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Welcome spring, or take advantage of leftover Easter ham, with this easy dump-and-bake ham and asparagus casserole! You don’t even have to boil the pasta for the 10-minute comfort food supper, which includes tender noodles, smoky ham, and fresh vegetables in a creamy Alfredo sauce.

Overhead shot of dump and bake ham and asparagus pasta casserole on a table.
Table of Contents
  1. An Easy Leftover Ham Recipe with Almost No Prep Work!
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Ham and Asparagus Casserole
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. Preparation and Storage
  6. Ham and Asparagus Casserole Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Ham Casserole Recipe
  8. Dump-and-Bake Ham and Asparagus Casserole Recipe

An Easy Leftover Ham Recipe with Almost No Prep Work!

I regularly hear from so many of you who love my dump-and-bake recipes for easy weeknight dinners. I have a vast collection of these meals, but this dump-and-bake chicken Alfredo pasta casserole remains one of the tried-and-true favorites. When I had some leftover ham stashed away in my freezer recently, I decided to tweak the original to create this easy, cheesy ham casserole recipe. The addition of fresh asparagus makes it perfect for spring!

Pasta with ham and asparagus and mushrooms on a plate

Do you have to cook pasta before putting it in a casserole?

While most casserole recipes call for cooking the pasta before mixing it into the dish, this particular recipe is designed specifically for uncooked pasta. That means that you do not boil the noodles in a saucepan on the stovetop before adding them to the casserole dish. Instead, the pasta cooks right in the oven with the rest of the ingredients. This requires extra liquid in the pan (since the pasta absorbs a lot of liquid as it cooks), and extra cooking time to make sure that the noodles are tender.

Process shot showing how to make ham and asparagus casserole

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for this ham and asparagus casserole. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Uncooked rotini pasta: If you can’t find rotini, another short pasta will work. Try penne, ziti, or medium shells for nice substitutes.
  • Alfredo sauce: I keep it simple with a jar of store-bought sauce, but you can certainly use your own homemade Alfredo with heavy cream if you prefer. You’ll need a total of about 2 ½ cups, which is approximately one very large 22-ounce jar, or 1 ½ 15-ounce jars.
  • Chicken broth: adds flavor to the pasta and sauce as the ingredients cook together in the pan. Chicken stock is a perfectly fine substitute.
  • Ham: a convenient protein for a quick casserole, since it’s already cooked! Use leftover ham from a previous meal, or see my notes below for other options.
  • Asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic: fresh veggies that add flavor and nutrition to the dish.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: for a melty, gooey, cheesy topping. You can substitute with any good melting cheese that you prefer, including cheddar cheese, Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Swiss cheese, and the like. An Italian blend that includes a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses is also really nice.
Pouring Alfredo sauce and broth over casserole.

The Best Ham to Use for a Casserole

You’ll need about 2 cups (or ¾ lb.) of diced ham for this recipe, and a variety of options will work. Pick the most convenient method for you:

  • Leftover Ham: use leftover holiday ham. For instance, that pineapple glazed Christmas ham or that extra bourbon-glazed ham from Easter are ideal for this recipe.
  • Store-bought cubed ham: to really eliminate any prep work, purchase a package of cubed or diced ham from the meat section at your grocery store, or even thick-sliced deli ham. You can find these at places like Target or Walmart, too.
  • Ham Steaks: buy a few ham steaks and dice them yourself at home.
Bowl of grated mozzarella cheese.

How to Make Ham and Asparagus Casserole

Quick ham casserole recipes are some of our favorite ways to use leftover ham from the holidays, or to take advantage of store-bought ham when you need an easy meal. I’ve included the detailed cooking instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post, but here’s the quick version:

  1. Stir together the dry ingredients (pasta, ham, cut asparagus spears, sliced mushrooms, and garlic) in a large baking dish.
  2. Whisk together the Alfredo sauce and broth.
  3. Pour the liquid over the ham mixture.
  4. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir, sprinkle shredded cheese on top, and bake (uncovered) for about 8-10 more minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or other herbs, if desired, and serve!
Close overhead image of part of a white casserole dish with ham and asparagus pasta

Serving Suggestions

This is basically an entire meal in one dish, thanks to the meat, pasta, and veggies. That said, if you’d like to round out the meal, the ham casserole goes well with any of the following sides:

Overhead shot of a plate of ham and asparagus casserole

Preparation and Storage

  • Make Ahead: You can assemble the ham and asparagus casserole a few hours in advance, or even leave it covered in the refrigerator overnight before baking. The pasta will start to soften and absorb some of the liquid as it sits, so you may need to decrease the baking time slightly. You don’t want to overcook the casserole or you’ll end up with gummy, mushy pasta.
  • Storage: This casserole is best enjoyed immediately from the oven. Leftovers will  keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The pasta will dry out a bit as it sits, so you may need to stir in some additional Alfredo sauce or broth when you reheat the dish. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
  • I do not recommend freezing this casserole because pasta has a tendency to get gummy and mushy when thawed.
Square overhead shot of dump and bake ham and asparagus casserole on a wooden table.

Ham and Asparagus Casserole Recipe Variations

  • Don’t have rotini? You can substitute with other similar short pasta shapes such as penne, ziti, elbows, or medium shells. Just pick a pasta that has a similar cooking time as rotini (about 7-8 minutes recommended on the package) — otherwise you’ll need to adjust the casserole’s baking time in the oven.
  • Swap out the asparagus and use frozen baby broccoli florets instead. These are bite-sized, which means there’s no chopping necessary, and they thaw and soften nicely in the oven. If you prefer, you can use frozen broccoli cuts, or substitute with about 2-3 cups of fresh broccoli florets. If using the fresh broccoli, you don’t need to pre-cook it. It should be plenty soft by the time the pasta is done.
  • Stir frozen peas into the casserole during the final 10 minutes (just before adding the cheese on top).
  • Cooking for a Smaller Family: Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square pan. Check the pasta after 25-30 minutes, as it may be done slightly sooner than the larger pan.
  • Use homemade Alfredo sauce instead of a jar of store-bought sauce.
  • Add herbs and other seasoning for even more flavor. Good options include fresh or dried parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, tarragon, and rosemary, as well as dry mustard, paprika, onion powder, or cayenne pepper. An Italian seasoning blend would also be fine, since it combines a lot of these spices in one convenient package.
Close overhead image of a serving spoon in a white dish of ham and asparagus casserole

Tips for the Best Ham Casserole Recipe

  • Pick a high-quality, flavorful Alfredo sauce (or make your own). With only a handful of ingredients in the casserole, each individual ingredient is very important! A delicious sauce will yield a delicious meal. I like Rao’s brand if you can find it, but any similar variety (like Prego) will work.
  • Make sure to cover your dish tightly with foil or with a tight-fitting lid so that none of the liquid or steam escapes during cooking. The pasta needs to absorb the liquid as it bakes.
  • Total cooking time will vary depending on the type of pan that you use and on your individual oven. Glass or ceramic baking dishes will take longer than metal pans, for instance. To know when your casserole is done, taste a bite of the pasta. The noodles should be tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed.
  • Be careful not to overbake the casserole or the pasta will become mushy.
  • Add buttered Ritz crackers, seasoned bread crumbs combined with melted butter, or buttered panko breadcrumbs during the final 10 minutes if you like a crunchy topping.
  • Garnish the casserole with fresh herbs like basil or parsley for a bright, fresh touch. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese is also delicious!
Overhead shot of ham and asparagus casserole in a white baking dish.
Square overhead shot of dump and bake ham and asparagus casserole on a wooden table.

Dump-and-Bake Ham and Asparagus Casserole

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 484 kcal
Welcome spring or take advantage of leftover Easter ham with this easy dump-and-bake ham and asparagus casserole!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta
  • 2 cups diced ham (about 12 ounces)
  • 8 ounces fresh asparagus, tough ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 22 ounce jar Alfredo sauce (use 1 very large 22-ounce jar or 1 ½ 15-ounce jars (approximately 2 ½ cups total))
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (or Italian blend cheese)
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped herbs, such as basil, oregano, and parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a deep 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In the prepared baking dish, stir together uncooked pasta, ham, asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic.
    Process shot showing how to make ham and asparagus casserole
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the Alfredo sauce and chicken broth. Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta and other dry ingredients in the baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
    Pouring Alfredo sauce and broth over casserole.
  • Uncover; give the pasta a good stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but with a tender bite) and the vegetables are crisp-tender. I have had good luck with the 30-minute cook time; however, some folks might need 10 or 15 minutes longer. If the pasta is still too hard after 30 minutes, just cover the dish and return it to the oven until the pasta is al dente and the veggies are tender. Then move on to the next step.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella over the top. Bake uncovered for 8-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).
    Bowl of grated mozzarella cheese.
  • Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan or fresh chopped herbs, if desired.
    Overhead shot of dump and bake ham and asparagus pasta casserole on a table.

Notes

  • Pick a high-quality, flavorful Alfredo sauce (or make your own). With only a handful of ingredients in the casserole, each individual ingredient is very important! A delicious sauce will yield a delicious meal. I like Rao’s brand if you can find it, but any similar variety (like Prego) will work.
  • Make sure to cover your dish tightly with foil or with a tight-fitting lid so that none of the liquid or steam escapes during cooking. The pasta needs to absorb the liquid as it bakes.
  • Total cooking time will vary depending on the type of pan that you use and on your individual oven. Glass or ceramic baking dishes will take longer than metal pans, for instance. To know when your casserole is done, taste a bite of the pasta. The noodles should be tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed.
  • Be careful not to overbake the casserole or the pasta will become mushy.
  • Add buttered Ritz crackers, seasoned bread crumbs combined with melted butter, or buttered panko breadcrumbs during the final 10 minutes if you like a crunchy topping.
  • Garnish the casserole with fresh herbs like basil or parsley for a bright, fresh touch. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese is also delicious!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 484kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 23gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 1404mgPotassium: 314mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 405IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 166mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: Easy Ham Casserole, ham and asparagus casserole, ham casserole, leftover ham recipes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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