My mom’s ham noodle casserole is pure, simple comfort food at its finest and includes noodles covered in cheesey-eggy goodness and chunks of roasted ham. Similar to a baked pasta carbonara.
My mom’s ham noodle casserole was likely my most requested dinner as a kid and is definitely what I look for when I’m visiting home. I can’t count how many times I’ve walked into Mom’s house after arriving on a late Thursday night flight and heated myself a bowl of this from her refrigerator. I eat while she talks and I’ve generally made it through a second bowl before we are finally too tired to talk anymore around midnight and drag ourselves up to bed.
For whatever reason, David and I had already been married several years before I made him my mom’s ham noodle casserole. I can’t quite put my finger on why. We will likely never know whether it was my freshman-fifteen-induced fear of butter and carbs or david’s snobbery towards a good casserole. (Love you, babe, but it’s true.)
But one night, living in our tiny Santa Clara studio apartment, I was in the need of GOOD food. HOME food. YUMMY food. The kind of food that floods your system with endorphins and just makes you kick your feet up on the coffee table and say life. is. good. Aka – comfort food. And so. I made ham noodle casserole in all its cheesy, egg-y, midwestern-y, casserole-y glory.
“Well. You seem to like it?”
I’m not sure if this question was necessary, given that David was wolfing down his first bowl like my inner chubby girl wanted to.
“Yea. Yea I do. Is there more?”
Fortunately, mom’s ham noodle casserole wins over anyone. It’s just too fantastic not to and is the kind of dinner you eat before snuggling into the couch for a movie in the dark. David helped himself to seconds . . . and thirds . . .
The best part about ham noodle casserole is that it makes a lot and reheats beautifully. The eggy-cheese mixture keeps everything still gooey when it comes out of the microwave. So there I was the next day, rummaging around in the back of our tiny refrigerator . . .
“Hey hun. Have you seen the leftover casserole? I know I put it away last night.”
. . .
David’s tone immediately had me abandoning the refrigerator and preparing for battle. And sure enough, there, in his grubby hands, was a bowl filled to the brim with leftover ham noodle casserole.
“Is that all of it?!” Somehow my voice had risen a couple octaves, fueled by outrage.
He smiled and held out his bowl.
😠 We recommend doubling this recipe for the safety of all involved.
What is ham noodle casserole?
Ham noodle casserole is best described as a baked pasta carbonara. The “sauce” is a cheesy egg mixture, in which egg yolks are mixed with melted butter and cheese. The pasta is mixed with sauce, roasted ham, and herbs, and then folded together with whipped egg whites.
Why can’t I whip my egg whites into “stiff” peaks?
In order for egg whites to foam up and then, eventually, stiffen, there needs to be ZERO contact with fat. So make sure that there is no egg yolk in the egg whites. If you break a yolk and some gets in the whites, start over.