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Grandma Leen's Mac and Ham Casserole

By: Eileen H., Palatine, Illinois

Chances are you are familiar with a perennial childhood favorite: Macaroni and cheese. I know it was one of my favorites as a child…still is, as a matter of fact, and it seems to hold universal appeal for kids everywhere. Grandma Leen's version is much better than the kind you get from a box!

Notes


  • Can't get enough of a good thing?  Check out more yummy macaroni and cheese recipes here!

     

  • Need other great ideas for leftover ham?  Check out our 15 yummy recipes!

     

  • Image courtesy of Nina Hoffman

Preparation Time15 min

Cooking Time40 min

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole grain elbow macaroni (dry)
  • 12 ounces 1/2-inch diced ham, such as Farmland
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 10 slices provolone cheese
  • 10 slices American cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
     
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.
     
  3. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and spread half the drained macaroni in the bottom.
     
  4. Scoop on half the onions and half the tomatoes, dolloping evenly over the surface of the macaroni.
     
  5. Scoop on half the ham.
     
  6. Layer the provolone on top of that.
     
  7. Put the rest of the macaroni as a second layer; put the rest of the onions, tomatoes, and ham on top of that.
     
  8. Top with the American cheese slices (be sure to unwrap them!!) and cover the pan with tented aluminum foil. It helps to spray the foil (underside only) with cooking spray also to help avoid sticking.
     
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, covered, at 325F degrees.
     
  10. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes. You can also broil for a minute or 2 to brown up the cheese a bit.
     

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I was a bit disappointed in this dish. I think it could be improved with a bit of tweaking. Instead of layering the ingredients, the flavour might be enhanced by mixing them together, allowing the flavours to seep into the macaroni. Also, the top crust became a bit dry and, since half the flavour was in that part, it was mostly lost. Some italian spices and/or herbes de provence might give it a bit of needed zest. Some minced garlic as well as onion wouldn't hurt.

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