Country ham is one of those classic dishes that never fails to impress at the lunch table — It is a salty and savory option that tastes well with a variety of fresh ingredients.
Pairing this savory meat with fresh sides really takes it up a notch, too – so don’t forget these creative side dishes when preparing it for your next food party!
From creamy mac and cheese to crunchy salads, there’s something here for everyone, and here we outline some of our favorite side dishes that go perfectly with a country ham dinner.
So, hurry! Serve it up at your next holiday meal or weekend family dinner, and you’re sure to hear everyone say ‘mmmm’ when it hits the table!
A Quick solution for what to serve with country ham – Fried Apples, Sweet Potato Casserole, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato Gratin, Green Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Potatoes au gratin, Corn Casserole, Green bean casserole, Creamed Spinach, Creamy Mashed Potatoe, Potato Salad, Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Veggies, Creamed corn, Coleslaw, Cranberry Sauce, Roasted asparagus, Baked beans, Roasted sweet potatoes, French Fries, Grilled Corn, Mashed Cauliflower, Roasted cauliflower, Fried green Tomatoes.
What type of food is country ham, and what does country ham taste like?
Country ham is a type of cured and aged pork that has been popular in the Southern United States for centuries.
It is usually made from the hind leg or shoulder of the pig and can be either wet-cured, dry-cured, smoked, or unsmoked.
Country ham typically has a deep red color and a salty flavor that can range from mild to very intense. The saltiness and smokiness of country ham are due to the curing process it undergoes.
Its texture is firm but can vary depending on how long it was cured and whether or not it was smoked.
Country ham matches well with sweet accompaniments such as honeyed biscuits or applesauce but can also be enjoyed on its own as part of a charcuterie board or in savory dishes.
Country ham can also be used to flavor soups and stews, as well as other traditional Southern dishes like pimento cheese sandwiches and Hoppin’ John.
Best Side dishes to serve with Country Ham
1. Fried Apples
Fried apples are a classic southern side dish that goes perfectly with country ham. To make this dish, start by slicing your apples into thin wedges.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple slices. Cook until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes.
Enjoy your fried apples as is, or top them off with freshly whipped cream or ice cream for an extra special treat!
2. Sweet Potato Casserole
This creamy sweet potato casserole is both sweet and savory — super delicious for complementing the salty flavor of country ham! To make it, begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Peel and cube your sweet potatoes, then boil them in salted water until they are fork-tender.
Drain and then transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Mash together with brown sugar, butter, half-and-half, eggs, salt, and pepper until smooth.
Spread the mixture into a greased baking dish before topping it with chopped pecans and marshmallows if desired. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
I just love to taste Roasted Brussels sprouts with country ham. They are a delicious way to incorporate vegetables into your meal while still enjoying the rich flavors of country ham. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Trim ends off Brussels sprouts before cutting each one in half lengthwise.
Next, place cut Brussels sprouts onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil, then drizzle olive oil on top, along with salt and pepper for seasoning.
Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top before serving warm alongside your country ham entrée!
4. Sweet Potato Gratin
A sweet potato gratin is good to add color and flavor to any meal. This gratin is made with thinly sliced sweet potatoes layered in a creamy sauce, then baked until golden brown and bubbly.
For an even richer flavor, you can top the gratin off with cheese before baking. It’s an easy-to-make dish that pairs wonderfully with country ham.
5. Green Salad
I always welcome fresh green salad to my meal. You also make sure to include plenty of crunchy vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers for texture and flavor.
Top it all off with a simple vinaigrette or homemade dressing for added flavor. A green salad is a light yet flavorful addition to your country ham dinner plate.
6. Macaroni and Cheese
Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? This classic popular in the United States comfort food, is the perfect accompaniment to any main course, including country ham!
Its simple combination of creamy cheese sauce, elbow macaroni noodles, and salty country ham makes for an unbeatable flavor combination.
The smoky, savory taste of the country ham partners perfectly with the rich, creamy texture of the macaroni and cheese.
This timeless favorite can be enjoyed as a quick weeknight dinner or dressed up for a special occasion when topped with fresh herbs or spices.
You can make your own from scratch or opt for a quicker version using boxed macaroni and cheese mix — either way, it’ll be delicious!
For some extra kick, you can add diced jalapeños or crumbled bacon for texture and flavor.
7. Potatoes au gratin
My other favorite, Potatoes au gratin, is the perfect side dish to accompany country ham. This creamy and savory comfort food features thin layers of potatoes in a rich cheese sauce, creating an irresistible combination of flavors.
The golden-brown, crispy top layer adds crunch and flavor that perfectly complements the smoky, salty ham.
For a more complex flavor, you can add garlic or herbs like thyme or rosemary to the potatoes before adding the cheese sauce.
To make Potatoes au gratin extra special, you can try adding a layer of chopped ham before baking – this will add an extra smoky flavor.
Serve it hot as a delicious accompaniment to your country ham meal – you won’t regret it!
8. Corn Casserole
If you looking to experience a taste of the South, there is no better way to switch up your dinner game than by indulging in a delectable Corn Casserole with country ham.
This mouthwatering dish combines the creaminess of a casserole with the smoky saltiness of the country ham, creating a perfect harmony of flavors that will captivate your taste buds.
Infused with fresh corn, tender bits of savory ham, and the right amount of spices, this crowd-pleasing dish is perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or even a simple weeknight dinner.
As you dive into each spoonful, you’ll find yourself transported to a countryside porch surrounded by the warm embrace of Southern hospitality.
9. Green bean casserole
Green bean casserole is a classic side dish that has been enjoyed for generations. This simple yet delicious dish is made up of green beans and cream soup and topped with french-fried onions.
The cream-based soups add richness to your dish, while the french fried onions give a delightful crunch.
Country ham taste perfectly with green bean casserole as their salty flavors complement each other while still allowing the unique taste of each to shine through.
Paired together, they make an ideal combination for your meal!
10. Creamed Spinach
Have you ever considered combining the subtle creaminess of spinach with the savory boldness of country ham?
The sumptuous dish of Creamed Spinach with country ham is a delightful and comforting experience that you definitely don’t want to miss.
This culinary marvel is the perfect blend of tender spinach leaves swimming in a velvety and creamy sauce, with chunks of country ham lending a robust, smoky flavor that is guaranteed to entice your taste buds.
Offering both nourishment and indulgence, this hearty dish is an ideal candidate for a cozy evening at home or an impressive contribution to a potluck gathering.
11. Creamy Mashed Potatoe
Creamy Mashed Potatoes are a comforting and flavorful side dish that can be enjoyed with country ham or any other main course.
These potatoes are made using russet potatoes that are boiled until fork-tender, then mashed with butter, milk, and salt to create the perfect creamy texture.
To give the potatoes even more flavor, you can try adding shredded cheese or fresh herbs like chives or dill.
Additionally, you can use cream cheese or sour cream instead of milk for an even richer flavor.
Serve Creamy Mashed Potatoes alongside your favorite protein for a delicious and satisfying meal.
12. Potato Salad
Potato salad is one of those evergreen, versatile dishes that have a place at any gathering, be it a picnic, barbecue, or family get-together. But have you ever tried Potato Salad with Country Ham?
This flavorful, mouth-watering creation takes your regular potato salad to a whole new level.
In this hearty spin on the classic dish, the rich, salty country ham combines with the creamy potatoes to create an explosion of taste that leaves you craving more.
The inclusion of savory country ham also adds a delightful contrast of textures, creating a perfect harmony between the tender potatoes and the slightly chewy, smoky ham.
Your taste buds are sure to be dancing with joy as you savor every bite of this scrumptious dish.
The best part, it matches well with both simple sandwiches and fancy entreés, making it a crowd-pleasing choice for any occasion.
13. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a great accompaniment to country ham, as their savory and earthy flavors taste wonderfully together.
The tender leaves of the Brussels sprout provide your dish a pleasant texture in contrast to the salty and smoky flavor of the country ham.
Moreover, this vegetable is also extremely versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as roasted, sautéed, or even raw.
14. Roasted Veggies
Roasted veggies with country ham is a simple yet delicious dish you should definitely try.
The smoky flavor of the country ham partners perfectly with an array of ingredients like tender asparagus, colorful bell peppers, and hearty potatoes.
All you need to do is cut the vegetables into bite-sized chunks and toss them in olive oil before roasting them in the oven at 375°F until they are lightly browned and crisp.
If you’re feeling creative, then sprinkle some herbs or cheese on top to make it even more flavorful!
15. Creamed corn
Imagine a mouthwatering combination of creamy corn and delectable country ham coming together on your plate – a beautiful symphony of flavors and textures that is bound to leave your taste buds begging for more!
Creamed corn with country ham is not just another dish but rather an experience that brings together the sweetness of corn, the smoky saltiness of the country ham, and the velvety smoothness of a creamy sauce.
This exceptional culinary delight is perfect for special occasions, family gatherings, or a comforting meal at the end of a long day.
Dive into this luscious, savory amalgamation and allow the richness of the dish to warm your soul and brighten your spirits.
It’s time to create memories that will last a lifetime, all centered around the irresistible allure of creamed corn with country ham.
If you’re looking to add a delightful twist to your next meal, consider serving coleslaw with country ham.
This scrumptious combination pairs the refreshing, tangy crunch of coleslaw with the savory, tender, smoky flavor of country ham, creating a symphony of taste and texture in each bite.
Additionally, the bright, vibrant colors of the slaw, consisting of shredded cabbage, carrots, and other fresh ingredients, beautifully contrast the rich mahogany hue of the ham, upgrading any dining experience into a visual feast.
To elevate this dish even more, you can customize your coleslaw with a blend of creamy mayo, vinegar, and spices, complementing the natural smokiness of the ham.
17. Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is a delightful accompaniment that can transform the flavors of any meal, and when coupled with country ham, it offers a culinary experience that tantalizes the taste buds.
The tangy and sweet notes of the cranberry sauce elegantly complement the salty and smoky flavors of the succulent country ham, creating a harmonious blend that would entice even the pickiest of eaters.
As you indulge in each delectable mouthful, the harmonious dance of taste sensations will leave you craving for more.
This unexpected fusion of flavors is sure to breathe new life into traditional family gatherings and holiday celebrations as you impress your guests with this innovative and delicious pairing.
18. Roasted asparagus
You know! Roasted asparagus with country ham tastes really delicious and is sure to be a hit at any dinner table.
The smokiness of the country ham goes perfectly with the earthy flavor of the asparagus, and the combination of flavors is an absolute delight.
To prepare this dish, start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Next, trim off the woody ends of your asparagus spears and discard them.
Next, arrange the trimmed spears on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika, then top with thick slices of country ham.
Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until tender-crisp. Serve warm, and enjoy!
19. Baked beans
When it comes to incorporating savory flavors into your meals, serving baked beans with country ham is an exceptional choice that promises to delight your taste buds.
By combining the rich, smoky taste of ham that has stood the test of time and craftsmanship with the naturally sweet undertones of baked beans, you can create a heartwarming and memorable twist on a classic comfort dish.
Cooked slowly to maintain their tenderness and mingled with a medley of spices and seasonings, this dynamic pairing will elevate your culinary experience to new heights.
20. Roasted sweet potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes with country ham is a culinary delight that you should try at least once at your next gathering.
The combination of the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes and the savory, smoky flavor of the country ham creates an explosion of taste in every bite.
Imagine the tender, caramelized sweet potatoes, their crispy edges contrasting with the succulent, juicy ham, releasing a symphony of flavors that will make you glad that such a culinary masterpiece exists.
This dish is perfect for a cozy family dinner or a festive holiday feast, and it appeals to both young and old alike.
So next time you want a magical taste trip or need to impress your guests, don’t hesitate to serve up this amazing dish: Roasted sweet potatoes with country ham, also known as a true triumph in the kitchen.
21. French Fries
My all-time favorite French Fries are a classic accompaniment to country ham, offering a delicious contrast between the salty, smoky flavor of the ham and the crispy, flavorful potatoes.
They are incredibly versatile, too; they can be served with ketchup or other dipping sauces, crumbled over a salad, or enjoyed on their own.
Additionally, they’re a great way to enjoy leftovers – simply reheat them in an oven or air fryer for a few minutes until golden brown and just as delicious as when first cooked.
22. Grilled Corn
Are you looking to bring a scrumptious twist to your usual family dinner or backyard barbecue? Serving up Grilled Corn with country ham might just become your new summer staple!
Imagine the sweet, juicy kernels of corn perfectly grilled to a tender crisp; now combine it with the rich, smoky flavor of country ham, and your taste buds will absolutely go on a delectable adventure.
This mouth-watering combination takes a simple ear of corn to a whole new culinary level, offering a delightful burst of contrasting yet complementary flavors.
As you savor each bite, the harmony of sweetness from the corn and the savory umami notes of the country ham truly creates an incredible gastronomic experience that will leave you craving more.
23. Mashed Cauliflower
If you’re looking to diversify your culinary repertoire and impress your dinner guests with a creative twist on a classic dish, you can try serving mashed cauliflower with country ham.
This delectable combination boasts an indulgent blend of savory and subtly sweet flavors, tickling your taste buds and leaving you craving more.
Moreover, the creamy, smooth texture of mashed cauliflower pairs exquisitely with the saltiness of the country ham – a remarkable gastronomic adventure waiting to be explored.
By reinventing the traditional mashed potatoes and ham, the addition of nutrient-dense cauliflower pleases not only the palate but also the health-conscious among us.
24. Roasted cauliflower
The next time you’re craving a wholesome and delicious meal, you can consider trying a mouthwatering dish of roasted cauliflower with country ham.
This culinary delight starts with a head of fresh cauliflower, lovingly roasted to golden brown perfection, bringing out its subtle nutty flavors.
Couple this tasty veggie with succulent country ham, which has been expertly smoked and cured, to create a beautiful balance of sweet and savory notes.
Combined, these two ingredients create a symphony of flavors and textures that will truly delight your taste buds.
Enhance the meal with a drizzle of rich, melted butter, a sprinkle of herbs and spices, and a side of crusty bread or a simple green salad, making it not only filling but absolutely irresistible.
25. Fried green Tomatoes
Last but not the list is Fried green tomatoes which are a Southern culinary delight, and when tasted with country ham, they create an unparalleled gastronomic experience.
Though simple in execution, these farm-fresh green tomatoes – coated in a golden, crispy breading and pan-fried to perfection – burst with a unique, tangy flavor that is irresistible from the first bite.
The country ham, preserved and cured using traditional methods, brings a robust savoriness and a subtle hint of sweetness that marries harmoniously with the fried tomato slices.
Think about presenting these treasures on a bed of lightly dressed greens or complementing them with a dollop of creamy remoulade.
What are the best flavors to go with country ham?
Country ham is a type of cured and smoked ham that has a salty, smoky flavor. It pairs well with many flavors, from sweet to savory.
For a classic combination, you can try combining country ham with sage or rosemary for an herbal aroma and savory depth of flavor.
For something sweeter, try pairing country ham with brown sugar or maple syrup for added sweetness.
You can also add pungent flavors like garlic and onions or fruity ingredients such as pineapple or apples to give your dish an extra layer of flavor.
Finally, if you want to take it up a notch, serve your country ham dishes with spicy accents like hot sauce or chili powder for lots of delicious heat!
How do you jazz up a country ham?
There are many ways to add flavor and texture to a country ham. You can rub the ham with spices or marinate it with a mix of herbs, spices, and garlic in a mixture of vinegar and water.
After marinating, you can coat the ham with a crunchy coating such as cornmeal or crushed crackers. A light glaze of your favorite sweetener will help caramelize the outside when cooked.
To give it more flavor, layer slices of onion between each slice of ham before baking. For added moisture, wrap the ham in bacon strips before baking for an even richer taste.
Finally, simmering the ham in apple cider or beer after cooking adds another level of complexity to the dish.
With any combination of these methods, you can create a delicious and flavorful country ham that will be sure to please your guests. Enjoy!
Another way is to stuff the ham with a mix of apples, onions and cloves before baking, creating an extra layer of flavor.
This also gives it some added moisture.
To give the ham more sweetness and complexity, brush it with a honey-mustard glaze during the last few minutes of cooking.
If desired, sprinkle on herbs such as rosemary or thyme for additional dimension before serving.
Finally, you can try combining fruits such as pineapple or oranges with brown sugar and butter to make a sweet sauce that can be used, both basting the ham while cooking and serving alongside it afterward.
With these simple ideas, you can transform a plain country ham into an unforgettable dish. Bon Appetit!
If you want to give your country ham an extra kick, try adding a spicy rub made from chili powder and other spices.
Rub the mixture all over the outside of the ham before baking for smoky heat that will tantalize your taste buds.
For more heat, slice a jalapeno pepper lengthwise and press it onto each slice of ham before cooking.
You can also top off your cooked country ham with freshly diced jalapenos or diced red peppers for some extra zing.
To round out the meal, serve the spicy country ham alongside roasted potatoes and collard greens for a flavorful Southern-style feast! Enjoy!
How do you display a country ham on a platter?
To display a country ham on a platter, start by cutting off the hock of the ham and slicing the meat into thin slices.
Arrange the slices in a fan-like pattern on a large serving platter so that each slice slightly overlaps the next one.
Decorate with sprigs of fresh herbs for an extra elegant touch.
Serve additional accompaniments like biscuits or crackers to complete your presentation. Enjoy!
10 Best country ham dinner ideas
1. Country Ham and Biscuits with Red-Eye Gravy
A classic Southern comfort food, this meal brings together salty country ham and warm, fluffy biscuits with a creamy gravy made from the ham’s own pan juices.
2. Country Ham Fritters
Shredded country ham is spiced up with onion, garlic, and herbs before being fried in a batter for delicious fritters that can be served as a tasty appetizer or main course.
3. Smothered Country Ham Steaks
Juicy steaks of country ham are coated in a flavorful flour-butter mixture, then cooked until golden brown and smothered in an easy cream sauce for an amazing dinner option.
4. Country Ham Hash
This hash is made with diced country ham and potatoes that are fried up until crispy and then served with a fried egg on top for an irresistible meal any time of day.
5. Country Ham and Cheese Quiche
Rich, creamy slices of quiche made with pieces of country ham and cheese make the perfect brunch dish or dinner side when paired with a salad or roasted vegetables.
6. Country Ham Croquettes
Panko-crusted croquettes are filled with shredded country ham, scallions, and cheese for an appetizer that will have everyone coming back for more.
7. Deviled Country Ham Casserole
Sweet and spicy flavors combine in this casserole with layers of country ham, cheese, potatoes, and a decadent topping.
8. Country Ham Quinoa Salad
Perfect for lunch or as a light dinner option, this salad is packed with quinoa, vegetables, and crunchy pieces of country ham for an amazing combination of flavors and textures.
9. Country Ham Grilled Cheese
This classic comfort food gets an upgrade with the addition of some shredded country ham that adds flavor to the gooey cheese and buttery bread inside these grilled sandwiches.
10. Country Ham Pizza
A delicious pizza topped with creamy mozzarella cheese and flavorful slices of country ham makes this dish a great way to end the day or start off a night of fun.
FAQs on what to serve with country ham
Q1. How much country ham per person?
The amount of country ham per person depends on personal preference. Generally speaking, a single slice of country ham is enough to serve a single person as a main course.
If served as part of an appetizer or side dish, 2-3 slices of ham can be served per person.
For those who prefer larger portions, 3-4 slices may be the better option. Regardless, it’s always best to start with smaller servings and let guests ask for more.
Q2. What cheese goes with Country ham?
There are several types of cheese that pair well with country ham, including cheddar, Gouda, Havarti, and cream cheese. Cheddar is a classic pairing choice for country ham, as it has a sharp flavor that stands up to the saltiness of the ham. Gouda is a semi-soft cheese that also pairs nicely with this salty meat.
Its mellow flavor complements the bolder taste of the country ham. Havarti is another good option, thanks to its creamy texture and buttery notes. As for cream cheese, its mild tanginess helps balance out the saltiness of the country ham. Enjoy these cheeses alongside your favorite cut of country ham for an unforgettable snack or meal!
Q3. What type of potatoes is best to serve with ham?
The type of potatoes that is best to serve with ham depends on your personal preference. For a traditional approach, boiled or mashed potatoes are classic accompaniments for ham.
If you’re looking for something a bit more interesting, roasted red potatoes, sweet potatoes, and hash browns all pair well with this tasty entrée. Another great option is scalloped potatoes – thinly sliced potatoes baked in a creamy sauce with cheese and herbs.
Red Potatoes are the best potatoes to serve with ham. Their dense and creamy texture complements the salty flavor of ham perfectly and adds a bit of extra richness to your dish. Plus, red potatoes hold their shape when cooked, making them an ideal accompaniment for diced or sliced hams.
For a delicious side dish, try roasting cubes of red potato with some olive oil, garlic, rosemary or thyme until they’re golden brown and tender. Or make mashed red potatoes – adding cream cheese or butter will give them even more richness! You can also boil or steam red potatoes.
Whichever variety you choose, it’s sure to be a delicious addition to your meal!
Q4. How do you serve spiral ham at a party?
Serving spiral ham at a party is a great way to impress your guests. Start by letting the ham come to room temperature before slicing it into thin slices.
When ready to serve, arrange the slices on a platter and garnish them with fresh herbs, lemon slices, or other edible decorations. Serve with condiments such as mustard or honey mustard for added flavor and presentation.
Alternatively, you can also dice the ham into cubes and serve it as an appetizer atop crackers or small toast rounds. For even more convenience, pre-sliced or cubed spiral ham can be purchased in most grocery store.