Root Beer Glazed Ham

We enjoy trying new ham glazes and this juicy Root Beer Glazed Ham recipe is an easy way to put a fun twist on a traditional holiday ham.

Pile of juicy slices of a carving ham glazed with an easy root beer glaze in a glass dish on a red and white plaid napkin

Easy Root Beer Glazed Ham Recipe

With just four common ingredients you can add a sweet and special flavor to ham with this Easy Root Beer Ham Glaze.

A sweet homemade glaze brushed over each slice of ham makes the centerpiece of your holiday meal so much more memorable. The sweetness in the pop and brown sugar compliments smoked flavors so well.

Delicious and flavorful ham is the centerpiece at many holiday meals, birthday parties, and other large gatherings in our family.  Ham makes such an easy main dish for special occasions so we can spend more time making great side dishes and desserts!

We love this option to enhance ham without using pineapple which is another common holiday tradition.

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Spiral sliced ham with a root beer glaze running down the front on a large white serving tray with asparagus

A secret to keeping the ham juicy and delicious is not to worry about overcooking it.  A pre-cooked ham can be safely eaten cold.  Our family prefers warm ham, so we always heat the ham the first time it is cooked. Leftovers may be eaten cold or re-heated.

We always pick up one of the bigger hams in the meat case so that we will have plenty of leftovers for other meals like Easy Ham and Potato Soup

A simple ham sandwich can be great, but ham can be added to many pasta dishes and makes a great addition to breakfast. 

Root Beer Ham

Root Beer Ham can be cooked in the oven or crock pot. If a slow cooker is used be sure to have one that is large enough for the ham to fit in. A portion of the ham may need to be cut off for the slow cooker to seal. Slow cookers are very convenient to help keep ham slices warm in the root beer glaze and to serve out of.

I love making a big ham because it can either feed a lot of people right away, or it makes excellent leftovers!  Here are a couple of my favorite recipes to use leftover ham in Ham, Egg & Cheese Casserole and Ham and Alfredo Spaghetti.

Overhead view of sweet root beer glazed ham in a glass baking dish

When refrigerating or freezing leftover ham I like to be sure and keep some of the root beer glaze from the pan to add to the containers. Using the moisture when reheating a few pieces at a time in a skillet or microwave makes the following meals just as good as the first!

Ingredients Needed to Make a Root Beer Glaze

  • Root beer
  • Brown sugar
  • Ketchup
  • Dijon mustard
Ketchup, mustard, root beer and brown sugar are the 4 ingredients to make a ham glaze

Step By Step Instructions

In a small or medium sauce pan add root beer. Using room temperature pop will help decrease the amount of fizz a little bit.

Can of A&W root beer over in a sauce pan on the stove

Add brown sugar.

Brown sugar added to dark root beer pop in pan on stove top

Add ketchup and mustard into the sauce pan.

Ketchup and mustard in a sauce pan of root beer

Use a whisk to stir well. Turn to medium heat.

Allow time for sugar to dissolve into the liquid and the flavors to cook together.

Whisk in a small silver sauce pan stirring ham glaze made with root beer

Stir often to prevent burning until the mixture reduces in half.

Continue whisking until some of the liquid cooks out and the glaze reduces and becomes a bit thicker.

Allowing the glaze to thicken is important as a thin glaze will run off the ham. The thicker glaze will stick to the slices of ham better.

Root beer glazed ham boiling in a small sauce pan

Brush half of the glaze over the uncooked ham.

Silicone brush coated in root beer glaze generously brushing on a carving ham before baking

Cook the ham according to the instructions on the package considering weight and cooking details. To keep the ham nice and juicy be sure NOT to heat too long.

We like to slice before applying the remaining glaze for better coverage. This is a personal preference.

Tender carving ham coated in a juicy root beer glaze in a baking pan surround with extra glaze and ham juices at the base

Use a silicone brush to apply the remaining glaze as the ham comes out of the oven. Serving glaze on the side is another option.

Shiny root beer glazed ham with slices open ready to catch more sweet glaze in a glass dish

How to Make Glazed Ham in the Crock Pot

Begin by making sure that the ham will fit in the crock pot with the lid sealed and securely in place.

Follow the directions on the ham packaging to determine cooking times.

Make glaze and put half of it on the ham before beginning to warm.

Once cooked, slice and brush remaining rootbeer glaze evenly over the ham.

Large and flavorful root beer glazed ham on a serving platter with cooked asparagus nearby

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Ham typically has a great flavor from the curing process.  During this process, ham is typically cooked. 
  • If you don’t have a brush the glaze can be spooned or very slowly poured on. A brush will yield best results, but you don’t have to buy one to successfully glaze a ham.
  • Can use Coca Cola or your favorite dark pop in place of root beer.
  • Always read and follow the safe handling instructions on the package of ham that you purchase. 
  • For large hams I use a covered roasting dish just like this one
  • Freeze individual servings of leftovers for a quick lunch when the cupboard is getting low on food.

More Delicious Holiday Recipes:

Baked Mac & Cheese is made with four types of cheese and heavy cream. This recipe will leave you dreaming of more.

Citrus Glazed Sweet Potato Casserole is the sweet potato recipe my mom makes every Thanksgiving!

Sweet Corn Spoon Bread adds a layer of Swiss cheese on top of a moist and delicious corn casserole.

Baked Vegetable Medley mixes California vegetable medley with cheese and French fried onions to make a delicious vegetable side dish!

Printable Ham Glaze Recipe Card

Close up slices of ham laying open from center of the ham with a root beer glaze

Root Beer Glazed Ham

Servings 15 people
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
We enjoy trying new ham glazes and this juicy Root Beer Glazed Ham recipe is an easy way to put a fun twist on a traditional holiday ham.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 cup root beer at room temp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard


  • Read instructions on the package of ham.  Most hams are precooked and only need to be warmed for 12  – 15 minutes per pound in a 275 degree F oven.
  • In medium saucepan, whisk together ingredients. Whisk often and bring to boil.
  • Once boiling reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered until mixture reduces in half and thickens (about 15 to 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  • Brush half of mixture on ham prior to baking. Brush remaining sauce over ham just as it comes out of the oven.
  • For a lighter flavor, offer glaze in a side dish at the dinner table for guests to flavor to their taste


-Glaze needs to reduce and thicken to stick to the ham. If glaze is too similar to the original root beer consistency it will run off the ham.


Calories: 39kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.04gSaturated Fat: 0.003gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 51mgPotassium: 23mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 21IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally posted December 18, 2017 with pictures updated on January 11, 2023.

One Comment

  1. I made a root beer glazed ham a couple years ago and of course I loved it because I am a huge root beer fan, but so did everyone else!

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