The third of the ham dinners, this casserole is a variation of the Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole, with more focus on making a sauce. In the original, the chicken partially cooked in the casserole, and the sauce formed from sour cream and the juices from the chicken as it finished cooking in the oven. It never fails. But I wanted something more reminiscent of a scalloped potato dish, so I did make a white sauce, to which I added a little cheddar cheese. Jasmine rice, carrots, and peas rounded out the flavors that I felt would complement the smoky ham.
Cheddar Ham and Rice Casserole
1 cup long grain Jasmine rice
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
salt, if not using a salted stock
- Prepare rice as directed on package, usually simmering in stock or water for 45 minutes. Mine needed about 1/4 cup more water before the time was up.
- Set aside to combine with other ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350°; grease a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.
1 1/2-2 cups leftover ham, diced
2 medium carrots, diced and precooked in microwave for about 4 minutes
1/2 bag frozen green peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter (for sauce)
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted (for topping)
- In large skillet, saute diced ham and carrots in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until heated through.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons flour until well blended with no lumps.
- Slowly stir in milk until all the flour/butter mixture is incorporated. Continue stirring until the sauce is slightly thickened, then stir in 1/2 cup cheese until melted.
- Stir in rice and then the frozen peas.
- Pour all into a greased 13″ x 9″ baking dish.
- Stir together bread crumbs, 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned.