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Ham and Cheese Spoonbread Recipe

The best way to use up leftover ham when you're not in the mood for a sandwich.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


for the spoonbread:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
8 ounces|227 grams leftover ham or ham steak, diced
1 cup fine cornmeal
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups|710 ml whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs, separated
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

to make griddle cakes with the leftovers:
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large eggs
sliced scallions, to serve
hot sauce, to serve


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and cook until soft, 2 minutes. Add the ham and cook until browned and slightly crispy, 3 minutes.
  2. Combine the cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high until it comes to a simmer. When the milk starts bubbling, whisk in the cornmeal mixture to combine. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and baking powder, along with the ham mixture. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the egg yolks and cheese to the cooled cornmeal mixture, then gently fold in ⅓ of the egg white mixture. Once it is incorporated, fold in the remaining egg whites.
  4. Grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread the mixture into an even layer in the prepared baking dish and bake for 45 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
  5. To make any leftover spoonbread into griddle cakes, allow the spoonbread to cool, then punch out 3-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook the cakes, flipping once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the griddle cakes from the skillet and add the butter. Crack the eggs into the pan and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Serve the eggs on top of the griddle cakes and sprinkle with the scallions. Serve with hot sauce.Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here.