Are you ready for todays freezer meal. We are making a Cheesy ham and potato casserole that screams comfort food.
This dish can be heavily modified if you want to. You can add broccoli, cauliflower, or even zucchini. This is great if you have a very picky eater.
To prepare this dish you’ll need a few things. I personally love using my Lodge 17″ cast iron skillet. This skillet is a beast and makes for large batch cooking a breeze. The only problem is that it’s a little large for most residential ovens but other than that it’s amazing.
Another thing you’ll need is an ingredient called sodium citrate. Sodium citrate is a salt from citric acid and acts as an emulsifier. This comes in especially handy when melting fresh cheese (like cheddar, mozzarella, or provolone). The added sodium citrate keeps the fresh cheese from splitting and turning grainy. I use sodium citrate for all of my fresh cheeses and they melt beautifully. If you plan on using only Velveeta Cheese you don’t need to use sodium citrate. It already has some in it..
When it comes to the vegetable preparation I like to pack as much flavor as I can. One way to do that is to pan frying all of the ingredients till they start to take on a little color. This is totally optional as you can just as easily blanch or boil the vegetables till they are tender. Regardless of how you prepare the vegetables this dish will still come out amazing!
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Cheesy Ham & Potato Casserole
- 2 lb potatoes diced
- 1 lb carrots diced
- ½ lb peas
- 1½ lb diced smoked ham from the deli counter
For the cheese sauce
- 4 oz butter unsalted
- 1/2 cup ap flour
- 1 quart milk warmed (divided)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- ½ lb sharp cheddar grated
- ½ lb Velveeta Cheese grated
- ½ tsp sodium citrate
Prepare the Vegetables and Ham
- Pan fry the potatoes, carrots, peas, and ham (one at a time) in a cast iron skillet with a little oil till they start to take on a little color. Once each one is finished transfer it to a larger bowl.
Prepare the Cheese Sauce
- In a small pot add the 1/2 tsp of sodium citrate along with 1 cup of milk. Heat till the milk simmers and the sodium citrate is dissolved. Add the grated cheddar cheese and Velveeta to the milk and stir till all of your cheese has completely melted
- In a separate pot add the butter and the flour. On a medium heat stirring frequently cook for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes of cooking add the rest of the warmed milk and whisk to incorporate.
- Finally add the seasonings and the cheese sauce (that you just made) and cook for 5 minutes more or until the sauce has thickened up.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked vegetables and ham and enjoy for dinner!!
To Freeze and Reheat
- To freeze this dinner you can either plate it up in a casserole dish or in a Vacuum sealed bag. If you plate this up in a casserole dish wrap tightly with foil and cling film.
- To reheat simply take it out of the freezer, let it thaw, and bake at 350f for 30 minutes or till warmed through.
- If you are using boilable bags like I am then take it out of the freezer and place the bag in simmering water for 15-20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
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