Unfortunately, our family loves cheese. We probably spend at least $45 a month on cheese. We also love potatoes. So this dish is at the top of our list. We have just plain cheesy potatoes as a side dish, regular cheesy potatoes and ham or sausage, and sometimes I like to mix things up a little bit with some ranch dressing. That’s what I did tonight and dinner was delicious.
The ham I used was the last of our leftover Christmas ham from the freezer. Since the dish has protein from cheese already, I can use less ham. I always pay attention to the protein combinations in a meal and cut back where I can without affecting the nutritional value. That definitely helps to keep our meals as frugal as possible.
Ranch Cheesy Potatoes & Ham
- 6-8 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 c. butter or margarine
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1 t. black pepper
- 2 c. milk
- 2 c. Sharp cheddar cheese (shredded or cubed)
- 1 c. ranch dressing (or 1/2 c. sour cream with some seasonings, such as cumin & paprika)
- 1 -2 c. diced ham
- 2 T. melted margarine or butter
- 1 c. bread crumbs
1. Place potatoes in a large pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain. (You can skip this step and just add about 30 minutes to the baking time.)
2. Melt 1/4 c. butter or margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and black pepper; cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring to a slow boil. Simmer until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted.
3. Pour cheese sauce into a large bowl and add the ranch dressing (or sour cream); stir until combined. Stir in the potatoes and ham. Pour into a casserole dish, cover with foil and refrigerate until an hour before dinnertime. Or, place in a 375 degree oven and bake for about an hour, until potatoes are fork-tender.
4. Combine melted butter or margarine with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for another 10 minutes.Stop by Biblical Womanhood for more Frugal Friday and The Grocery Cart Challenge for more recipes.