As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This Ham Pasta is a simple meal that is delicious homemade comfort food. It’s a great way to use up leftover ham, and this one-pan dinner makes incredible leftovers.

ham and pea post in a white bowl with a bronze spoon.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

This easy ham pasta is cheesy, creamy, and oh-so delicious. It’s ready in a flash (seriously), and is a great way to use up holiday ham leftovers.

And what you’ll really love about it is how easy it is to customize to your tastes, and what’s in your fridge.

Just a note about the amount of delicious food this ham and noodles recipe makes…and that is it makes A LOT! If you’re feeding 6-8 people, and/or love leftovers, this recipe is for you. If you need to reduce the number of servings, click on “servings” in the recipe card and adjust it to fit your needs.

You’re going to adore this recipe (I promise), but also check out our Ham Fried Rice, Ham and Cheese Pinwheels, Ham and Potato Casserole, Ham and Potato Soup, and Ham and Beans, for leftover ham dishes that are as simple and delicious as this one!

Ingredients & Variations

rotini, shallots, garlic, peas, ham, and other ingredients on a white board.

This recipe is rocking:

  • Ham – fully cooked and hopefully leftover from an Instant Pot ham or another holiday dish.
  • Noodles – I used rotini but any other pasta with “nooks and crannies” like bowties or fusilli will work.
  • Lemon – one nice medium-sized one will be perfect for this recipe. We are only using the zest (outside).
  • Shallots – I love them but if you don’t have any on hand, use finely diced white or yellow onions.
  • Garlic – because no vampires are allowed.
  • Unsalted butter & olive oil to bring the flavor.
  • Chicken stock & white wine (I use the cheapest cooking wine I can find. Plastic bottle and screw top included.)
  • Dairy squad – whole milk, shredded Parmesan, and cream cheese
  • Peasfrozen, because they’re so convenient.
  • All-purpose flour – just a little bit. See below for gluten-free options.

Ham Pasta Variations

If you don’t have frozen peas, fresh ones will work! Add them to the pasta water in the 2 minutes of cooking (step 2 in the printable recipe card below).

No peas? Asparagus, zucchini, shelled edamame, diced mushrooms, or broccoli are all great options. Any vegetable that is not already cooked should be sauteed, roasted, or steamed before adding it to the pasta.

You can easily make this gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta (cooking time will vary) and using gluten-free flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot powder instead of all-purpose flour.

Whole wheat noodles will work lovely in this leftover ham pasta recipe. The cooking time in step 2 below will likely need to be increased by 1-3 minutes.

In lieu of whole milk, heavy cream or half-and-half will work. You will need to increase the chicken stock by 1/4 cup to account for the thickness of the cream.

How to Make Ham Pasta

*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc.

Start by bringing a saucepan of salted water to a boil and cooking your pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, you’re going to start making the sauce, because you’re efficient and awesome and don’t have time to sit around twiddling your thumbs while dinner cooks.

Like all delicious things, this simple pasta dish starts with butter, olive oil, shallots, and garlic. We’re going to cook that down until the garlic and shallots smell awesome and are starting to soften (1-2 minutes).

Once the garlic mixture looks and smells incredible, sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the top. Whisk that for 1-2 minutes, or until the flour is starting to darken just a bit.

Next up, we’re adding in the wine, stock, warmed whole milk, lemon, salt, and pepper. Cook it down for a few minutes until it has thickened and looked amazing. Life is getting even more awesome.

Now, you’ll add the cooked noodles (with the 1/4 cup of pasta water), ham, Parmesan, frozen peas, and cubed cream cheese to the pan. Stir to combine for a few minutes or until all the cream cheese has been incorporated into the sauce.

7 photos showing the process of making leftover ham and pea pasta


Don’t worry, you don’t need anything fancy to make this delicious leftover ham pasta.

You’ll want a 3-4 quart saucepan for cooking the noodles, and a large frying pan or braiser for making the sauce.

Nice to have items: a silicone spatula, whisk, tongs, and a strainer.

WHAT to SErve With Ham & Pea Pasta?

A side dish of veggies like Chopped Cabbage SaladRoasted Frozen BroccoliAir Fryer Asparagus, or Green Pea Salad are all great.

And for more carbs (yes please!), Cheesy Garlic BreadAir Fryer Texas ToastStuffing Biscuits, or No Knead Dutch Oven Bread are delicious options.

Storage and Reheating

Allow any leftover pasta to fully cool before storing it in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Even better, this dish reheats amazingly well. Microwave it (covered) for 45-60 seconds.

You can freeze it, but when reheated, the cream sauce will look a bit curdled when it thaws. But, you know, it will still taste delicious!

I like to freeze it in 2-cup Souper Cubes. Once frozen, remove from the trays and store in freezer-proof bags for up to 3 months.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Make sure to use low-sodium chicken stock as ham is already very salty!
  • Make sure you warm the milk before adding it to the butter sauce. Cold milk will curdle when it interacts with the hot pan.
  • The sauce is thick and creamy. If you prefer a thinner sauce, set aside 2/3 cup of pasta water instead of 1/4 cup.
  • Garlic – if fresh garlic is too strong for you, cook the butter and garlic on low for longer to soften it, or replace it with some Air Fryer Roasted Garlic or Instant Pot Roasted Garlic.
  • For easy prep, use garlic paste or pre-chopped frozen garlic.
rotini, diced ham, and peas in a skillet topped with fresh chopped parsley.
5 from 1 rating

Ham Pasta

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 22 minutes
ham and pea pasta in a white bowl with a bronze spoon.
This ham pasta is a simple meal that is delicious homemade comfort food. It's a great way to use leftover ham, and this one-pan dinner makes incredible leftovers.


  • 16 oz dry rotini noodles
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic {finely minced}
  • 2 tbsp shallot {finely minced}
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock {sub in vegetable broth if needed}
  • 2/3 cup whole milk {warmed}
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp lemon zest {~1 medium lemon}
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 cups chopped ham
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 4 oz cream cheese {warmed}


  • In a large saucepan bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil.
  • Add rotini noodles and cook until al dente, ~7 minutes. Make the sauce while the pasta cooks.
    16 oz dry rotini noodles
  • Drain all but ¼ cup of water from the rotini. Keep noodles in the saucepan with 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  • In a large deep frying pan heat butter and olive over medium heat.
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Add garlic and the shallots. Stir until the garlic and shallots are starting to soften, and a few of the pieces are starting to brown. ~2-3 minutes.
    5 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp shallot
  • Sprinkle flour over the top of the garlic, and whisk to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
    1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Slowly whisk in white wine, chicken stock, warmed whole milk, kosher salt, black pepper, and lemon zest, whisking constantly to incorporate.
    1/4 cup white cooking wine, 3/4 cup chicken stock, 2/3 cup whole milk, 2 tsp lemon zest, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Increase the temperature to medium-high heat and whisk constantly while it cooks at a near boil for 2 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Reduce heat and add the cooked rotini noodles, 1/4 cup pasta water, shredded Parmesan, chopped ham, frozen peas, and cream cheese to the lemon butter mixture.
    1/3 cup shredded parmesan, 2 cups chopped ham, 1 cup green peas, 4 oz cream cheese
  • Stir to combine the pasta and sauce. Cook for 1 minute.


  • Whole wheat rotini noodles will work great. They generally need an additional 1-3 minutes to cook in boiling water.
  • Gluten-free – use gluten-free pasta and sub in gluten-free flour OR cornstarch instead of all-purpose flour for the sauce. 
  • Make sure you warm the milk before adding it to the butter sauce. Cold milk will curdle when it interacts with the hot pan and lemon zest.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 467kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 20gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 863mgPotassium: 372mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 484IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 115mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Fusion
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

Shop This Post

About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. As usual, I did not follow this to the letter.  But I did still follow this recipe, so I feel totally justified in rating it.
    My differences were that I measured the parmesan “with my heart” rather than with a measuring cup (so, I used more), I used my normal amount of whole wheat pasta for four adults and a toddler, and I used broccoli instead of peas (I cut it small and cooked it separately the added it at the end).  I also don’t have any wine, so I just used more stock.
    The only complaint from the little one was that she has decided that she doesn’t like broccoli. She ate almost all of the ham (no surprise there) and a lot of the noodles.  A solid win, as far as I am concerned!
    This meal was delicious.  It was super easy to make.  I had the sauce partially made ahead of time, up to the part where you add all the ham etc. and then warmed it back up to finish the meal because I didn’t want to spend extra time in the kitchen while the kids were over. 
    I love, love, LOVE the tip about warming the milk before adding it to the sauce!  I’ll definitely keep that tip in the front of my mind while making sauces from now on.
    This recipe is definitely a keeper.  5 stars

    1. You cook as I do – a recipe is merely a guideline. 🙂 I’m so glad to hear you and the family enjoyed it! And I hope the granddaughter said “hi” to her ham when presented with the dish.

      1. She doesn’t greet her ham anymore.   I’m a little bummed by that.
        My husband and i still do sometimes, though.  LOL

  2. This looks like it will be a hit for my 3-year-old granddaughter!  Ham, noodles AND cheese are all favourites for her. (I’ll just need to find a work-around for the peas, which she and I LOVE, but my husband hates)
    I will absolutely be trying this with the ham leftovers from Easter.   *adding rotini and cream cheese to shopping list now!*  I’ll be sure to post a proper review after we try it! 

      1. I can’t do that!  Then he will always want me to cook with things I don’t like and “just pick them out”!!!  That would be horrible!

        I can’t believe she is already three either!   She is pretty awesome.  She was caught on video by her mom greeting her dinner.  She picked up a piece of her ham and spoke to it, “Hello Ham!”,  then ate it.  We always say hello to our ham now. hahaha

        I kind of stopped doing a lot online for a while, but I now have your site set up to open every time I open my browser, so I’ll be keeping up again and not just lurking on instagram.  I hadn’t realized how much I missed it.