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Creamy Pasta With Ham and Peas

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This all in one meal is a delicious combination of pasta with ham, peas, and just enough creamy Parmesan cheese sauce.  It is a great way to use leftover ham and is sure to have everyone asking for seconds! 

Close up plate of curly pasta with cubes of ham, peas and paremsan cheese.

This pasta with ham and peas recipe is perfectly simple.  It is a great way to use up some leftover ham and turn it into a comforting and delicious meal! 

There is just enough cream and Parmesan cheese to bring it all together and the peas add a nice bright pop of color and sweet flavor. It is so simple to make and is a dinner the family will love!

Why is it that spring and winter always seem to have a bit of a battle this time of year? After a week of spring being in full force, winter is rearing it’s ugly head again.

It’s like spring came in and gave winter a punch right in the sweet spot.  Winter was dazed and looked down for the count, but popped back up just in time to extend the match.

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for spring to stay.  I’ve had enough of the back and forth between nice weather and cold.  Our daffodils came out and bloomed and it snowed two days later.

Sauté pan filled with curly pasta, chunks of ham and green peas in a light cream sauce.

Our blackberry bushes are getting leaves and our strawberry patch was greening up too.  Hopefully the subsequent freeze didn’t set anything back too far.  That weather man of ours likes to keep us on our toes!

All it takes is a few warm days and for the grass to start to green up and my tastes start to change.  After a long winter of soups, casseroles and braises, I am now ready for quicker, fresher and easier meals.

Peas are one of those early spring vegetables that is always a favorite.  There is something about a pod of sweet peas straight from the vine.

You don’t even have to cook them.  Of course, that is a taste that is hard to come by and it is a bit early for them.  But really frozen peas are a good substitute.

Ham is another dish that says spring to me.  It isn’t necessarily an obvious spring choice, but with Easter coming up there is soon to be plenty of hams on people’s tables.  This Simple Pasta with Peas, Ham and Cream would be a delicious way to use some of those Easter leftovers.

I love how simple and flavorful this dish turns out.  The smell of the butter, onions, garlic and ham cooking draws you in.  Luckily at that point you are just a handful of minutes away from a delicious meal.

plate of served pasta with ham and peas in front of pan of remaining pasta.

Some dishes like this make a heavy sauce to coat everything.  I wanted just enough cream to give a very light coating to everything.

To me the sweet fresh flavor of the peas and the salty savory ham should shine and not be masked by too much cream and cheese.  Don’t get me wrong, I love cream and cheese, but in some cases moderation actually is better.  I am not the only one that likes it just like this.

Not a single one of us was super hungry when we sat down to eat, but all three of us had seconds.  I quickly packaged up the leftovers in lunch sized containers to keep it for myself.  Lunch this week is going to be delicious!

As you can see, this dish has become a spring tradition for us.  If there is leftover ham around, this is bound to be on the menu.

Honestly, we eat it all year long! We always have frozen peas on hand, so any time there are some cubes of ham in the fridge this has a good chance of being on our dinner menu!

Fork getting a bite of pasta with peas ham and cream.

We also love celebrating spring with my lightened up version of creamy pea salad or ham and asparagus frittata.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe with more sauce?

Yes, as written this pasta dish has just enough sauce to lightly coat everything. For a saucier pasta try doubling the cream and the cheese or just add a little bit more until it looks the way you want it to.

How do I store leftover pasta?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They reheat great and even taste good cold as a pasta salad type dish.

Now I am wondering.  What are some of your favorite spring dishes and flavors?  Is there anything that really signifies spring for you?

Close up plate of curly pasta with cubes of ham, peas and paremsan cheese.

Creamy Pasta with Ham and Cheese

Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Carlee
This easy recipe combines ham, pasta, peas and just enough creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. It is a great way to use leftover ham and is sure to have everyone asking for seconds!
4.91 from 11 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 16 oz pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups ham cubed
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups fresh or defrosted peas
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: additional Parmesan for serving


  • Boil noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions. 
    16 oz pasta
  • Meanwhile, in a large pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion, ham, garlic and a pinch of black pepper and cook until onions are soft and translucent.
    2 Tablespoons butter, 1 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 cups ham
  • Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
    ½ cup chicken stock, ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • Stir in pasta and continue to simmer until pasta is coated. Add peas, stirring to combine and then remove from heat. 
    2 cups fresh or defrosted peas
  • Sprinkle in Parmesan cheese and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
    ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Serve immediately with an additional grating of Parmesan if desired.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 15gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 484mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Monday 28th of November 2022

I was shocked how good this was with being so simple and using things I always have on hand. It was great with a leftover honey ham and I am adding it to my weekly rotation since it’s so quick and easy for weeknights! I can see this becoming a kid favorite (if they ever learn to touch anything besides noodles)


Monday 28th of November 2022

It is surprisingly good, isn't it? I am so glad you liked it!


Sunday 5th of May 2019

This pasta looks so good! Perfect for using up leftover ham but I would consider buying some ham just to make this!


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

I totally would too!


Sunday 5th of May 2019

I am a newcomer to your blog! You reeled me in with your fabulous Oatmeal Chocolate Breakfast Cake that only has 174 calories in each piece! I can't wait to make it! I can already tell this will be a morning staple for me! Of course, I subscribed because everything else you shared looks wonderful! Nice to be onboard!


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

Thank you so much for coming along for the journey!

Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Monday 29th of April 2019

YUM! Does it get any better? I think not!!!


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

It's hard to beat these flavors and how simple it is to make!

Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Monday 29th of April 2019

All the good stuff in one pasta dish and I love that you use real cream and not some yucky canned soup like some recipes! Sounds amazing!


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

It's so easy to do this way and the flavors all come through so well!