Inexpensive, Southern-Style Ham and Cheese Noodle Bake: No Noodle-Boiling Required
This is true comfort food. A simple to make pasta bake that's custard-like when you dig in and filled with bites of ham. Sharp cheddar cheese flavors the bake throughout, and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese adds extra flavor and a touch more saltiness to the dish. The recipe mixes up in minutes, and you can make it and stash it in the refrigerator to bake later. The Ham and Cheese Noodle Bake also reheats well, so you can make it ahead if you like. I use the word, "noodles", loosely. You can use smallish pasta--macaroni, shells, penne, curly pasta, etc.--and not egg noodles. I usually opt for penne or whatever I have on hand. The photos show tri-colored curly pasta (I had half a package left over from something else). You also can add some chopped green onions to the dish, if you'd like more color. The recipe is filling, so all you'll need is a salad and/or vegetable to round out the meal. And, if you have any leftovers, they make great lunches! Enjoy!
Southern-Style Ham and Cheese Noodle Bake -- Serves 4+
1 1/2 cups of small-medium-sized pasta (macaroni, penne, etc.)
2 cups of chopped/cubed cooked ham
4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes/chunks
2 cups of milk
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
1/2 cup of water
Salt (I don't use it, but if you like salty dishes, you can add a bit)
Spritz a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pasta in the baking dish and add the ham and cheese. Stir them together. In a large bowl or measure whisk together well the milk, eggs, pepper, onion powder, mustard, Parmesan cheese, and water. Pour the mixture over the pasta, ham, and cheese and stir everything together a bit. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake the noodle bake for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, remove the aluminum foil, and return the dish to the oven, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes more or until the top of the ham and cheese noodle bake is a light, golden brown, and the top of the noodles are just a tad crusty. Let the bake cool for 5-10 minutes before serving it.