This month, we’re giving real food makeovers to some of the most popular packaged boxed meals. First, it was One-Pan Turkey Cheeseburger Casserole. Next up: Ham and Vegetable Scalloped Potatoes.
For many of us, scalloped potatoes are synonymous with a box. But additives and a long, often unpronounceable ingredient list are reason to step away from the box and opt for a homemade alternative. Trust us, you’ll be glad you took the time to cook this comfort food favorite with fresh, from-scratch ingredients.
It’s impossible to make proper scalloped potatoes without cheese. Mild, buttery Wisconsin Swiss is layered with thinly-sliced potatoes, parmesan white sauce, and a garlicky ham and vegetable mixture. Grated Wisconsin parmesan elevates this dish in two ways—it adds a hint of nutty sweetness to the white sauce and gives the top a golden baked crust.
If you’re searching for the perfect brunch side dish, look no further. A cheesy potato dish adds flavor and balance to a sweet spread, and the addition of leeks and spinach offer a taste of spring’s upcoming bounty. Plus, the flavor of homemade is as good—dare we say better?—than the box.
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
2 medium leeks, sliced (white portion only)
4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin parmesan cheese, grated, divided
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, optional
Pepper to taste
6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick)
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Swiss cheese, shredded
Paprika and additional fresh rosemary, optional
Heat oven to 350°F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add ham and leeks; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes until leeks are tender. Stir in spinach; cook until wilted. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove ham-vegetable mixture from the pan; set aside.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium-low heat. Add flour; stir until smooth. Gradually whisk in stock and heavy cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add 1/4 cup parmesan and rosemary if desired; whisk until cheese is melted. Season with pepper to taste. Set aside 1/2 cup parmesan sauce.
Spread 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a buttered 9-inch square baking dish. Layer with a third of the potato slices, half of reserved ham-vegetable mixture, 1 cup Swiss and half of the parmesan sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining potatoes. Spoon reserved 1/2 cup of sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and paprika if desired.
Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Increase oven to 400°F. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Broil to brown top and garnish with rosemary if desired.