Transform a simple and affordable ham steak into a delicious and easy dinner with this sweet and savory brown sugar glaze! The quick weeknight meal or hearty brunch entrée is ready for the table in just 15 minutes.
Ham Steak Recipe
Ham steaks are an accessible cut of pork readily available in the meat department and behind the deli counter at just about every grocery store -- but maybe you're not sure what to do with them!? Fortunately, this easy ham steak recipe turns the meat into a delicious restaurant-quality meal in less than 20 minutes. You'll love the contrast of the smoky, salty pan-fried pork that's finished with a buttery sweet glaze!
What cut is ham steak?
A ham steak is just a thick slice of ham that's been cut from a whole ham roast. It's a great option when you need a little bit of ham for a small family meal or to add flavor to a recipe (like a casserole, soup or quiche), but you don't want to splurge on an entire ham roast. Ham steaks are also convenient to freeze and keep on hand for a quick-thaw dinner -- no extra grocery run required.
You can find ham steaks with the bone-in, but I typically purchase the boneless version. Find individual ham steaks packaged in the meat section (near the lunch meat, bacon or pork products), or ask the salesperson behind the deli counter to cut you a thick steak from the larger roast (as I did here).
Do ham steaks need to be cooked?
Most ham steaks come smoked and fully-cooked, so they are an easy heat-and-eat option. They are also a lean source of protein, as most are about 97% fat-free. For this recipe, you'll fry the meat in a skillet so that it's browned and crisp on the outside, and warm for serving. It's not raw meat, though!
Ingredients for Ham Steaks with Brown Sugar Glaze
This is just a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you'll need for our favorite ham steak recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Salted butter: to brown the meat.
- Smoked Ham steak: smoky, flavorful, and the perfect portion!
- Maple syrup and brown sugar: for a nice sweet contrast to the salty meat.
- Mustard: to thicken the sauce and add a bit of tang.
- Salt: to enhance the other flavors in the dish and balance the sweetness in the glaze.
How to Cook Ham Steak
This simple meal comes together with about 5 minutes of prep and another 10 minutes in the skillet. Plus, there are very few dishes to wash at the end! Let's get started...
Step 1: Brown the Ham Steak
Brown the ham in a large skillet with butter to heat it through and give the meat color on both sides. This will only take about 3-4 minutes per side. You know the ham is done when it's brown and crispy. Since the meat is already cooked through, you're just looking to add some extra flavor in this step. Then remove the ham to a plate and cover it loosely with foil to keep it warm while you prepare the glaze.
Step 2: Ham Steak Glaze
In the same frying pan, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, mustard, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, cooking and stirring until it is slightly thickened (about 2-3 minutes). Pour the glaze over the ham steak just before serving.
What to Serve with Ham Steak
For a quick and easy ham steak dinner, here are a few side dishes that go well with brown sugar ham steak:
- Skillet Cornbread
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon
- Creamed Spinach
- Southern Collard Greens
- A simple green salad tossed with Buttermilk Dressing
- Fried Corn
- Jiffy Corn Casserole
- Mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, or crispy seasoned oven-roasted potatoes
- Easy Potato Salad
- Creamed Peas
- Ranch Style Beans
- Southern Succotash
Preparation and Storage Tips
- Store leftover ham steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- Freeze leftover ham steak for up to 2 months.
- To reheat a ham steak, you can warm it in the microwave or heat in a skillet just until warmed through.
- Use leftover diced ham on salad, in soup, in eggs, in breakfast casseroles and quiches, or on sandwiches.
Ham Steak Recipe Variations
- One ham steak serves about 2 people, but you can easily scale up the ingredients to feed a larger family. For instance, if you're serving 4 people, you can pan-fry 2 steaks and double the ingredients to make twice as much glaze.
- You can also grill ham steaks on an indoor grill pan or outdoor grill. I recommend brushing the steak with butter before putting it on the grill (for flavor and browning, and also to prevent sticking). Prepare the glaze in a skillet for serving, if you like.
- Make the glaze spicy by adding a dash of cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes. Sweet heat!
Tips for the Best Ham Steak Recipe
- Get the skillet nice and hot over medium or medium-high heat before adding the meat. This will help it get nicely browned and crisp on the outside, which gives the ham and the glaze great flavor.
- Use yellow mustard for a more mild flavor, or try 2 tablespoons dijon mustard for a little bit more zesty kick.
- Garnish each serving with fresh parsley, thyme, chives, or other herbs for a bit of color and a bright finishing touch.
- The nutrition information for this recipe is merely an estimate, assuming about 12 ounces of meat and consumption of the entire skillet of glaze. The exact nutritional value of your recipe will depend on the amount of glaze that you actually consume, as well as the size and cut of your ham.
More Ham Recipes to Try
Ham Steak with Brown Sugar Glaze
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cooked ham steak (about 8-12 oz.)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- Dash of salt
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ham steak to the skillet and cook in the butter until lightly browned (about 3-4 minutes per side). Remove ham to a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
- In the same skillet with the butter, whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, mustard and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until slightly thickened (about 2-3 minutes). Scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan (this will add flavor to your glaze). Pour the glaze over the ham steak just before serving.
- One ham steak serves about 2 people, but you can easily scale up the ingredients to feed a larger family. For instance, if you're serving 4 people, you can pan-fry 2 ham steaks and double the ingredients to make twice as much glaze.
- You can also grill ham steaks on an indoor grill pan or outdoor grill. I recommend brushing the steak with butter before putting it on the grill (for flavor and browning, and also to prevent sticking). Make the glaze in a skillet for serving, if you like.
- The nutrition information for this recipe is merely an estimate, assuming a ham steak that weighs about 12 ounces and consumption of the entire skillet of glaze. The exact nutritional value of your ham steak recipe will depend on the amount of glaze that you actually consume, as well as the size and cut of your ham.