Old Fashioned Ham Balls

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Old Fashioned Ham Balls are a combination of ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs. The brown sugar glazed is just the “icing“ on the top made with a base of tomato soup. These meatballs are truly straight from Grandma’s recipe collection (just not our grandma).

Old Fashioned Ham Ball Recipe

I’ll be honest. I went many years in life before eating a ham ball. I now consider these years to be dark, sad, unthinkable years. Who knew that a meatball made primarily of ham could be so delightful.

I have to give credit where credit is due. Grandma Clemons, you rock. Thank you for this three meat ham ball recipe.

Yep, you read that correctly. Grandma’s ham balls are a blend of ground ham, ground pork (not sausage), and ground beef, and they use graham cracker crumbs as a binder.  It’s genius, really.  The graham crackers give the actual meatball a sweet flavor, and the meatballs are enhanced with the homemade brown sugar glaze.

Let’s talk about this ham ball sauce.  The sauce uses just four ingredients, and I bet you have most of them already in your pantry.  Tomato soup as a base, brown sugar for sweetness, apple cider vinegar for tang, and dry mustard for sharpness.

I’ve actually always been intimidated by ham balls, actually all meat balls. It seemed like so much work, and I seem to always be behind, looking for some shortcut to shave off a few minutes before dinner.

As it turns out, I was wrong. Grandma’s ham balls are easy.  As long as your three meats are thawed, this dish goes together in about 15 minutes.  Just mix the meats with milk, eggs and graham cracker crumbs, roll into cute little balls, line them up in a couple baking dishes, and cover with that super simple, four ingredient sauce.  And in one short hour, you can have dinner on the table.

I used that hour to take a quick ride on my stationary bike, start a load of laundry, and then about 1000 other requests that started with “Mom, can you…”.

Old Fashioned Ham Balls are made with ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs. 

How To Make Ham Balls with Graham Crackers:

  1. Combine ground ham, ground pork, ground beef, beaten eggs, milk and graham cracker crumbs.
  2. Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place side by side in glass baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, mix tomato soup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and dry mustard and spoon over old fashioned ham balls.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.  Serve with sauce drizzled over the top.

For the full instructions and ingredient list for ham balls in brown sugar glaze, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Notes About Old Fashioned Ham Balls (Grandma’s Recipe):

  • Serve these vintage ham balls as an appetizer or as a main course.
  • This recipe serves a crowd, making approximately 40 brown sugar glazed ham balls.  Double the recipe for a large gathering or party.
  • Bake in a glass baking dish, Pyrex or Corning-ware.  This ham ball with tomato soup recipe fits perfectly in two 13 x 9 inch dishes, however, use whatever size you have.
    • 20 ham balls fit in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish – five rows of 4 ham balls across.
  • Be sure to use plain ground pork not to be confused with pork sausage.
  • I made my own ground ham. I cut up a ham steak, and threw it into the food processor until it was pulverized.  Or, you can request some from the meat counter at the grocery store.
  • Check out our Amazon shop for our favorite pantry essentials and kitchen equipment.

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Our Favorite Ham Recipes

We love ham over here on These Old Cookbooks and we love to share them with you. We also love fixing our hams in our crock pot or Instant pot, as this freezes up our oven for yummy side dishes. Check out some of our favorite recipes:

Crock Pot Spiral Ham with Ginger Ale

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Old Fashioned Ham Balls are made with ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs. 
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Old Fashioned Ham Balls

Old Fashioned Ham Balls are straight from Grandma.  These meatballs are a combination of ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs.  The brown sugar glazed is just the icing on the top made with a base of tomato soup. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: graham cracker ham balls, grandma's ham balls, ham balls, ham balls with brown sugar glaze, ham balls with graham cracker crumbs, ham balls with graham crackers, ham balls with tomato soup, old fashioned ham balls, vintage ham balls
Servings: 40 ham balls
Calories: 128kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground ham
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 10.5 ounces tomato soup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, ground ham, beaten eggs, graham cracker crumbs and milk until mixed.
    Old Fashioned Ham Balls are made with ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs. 
  • Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Arrange in a baking dish. (2) 13 x 9 inch baking dishes work perfectly.
    Old Fashioned Ham Balls are made with ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs. 
  • In a bowl, mix tomato soup, brown sugar, dry mustard and apple cider vinegar.
    Old Fashioned Ham Balls are made with ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs. 
  • Spoon or pour over the ham ball.
    Old Fashioned Ham Balls are made with ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs. 
  • Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.
    Old Fashioned Ham Balls are made with ground pork, beef and ham with a surprise sweetness coming from graham cracker crumbs. 
  • Serve with the brown sugar glazed spooned over top.

Notes

  • Serve these vintage ham balls as an appetizer or as a main course.
  • This recipe serves a crowd, making approximately 40 brown sugar glazed ham balls.  Double the recipe if you are serving at a large gathering or party.
  • Bake in a glass baking dish, Pyrex or Corning-ware.  This ham ball with tomato soup recipe fits perfectly in two 13 x 9 inch dishes, however, use whatever size you have.
    • 20 ham balls fit in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish - 5 rows, 4 ham balls across.
  • Be sure to use plain ground pork not to be confused with pork sausage.
  • I made my own ground ham. I cut up a ham steak, and threw it into the food processor until it was pulverized.  Or, you can request some from the meat counter at the grocery store. 
  • This is a great way to use leftover ham or try this easy sandwich spread recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

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8 Comments

    1. Yes, you can make the ham balls and place them on a baking sheet and flash freeze. When frozen, put them in a freezer bag or container. When you want to bake them, let them thaw in the refrigerator and then cook as directed. We’d wait until you are ready to cook the ham balls to make up the sauce. Thanks!

  1. I’m going to try to make these gluten free. I’ll use gf graham crackers and I’m wondering if I can use tomato sauce instead of Tomato soup?

    1. We haven’t made that substitution before but it should work. Your flavors might be a bit different (might want to add a bit of salt) but you should be OK. If they feel dry, you may want to use a bit more sauce as I feel like sauce might be a bit thicker than soup! Good Luck!

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