This one pot ham and pea pasta recipe is quick, simple, and a perfect way to use up leftover ham from the holidays! Ready in under 30 minutes.
I made this creamy ham pasta recipe a one pot pasta dish because I wanted the pasta to cook in the half-and-half and work its magic to thicken the sauce. Full-fat cream is my usual go-to, but I want to explore making some of the creamy dishes I love a little bit lower in calories without sacrificing texture.
The issue I have with subbing half-and-half or milk in creamy dishes is that the sauce generally just isn't the same. Watery cream sauces are sad sauces. I am happy to report though that the starch in the pasta did thicken the sauce to an acceptable level, and we saved some calories!
It's also easier to just chuck it all in one pot, don't you think? Fewer dishes too. 😉
This easy ham and pea pasta recipe really couldn't be much simpler. Even developing this recipe went really well. It worked like a charm on my first try, which is really nice considering that does not always happen. 😀
The sauce is creamy but not too heavy. Prep time is minimal since you're basically just chopping an onion and some ham.
I did intend this recipe to use leftover cooked ham, but if you really like ham, you could just make this for the sake of making it, of course!
Love ham? Try these recipes:
Hope you love this leftover ham pasta recipe! How do you usually use up leftover ham from Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving?
Ham and Pea Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (10 fluid ounce) can chicken broth
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 cups fusilli pasta
- 4 dashes Italian seasoning
- 1-2 cups cooked ham chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional) to taste
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a fairly large pot. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant; about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken broth, half-and-half, pasta, and Italian seasoning. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 10 minutes, giving it a stir every so often.
- The pasta should be about done - give it a taste, and if it's nearly cooked, add in the ham and peas. Cook it for another 5 minutes or so until the ham and peas are warmed through.
- Serve immediately with parmesan if desired.
- This recipe is accurate as tested on my stove. However, stoves (especially electric ones) can vary, so if you notice the pasta is not yet cooked and there doesn't seem to be enough liquid, I suggest using your best judgment and adding a bit more liquid as needed, a half cup at a time until the pasta is cooked.
- Some pastas absorb more liquid than others, so I suggest sticking to the type of pasta I recommend in this recipe.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Easy to make and fairly tasty. just felt like it was missing something. Will make it again and experiment. Watch it closely at the end, had to add a little more liquid as the pasta wasn't quite done but the sauce was starting to dry at the bottom of the pan. Just small tweak for my stove - gas runs hot! Thanks!
Question… in the tips section you say to add more liquid as needed. Do you suggest adding more half & half or chicken broth if needed? Thank you!
Hi! Either or. Half-and-half if you want it to be a bit more creamy. I would only add more liquid if the pasta isn't close to being done and the pot is running out of liquid.
Can this be made and frozen?
Hi! So, typically, creamy recipes and ones with pasta don't freeze all that well. It can separate on thawing and the pasta can kinda puff up and take on a weird texture. I recommend perhaps freezing one portion of leftovers to see how it goes, but I'd hate for you to make the entire batch and then not enjoy it.
Very good! I made it as written though I did add in extra ham and peas. It was a hit with the adults and kids. Thanks for the recipe! Great use of leftover honey baked ham.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂 Thank you!
Had this for dinner (doubled) when my bother and his family came over. It was a success, kid friendly but still tasty for the adults. So good that my daughter packed the leftovers for her school lunch!
If anyone is interested, you can make this dairy free by substituting coconut milk for the half and half. Still perfectly creamy. I used cavatappi noodles instead of fusilli.
I'm so happy it was a hit, Emily! 🙂
Amanda S Hodges says
Turned out great! Good flavor -- not the boring ham casserole I was anticipating. Added a little more peas cuz we love them. Thank you for the recipe.
That's great! So pleased it worked out for ya 🙂
Delicious! Cooked to perfection, Exactly as the recipe stated.
So happy you liked it, Cheryl! 🙂
Thank you for delicious recipe. It came out just perfect 👌 🤗😋
So glad to hear it! You're very welcome!
Stephen Fenner says
Was going great till theres no explanation on what half-and-half is!?
Hi! I assume you don’t live in North America? It’s a very common ingredient here. It’s half milk and half cream. ☺️
Susan Herrmann says
This is outstanding! Even without any Parmesan to add in the end, it’s delicious and creamy, with a certain sweetness from the peas and ham. We’ll make and enjoy this again.
I am so pleased you enjoyed it, Susan! Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂