against freezer burn and flavor loss. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat refrigerated leftovers, place them in a 350°F oven for about 15-20 minutes or until they are thoroughly heated. To reheat from frozen, simply unwrap and place them on a baking sheet, then warm them in a preheated oven at the same temperature for approximately 25-30 minutes or until they are hot throughout.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 317kcal | Carbohydrates 23g | Protein 19g | Fat 17g | Saturated Fat 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat 1g | Monounsaturated Fat 6g | Trans Fat 0.1g | Cholesterol 58mg | Sodium 773mg | Potassium 664mg | Fiber 2g | Sugar 3g | Vitamin A 471IU | Vitamin C 8mg | Calcium 328mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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13 Comments

  1. i tried this recipe with a twist- only veggies for a veggie friend of mine!!! it was fantastic!!!! thank you for the idea!!!! as always

  2. s. stockwell, Miranda, Angie, Ruth: Thanks for your kind comments. So glad you enjoy my little recipes!

  3. These look wonderful! I am a subscriber now and am delighted to get your new recipes sent by e-mail. In these economically stressed days everything to use your resources wisely should matter. I am proud of you for showing us how to re-cycle leftovers .

  4. What a brilliant idea! Saving, saving, saved recipe! :)

  5. Angie McGowan says:

    Looks very delicious!

  6. This is amazing. I love your site…I have told you this before. It is so incredible.
    I saved this as a fav. and I will be making this soon. I also buzzed you!!! You deserve it!!!

  7. s. Stockwell says:

    You just keep killing us with these heart warming outrageously delicious recipes! This is a nice version of an old faithful. Thanks, s

  8. Bread + Butter says:

    I’m the same way, so I try to use up as much of what I can in how ever many dishes I can come up with. Make leftovers like a new dish. Great job!

  9. Cookin' Canuck says:

    They looks delicious! What a great way to use up leftovers. I’m the same way – I try to utilize every morsel of leftovers that we have in the fridge.