This 20-Minute Ham and Cheddar Chowder recipe goes together in a flash making it the perfect meal for any busy weeknight or when you are trying to use up leftover ham from the holidays.
This stove top recipe contains basic ingredients like ham, potatoes, onions and cheddar cheese. Why is it such a fast recipe? The potatoes are boiled in a small amount of water which makes the boiling process faster, AND you don’t even need to drain any excess water off the potatoes.
20-Minute Ham and Cheddar Chowder
Originally, this recipe came from Barbara’s college days when she lived in a cooperative at Purdue University called Glenwood. She remembers many lunches where she and her sisters ate this, most commonly served along side grilled cheese sandwiches.
Some of her other favorite recipes from Glenwood include Mama Griggs Pumpkin Muffins, Thai Chicken Wraps, Cheesy Mexican Chicken, Chicken Bow-Tie Pasta Salad, Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole, Frozen Pumpkin Delight Dessert, Yellow Cake Mix Gooey Bars, and Pork Chop Potato Bake.
A few notes about the recipe
- This recipe uses two saucepans. It is important to start step 2 with the second saucepan as soon as you beginning boiling the potatoes. This will ensure the two steps finish at the same time.
- DO NOT DRAIN THE EXCESS WATER.
- We used deli ham that was cut into this slices, but any type of ham will do. Leftover ham from Easter or Christmas would be perfect.
- You can adjust the amount of cheesiness by adding more cheese to the white sauce. Feel free to add as much as your cheesy heart desires. You can also change up what type of cheese you like, including sharp cheddar or a blend of many types of cheese. Use up what you have in the refrigerator.
- This recipe is easily doubled or tripled. At Glenwood, we fed 30+ girls, so we always at least quadrupled the recipe.
How to Make 20-Minute Ham and Cheddar Chowder
Find the full recipe at the bottom of this post.
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add diced potatoes, diced onions and salt. Cover and bring back to a simmer. Keep at a full simmer for 10 minutes. As soon as you put on the lid to the potato pot, melt margarine in a second saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add flour and stir to make a roux. Heat the roux for 30 seconds while stirring to get rid of the raw flour flavor. Add milk slowly while constantly whisking. Continue to whisk the mixture until it starts to thicken and becomes a sauce. Add cheese until melted. Once the potatoes are done simmering and are fork tender, add the cheese sauce and ham. Heat until warmed through; do not bring to a boil.
Looking for more recipes to use up leftover ham? Try our Instant Pot Ham and Beans, Make-Ahead Ham and Cheese Quiche, or replace the smoked sausage for ham in our Crock Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage and Pasta Bake.
Linking up to Weekend Potluck!
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups diced potatoes, washed and peeled
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup margarine (half stick)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup diced ham
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add diced potatoes, onions and salt. Cover and bring back up to a simmer.
Simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Immediately begin the next step below.
In a second saucepan, melt margarine. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Heat while stirring for 30 seconds.
Add milk to the rue while whisking constantly. Heat over medium heat and continue to stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
Add shredded cheese, and stir until completely melted.
Once the potatoes have simmered for 10 minutes; check to make sure they are cooked through by piercing with a fork. DO NOT DRAIN. Add the cheese sauce and ham to the potatoes.
Cook over medium until warmed through; do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.