So you’ve settled on ham for your special meal, but have you decided on what to serve with ham? We have 21 ideas here that are tried-and-true side dish recipes we think you’ll love!
Ham is so reliable. It’s pre-cooked, easy to slice and heat up, and makes for a lovely holiday meal centerpiece, whether whole or in slices.
Ham’s got a long shelf life, and it makes great sandwiches and leftovers.
Whether it’s a family gathering or a get-together with your friends, this staple meat never leaves a crowd hungry or unsatisfied, especially when you pair it with hearty sides.
So if you’re wondering what to eat with ham, you just stumbled upon the right guide that can spice up your main dish!
From mashed potatoes to lemon rice and steamed green beans to blackened broccoli, these fifteen tasty sides for ham are just what you need to satisfy everyone and complete your holiday meal.
These cheesy and creamy au gratin potatoes are filled with layers of thinly sliced potatoes, cheese (please), onions, and a cheddar-based sauce.
Also, the recipe has endless possibilities when it comes to variations.
Adding chopped cooked bacon over the potatoes before adding the cheese sauce gives a nice texture and smoky flavor.
Now, if you prepared a large batch and ended up with leftovers, no worries! You can usually count on these to last about four days safely chilled in the fridge.
When it comes to making the perfect side dish for meat dishes like ham or pork chops, there is one dish that stands above the rest: mashed potatoes!
They’re so light and fluffy.
And how easy can it be to mix potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper?
For an extra creamy and smoother consistency, feel free to add sour cream to the mixture.
It gives a nice little tang to help cut the richness of potato, milk, and butter.
You can also try our Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Loaded Mashed Potatoes, and even Vegan Mashed Potatoes.
Some people tend to avoid mashed potatoes because it contains a lot of fat and carbs. They’re also not exactly keto-friendly.
But if you’re looking for that same comforting and filling dish minus the guilt, the best substitute would be this bowl of creamy mashed sweet potatoes.
Making them only requires a handful of ingredients: sweet potatoes, butter, cream cheese, thyme, cinnamon, and all-spice.
Quick tip: To reduce the cooking time, simply cut them up into smaller pieces before boiling.
Everyone might think that this parmesan roasted Brussels sprouts recipe is the main dish, but they aren’t.
Perfect for your next holiday dinner, this elegant side dish features halved plump brussels sprouts tossed with an aromatic mix of parmesan, herbs, simple salt, and pepper.
The veggies then slide into the oven until it reached their golden perfection.
To make these sprouts extra fun, add chopped bacon, sweet potato cubes, onions, garlic cloves, and sprinkle on fresh chopped parsley.
If you’re looking for a simple side for your ham dinner dish, then roasted carrots are a perfect choice!
The recipe is so straightforward yet incredibly tasty when you cooked it correctly.
It’s packed with the gentle sweetness of carrots, olive oil, fresh thyme, garlic, and balsamic vinegar for a tangy flavor profile.
They can work as a side to pork chops, ham, steaks, or even as an excellent snack.
If you haven’t tried any of the farro dishes, then this next entry is a great recipe to start!
Farro is a grain that’s well regarded as a substitute for pasta and rice.
This large, chewy grain is versatile, but it also complements with ricotta cheese and honey.
Like most grains such as barley and quinoa, farro is pretty easy to cook.
You can cook them either in a saucepan or in a rice cooker.
This recipe is laden with savory flavors, thanks to the perfect blend of white rice, garlic, butter, vegetable broth, and spices.
It’s easy to put together and works harmoniously with almost any meat-based main courses like pork chops, ham, and ribs.
This recipe will also show you how to reheat to perfection.
This easy side dish can take your simple ham entree to a whole new level!
The air fryer is a great kitchen appliance that expands your capabilities, works fast and allows you to cook with less fat. We love ours.
Roasting radishes offer a creamy inside flavor with a crispy outside texture.
They don’t taste at all the same as raw radishes.
Rosemary can be a good substitute if you’re running out of thyme.
Can you tell we actually really love cooked radishes?
These roasted radishes are an excellent addition to your ham side dishes menu.
They’re also easy to make and no fuss, either.
The rich flavor of roasted radishes becomes more intense and savorier with the presence of dill and black pepper.
But if you feel more creative today, feel free to experiment and add spices and herbs to your liking.
10. Mushroom Risotto
This Italian-inspired recipe combines rice, mushrooms, onions, and parmesan cheese.
The result? A side dish full of creamy, rich, uber-mushroom flavor!
The secret behind the depth flavor variation and tender texture of the rice is the chicken broth.
You can use any other flavor broth, though. We love Better Than Bouillon.
The dish is best paired with chicken breast, ham, or simple steamed broccoli or carrots if you opt for the vegetarian route.
11. Lemon Rice
This lemon rice recipe features only five ingredients with a less complicated making process. It can also go well with pretty much anything too!
The perfect blend of rice, lemon juice, garlic, butter, and lemon zest creates a sweet, creamy, and a little tangy flavor.
You can use whatever rice you have on hand for this recipe.
But if you want to add a beautiful aroma to the dish, choose basmati rice!
These steamed green beans are a perfect side dish to partner with your pork chops, lasagna, ham, or baked chicken thighs.
One of the keys to cooking delicious green beans is making sure that the veggies aren’t overcooked.
Once done, they usually turn bright green and give a slight crunch and a deep flavor.
And if you are really looking to save time, we have ideas for Canned Green Bean Recipes, too.
You’ve been warned: This Jiffy corn casserole might snatch the spotlight from your ham main course!
Perfect for holidays and potluck, this yummy side dish is made mainly with canned corn, sour cream, and butter.
However, if you want to shake things up a bit, try adding diced jalapeños to the mix for a spicy flair or incorporate sweet flavor to the overall dish with a touch more sugar.
Served as the hearty side dish, these tender and creamy old-fashioned Southern butter beans are a total crowd-pleaser.
You’re probably intimidated by its name, but don’t be!
There’s no need for you to be a champion in the kitchen to make this dish.
It’s relatively more straightforward than you think!
Adding bacon, ham, and butter to the mixture can make the beans even more flavorful.
This blackened broccoli is so easy to make, flavorful, and makes the perfect accompaniment for smoked meat (especially ham) plus Asian-inspired dishes such as Asian Turkey Meatballs.
To brighten up the dish, try squeezing some lemon juice on the broccoli florets at the last minute of preparation.
This versatile side dish should enliven any entree, especially a lovely slice of ham.
The recipe comes together in less than 15 minutes, and you don’t even need to have many ingredients. Simply dress asparagus with olive oil, season, then roast.
Red pepper flakes, cayenne, and grated parmesan are just a few of the possible condiments that elevate the taste of this roasted asparagus.
17. Creamed Spinach
The creamy flavor profile of this spinach-based recipe should keep everyone coming for more.
Fresh spinach is combined with milk, parmesan cheese, butter, and flour, then seasoned with ground cumin, salt, and black pepper.
Don’t be afraid to be creative; replace whole milk with heavy cream for an even richer taste.
18. Bacon Pea Salad
If you’re looking to lighten up the flavors of your ham dish, try serving a bowl of pea salad.
This bright salad is rich, filling, and creamy at the same time.
The velvety yogurt-based dressing mixes well with cheddar cheese, crunchy celery, and red onion.
The best part? Bacon! Make the salad up to a day ahead and combine the ingredients before you serve it.
19. Roasted Parsnips
Parsnips are the star of the show in this easy-to-prepare side dish.
Apart from parsnips, the recipe brings the taste of marjoram, oregano, basil, onion, and garlic.
You can change the flavor profile of the recipe by including crushed red pepper in the mix.
Can’t get enough parsnips? We got you.
There’s nothing quite as delicious with your ham meal as this green bean casserole.
Maybe the most famous vegetable holiday side EVER, the blend of butter and fresh green beans adds a depth of flavor to the overall dish.
It’s a casserole that blends flavors and texture beautifully.
What’s more, the recipe complements ham, roasted holiday turkey, and a cozy pot roast.
And the microwave makes this ready in a snap.
And of course you want reheating directions.
The utter beauty of Hasselback Potatoes is that you only truly need…potatoes.
The “Hasselback” part is really in the way they are cut and presented, a recipe from a Swedish restaurant in the 50s.
That said, these are cooked until crisp in an air fryer, slathered in butter or oil with salt, and a parmesan cheese garnish.
And they positively stunning.
The bottom line
It can indeed be challenging to find the right side dishes for ham, particularly when you aren’t prepared enough for the holiday.
But since you found this guide, I have great hope that you’ll never get confused again when it comes to choosing which ham side dishes you’re going to serve.
Do you have recipes on hand that fit as sides for ham? Feel free to share it with us!
When you are looking for sides for ham, you want to complement that smoky, salty flavor profile and that is generally a lightly sweet, creamy mouthfeel.
Check out even more recipes that highlight foods that will go with any picnic butt, whole ham, spiral cut ham, smoked ham, ham slices and more:
- Au gratin potatoes
- Mashed potatoes
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Garlic parmesan roasted brussels sprouts
- Roasted carrots with thyme
- Garlic rice pilaf
- Air fryer roasted radishes
- Dill roasted radishes
- Mushroom risotto
- Lemon rice
- Steamed green beans
- Jiffy corn casserole
- Old-fashioned Southern butter beans
- Blackened broccoli
- Roasted asparagus
- Creamed Spinach
- Bacon pea salad
- Roasted parsnips
- Green bean casserole
- Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes
- Pick your top three side dishes for ham
- Gather the ingredients
- Create them and serve these sides beside your favorite ham course.