Ham and Swiss Lasagna layers cooked ham and Gruyere Swiss cheese with lasagna noodles – all smothered in a creamy white sauce. It’s comfort food at its best!
We’re always looking for delicious ideas to create a second meal out of our leftover holiday ham – especially when we have guests staying for an extra day or two. This creamy Ham and Swiss Lasagna is a great option!
It’s a white lasagna with slices of cooked ham and lasagna noodles in a creamy four-cheese sauce made with Gruyere Swiss, country-style cottage cheese, Parmesan and mozzarella.
Using a nice smoked ham and the Gruyere Swiss are the key to this fantastic recipe. And, I predict, your family will ask for this recipe every year after the holidays.
What is Gruyere Swiss?
Gruyere is a very specific cheese that originated in the Gruyere region of western Switzerland. It dates back to the 12th century, and today, in order to include the Gruyere designation, it must be produced from local raw milk from the region and aged for a minimum of five months.
Gruyere is typically produced in wheels that are matured in a cave or cellar for five to eighteen months or more. The wheels of cheese are brushed with a brine that forms a brown, grainy rind.
Younger, less-aged Gruyere cheese has a creamy, nutty flavor. The longer-aged Gruyere has a more complex flavor that is absolutely delicious and very distinctive.
Note that Gruyere cheese does not have the same large holes as an American Swiss cheese. But it does have the same firm texture.
Why You’ll Love Ham and Swiss Lasagna
- The smoky flavor of the ham and the distinctive nutty flavor of the Gruyere makes this lasagna truly unforgettable.
- It’s the ideal way to use up leftover holiday ham.
- It makes a large quantity – so perfect for feeding guests staying for the weekend, as well as leftovers the next day.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Lasagna noodles – One pound of dry lasagna noodles is used – which is typically 19-20 strips. Note that we haven’t tried making this recipe with the no-cook noodles ourselves.
- Ham – Use any leftover cooked ham or you can specifically purchase a small, hickory-smoked pre-sliced ham to make this dish. (You’ll need about four cups of cooked ham or approximately one and a half pounds.
- Gruyere Swiss – Don’t skimp on flavor by buying another Swiss cheese variety. Only the Gruyere will give this dish its distinctive, delicious taste.
- Other Cheese – We also used country-style cottage cheese (full-fat, larger curds), Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
- White sauce – Made from whole milk, butter, flour, salt, pepper, dry mustard and nutmeg.
- Vegetables – Sweet onion, button mushrooms, fresh garlic and fresh flat leaf parsley is used for flavor and body.
- Eggs – Two eggs and one yolk are used to bind the filling.
Special supplies needed
- Two medium pots – one to boil the lasagna noodles and another to make the sauce.
- Large bowl to mix the filling
- Various graters and spatulas
- 9x13x4 inch deep casserole dish or baking pan
How do I make Ham and Swiss Lasagna?
- Boil the lasagna noodles in salted water for five minutes only. The pasta will still be tough and under cooked but pliable enough to use. Cool quickly to stop the cooking.
- Saute mushrooms to brown then remove.
- Saute onions and garlic then add flour to make a roux.
- Add hot milk and seasonings to make white sauce. Set one cup of the sauce aside, then add mushrooms to the rest of the sauce.
- Mix the ham pieces, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese, parsley, eggs, salt and pepper and mix.
- Cut and shred more ham and Swiss for some of the layers.
- Grease baking dish and place one cup of sauce along bottom. Then following the steps in the recipe, making layers of noodles, filling, sauce, ham and Swiss, ending with more sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 40 minutes, let sit for 20 minutes to set up then cut 3X4 into 12 portions and serve.
Chef’s Tip – The prepared ingredients do not need to be hot. As you prepare each ingredient, including the sauce, they can be left at room temperature until you are ready to build the layers.
Frequently asked Questions
Can I make Ham and Swiss Lasagna ahead of time? You can assemble the entire lasagna and refrigerate until ready to bake. Then bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
How do I store leftovers? Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days.
How do I reheat leftovers? You can microwave individual portions. Or, remove the plastic wrap and cover the casserole dish with foil. Then reheat in a warm oven until heated through.
Can I freeze? Typically, a lasagna freezes pretty well, but since this is dairy-based, the cream sauce will separate once thawed.
Can I swap in another kind of Swiss cheese? As mentioned above, the Gruyere Swiss is a key ingredient to achieve the best flavor in this lasagna. We don’t recommend it!
Can I use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese? Ricotta cheese is a wetter and a heavier cheese, so you’ll want to drain as much of the liquid out as you can, and probably use less in the filling. We’ve only made this recipe with the cottage cheese.
You may like these other Lasagna recipes:
- Lasagna Soup
- Spinach Lasagna Rollups
- Bacon Cheeseburger Lasagna
- Mexican Lasagna with White Sauce
- Classic Lasagna
1 pound box dry lasagna noodles (about 19–20 noodle strips per box)
1 teaspoon kosher salt for pasta water
1 quart whole milk
6 tablespoons butter, divided
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided (be careful with salt if your ham is very salty)
1 teaspoon white pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Few grinds fresh nutmeg
4 cups ham, sliced thin and cut into one-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds divided),
32-ounce tub of country-style cottage cheese (or two 16-ounce tubs)
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
12-ounce block Gruyere Swiss cheese, shredded on large holes of a box grater (about three cups, divided)
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
Butter or spray a 9x13x4-inch deep baking dish and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and once boiling, add a teaspoon of kosher salt and plunge in the lasagna noodles. Only boil them for five minutes, then drain and run under cold water. They will still be stiff and not cooked but will be pliable enough to use. Let sit in the cold water until you are ready to use them.
In a medium saucepan, heat milk to hot but do not boil.
In a medium pot or large saucepan, melt two tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat and add the mushrooms and cook for about five minutes until browned. Remove to a bowl.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and add the onions and cook for four minutes, stirring often.
Add garlic and cook for one more minute.
Lower heat to medium low and add the flour and cook, stirring often for three minutes.
Start whisking the hot milk into the butter and flour mixture, one third at a time, whisking each addition until smooth. The first third will be thick like paste, the second addition smoother, and the final addition will make a nice creamy sauce. Move the heat to low.
Add ½ teaspoon of the salt (assuming your ham is not too salty), half a teaspoon of white pepper, the dry mustard and nutmeg and whisk to combine then remove from heat.
Spread one cup of the white sauce in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish or baking pan.
Add the cooked mushrooms to the remaining white sauce and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix half of ham, all of the cottage cheese, the two eggs and one egg yolk, all of the Parmesan cheese, half of the Swiss, the parsley, the rest of the white pepper (1/2 teaspoon) and a half teaspoon of kosher salt as long as your ham is not too salty, otherwise omit the salt.
Start building the lasagna.
Drain then lay out four strips of noodles over the sauced pan bottom, overlapping to fit.
Top that with half of the cottage cheese mixture then add four more noodles.
Spread 1/3 of the white sauce over the noodles and add half of the remaining cut up ham and half of the remaining shredded Swiss.
Top with four more noodles, the rest of the cottage cheese mixture and three or four more noodles (saving four noodles for top).
Add another third of sauce, rest of ham, rest of Swiss and top with the remaining noodles.
Spread the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes, remove and let sit 20 minutes before cutting 3 rows by 4 rows into 12 portions.
This recipe has you undercook the noodles before building the lasagna. As it bakes, it absorbs the liquid and finishes cooking. Once set up for 20 minutes, the portions easily cut into squares. If you cook the noodles too long when boiling, the finished lasagna will be very wet from the white sauce.
Keywords: Ham and Swiss Lasagna