Ham & Cheese Braid is a hearty and delicious meal! Great way to use up leftover holiday ham. A low-carb pastry dough, ham, cheddar cheese, green onions, and some flavorful peppers. Trust me, everyone is going to enjoy this easy stuffed pastry recipe.
This Ham & Cheese Braid was a massive hit at our house and has become one of my favorite ways to use leftover ham or ham from our local deli.
It is super easy to make with some simple ingredients for the creamy filling and a tasty pastry dough that is low-carb and gluten-free!
If you enjoy a hot ham and cheese sandwich, then you’ll love this recipe! I think it is a cross between a sandwich and a calzone myself!
You can make the cubed ham you can pick up at any deli section of a grocery store, but it is also a great recipe to make if you have any leftover holiday ham in the house.
How to Make This Filled Pastry
This pastry may look harder than it actually is. The filling only has a few basic ingredients and it comes together quickly.
So don’t let the idea of making a braided and stuffed pastry scare you off from trying this recipe. Trust me!
To prepare the filling all you need to do is add the chopped ham, green onions, bell peppers, and dijon mustard into a large saucepan.
Then over medium heat, you’ll just saute this mixture until you have onions and peppers meet your desired tenderness. For me, this only takes about 8 to 10 minutes.
If you are using store-bought ham, cooking it also helps cook out any waters that have been added to the ham and prevents your filling from being too runny.
I use leftover ham in this recipe often, so sometimes there is some extra fat that cooks out, you’ll want to drain that before moving on to adding the other ingredients. If you don’t have leftover ham find a quality deli ham and chop it up. It will work just as well
Once the ham and veggies are cooked add the rest of the ingredients and watch how quickly it all becomes this creamy delicious goodness.
The pastry is a slightly longer process, but this recipe makes two braids or eight servings. So you can make one for now and freeze the other Ham and Cheese Braid for later. We’ll discuss freezer options later in this post.
I’ve talked about how to make this pastry many times so I won’t bore you with those steps, but if you need to see them or read about how to do it click Here.
Once your filling and pastry are ready, it is time to assemble your ham braids. Again it may look harder than it actually is. I promise, I try to make my recipes as easy as possible, and I don’t like complicated ones!
If you are making two (like the recipe card indicates) then cut your dough in half and roll half of it out into a rectangle shape. You’ll want to do this on parchment paper or a baking mat to prevent sticking.
I roll mine out to about 1/4 inch thick and an 8 by 11 rectangle, but this doesn’t have to be perfect.
Next, use a pizza cutter, and cut some strips up both sides of the dough. The strips will need to be about 1/2 inch or so wide, give or take some. See my pictures above for an idea.
I leave the ends wider so you’ll be able to fold them over the filling first so it doesn’t leak out the ends. Then add half of your filling down the center of the dough.
Start by folding your wide ends of dough over the top of the filling. Then just start folding over the strips of dough you cut on alternating sides.
Try to overlap your dough strips for a tight braid if possible. Some of your cheese will leak out, but the tighter you have the braid the less will come out.
Once you have the braid complete and all the filling is covered you can transfer your braid to a baking sheet with sides and place it in your preheated oven and bake it.
You can follow the steps for the second braid before baking or you can complete it while your first one bakes. This is best served hot.
Can you Freeze these Ham and Cheese Braids?
This recipe makes an excellent freezer meal and preparing it for the freezer is a very simple process.
After completing the process of making and filling the braids, transfer them to a baking sheet and place them in the freezer until they have frozen completely.
Once frozen, remove them from the freezer and wrap them in the parchment paper they are laying on, and grab your plastic wrap and foil.
To protect the braid from freezer burn, it helps to wrap it in both plastic wrap and foil. wrap in plastic wrap first then in the foil for added protection.
Once wrapped label your braids with what they are and the cooking instructions from the recipe card.
When you are ready to cook the braids be sure you pull them out a couple of hours before you want them so they can thaw on the counter.
I pull them out and remove them from the foil and plastic wrap and place them on the baking sheet I plan to use. Cover the baking sheet with foil until ready to cook.
Remove the foil, preheat your oven, then follow the cooking instruction to bake. These are just as delicious as if you had made the fresh that day. So they are perfect for the freezer!
What to serve with Low-Carb Ham & Cheese Braid
This ham and cheese braid is one of our favorite treats. I think my husband could eat this every day and never get tired of it!
Quick, easy, and delicious – three of my favorite things! Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this yummy Ham & Cheese Braid:
- Easy Greek Salad
- Bacon Ranch Cole Slaw
- Slow Cooker Parmesan Green Beans
Want more of my Fat Head Dough Recipes?
If you are a fan of this kind of low-carb and gluten-free pastry, aka the fat head dough, then you’ll really enjoy all the recipes in my meal series using this dough.
Also, if you are new to this type of dough don’t forget to check out my post here on the blog where I not only talk more about making this great dough but also include a video on exactly how to make it with tips and tricks to get it perfect.
I’ve done quite of few recipes using this dough from appetizers to main dishes so I’m sure there are more you can find in enjoy!
- Breakfast Pizza
- Warm Sausage Cream Cheese Pinwheels
- Chicken Fajita Ring
- Hot Cheese Roast Beef Pinwheels
A low-carb and gluten-free pastry braid filled with a creamy ham and cheese filling. Great for brunch or dinner. A tasty way to repose holiday ham leftovers.
For The Filling
- 1 pound cubed ham
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream*
- 1/3 cup of chopped green onions
- 1/3 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
For The Pastry Braids
- Prepare the filling by placing the chopped ham, green onions, bell peppers, and dijon mustard into a large sauce pan and saute until the peppers and onions are tender and any water has cooked out of the ham. If there is any fat from the ham in the pan you can drain it off.
- Next, add in the heavy whipping cream (double cream is some areas) and the cheddar cheese to the ham mixture and stir until melted and thick.
- Remove it from the heat and set it aside to prepare the dough.
- The low-carb pastry dough I use in this recipe is my version of the fat-head cheese dough. You can find my recipe, instruction, and a video on how to make it Here. You will need a double batch for this recipe.
- Once you have the dough and the filling prepared you are ready to roll out the dough and fill it.
- Cut the double batch of dough in half. This recipe makes two braids and each braid will serve 4.
- Roll half of the cheese dough out on parchment paper until it looks like a rectangle that is about 8 x 11 inches.
- Using a pizza cutter cut strips along each side of the rectangle. Leave about a 3 to 4 in space in the middle uncut so the filling can rest there. See the photos in the blog post for a visual of how I do this.
- Add half of the ham and cheese filling down the center of the dough and spread it evenly.
- Next found in the ends then start folding in the little strips of dough you cut with the pizza cutter. In a criss-cross pattern overlapping each other. Again see the pictures in the blog for a visual if needed.
- After you've finished the braid, you can sprinkle it with any seasoning you would like or sesame seeds if desired.
- Carefully pick up the parchment paper and transfer it to a baking sheet and build the second braid.
- To bake the Low Carb Cheesy Ham Braid preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake them for 30 to 35 minutes. They should look cooked and a beautiful golden brown. Start checking the braids at 25 minutes in just to ensure they don't burn since ovens may vary.
- When baked pull them out of the oven and let them set for a couple of minutes before cutting each braid to serve.
Serving Size1 slice
Amount Per ServingCalories 395Total Fat 30gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 131mgSodium 891mgCarbohydrates 7.3gNet Carbohydrates 3.77gFiber 3.5gSugar 2.2gProtein 25.4g
I am not a nutritionist. If you have strict dietary needs I always recommend using an online nutrition calculator to calculate your totals using your exact brands you're using in this recipe as values may vary per brand.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!