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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 cup butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cup milk
- 2 cup Sharp cheddar cheese (shredded or cubed)
- 1 cup ranch dressing (or 1/2 c. sour cream with some seasonings, such as cumin & paprika)
- 1 – 2 cup diced ham
- 2 tbsp melted margarine or butter
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Combine melted butter or margarine with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for another 10 minutes.