Lighter Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

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Lighter Scalloped Potatoes with Ham is just as decadent as the original butter and cream-laden recipe, but on the lighter side!

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I cannot believe it’s December 20th – 5 days before Christmas – and I have yet to bore you with a snow-laden, whiny winter weather post this season!

You lucky reader, you.

It’s really been a delightful little month so far. We’ve only seen a light dusting of snow twice, and even reached a spring-like high of 55 degrees a couple days ago. But even though I’ve only worn my winter coat a handful of times, I’m still craving the cozy, comfort foods I usually jam pack my menus with around this time of year.

I think listening to festive Christmas carols for 10+ hours a day at work has also contributed to the feeling.

Poll: Which song makes you want to run for the hills more: Christmas Shoes or The Muppets’ 12 Days of Christmas? I can’t decide. Christmas Shoes makes me want to throw something, but Beaker’s “mi-mi-mi-mi’ing” to 9 ladies dancing might be equally as torturous.

Anyway. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Comfort food!

Despite the unseasonably warm weather and cheery sunshine, I went ahead and whipped up a classic, creamy, comfort-food casserole for dinner: Lighter Scalloped Potatoes with Ham!

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This diet busting dish is normally packed with butter and cream. Well I lightened it up, but kept ALL the cozy flavor by cutting the butter and using 2% milk instead of heavy cream. IT WAS SO GOOD!!!!

Start by melting some butter in a large skillet. Butter? I thought this was thing was light?! No, I know, but this is actually a small amount compared to the overall size of the dish – and is half of what the original recipe calls for. Add in fragrant seasonings like thyme and parsley, then whisk the mixture together.

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Cook the butter and flour for 2 minutes (mmmm, smells like stuffing!) then slowly whisk in 2% milk. I resisted the urge to swap in skim milk for the 2%, as I knew the sauce would be grainy if I did.

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Bring the milk to a boil, whisking constantly, then lower the heat and cook for 2 minutes.

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Meanwhile, combine 6 cups sliced potatoes – that’s about 3 large potatoes – with 1/2 a grated onion and 1/3lb cubed ham steak. I just went to the deli counter at the grocery store, picked out a good quality low-sodium ham and asked the woman working to slice it thick for me. Ham steak-thick, yo!

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Layer half the potato/ham mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 dish, then spoon over half the sauce.

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Repeat!

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Cover with foil and bake for an hour or so, then remove the foil to let the top get golden brown and give the ham a chance to really sizzle. 8)

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Ooooo baby! This dish is right. up. there. with my Mom’s Classic Mac & Cheese, and Homemade Chicken & Dumplings in ultimate comfort food range. I could not believe how delicious it was, even though it was made without a lot of fat!

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Lighter Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

Print this recipe!

Serves 6

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

Directions:
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
3 cups 2% milk
6 cups russet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), sliced thin
1/3lb low-sodium ham steak, chopped (ask grocery store deli to slice ham “ham steak” thick for you)
1/2 small onion, grated

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and flour, and whisk together. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  2. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until smooth. Turn heat up to high and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Turn heat back down to medium and continue whisking for 2 minutes.
  3. Combine potatoes, ham and onion in a large bowl. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray and add in half the potato mixture. Top with half the sauce, then repeat the layers. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 65 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15-20 more minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

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The ham was just indulgently salty enough, the potatoes were blissfully soft, and that sauce. Luxurious. Silky. Amazing. I want to slather it all over everything.

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That is to say, I liked it. I liked it a lot. ;)

I served these Scalloped Potatoes with Ham for dinner, but they’d also make a knock out holiday side dish!

Month of Holiday Giveaways

I am such a louse – I keep forgetting to announce the winners of the Panera Gift Card Giveaway! Good eats are on their way to…

Emily: I would love to treat my mom to some Panera! A thanks for all she does!

Samantha Oldaker: It would have to be Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds!

Jaimie: Shared on Facebook! (Also commented: I’d share it with my work buddy!)

Katie C: My husband! We could definitely use a date, and Panera is one of our favorite cozy spots :)

Congrats guys! Email your full name and address to IowaGirlEats@gmail.com, and I’ll mail those gift cards right out to you.

PS: a little birdie told me that starting in January  you’ll be able to get CINNAMON CRUNCH – like from the cinnamon crunch bagels – on your OATMEAL at Panera. MUWAHAHA are you kidding me?! That right there pretty much made my 2012.

Don’t forget you have until tomorrow, Wednesday, December 21st @ 5pm central to enter to win a SodaStream Soda Maker Starter Kit! :D

Have a great night!

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Comments

  1. Ogh. De poh-teh-toes.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.20.2011

      I just read that as Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. HA!

      • Alicia 12.20.2011

        HAHAHA! Yes! Sebastian!

  2. Lauren 12.20.2011

    My husband would die for this dish! Pin it!!

  3. Sarah W 12.20.2011

    christmas shoes is by far the worse hands down. just the other day i was thinking to myself, hey i haven’t heard that one yet and so far so good.

    • I was going to say the same thing! Christmas Shoes was on all the time last year, but I have not heard it once this year and for that I am grateful!

  4. My fiancée would love this! I love the plate you served the potatoes on too!

  5. Emily 12.20.2011

    Potatoes, ham and creamy sauce? I’m there.

  6. Panera John 12.20.2011

    What about “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney?!?!? I scream in anger and turn off the radio every time it comes on… and ‘that chick’ from Destiny’s Child REMADE it this year… FOR THE LOVE OF WELL… CHRIST-mas! :)

    Also, I may or may not have almost cried once during Christmas shoes, so don’t you be knocking it… (it’s safe to say that I… eehemmm… all grown men love their mothers just a bit too much) :P

  7. Amy 12.20.2011

    I cannot stand any version of ‘ The Little Drummer Boy’. Iamb not sure what he ever did to annoy me, but he does!

  8. Molly 12.20.2011

    Its gotta be Christmas Shoes. Uuuggghhh. I feel like such a cynic every time that song comes on, but it makes me turn the radio station ASAP.

  9. Shannon 12.20.2011

    Christmas shoes makes me change the station every time. The first time I heard it was touching, second time too. But the one thousandth time….PUKE.

  10. Amanda 12.20.2011

    Cinnamon crunch on oatmeal? If that is true… life just got a whole lot better!!!

  11. Cary 12.20.2011

    Sooo excited for the Oatmeal at Panera!!! Thanks for the insider tip :)

  12. Margaret 12.20.2011

    Oh, my. I cannot stand “Christmas Shoes”, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” or “Wonderful Christmas Time”. It doesn’t help that a certain local radio station plays those on repeat seemingly continuously from Thanksgiving on. I actually like Beaker’s mi-mi-mi-mi’ing though!

  13. Ashley 12.20.2011

    I just told someone the other day that I was SO surprised Panera did not have an oatmeal yet. Well, here it is and I’m excited!!!

  14. dawn 12.20.2011

    I have to say any Chipmunks song pretty much makes me EEEK!!

    Love this recipe, a great way to use up left over ham!

  15. Alicia 12.20.2011

    Christmas Shoes definantly and what’s that one with that lady that sounds like the brusha brusha brusha song from Grease? The voice is really creepy. It plays all the time for me at work and I can’t stand it.

    • jad18 12.21.2011

      Is it “I Want a Hippopatamus for Christmas”? I actually think that song is funny.

  16. jad18 12.21.2011

    Christmas Shoes is the worst. I heard it in the car the other day and could not change the station due to driving in kinda bad weather and wanted to jump out of the car by the time it was over. I also really cannot stand Do You Hear What I Hear. I think it is the repetition of the statements in it that drives me nuts.

  17. Katie C 12.21.2011

    Yay! So excited to use that Panera card!

    And Christmas Shoes. WORST. And I think the vast majority hate it, so why why WHY they still play it so much is beyond me. Good message I suppose, but I don’t want my Christmas songs to make me weepy. That is all.

  18. Kristin from MN 12.21.2011

    My husband and I just made that exact recipe on Monday night! LOL! And yes we agree it was very very good!

  19. Katrine 12.21.2011

    Your potatoes look amazing! Last night I made the fish tacos you recently featured. Holy moly, they were a huge, delicious hit! Thanks for the idea and Merry Christmas!

  20. Morgan 12.21.2011

    Christmas Shoes and we have this horrible local song called “Christmas in the Northwest.” If you’re from Seattle, you know what I’m talking about.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.21.2011

      HAHAHA – we have “Christmas in Iowa” which is truly horrible. Pretty much on par with xmas shoes and the muppets!

  21. Calee 12.21.2011

    Oh man. I haven’t heard Christmas shoes, but now all I can think of is MI MI MI MI MI!

  22. Liz 12.21.2011

    I can’t wait to make these!

  23. I love reading your blog- I LOVE how you include pictures of every step and it is so easy to print recipes from the post- I have been lurking on your blog for awhile now and I finally just had to say something! I just love it!!

  24. Michelle 12.21.2011

    Cracking me up to see everyone’s angst over different christmas songs!! Top of my UGH list is definitely Christmas Shoes! BTW made your chicken & dumplings the other day – To die for!

  25. I LOVE BEEKER….thanks for making me smile. I would rub it in that it’s 92 today and sunny here in the beautiful Caribbean…but that would just be mean. :-)
    xoxo from Trinidad

  26. Machelle 12.21.2011

    ahhhhh…taters….my favorite food! yum! i pretty much hate all Christmas music. there are just a few songs i like to hear once every year. i’m a bit scroogie! :)

  27. Lynn 12.21.2011

    Christmas Shoes-blah and move blah.

  28. Casi 12.21.2011

    I MUST try these potatoes. Scalloped are my favorite and it’s so nice that the guilt factor is not here like the classic. Yummy can’t wait to make this :)

  29. Ari 12.21.2011

    I love those dishes! where did you get them?? they are adorable!

  30. morgan 12.21.2011

    Ugh, the Christmas Shoes song is the WORST!

  31. Brittney! 12.21.2011

    Christmas Shoes officially won, nationally:

    http://jezebel.com/5870113/weve-found-the-worst-christmas-song-ever

  32. Christmas Shoes is pretty bad, but in a “ohmahgod change it I might cry and it’s so sad and morbid I can barely stand it” kind of way. For me a hands down worst most terrrrrrible-ist, clawing at my ears songs is “Mary Did You Know?” I seriously gag every time I hear it.

  33. Courtney 01.01.2012

    I tried this recipe tonight subbing Brummel & Brown for butter, and it turned out amazing! Thanks, again.

  34. Scalloped potatoes and ham! Two of my most favourite things!

    We serve them at the same meal but never thought of combining the two into one dish.

  35. […] Lighter Scalloped Potatoes with Ham […]

  36. Susan 12.05.2014

    We made this for dinner tonight and my hubby and I were delighted at how good it was! I make so many of your recipes and all of them are great!

    Hope you and yours all have a merry Christmas!

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