Thanksgiving Ham Recipe

Thanksgiving is a time to gather and enjoy a delicious meal with loved ones. And what better centerpiece for your feast than a succulent ham? In this article, we’ll share our easy-to-follow recipe for a traditional and delicious Thanksgiving ham. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice cook, this recipe will make you the star of the holiday dinner. Get ready to impress your guests with our mouthwatering Thanksgiving ham recipe.

Key Takeaways:

  • Our Thanksgiving ham recipe will be the highlight of your holiday spread.
  • Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, our recipe is easy to follow.
  • This recipe is a traditional Thanksgiving ham option that is sure to satisfy.
  • Preparing your own ham at home is much more delicious than store-bought.
  • Cooking a ham isn’t difficult, and our recipe includes helpful tips for success.

Choosing the Perfect Ham

When it comes to selecting the right ham for your Thanksgiving feast, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, decide whether you want a bone-in or boneless ham. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s a matter of personal preference.

Bone-In Ham

bone-in ham is a classic option, offering a traditional look and flavor. The bone helps to preserve moisture during cooking, resulting in a juicy and succulent ham. The downside is that it can be more difficult to slice and may require extra cooking time due to the bone’s presence.

Boneless Ham

boneless ham is easier to slice and typically cooks faster than a bone-in ham. It’s also a great option if you’re looking to cut down on waste since you won’t have to deal with the bone. However, boneless hams can be slightly less flavorful than their bone-in counterparts.

Once you’ve decided on the type of ham you want, consider the different varieties available. Smoked, honey-glazed, and maple-glazed hams all offer unique and delicious flavors. Take some time to read labels and pick the ham that best fits your taste preferences.

Preparing the Ham

Now that you have chosen the perfect ham for your Thanksgiving feast, it’s time to prepare it for roasting. The key to a delicious ham is a mouth-watering glaze. Here are a few glaze options to consider:

Brown Sugar Glaze

A tangy brown sugar glaze is a perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. Here’s how to make it:

1 cup brown sugarMix brown sugar with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves.
1/4 cup dijon mustardAdd dijon mustard to the sugar mixture.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegarStir in apple cider vinegar and let the glaze simmer for a few minutes.
2 tablespoons honeyAdd honey and whisk to combine.
1 teaspoon smoked paprikaFinish by adding smoked paprika and mix well.

Pineapple Glaze

A sweet pineapple glaze is a tropical twist on a traditional ham glaze. Here’s how to make it:

1 can crushed pineapple (with juice)Combine crushed pineapple with its juice, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup honey in a saucepan.
1/2 cup brown sugarStir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
1/2 cup honeySimmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1/4 teaspoon cinnamonFinish by adding cinnamon and mix well.

Once your glaze is ready, it’s time to preheat your oven to 325°F. Place your ham in a baking dish and brush the glaze generously on top. Cover the ham with foil and bake it in the oven for 10-12 minutes per pound. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, making sure it’s at least 145°F in the thickest part of the ham.

Next up in section 4, we’ll show you how to roast the ham to perfection!

Roasting the Ham

Now that your ham is glazed and ready, it’s time to roast it to perfection. Here are some popular ways to bake a delicious ham:

Baked Ham Recipe

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Place the ham in a roasting pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake the ham for 18 to 20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C).
  4. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

You can also try a spiral ham recipe, which creates an elegant display:

Spiral Ham Recipe

  1. Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C).
  2. Place the ham in a roasting pan, flat side down.
  3. Cover the ham with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes per pound.
  4. Remove the foil and brush the ham with your favorite glaze.
  5. Bake for an additional 15 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C).
  6. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

No matter which recipe you choose, a glazed ham is always a crowd-pleaser. Here are some popular glazes to try:

Popular Ham Glazes

Brown Sugar GlazeBrown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, cloves, cinnamon
Pineapple GlazePineapple juice, brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, cloves
Maple GlazeMaple syrup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar

Once your ham has finished baking, you can decorate it with cherries, pineapple slices, or any other festive toppings that you prefer. A glazed ham makes for a stunning centerpiece at any holiday gathering.

Sides to Complement Your Ham

No Thanksgiving ham dinner is complete without mouthwatering and delicious side dishes. They add color, texture, and flavor to your meal, bringing everyone together for a delightful feast. Here are some classic side dishes to complement your ham:


Roasted potatoes are a simple yet flavorful side dish that pairs perfectly with ham. Cut your potatoes into small cubes, toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven until crispy and golden brown.

Green Beans

Green beans add a pop of color to your plate and a crunchy texture that complements the savory flavor of ham. Steam your green beans until tender and season them with garlic, lemon, or butter for an extra punch of flavor.

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a hearty and creamy side dish that will satisfy everyone’s appetite. Thinly slice your potatoes and layer them with a rich cheese sauce, then bake in the oven until bubbly and golden brown.

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food that pairs perfectly with ham. Cook your pasta until al dente, then mix it with a rich and cheesy sauce, topped with a crispy breadcrumb topping, and bake in the oven until golden brown.

Table: Side Dishes Comparison

Side DishPreparation TimeIngredientsSpecial Notes
Roasted Potatoes30 minsPotatoes, Olive Oil, Salt, PepperUse baby potatoes for a more delicate flavor
Green Beans20 minsGreen Beans, Garlic, Butter, LemonTrim the ends of the beans before steaming
Scalloped Potatoes1 hourPotatoes, Cheese, Milk, Butter, Flour, Salt, PepperLayer the potatoes in a deep baking dish to prevent overflow
Macaroni and Cheese45 minsMacaroni, Milk, Cheese, Flour, Butter, Salt, PepperTop with breadcrumbs or bacon for added crunch

Remember to choose side dishes that complement your ham and fit your personal preferences. Whether you prefer classic sides or experimental options, your Thanksgiving spread will be a hit with these delicious side dish ideas.

Leftover Ham Ideas

Congratulations on successfully roasting your Thanksgiving ham! Now, it’s time to look at the delicious leftover possibilities. Don’t let your ham go to waste; there are so many ways to incorporate it into mouth-watering meals for your family and friends. Here are some of our favorite leftover ham ideas:

Ham Dinner Menu

One of the most straightforward ways to utilize leftover ham is to create a ham dinner menu. Simply slice some ham and serve it alongside some roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. You can also add some cranberry sauce or gravy for added flavor. This meal is perfect for a cozy family dinner, and it’s incredibly easy to prepare.

Ham Sandwiches

There’s nothing quite like a classic ham sandwich, and using leftover ham is an excellent way to make one. Toast some bread and add some mayonnaise and mustard. Then top with your sliced ham, lettuce, tomato, and any other sandwich toppings you enjoy. This meal is perfect for a quick lunch or snack.

Ham and Potato Soup

One of the most comforting meals you can make with leftover ham is ham and potato soup. This dish is so easy to prepare and is incredibly hearty and delicious. Simply boil potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and garlic in some chicken broth. Then add in some ham and your favorite spices. Let everything simmer together until the flavors meld and the vegetables are tender. Serve with some warm bread for a cozy meal.

Leftover HamDelicious Meals
Ham and Cheese QuicheThis savory dish is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Simply mix your leftover ham with some cheese and eggs and bake in a pie crust. Add some spinach, mushrooms, or other vegetables for added flavor.
Ham Fried RiceTransform leftover ham and rice into a delicious meal by making ham fried rice. Fry up some rice in a pan with some vegetables and scrambled eggs. Then add in some diced ham and soy sauce for seasoning.
Ham and Cheese OmeletIf you’re in the mood for breakfast for dinner, make a ham and cheese omelet. Whip up some eggs and add in some diced ham and cheese. Cook until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted.

As you can see, there are so many ways to use leftover ham. From classic ham sandwiches to hearty soups and casseroles, your options are endless. Get creative and experiment with new flavor combinations to make mealtime more exciting.

Tips and Tricks for Success

Preparing a Thanksgiving ham can seem daunting, but with these helpful cooking tips, you’ll achieve success every time.

Cooking Temperature

Make sure to cook your ham to the appropriate internal temperature to ensure it’s safe to eat. The internal temperature should read 140°F for fully cooked hams and 145°F for partially cooked hams. Use a meat thermometer to get an accurate reading.

Using a Slow Cooker

A slow cooker can be a lifesaver when cooking a ham, especially if you’re short on oven space. Place the ham in the slow cooker with your favorite glaze and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F.

Smoking Your Ham

For an extra burst of flavor, consider smoking your ham. Soak wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes before placing them on the hot coals of your grill. Place the ham on the opposite side of the grill and let it smoke for 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F.

Variations and Flavor Enhancements

Want to add some extra pizzazz to your Thanksgiving ham? Try these variations and flavor enhancements for a unique and delicious twist.

Honey-Glazed Ham

For a sweet and sticky glaze, try using honey in place of some of the sugar in your glaze recipe. Brush the ham with a mixture of honey, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard for a mouth-watering flavor that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Smoked Ham

Bring a smoky flavor to your ham by cooking it on a smoker. Rub the ham with a mixture of spices like paprika, garlic powder, and cumin before smoking for a delicious and savory taste.

Maple-Glazed Ham

Maple syrup adds a rich and sweet taste to your ham. Mix together maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and brown sugar for a glaze that complements the salty flavor of the ham perfectly.

Whether you try one of these variations or come up with your own, these simple enhancements will take your Thanksgiving ham to the next level.

Serving and Presentation Ideas

After putting in all the effort to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving ham, it’s time to focus on presentation. Making your ham look as good as it tastes is easy with a few simple ideas for decoration and serving.

Thanksgiving Table Decorations

Your Thanksgiving table can be as simple or elaborate as you like, but it should reflect the warmth and spirit of the holiday. Try creating a centerpiece with fresh flowers or foliage, or use small pumpkins and gourds as accents. Pinecones, colored leaves, and candles can also add a cozy touch to your table.

Checkerboard Rolls

Want to add a fun and unique touch to your meal? Make checkerboard rolls! This easy recipe uses two types of dough, one dyed black and the other kept plain, to create a checkerboard pattern. The rolls are soft, fluffy, and sure to impress your guests. Here’s how to make them:

  1. Make your favorite bread dough recipe and divide it in half.
  2. Add black food coloring to one half and knead until the dough is uniformly black.
  3. Roll each dough half into a rectangle and stack them on top of each other.
  4. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough stack into strips about 1 inch thick.
  5. Turn each strip on its side so the checkerboard pattern is visible, then place them in a greased baking dish.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and cooked through.

Ham Serving Ideas

When it comes to serving your ham, there are endless options. You can slice it thinly and arrange it on a platter, or leave it whole for a dramatic presentation. Some people like to serve ham with a side of mustard or chutney, while others prefer it on a roll with cheese and pickles. Whatever your preference, be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand!


In conclusion, we hope our Thanksgiving ham recipe and guide has been helpful in preparing a delicious holiday meal for your loved ones. By choosing the right ham, preparing it with a delicious glaze, and roasting it to perfection, your ham will be the highlight of your table. Don’t forget to complement it with scrumptious side dishes like roasted potatoes or green beans.

Leftover Ham

If you have leftovers, don’t let them go to waste! Transform them into delightful meals like a ham dinner menu or tasty ham sandwiches. Get creative and try something new with your leftover ham.

Tips and Tricks

Remember to keep important cooking tips in mind, such as checking the internal temperature and using a slow cooker for convenience. If you want to add extra flavor, try smoking your ham or experimenting with different glazes like honey or maple.

Serving and Presentation Ideas

To elevate your Thanksgiving table, consider unique serving ideas and table decorations. For example, try serving your ham on a platter surrounded by seasonal fruits and veggies, or make homemade checkerboard rolls for a festive touch.

Overall, we hope our recipe and tips will help create a memorable Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones. Happy cooking and happy Thanksgiving!


How long does it take to roast a Thanksgiving ham?

The cooking time for a Thanksgiving ham depends on its size. As a general rule, you should cook the ham for about 15-20 minutes per pound at 325°F (163°C). It’s important to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C) for a fully cooked ham.

Can I make the glaze ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the glaze for your Thanksgiving ham ahead of time. Simply prepare the glaze according to the recipe instructions, let it cool, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to glaze the ham, give the glaze a quick stir and proceed as directed.

Can I use a slow cooker to cook the ham?

Yes, you can use a slow cooker to cook your Thanksgiving ham. Place the ham in the slow cooker, add your desired seasonings or glaze, and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Keep in mind that the texture of the ham may be slightly different when cooked in a slow cooker compared to the oven.

How should I store leftover ham?

After your Thanksgiving meal, you can store leftover ham in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Refrigerate the ham within 2 hours of cooking and consume it within 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the leftover ham for up to 3 months. Be sure to label the packaging with the date for reference.

What can I do with leftover ham?

Leftover ham is incredibly versatile and can be used in various delicious dishes. Some ideas include making ham sandwiches, adding diced ham to omelets or quiches, incorporating ham into soups or casseroles, or even using it as a topping for pizzas or salads. Get creative with your leftovers and enjoy the flavors in new ways!

How do I know if the ham is fully cooked?

To ensure that your Thanksgiving ham is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The ham should reach 145°F (63°C) in the thickest part of the meat. Avoid touching the bone with the thermometer, as this can give an inaccurate reading. Let the ham rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Can I use a boneless ham for the recipe?

Yes, you can use a boneless ham for the Thanksgiving ham recipe. Just keep in mind that boneless hams may cook faster than bone-in hams, so it’s essential to monitor the cooking time closely and adjust accordingly. The bone-in ham adds extra flavor to the dish, but boneless hams can still be delicious and convenient to prepare.

How can I enhance the flavor of my ham?

If you’d like to enhance the flavor of your Thanksgiving ham, there are several options. You can experiment with different glazes, such as a honey-glaze, maple-glaze, or even a smoked ham glaze. Additionally, you can try marinating the ham overnight in a flavorful brine or using aromatic herbs and spices in the cooking process.

Can I use a spiral ham for the recipe?

Absolutely! A spiral ham is a popular choice for Thanksgiving and can be used in the recipe with great results. Since the ham is already sliced, it can make serving and portioning easier. Simply follow the recipe instructions, adjusting the cooking time if needed, and enjoy a deliciously glazed spiral ham for your holiday feast.

Are there any vegetarian side dish options to complement the ham?

Yes, there are plenty of vegetarian side dish options that can complement the Thanksgiving ham. Consider serving roasted vegetables like carrots, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes. You can also prepare a fresh salad with mixed greens, cranberries, and pecans, or make a flavorful vegetarian stuffing. Get creative and design a well-rounded meal for all dietary preferences!

Can I use a different type of meat for the recipe?

While the recipe is specifically designed for a Thanksgiving ham, you can certainly adapt it to other types of meat if preferred. However, the cooking time and temperature may vary depending on the meat chosen. Adjust the recipe accordingly and ensure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches the recommended safe cooking temperature.

Check out some other posts...
Scroll to Top