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Italian Ham and Potato Casserole has zesty Italian cold cuts mixed with creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes, plus a buttered bread crumb crust.
This fantastic Italian Ham and Potato Casserole is THE ultimate in delicious comfort food. Served with a simple side salad, this is one hearty, rib-sticking meal!
Our Italian Ham and Potato Casserole is a casserole version of a Gattò di Patate – an Italian mashed potato “cake” or pie with a bread crumb top and bottom crust, that is filled with cured Italian meats and cheeses. Traditionally, that is made in a springform pan, but our casserole version is easier.
The traditional Italian dish is sometimes served before or after Easter or Christmas and made with leftover holiday ham.
- Mashed potatoes – we suggest using mashed potatoes made with Russet potatoes. Russets have great flavor, plus the high starch content means that they mash up light and fluffy.
- Cured Italian meats – We combined sliced ham with sweet capocollo and soppresatta – cured Italian deli meats with tons of salty, zesty flavors.
- Italian cheeses – We added mozzarella pearls, Parmesan, and Romano cheese to our casserole. Mozzarella is a stringy cheese when cooked and also adds a creamy, milky flavor to this recipe. Parmesan and Romano both add a nice, salty-cheesy bite which perfectly complements the cured meats.
- Bread crumbs – Bread crumbs are added to both the bottom and the top of the casserole. We selected Italian-seasoned bread crumbs which add more delicious flavors.
Use a potato ricer (affiliate link) when making the mashed potatoes. Riced potatoes have a lighter, fluffier texture than mashed potatoes made by simply mashing the potatoes.
How do you make Italian Ham and Potato Casserole?
- Mash – Cook and mash or rice the potatoes per the recipe below. Or, if you have leftover mashed potatoes on hand already, feel free to use those.
- Mix – Once the mashed potatoes are cooled, mix in eggs and milk. Then, add cheeses, meats and seasonings and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle – Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish, then sprinkle a layer of bread crumbs on the bottom.
- Fill – Spoon the potato mixture into the prepare baking dish, pressing it down with a spoon. Sprinkle the top with more bread crumbs and dot the top with pieces of butter.
- Bake – Bake the Italian Ham and Potato Casserole until hot and bubbly all the way through and the cheese is melted. Broil the casserole to brown the top bread crumbs if you’d like.
Buy mozzarella pearls (affiliate link) for this casserole recipe. The pre-formed mini balls of cheese are firmer and easier to mix than if you purchased a large mozzarella ball and diced it.
You can swap in other meats and cheeses if you’d like. Since much of the flavor in this dish comes from the cured meats and Italian cheeses, depending on your swaps, you may need to adjust the seasonings.
You can swap in shredded mozzarella – but it will simply melt throughout the casserole. We think distinctive bites of potatoes, cheese, and meats yields a better balance of flavors.
You may like these other potato recipes:
- Lighthouse Inn Potatoes
- Rosemary Garlic Baby Potatoes
- Potatoes O’Brien
- Herbed Boiled Potatoes
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
6 medium Russet potatoes, about 4 1/2 pounds
10 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
4 whole eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry basil
1 pound fresh mozzarella pearls (or a 1-pound ball cut into cubes)
1/2 pound Black Forest or Virginia ham sliced into quarter-inch slices then into one-inch pieces
1/4 pound sweet capocollo, sliced into quarter-inch slices then into one-inch pieces
1/4 pound soppresatta, sliced into quarter-inch slices then into one-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a 13x9x3-inch casserole dish, coat the bottom and sides with some of the butter then sprinkle in a couple tablespoons of the bread crumbs to coat the butter on the bottom of the casserole dish. Set the pan aside.
Peel the potatoes and cut each into quarters and place in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook 20 minutes. Drain and place back in pan and turn on heat long enough to evaporate any residual water. It is OK if some of the potato pieces are not fully cooked through. The final dish will bake in the oven.
Use a potato ricer with large holes and rice the cooked potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
Add 6 tablespoons of the butter and mix to melt into the potatoes, then cool the potatoes completely while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs and milk then add into the cooled potatoes.
Add the salt, pepper, Parmesan, Romano, oregano, basil, mozzarella pearls and all of the cut up Italian cold cuts.
Stir the mixture to combine then spoon into the prepared casserole dish, packing down as you add.
Sprinkle on the remaining bread crumbs then dot the top with the remaining butter and bake for 60 minutes or until browned and hot and bubbly. Place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown then let rest ten minutes.
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