How to Stretch Your Easter Ham into Multiple Meals

A family sits down to eat an Easter dinner including ham, vegetables and cake.
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The classic Easter ham we all know and love doesn’t always get 100% devoured each year. With the price of food these days, whose first thought is to just throw it out? There are many things you can do with your Easter leftovers.

Cooked ham can last about three to four days in the fridge and up to four months in the freezer, according to the USDA, depending on the type of ham. Use this chart to see how long yours will likely keep.

If you’re looking for meal planning inspiration outside chucking the ham in the microwave the next day (though there’s nothing wrong with this classic approach), we’ve got some ideas.

Make Your Easter Leftovers the Star of a Soup

Pretty much any combo of “ham and ___” soup will work. You can do ham and bean, ham and cheese, ham and potato, ham and split pea, etc. You can also take any stale rolls or bread from Easter dinner and make croutons to put on top. And soup freezes well if you end up with a big batch.

But don’t wait too long to indulge — depending on where you live, you’re running out of chances to enjoy warm soup on a chilly day.

Craft an Extra Hearty Ham Sandwich 

A simple ham and cheese may hit the spot, or you could add some protein to a grilled cheese. Those who are feeling extra fancy can whip up a Cuban or Monte Cristo. The best part is a sandwich can be lunch at the office, which saves you money on going out, or a casual dinner with a side of potato chips.

Step Aside Bacon: Ham is Great for Breakfast 

The ham from your holiday leftovers can act as the foundation to a breakfast hash or fill a Denver omelet. You could also treat yourself to a brunch classic in the middle of the week with a variation of eggs benedict. (We wouldn’t dare imply Canadian bacon and ham are the same). You can also make a big enough ham, egg and cheese casserole to have breakfast ready to go for several days. Jimmy Dean who?

Easter Leftovers Can Go A Long Way

Reducing food waste is never a bad idea. Ham is a tasty main dish, a hearty protein to add onto a salad or the gateway to your first quiche venture. Even if you don’t have the energy to give your ham a makeover and decide to freeze it, make sure you wrap it well and put the date on it.

You may also have a sad-looking but very cute dog waiting for you to make them the plan for the leftovers. While ham isn’t inherently toxic, the American Kennel Club doesn’t recommend feeding it to the dog. The sodium and fat content isn’t always great for their diets.

You, on the other hand, have a week’s worth of casserole and soup ahead of you.

Mackenzie Raetz is senior editor of freelance at The Penny Hoarder.