Creamed Ham With Buttermilk Cornbread

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30 minutes
6 servings

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Leftover holiday ham is reimagined as delicious Creamed Ham and is served alongside or over warm Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread!

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All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

Creamed Ham With Buttermilk Cornbread

How Do You Store Leftover Ham?

To feature a ham at the holidays is to offer a feast steeped in tradition. When that feast is over, how you store any leftovers is important. Leftover ham should be refrigerated as soon as possible. I do not leave the ham at room temperature for more than two hours, even on a buffet or holiday groaning board. Wrap it tightly. Heavy gauge aluminum foil works the best. Freezing is your single best option if it is not going to be used within four days after cooking. Uncooked or cooked ham can be stored safely in a refrigerator for several days.

Creamed Ham, With Buttermilk Cornbread

What’s the best part of holiday dinners? The leftovers, of course!

As a kid, leftovers at my Grandmother’s house meant pot pies, savory dumplings and gravy, and in the case of ham at Christmas and Easter, creamed Virginia country ham! I always wanted seconds…

Creamed Ham may not seem a cosmopolitan entrée, but I am here to tell you that these classic dishes are not only making a comeback, but they’re coming back enlisting some darn fanciful ingredients.

The concept is the same. Leftover ham, butter, salt and pepper, flour, and milk all work together to offer up a dish that some would stand on their heads for! Enter in some freshly snipped chives, dry sherry, and a tad of fresh nutmeg, and you’re speaking “modern food language!”

How This Recipe Came About…

I used to love this as a kid. But because I can never be satisfied with with leaving a method which already works alone, I’ve reinvented this creamy comfort food dish to incorporate warm notes with freshly grated nutmeg, and contrasting sweet nuances with dry sherry.

This is my Grandmother’s recipe. It is labeled “Creamed Virginia Country Ham” which implies the use of salt ham that was readily available back in the day. I remember her soaking it for days below in the springhouse to purge it of much of the heavy salt used to cure it.

Today’s recipe allows for any type of leftover ham. I am using what remains of a spiral ham that was complete with a gorgeous crispy, crackling brown sugar glaze. Once picked, the bone will become Homemade Ham Stock.

Do You Have What’s Needed For Creamed Ham? Check The List!

unsalted butter
sweet onion
green pepper
leftover chopped ham, about a cup
fresh chives
sweet paprika
dry sherry
a batch of Sweet Southern Buttermilk Cornbread


shredded cheese

Creamed Ham, With Buttermilk Cornbread

How Long Is Leftover Ham Good For?

So here’s the thing…not long. I know, I know, I get that in many cases, many of us are serving fully cooked and REHEATED spiral hams or even canned hams. If they’re fully cooked, how then can they spoil so quickly?

Ham is just like anything else. I won’t go near a leftover rotisserie chicken in my refrigerator passed day three let alone a ham. With ham, there are oftentimes so much in the way of leftovers.

So to set the record straight, according to the USDA, “Spiral-cut hams and leftovers from consumer-cooked hams may be stored in the refrigerator three to five days or frozen one to two months. Keep your refrigerator at 40 °Fahrenheit or less and your freezer at or near 0 °Fahrenheit.”

Given this, I have made it my business to re-post as many easy leftover ham recipes as I can here on Not Entirely Average. No need to stress over what to make with those leftovers! And DEFINATELY no need to toss out that ham bone!

Creamed Ham, With Buttermilk Cornbread

With your ham leftovers, enjoy stock, soup, breakfast, Brunch, a side or a main dish!

What Is The Best Milk To Make This Creamed Ham Recipe SUPER CREAMY?

Any milk may be used in this recipe. That said, whole milk or light cream are going to make this recipe the way you and I both remember our moms and grandmas making it.

Nowadays, and especially following HUGE holiday meals, you may want to cut back and use low fat 2% or even 1% and that’s fine. Will the sauce be as thick and creamy? I make this with 2% and it’s just as rich and creamy as it would be with whole milk or cream.

We are talking altogether 1 1/2 to 2 cups milk. I start with 1 1/2 cups and add to thin it as needed. Now prepare to taste something amazing!

Creamed Ham, With Buttermilk Cornbread

How Long Does Creamed Ham Take To Prepare?

It takes me just about fifteen minutes to mince the onion, green pepper, and the parsley. I prefer the veggies seriously minced, so I work at it. Beyond that, I spend about 15 minutes total time in front of the stove in my kitchen to prepare this dish.

Depending on what you opt to serve this easy creamed ham over (toast points, English muffins, or the Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread I specify in this method), the bread you use will take longer to bake or to toast than the cream sauce for ham will take to thicken.

Get my recipe for Sweet Southern Buttermilk Cornbread here!

Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…

Be creative and think outside the box if you want to make this dish not entirely average. By this I mean if creamed ham and biscuits sounds good, consider baking up a batch of Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits. Also, any number of veggies may be added to this ham with white sauce including peas, leeks, and carrots.

If turkey is the leftover you’ve got an overage of, chop and add it alone or in combination with the ham for creamed turkey or creamed ham and turkey over cornbread.

Creamed Ham, With Buttermilk Cornbread

Can Creamed Ham Be Made Ahead?

Yes, and if you do this, it will keep in an airtight container with a lid in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat, spoon into a sauce pan over medium heat and stir until the sauce is steamy.

Can Creamed Ham Be Frozen?

Yes, I have made this before and frozen it without issue. This is a great way to eat leftovers at a later date! Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, spoon into a sauce pan over medium heat and stir until the sauce is steamy.

What To Serve With Creamed Ham?

I keep it simple and serve this over my cornbread recipe. I have also served it over my homemade buttermilk bread toasted. Sides that compliment are basic mashed potatoes, an ear of corn, or a side of green beans.

featured image for Creamed Ham, With Buttermilk Cornbread

Creamed Ham With Buttermilk Cornbread

Jenny DeRemer
Leftover holiday ham is reimagined as delicious Creamed Ham and is served alongside or over warm Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread!
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 6 servings
Calories 166 kcal



  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons onion very finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons green bell pepper very finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup ham stock homemade if on hand; may substitute chicken stock
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup ham preferably leftover; chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley fresh; very finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons chives fresh
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dry sherry


prepare the Sweet Southern Buttermilk Cornbread per the recipe and bake

  • In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced onion and the minced green bell pepper and sauté until light golden brown.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and cook the flour, whisking to break up any lumps, for 2 to 3 minutes. Flour mixture should have a pleasant nutty aroma. Whisk in ham stock until you achieve a nice, silky consistency.
  • Increase the heat. Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly until the mixture is thickened slightly. Reduce the heat to medium low.
  • Now add the chopped leftover ham and simmer until the sauce is thickened a bit more, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk in the parsley, chives, nutmeg, paprika, and sherry. Taste for seasonings and add Kosher salt or black pepper if necessary.
  • To serve, cut the cornbread into squares. Serve on the side or halve from one corner to another in a triangle. Spoon the Creamed Ham over the triangles of cornbread. Serve hot.


Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
Make Ahead and store in airtight container with a lid in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat, spoon into a sauce pan over medium heat and stir until the sauce is steamy.
To Freeze add to airtight container with a lid and freeze for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, spoon into a sauce pan over medium heat and stir until the sauce is steamy.
While any milk may be used in this recipe, whole milk or light cream will yield the creamiest sauce for ham. I use 2% and still find my sauce is wonderfully creamy. The lower the fat content, the less creamy the sauce be, but remains just as delicious!


Serving: 1servingCalories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 8gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 305mgPotassium: 179mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 403IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 1mg
Keyword creamed ham, creamed ham and biscuits, creamed ham recipe, leftover ham recipes
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
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    1. Laura, it’d been a good while for me, too. I served it of course with the sweet cornbread, but I imagine it’d be great over mashed potatoes or orzo, too. I’d love to know if you try it! x – Jenny

  1. I love creating with leftovers!! Great recipes – Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – I love your contributions! Have a wonderful week.

    1. I’ve made it my mission to find uses for leftover holiday ham. I always crave it, but after about day three, I’m done with wanting even another bite! This recipe and the others I list on the post are all great for that leftover holiday ham AND the ham bone if you are lucky enough to be stuck with one…