Ham and Broccoli Casserole is one of those timeless casserole dishes. Simple to put together and the taste is amazing!
Recently, I enveloped myself in a project testing ham. That's right, ham after ham after ham. I tested boneless, bone-in, spiral sliced, and uncut. I made 6 hams in a matter of weeks and guess what I have? Tons of ham! If you aren't sure how to cook your ham, I go over my experiences and suggestions in this article: How to Cook a Ham in the Ninja Foodi.
So, naturally, I have to use that ham in recipes. Now, 6 hams seems like a whole lot of ham, but since my recipes are tested so many times, I use it up pretty fast! This casserole has been tested multiple times and helped me use up at least one of those hams.
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My husband and I are pretty sick of ham right now, BUT we are not sick of this Ham & Broccoli casserole! It is that good! The creamy cheese sauce and combination of ham and broccoli and rice with the crispy topping, make this casserole one of the best I've ever had!
I did freeze some, of course, and, I will be sure to update this post with reheating instructions once we take it out in a week or two. For now, enjoy the simplistic deliciousness of this Ham and Broccoli Casserole!
What Kind of Ham Should I use in the Ham and Broccoli Casserole?
Any kind you have or want to use is just fine. My preference is a hunk of ham versus ham slices, but that is because I like chunks of ham in my casserole. In the video recipe for Ham and Broccoli Casserole, I used a combination of chunks and slices. Why? Because that is what I had. That's what I recommend you do. Use what you have!
You can even use ham that has been frozen, but you may want to decrease the chicken stock that goes in with the ham, rice, broccoli to ¾ of a cup because, in my experience, previously frozen ham does give off more liquid.
If fact, you can actually cut your leftover ham into bite-size chunks and freeze them like that for this casserole. When you want to make it, just take them out of the freezer and thaw long enough to break up the pieces and they can still be partially frozen. Or, spread your cut-up ham on a parchment-lined tray and freeze them until solid and then put them in a freezer baggy. That way you can just dump in the frozen ham. It will thaw and heat up during the PC time and baking time.
If you have deli ham that you need to use up, you can even use that!
Can I substitute Ham with something else?
Yep! Diced-up chicken or turkey would be wonderful. Just make sure it is cooked first or decrease the chicken stock that goes into the mixture because raw poultry will give off juices, for sure. If your dices are small enough, they will cook through in the PC and Bake time.
You can even go meatless! I would substitute the meat with chunks of portobello mushrooms. Mushrooms and Swiss go perfectly together.
Honestly, you can change this casserole up to use whatever you have on hand that you like. That's the beauty of casserole dishes!
What kind of Rice should I use in the Ham and Broccoli Casserole?
You can use any long grain white rice in this recipe and be fine. This includes: white rice, jasmine rice, and basmati rice.
If you wanted to use a brown rice, you would want to par cook the rice before adding to the mixture so it finishes cooking during the PC and bake time.
Or you can use leftover fully-cooked rice and skip the pressure cooking part. Make sure the broccoli, ham, and rice are warmed through and skip the 1 cup of chicken stock that goes into the casserole mixture. You won't need the liquid if the rice is fully cooked.
If you wanted to use a wild rice blend, make sure it is fully cooked and follow the instructions above.
You can use any type of rice you'd like, but make sure to make the modifications necessary to ensure a great outcome.
Can I use Fresh Broccoli and not frozen?
I don't recommend using fresh broccoli in this recipe unless you make modifications. I have not tested this recipe with fresh broccoli, but here are my thoughts: If you wanted to use fresh broccoli, don't put it in the mixture before pressure cooking. I would probably steam it separately to par cook it. Then add it into the casserole just before baking.
If you put the broccoli in raw before baking and it's in large pieces, I'm not sure they will cook properly in the 20-minute bake time. You can cut the broccoli florets very small and I think you would be fine to add in the fresh broccoli just before baking.
What Pan can I use to make the Ham and Broccoli Casserole?
Any pan that is pressure safe will work just fine as long as the it fits in the Ninja Foodi and all the ingredients fit. I used the Ninja Multipurpose pan, but you could use a springform pan if you have one and I bet you could even do this in the inner pot with a few changes.
Can I Make this in the Inner Pot of the Ninja Foodi?
If you want to make this in the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi, here are my suggestions. I have not tested the recipe this way, but I think this will work just fine.
Make the sauce first in the inner pot according to the instructions and remove. Wash the pot. Then add the 1 cup of chicken stock, ham, rice, and broccoli. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes with an immediate release of pressure.
Taste the rice to make sure it is close to being done. If it isn't and there is still liquid left, use the sear/sauté on medium to cook just a little longer. If there isn't any liquid left and the rice is still crunchy, add ¼ cup of chicken stock and use the sear/sauté on medium until the rice is cooked. Stir frequently to prevent burning and lower the heat, if needed.
Pour the cheese sauce over the ham, broccoli, and rice mixture and stir to combine. Lower the TenderCrisp lid and bake at 300°F/149°C for 20-25 minutes for the cheese sauce to reduce and all the rice should be fully cooked.
Add the topping and broil for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to check every few minutes to make sure it isn't over browning.
Let sit in the pot for 5 minutes. Serve & Enjoy!
Please let me know if you try this method! Since I haven't tested it, I'd really love the feedback!
Can I Make a Low Carb or Healthier Version?
For a low carb version of this Ham and Broccoli Casserole, I would replace the rice with cauliflower rice. To do this, either buy already prepared cauliflower rice or make your own with a food processor. Personally, I like to use a manual food processor to make cauliflower rice because I can control the size of the rice better.
Skip the pressure cooking step and you won't need the 1 cup of chicken stock either. Steam the broccoli so it is cooked to your liking. Make the sauce. Mix together the ham, cauliflower rice, and broccoli in a casserole dish or the inner pot of the Foodi. Pour just enough of the sauce over the mixture to coat everything and stir to combine. Bake covered on 375°F/177°C for 20 minutes.
*UPDATE: I had some feedback that the casserole was too thin when using cauliflower rice. Make sure to omit the chicken stock and use just enough of the cheese sauce to coat the ingredients in the casserole. The cauliflower will not absorb liquid and will give off some liquid as it cooks. You can always add more sauce after the initial bake and you can bake it uncovered if you are using a regular oven. I always love hearing from people, even when one of my recipes doesn't work out as planned, it gives me an opportunity to learn and adjust these suggestions. Thank you as always!
Uncover and top with grated cheese or a combination of crushed pork rinds and grated cheese. Broil for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve!
I have not tested the recipe this way, so if you try it, PLEASE let me know how it turns out! Your feedback is invaluable to me!
How to Make Ham and Broccoli Casserole
It is so simple! Very little prep and the Ninja Foodi does all the work for you.
Rinse the rice. While this is probably not absolutely necessary in this recipe, I always rinse my rice to prevent clumping and I suggest you do the same. Simply put the rice in a strainer and run water over it until the water runs clear.
Cut the ham up into bite size chunks.
Add 1 cup of the chicken stock to the pan. Add the rice, diced ham, and frozen broccoli to the pan and stir around. I used the Ninja All Purpose Pan, but you can use anything that your casserole fits into as long as it is safe to go under pressure. I like to move the rice and combine it with the ham and broccoli so it doesn't all sit in the bottom of the pan, but this is completely optional. I've tested the recipe with the rice on the bottom and it's fine. Put a cover on the casserole dish. I like to use the silicone covers that I purchased on Amazon, but you can use foil, as well.
Place the casserole dish on the rack in the low position. Add 1 cup of water to the inner pot. Lower the rack into the Ninja Foodi. Put the pressure lid on, turn the valve to seal and set the pressure to high for 5 minutes. When the time is up, let the Ninja Foodi naturally release its pressure for 10 minutes.
Sometimes the pin will drop before the 10 minutes is up. Leave the lid on the Ninja Foodi for the full 10 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure, if there is any, and remove the lid. Remove the rack and leave the casserole dish covered while you make the sauce. Dump the water out of the inner pot.
While the Ham and Broccoli Casserole is pressure cooking, prep the ingredients for the sauce and topping. Dice the onion and shred the Swiss cheese. You will use 2 ounces of the Swiss in the sauce and the remaining 2 ounces in the topping.
To make the sauce, turn the Ninja Foodi on high sear/sauté and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the diced onions and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt and thyme and stir. Add the flour and stir constantly while cooking the flour for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and stir. Add the cream and stir. Turn the Ninja Foodi off. Add the 2 ounces of Swiss cheese and stir to combine.
I like to transfer the sauce to a measuring cup so I can pour it easily over the casserole, but you can pour directly from the pot if you want. If you do decide to transfer it, make sure the measuring cup is larger than 2 cups. Mine was a 2-cup and it was pretty full!
Uncover the casserole dish and pour the cream sauce over the ham, broccoli, and rice mixture. Move the mixture around some to make sure the cream sauce gets down to the bottom. Place the cover back on the casserole dish and put it on the rack in the low position. Rinse the inner pot. Place the rack into the inner pot with the casserole dish and lower the TenderCrisp lid. Bake on 350°F/177°C for 20 minutes.
While the casserole is baking, combine the remaining 2 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese with the panko.
Remove Cover and spread the topping evenly over the top of the casserole. I like to try to cover all the ham and broccoli so it doesn't dry out during the broil. Close the TenderCrisp lid and broil for 5 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Remove the rack and the casserole dish and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Serve & Enjoy!
Ham and Broccoli Casserole
- 1 lb ham cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 cup white rice or Jasmine, rinsed well
- 1 pound broccoli frozen
- 2 cups chicken stock *divided in recipe
- 4 Tbsp butter salted or unsalted
- 1 onion I used a sweet onion
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp thyme leaves dried or ½ Tbsp fresh thyme leaves.
- 2 Tbsp flour
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces swiss cheese *divided in recipe
- ¾ cup panko
- Combine ham, white rice, and frozen broccoli into a baking pan. I used the Ninja All Purpose Pan, but any pressure safe pan that fits will work fine. Add in 1 cup of chicken stock. Cover the dish with foil or a silicone cover. Place the casserole dish on the rack in the low position.
- Add 1 cup of water to the inner pot and lower the rack into the inner pot. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 5 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 10 minutes. If there is any remaining pressure, manually release it and remove the lid. *see note section
- While the casserole is pressure cooking, dice your onion and shred the Swiss cheese. You will use half of the Swiss cheese in the sauce and the other half in the topping.
- Remove the rack and keep the casserole dish covered. Set to the side and dump the water out of the pot.
- Turn the Ninja Food on sear/saute on high heat. Add in butter and allow it to melt. Add in diced onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add flour and seasonings and stir until the butter and flour combine. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to cook the flour.
- Add in the remaining cup of chicken stock and ½ cup of heavy cream. Stir. Add 2 ounces grated Swiss cheese. Turn off the Ninja Foodi and stir to melt the cheese. Pour the sauce over the ham mixture in the casserole dish and mix a little bit. Rinse the pot.
- Cover the casserole dish with foil or a silicone cover and place it back into the Ninja Foodi on the rack in the low position. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.
- Mix the remaining 2 ounces of Swiss cheese with the panko. Remove the cover from the casserole dish and spread the panko topping evenly over the top. Place the casserole (uncovered) in the Ninja Foodi on the rack in the low position. Close the TenderCrisp lid and broil for 5 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.