Cheesy Ham Asparagus Pasta is a quick and delicious one pot dinner that’s done in 20 minutes. A great way to use leftover ham! Don’t miss this tasty one pot meal everyone will love.
Nothing beats a delicious and comforting one pot recipe! This dish is perfect for busy weeknights and comes together in a flash.
Got Leftover Ham?
Every holiday, I make my famous Slow Cooker Ham. This recipe is so popular because it’s super simple to make and has an incredible brown sugar glaze. I always buy the largest boneless ham I can find just so I can ensure I have plenty of ham for leftovers.
There is usually at least half of the ham leftover, which is great by me! Moreover, I find that ham can usually last for about a week in the fridge. Alternately, you can dice it into cubes and freeze it in an airtight container for up to two months. Then just toss it into dishes like frittatas, scrambled eggs, or use it to make Ham Salad.
My Ham and Cheese Quiche is another excellent way to use up leftover ham. Super simple to make, this can be done with or without the pie crust. Moreover, it’s a great addition for any breakfast, brunch, or shower party.
Ham and Asparagus Pasta
If you are looking for a quick and easy pasta dinner, this is it! Additionally, this recipe is totally customizable. Depending on the season you may not be able to find good quality asparagus. You could substitute broccoli, cauliflower, or peas with excellent results.
Firstly, bring a large pot of water to boil. I like to use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven for this, but any large pot would work. Boil the pasta according to package instructions. I find that using whole wheat pasta is a great option here because it holds up well with the sauce and I like to add a healthy option to dinner when possible. Also, I use rotini but any short pasta works here.
During the last two minutes of cooking, add the asparagus to the boiling pasta water. Drain the pasta and veggies and set aside.
To make the sauce, return the pan to the stove over medium heat. Melt the butter and add in the garlic. Whisk in the flour to make a rue for the béchamel sauce. Next, add in the milk. I like to use 2% milk, because that’s what I have on hand, but 1% or whole would be great too. Once the milk simmers, add in the cheeses to melt.
Lastly, add in the cubed ham, pasta, and asparagus. Stir to coat all of the noodles with sauce.
Tips for Making Cheesy Ham Asparagus Pasta
- You can make this in one pot to save clean up time. However, to get this done even faster, cook the pasta and asparagus in a separate pot while you make the cheesy béchamel sauce. Now dinner is done in about 10 minutes!
- Whole wheat pasta works great in this dish. Because this is a hearty sauce, the pasta holds up well and you can’t even taste the whole wheat flavor.
- Substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand. Frozen veggies would work great too.
- Don’t have any leftover ham? Use diced rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey. It’ll be delicious no matter what!
- To save calories, use low fat milk and reduced fat cream cheese. I made my recipe with 2% milk and ⅓ reduced fat Neufchatel cheese.
- Make ahead! This recipe reheats beautifully in the microwave. It’s a great dish to have in the fridge for the week. Enjoy!
Cheesy Ham Asparagus Pasta
- 10 ounces Whole Grain Rotini pasta (or other short cut pasta) you can substitute regular semolina pasta
- 8 ounces asparagus spears, cut into 2 inch pieces
- ¼ cup butter (half a stick)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- ½ cup shredded parmesan
- 4 ounces cream cheese (reduced fat works great here)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups ham, cooked and cubed
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions, adding the asparagus in the water during the last two minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and asparagus and set aside.
- In the same pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for one minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until light brown in color, about two minutes. Increase heat to medium high and whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened. Turn off heat and stir in the cheeses. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- To the pot add the pasta and asparagus, and the cooked ham. Stir to combine. Serve warm.
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