Farmhouse Ham Loaf

A traditional meal that I crave is this baked and juicy Farmhouse Ham Loaf. This is one of the BEST comfort food recipes that we make.

Smoked ham and ground pork are seasoned with onion and bound together with eggs and graham cracker crumbs. Add a magical pineapple and brown sugar glaze to create one of our farm family’s best meals!

Baked ham loaf with sweet glaze in a white baking dish.

Ham Loaf Recipe

Ham Loaf is absolutely amazing served over our Farmhouse Mashed Potatoes with Scalloped Country Corn or Jiffy Corn Pudding on the side. Top off the meal with Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake or Pina Colada Cake and you’ll be the most popular cook on the block!

My family has made these Farmhouse Ham Balls for generations. So when another farm family shared their ham loaf recipe I couldn’t wait to try it.

This best ham loaf recipe is unique. The graham cracker crumbs help bind the ground pork and ham together. The most unforgettable part of this recipe is the crushed pineapple that perfectly compliments the brown sugar in the glaze.

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I’ve ordered a similar ham loaf at Amish and other homestyle country restaurants, but I love that it is truly EASY to make at home. Common ingredients with mild flavors come together for an excellent family meal that is anything but ordinary.

Ground ham shaped in ham loaf in 9 x 13" pan with paprika sprinkled on top.

Sometimes ground ham can be hard to find. Growing up we would go to a local butcher and request some or use a food processor to grind our own. The past few years I’ve been able to find chubs of ground ham at Kroger. Ground ham is often with the other sliced and cubed ham or in the meat case with ground pork.

Ham Loaf Glaze

This brown sugar and pineapple glaze truly pull together all of the flavors in the ham loaf to make every bite taste like meat candy! One of my secrets is to bathe every piece in the glaze as I transfer it to dinner plates.

In the movie Elf, he loves adding syrup to everything. If the Elf ever tried this glaze he would add it to everything! I’m always tempted to make a double batch of glaze to ensure each piece can be properly covered.

Bake the ham loaf without any glaze, covered at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. This gives the meat time to warm up and allows all of the flavors to meld together.

As the ham loaf begins to bake I like to mix up the glaze ingredients and begin to warm the mixture on the stove. Once the glaze boils for one minute it is ready to pour over the ham loaf.

Pour the glaze over the ham loaf 20 to 30 minutes into baking. This glaze recipe covers a three-pound ham loaf and fills up a 9 x 13 baking dish easily. If all of the glaze doesn’t fit in the baking dish some of it can stay in the saucepan with the heat turned off.

Crushed pineapple and brown sugar glaze on a delicious ham loaf.

Use a baster or a tablespoon to re-apply glaze to the top of the ham loaf 2 to 3 times throughout the baking process. Since sugar burns be sure to cover the top with foil when the ham loaf looks done. Ham loaf is officially ready to eat when a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F in the center of the loaf.

Rootbeer Ham Glaze if one of our favorites to use when making ham the centerpiece of the meal. I love that there are typically plenty of leftovers.

Ham Can Be Ground Up for Ham Loaf

Use a food processer to grind small pieces or chunks of leftover ham after a big holiday meal. Ground ham can be frozen in an air tight bag or container for up to 3 months.

I like to grind ham within a day or two of cooking it so that the meat is fresh. I use the ground ham within 2 – 4 days of the ham being cooked or I like to freeze any extra ham.

It’s easy to make Ham Sliders, but we like to use other leftover ham other recipes too like Ham & Potato Soup, Deviled Ham Dip, Crock Pot Ham, Potato & Mushroom Soup or Ham, Egg & Cheese Casserole.

White plate with the best ham loaf, green beans and mashed potatoes with fork and glass of milk on beige place mat

How Long to Cook Ham Loaf

Use a 350°F oven to bake ham loaf. A digital thermometer reading an internal temperature of 160°F helps ensure that ham loaf containing raw, ground meat, is fully cooked and safe to eat.

The size of the piece of meat affects baking time. This recipe calls for three pounds of meat and takes almost 1 hour and 30 minutes to bake in loaf form. This recipe could be shaped into ham balls or mini meatloaves like our Taco Mini Meatloaves or Pizza Mini Meatloaves.

I end up covering a three pound ham loaf with foil for about half of the baking time. This helps prevent the brown sugar glaze from burning on top of the loaf.

Close up sliced ham loaf recipe from our farm family with a pineapple and brown sugar glaze.

Tenting or creating a tent shape out of a piece of oversized foil will help prevent the glaze from burning to the foil.

How to Make Ham Loaf

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or slightly larger lasagna pan.
  2. I like to use my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix up the ham loaf ingredients. Place all ham loaf ingredients EXCEPT paprika in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Place meat mixture in baking dish and shape a loaf with your hands. Make sure to keep a fairly even width across the entire ham load and avoid tapering the ends. The center of the ham loaf needs to reach 160°F and an evenly shaped loaf will cook more evenly.
  4. Sprinkle with at least 1 teaspoon of paprika over the top of the loaf. I probably use closer to 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Please continue reading the glaze preparations and remaining baking instructions to finish the recipe.

How to Make Ham Loaf Glaze

  1. Combine all glaze ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. I like to use crushed pineapple in natural juice and include the pineapple juice in the glaze.
  2. Stir often until the mixture boils. Boil for one minute.
  3. Pour glaze over ham loaf and return to oven to bake uncovered for an additional hour. Baste with glaze 2 – 3 times over the hour.
  4. Use a digital meat thermometer. The dish is done baking when the center of the ham loaf reaches 160°F. If the ham loaf has a perfect golden brown coat but needs to continue baking cover with foil and return to the oven.

Other Farmhouse Meals You May Enjoy:

Printable Farmhouse Ham Loaf Recipe

White plate with ham loaf, green beans and mashed potatoes

Farmhouse Ham Loaf

Servings 10 people
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
A traditional meal that I crave is this baked and juicy Farmhouse Ham Loaf. This is one of the BEST comfort food recipes that we make.
Smoked ham and ground pork is seasoned with onion and bound together with eggs and graham cracker crumbs. Add a magical pineapple and brown sugar glaze to create one of our farm family's best meals!
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients
  

Ham Loaf

  • 2 pounds ground ham
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Ham Loaf Glaze

  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple with juice

Instructions
 

Ham Loaf

  • Mix all ground ham, ground pork, eggs, ketchup, mustard, chopped onion, graham cracker crumbs and milk together very well.
  • In a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish or lasagna pan shape meat into a loaf using your hands.
  • Sprinkle with at least 1 teaspoon of paprika over the top of the loaf.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and bake covered for 30 minutes.

Ham Loaf Glaze

  • Combine all glaze ingredients in a pan over medium high heat.
  • Stir often until mixture boils. Boil for one minute.
  • Pour glaze over ham loaf and return to oven to bake uncovered for an additional hour. Baste with glaze 2 – 3 times over the hour.
  • Use a digital meat thermometer. The dish is done baking when the center of the ham loaf reaches 160°F. Cover with foil once the outside of the ham loaf has reached a golden brown color if it needs to continue baking.

Notes

  • Use a food processer to grind small pieces or chunks of leftover ham after a big holiday meal. Ground ham can be frozen in an air tight bag or container for up to 3 months.
  • I like to grind ham within a day or two of cooking it so that the meat is fresh. I use the ground ham within 2 – 4 days of the ham being cooked or I like to freeze any extra ham.
  • Use a 350 degree F oven to bake ham loaf. A digital thermometer should be used to ensure that ham loaf containing raw, ground meat, is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  • The size of the piece of meat affects baking time. This recipe calls for three pounds of meat and takes almost 1 hour and 30 minutes to bake in loaf form. This recipe could be shaped into ham balls or mini meatloaves, but baking time would change.
  • I end up covering a three pound ham loaf with foil for about half of the baking time to prevent the brown sugar glaze from burning on top of the loaf.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 600kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 27gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 356mgPotassium: 592mgFiber: 1gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 278IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 116mgIron: 3mg

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!

24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      So glad to hear this! Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    Such a wonderful way to enjoy ham in a different way!

  3. Patricia Kirkpatrick says:

    Ham is pork, so what do you mean when you say 1 lbs. Of pork ?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Great question! We use both ground pork and ground ham to create the perfect flavor combination in this recipe. So pork = ground pork and ham should be ground ham. Thanks for asking and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve been making a recipe for about a year and a half now and I absolutely love it I will not make it any other way ever again, when I moved to Pennsylvania I had never heard of him while I was born and raised in San Diego, but I took a liking to it pretty quickly, thanks again for the great recipe

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Thanks so much for leaving this comment! So glad you’ve found a recipe here that you enjoy!

  5. Jennifer Williams says:

    I have never used Graham cracker crumbs in my ham loaf . I use crushed saltine crackers. Does it really taste good with Graham crackers ?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Great question! I was also curious, but I absolutely LOVE this recipe and thinks it’s worth a try at least 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

  6. We love ham loaf/ balls in my family! If you were to shape the loaf into balls instead what would be the new cooking time?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! We love ham balls and ham loaf too! I haven’t tested this recipe as a loaf, but we do have this delicious recipe with a surprise ingredient of graham crackers that includes cooking times: https://plowingthroughlife.com/farmhouse-ham-loaf/ Hope you find one to enjoy!

  7. sue alexander says:

    I’m 86 yrs. My mother made this when I still lived at home. The only difference is
    2lbs ham and1 1/2 pork and I use bread crumbs and no ketsup or onions. So you can imagine how old this recipe is. Just on a whim I looked on line to see if there was a recipe for ham loaf. My surprise!! to find them. My family loves it and I’m having for Easter this year.

  8. 5 stars
    Everyone loved it. But,I used a LOT more than 1 1/2 c of graham wafter. Next time using less milk.
    It’s marvellous,try it.

  9. Can’t wait to make the ham loaf. What is the difference between ground pork and sausage. I too have a kitchen aid stand mixer and have the grinding attachment too.

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! I usually just buy ground pork at the grocery. There is usually a package with a label for ground pork that doesn’t have seasonings like sausage. They might be able to help direct you to the right place in the meat department.

      Hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

  10. 4 stars
    My 6 year old daughter requested this for her birthday. I had a chunk of ham in the freezervso I figured I’d make it myself. I’m not sure what I did, but it was waay too runny to form into a loaf! I ended up adding bread crumbs and then dividing it into two loaf pans. I really hope it turns out ok!

  11. Nancy J Stillwell says:

    5 stars
    We really liked this. I substituted BBQ sauce for the ketchup.
    I made it into two smaller loaves and put one in the freezer for later.

  12. Is it dry mustard ? Doesn’t specify. Thanks !

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! I use prepared mustard. Thanks for asking. Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do 🙂

  13. Unfortunately, I was forced to buy ground ham in 1 lb. tubes as my grocery stores won’t grind ham anymore…and I don’t have a grinder….even though I drained it and patted it with a towel, cut back to 1 cup milk & added some saltines it was very wet !!! That’s lots of meat to make on something that doesn’t turn out like it should.

  14. Anne Minford says:

    5 stars
    Best ham loaf I ever made. I did not have enough graham crackers so I added saltines. Pork tenderloin with black pepper corns was on sale. Very nice peppery flavor goes well with the glaze.

  15. GarySouth says:

    I’ve been making ham loaf for a while now and I’ve tried different recipes. What a great way to use up leftover ham. I like this recipe. I make my own bread crumbs using a British recipe for rusk. I also use evaporated milk. It really kicks up the flavour.

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      We love the balance graham crackers give to the smoked ham. Hope you enjoy!

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