30 Minute Meals/ Baking/ Casseroles/ Dinner/ Pastas`/ Pork

The Best Ham Casserole with a Light White Sauce

This amazing, creamy, easy to make ham casserole with a light sour cream and nonfat cottage cheese will become your favorite.

Departing slightly from some of the heavier casseroles that have a super thick and rich, ie. calorie ridden sauce, comes this little gem! The taste of the nonfat cottage cheese is an unexpected flavor the blends well with the slightly tangy taste of the sour cream. You don’t really taste one flavor over another, just a beautifully blended low-fat and light tasting dish.

Bowl of ham in bowtie pasta

I grew up on casseroles and I was super interested to create one that contained a lighter, cleaner sauce that would bind everything together instead of cream of chicken soup. I couldn’t be happier that I found this one!

When I first made this, I was skeptical it would turn out. I knew I had to be sure to include plenty of pictures because the sauce didn’t seem to be the thick sauce I was used to seeing. The thought of a light sour cream and a nonfat cottage cheese had me going though so I proceeded relying on my cooking knowledge that this would work out in the end.

Honestly though, truth be told, I thought, “what in the world” at every step! My biggest concern while making this was the consistency of the sauce, it was a bit runny all the way through until it baked, I was over the moon with the end result however!

Stay with me and this will make it to your Top 5 list!

How to Make Low-Fat Ham and Sour Cream Pasta

  1. Cook pasta as directed.
  2. Combine the sour cream, cottage cheese, flour, milk and egg.
  3. Combine ham, bell pepper and celery.
  4. Add all ingredients together, including the pasta.
  5. Pour into pan and bake 60 minutes or until heated.
  6. Stir once you remove the pan from the oven.

Low-Fat Ham and Sour Cream Pasta Ingredients

  • Pasta: I used a bowtie pasta, but you could use a rotini or even just a flat noodle.
  • Sour cream: Look for a light sour cream in keeping with the calorie count.
  • Cottage Cheese: Find a “nonfat” cottage cheese.
  • Flour: All-purpose white flour or unbleached flour. Flour will help thicken the sauce.
  • Milk: 2% or 1%, I don’t recommend a skim as you need some fat. (I have not tried almond milk)
  • Egg: The egg will help bind your ingredients.
  • Ham: A plain ham will help the other flavors in the sauces come through. Search for an extra-lean ham.
  • Pepper: I used a green pepper and chopped it well.
  • Celery: You don’t need much, just a stalk or so. Check out my Reader Questions & Tips below to learn more about choosing the best bunch of celery.

Low-Fat Ham and Sour Cream Pasta Variations

Meats: I think that the ham is the perfect meat to have with this dish, you could try cajun ham, honey ham, or any of the other flavors as well. Keep in mind that unless it is a lean cut it will add the calories back in.

Sour cream: You could substitute a few tablespoons of blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Cottage cheese: The cottage cheeses is the star of the show here so I would keep that the same.

Pepper: A sweeter pepper such as yellow or orange would be divine in this dish. Add some red pepper flakes for some heat.

Vegetables: Substitute the celery for the same amount of peas, fresh or frozen or a combination of any mixed vegetables.

Questions & Answers

Why does the cottage cheese stay lumpy when I mix the sauce? Some cheeses such as mozzarella, feta, ricotta, and cottage cheese are not supposed to fully melt. Your cottage cheese will melt somewhat, giving this sauce a richer, creamy consistency while still maintaining some of its lumps. Don’t be alarmed if it looks like curdled milk. You’re fine!

Is it supposed to look runny when I place it in the oven? Yes! This was the weird part, but trust me, it all comes together! Your dish may look just like it is covered in only milk. What you really see is the cottage cheese has settled somewhat as it is heavier allowing the milk and the sour cream to rise to the top.

Where is all the sauce when I take it out of the oven? Don’t worry! Give it a mix and everything will be blended perfectly! The cottage cheese is heavier than the sour cream so at first it seems to settle. Once mixed, everything will be coated equally and stay that way.

How can I make my celery less stringy? I remember my Nana used to use an apple peeler or the side of a sharp knife to “release the strings of celery,” as she called it. Later in life I learned that the lighter stalks of celery don’t contain the hard strings of the celery like the darker green ones do.  How many of us equate the darker green to the better pieces? Funny how our minds work that way.

The Best Ham Casserole with a Light White Sauce

This amazing, creamy, easy to make ham casserole with a light sour cream and nonfat cottage cheese will become your favorite. Departing slightly from some of the heavier casseroles that have a super thick and rich, ie. calorie ridden sauce, comes this little gem! The taste of the nonfat cottage cheese is an unexpected flavor the blends well with the slightly tangy taste of the sour cream. You don’t really taste one flavor over another, just a beautifully blended low-fat and light tasting dish.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ham, light, low fat, pasta, quick, easy, healthy, light, sour cream
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 219kcal
Author: Sharon Knott

Ingredients

  • cups bowtie pasta
  • 4 ounces light sour cream
  • 6 ounces nonfat cottage cheese
  • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons milk (6 tablespoons=1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup extra-lean ham (cubed)
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper (chopped)
  • ¼ cup celery (finely chopped)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray 1½ quart pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cook pasta to desired doneness and drain. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, blend together sour cream, cottage cheese, flour, milk and egg.
  • In another bowl, combine ham, bell pepper and celery, mix well.
  • Add all ingredients together, including the pasta and gently toss. This is the part where it will look very soupy. That is how it should look.
  • Pour into pan and bake 60 minutes or until heated.
  • Stir once you remove the pan from the oven. Upon removing from the oven, it will look like much of the liquid is gone. Don't worry, it's hiding below as the cottage cheese is heavier than just a sauce. As you gently stir the entire thing will meld together. Serve and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg

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