Ham & Broccoli Casserole

Monday 16 November 2020


I'm bringing you another Quarantine Recipe today by way of Ham & Broccoli Casserole.  The latest recipe in my quest to prove that you can be stuck in a motel room for two weeks and still eat well! 

Of course, it goes without saying that you don't have to be trapped in a motel room to cook these recipes.  I like to think that these can be delicious no matter where you cook them! Obviously if you are at home you will have extra options in how you can add additional layers of flavour to this dish.

Ham & Broccoli Casserole

I call this delicious bare-bones cooking, or cooking by the seat of your pants! Ready Steady Cook cookery!  

I had my sister pick me up a package of frozen hash browns to use in this recipe.  Other than that I already had everything else I needed!

I have learned a few new things about Quarantine this week and how to do it successfully.  When you are living in a motel room you can but hope that the room is well provided for when it comes to cooking tools and utensils.

Unfortunately my room is not that well heeled.  If there was more than just me, we would be hard pressed as there is only one dinner fork and dinner knife. There are no knives at all that are suitable for cutting anything safely.


The dinner plates/etc. that they have are quite manky looking. They are discolourd and stained, etc. and not entirely suitable for putting in the microwave as they are cheap "dollar-store" plastic.  
I can understand people not wanting to put quality goods in a motel room, but if you have their credit card details, and make it clear that they will be charged for anything that disappears or gets broken, surely you could fit the room with a few at least half-decent things.

There is one stained and ugly non-stick frying pan.  One baking sheet, equally stained and ugly.  A whole drawer full of dollar store utensils such as spaghetti forks, slotted spoon, spatula, etc.  But without a pot large enough to cook spaghetti in, well  . . .  you know. 

Ham & Broccoli Casserole


This little casserole dish I have used is what was in the cupboard holding stir sticks and sugars for making coffee. There are about a bazillion coffee cups by the way, as well as two smallish saucepans which would be suitable to heat up baked beans, etc. There is also a working microwave and toaster. I am not sure about the coffee maker as I don't drink coffee.

There is a can opener which does not work.  Repeat.  Does not work.  I think, personally, they have a lot of cheek charging me over $600 a week for this place, but hey, beggars can't be choosers!  I have had to ask for clean towels and garbage bags. There are no cleaning supplies, and I have  not been given clean bed linens.

Ham & Broccoli Casserole


This town is not  situated in an area that is big for takeaway or delivery food services.  If you were in a larger area you wouldn't have to worry too much about being able to feed yourself if you had those services available.  

Here in this small town I am very much reliant on the capacity to be able to cook for myself, and I am doing the best that I can.

Ham & Broccoli Casserole


Some things you might want to consider bringing with you should you find yourself in the same situation. Make sure you have a sharp knife with you which is suitable for cutting/chopping things.  Likewise a small grater would be handy.

You might also want to pack yourself a good in-working-order can opener! Also a selection of cutlery, and something to use to disinfect anything that you might need to use from the room. A small bottle of dish soap would be very good to have, as well as cleaning towelettes.

Ham & Broccoli Casserole

You have no way of knowing how long the things have been sitting in the cupboards/drawers, or the level of cleanliness habits of the room/suite's previous occupants. I may just be ultra picky. I don't know.

One thing is for sure. I don't want to be eating on or around other people's filth, so be prepared to clean everything before you use it. You may also want to bring with you several dish clothes and tea towels. Also pot holders.  There are none in this room.

Ham & Broccoli Casserole


I had my sister bring me down some and they are doing double duty as pot holders.  I am so lucky I have someone that I can just call to bring me stuff when I need it. 

Even so, I don't want to be putting her out if I can help it. I don't want to be wearing out my welcome before I even move in!

Ham & Broccoli Casserole


So these are just a few hints and tips that I can think of that might make your quarantine stay a bit easier to navigate.  Forewarned is forearmed! 

 So back to this casserole.  I had my sister pick me up a bag of frozen loose hash browns. In the UK you could use regular hashbrown patties, crumbled. Or you could use chopped boiled potatoes!

I also had some raw broccoli in the refrigerator as well as a few slices of deli-ham.  I blanched the broccoli to use in this. It only takes a few minutes in boiling water and I used the stems chopped as well as the florets.

The ham I chopped up into a small dice. Boy I sure could have used a good knife!  Never mind I am making do!

I had run out of spring onion, so I had my sister bring me an ordinary onion. I chopped a portion of this to stir into the casserole dish.  
I also had some strong cheddar cheese which I chopped.  Some went into the casserole wih the potatoes, ham, onions and broccoli, and some I reserved to use as a topping.

Having mixed all of that together I only needed to add something to give it some moisture.  I have milk and mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. 

The perfect combination and very flavourful!  I added salt and pepper.  Also my daughter had dropped off some summer savoury that she had bought to bring over to me in the UK.  I got to use some of it now, which worked well!

I realise that summer savoury is a very Maritime thing.  It can be somewhat difficult to find anywhere else. You can substitute some dried thyme in its place.

And that was it.  I mixed this all together and spread it into a buttered small casserole dish.

Ham & Broccoli Casserole

I can't think of a casserole on earth that would not benefit from having something crisp and crunchy sprinkled on top. I thought of using some of my crunchy Cheetos, but then thought again! 

I had some potato chips and crumbled some of them. With a bit more cheese added to them, I sprinkled them over top a la Mom!


Into the oven and half an hour later I was sitting down to a delicious one dish meal. I added a salad on the side.  I love salad and its a great way to get in extra vegetables.

I have to say that this smelled amazing when it was baking.  My daughter had dropped by to see if I needed anything and she could smell it and thought it smelled fabulously tasty also! In or out of quarantine, I hope you will give it a tasty go!!

Ham & Broccoli Casserole

Ham & Broccoli Casserole
Yield: 2
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 5 Mincook time: 35 Mininactive time: 5 Mintotal time: 45 Min
Another delicious quarantine recipe created from what I had on hand. Loving it!


  • 2 mug fulls of loose hashbrowns (about 1 1/4cups)
  • 4 slices of boiled ham, chopped
  • 3 TBS chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 broccoli florets, blanched and chopped
  • 2 Individual portions of strong cheddar cheese (each about 2 inches wide, 3 inches long and 1/3 inch thick)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp summer savoury or dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 4 TBS of mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1 2-inch cube of strong cheddar cut into small cubes
  • a handful of potato chip crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a small casserole dish really well. (The one in my room is about 5 inches square.)
  2. Mix the potatoes, ham, onion, garlic, broccoli and cheese together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Beat together the milk, mayonnaise and mustard. Pour over the mixture in the bowl and mix well together to combine. Pour into the casserole dish and spread out evenly.
  3. Mix together the potato chip crumbs and cheese for the topping and sprinkle evenly over top.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until cooked through and bubbling. Let stand for five minutes prior to serving.
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Ham & Broccoli Casserole

I will enjoy the leftovers from this tomorrow and I have some of the chicken rice dish frozen to enjoy as well.  I am not sure how many more inventive quarantine dishes I will make as I am being sprung-free on Friday! I hope, however, that this series has been somewhat helpful! 

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  1. The equipment in your room sounds much like that in many of the cheap French gites we have holidayed in! They tend to be filled with old cast-offs, grotty, worn out pans and crockery supplemented with a few cheap new items. Consequently we have a motley collection of random bits and pieces that we acquired over years of touring France in order to be able to actually cook! I remember one where there was only one worn out non-stick saucepan, no cups or mugs bigger than an espresso cup and no plates other than a huge pile of small salad plates!
    A couple of years ago we stayed in a gite that was an upmarket and expensive brand new refurbishment of an ancient stone built house in a famous medieval town in wine country. Even that had a lot of useless decorative equipment and was short on the basics! At least it was immaculately clean and the towels were new and fluffy! Nowadays if we hire a gite we take with us a chopping board, sharp knife or two and some mugs.
    Your casserole looks delicious!

    1. Its really surprising! You can sure tell if the owner is a cook or not by what they leave you to cook with! I think if I ran my own place I'd be a bit better at it. However you never know! Thank you, the casserole was extremely delicious! xoxo

  2. I am always fascinated that Americans/Canadians would refer to this dish, however delicious, as a casserole. In the UK a casserole is a dish that is cooked (in a casserole dish) in the oven for several hours. It is just another example of us all speaking English, but still speaking a very different language 😀

    1. Ahh, the differences of culture. Its like when I moved to the UK and was asked what I wanted for pudding, and I said vanilla! Pudding to me was a creamy dessert not a general term for dessert! You just have to smile! xoxo

    2. I cook loads of casseroles but pop them in the microwave here in the UK - this looks delicious Marie you are so so good at what you cook even when its not well set up at all

  3. Sounds delicious Marie. So glad you are making the most of quarantine and still cooking a tasty meal. My mom used to top lots of things with potato chips or bread crumbs. Won’t be long now till you are hugging everyone.

    1. I can't wait Linda! I would go stir crazy if I couldn't cook something at least! This was really good! xoxo

  4. Delicious recipe Marie...Although Mary and me are in almost lockdown till 2nd December Peter does go and gets our weekly shop for us. However I’ve so enjoyed reading your recipes and this one especially sounds right up our street....think I’m putting some ham on the list this week....Can’t believe how poorly the Motel treats its clients. Especially when this virus is raging. Peter, Mary and I were in a motel on Isle of Wight few weeks ago and the cleanliness was above suspicion..our bedding was changed after three days, every day the room was cleaned and on the third day deep cleaned, there was hand sanitizer everywhere...and it was not a very dear place...in fact the cheapest we could find. ( you know though none of our motels have cooking facilities)

  5. Cooking supplies or not, atleast it’s a step towards a safer, brighter future for yourself. I sure it makes coming a hassle but it’s hard to stock many things now due to covid, it could be worse. And it will get better!

    1. This is true Jen! I am looking forward to a brighter future! xoxo

  6. I feel your pain - I'd not be a happy camper either with so little in the way of kitchen and dining utensils. You wonder if some people even cook any more :)

    Still it was only two weeks - and the end is in sight. I bet you can't wait to hug all of your family again.

    Love the casserole - ideal to keep in mind when you have leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas - a clever way to combine them into something tasty and a little different. It's very versatile, too. You could change out the potato for rice, change the protein out (turkey or chicken would be nice), spice it up a bit, stretch it a bit more with some condensed soup, add different vegetables, use breadcrumbs, chips, crackers, roasted onion or bacon bits on top. I love a dish like this as it lends itself to endless tweaking.

    1. I am a tweaker too Marie. I would be tweaking like heck if I had the goods! This in its simplicity was very good however and as you say a great barebones jumping platform to other things! xoxo

  7. When a business proffers housekeeping suites, it would seem perfectly reasonable to expect basic provisions for cleanliness and kitchen prep. You'd think? Surely supplying fresh linens, some cleanser, a scrubbing sponge and basic kitchen utensils that function doesn't cost that much when. that. is. your. business! Ah well... tick tock start the countdown clock, you'll be fully enjoying the comforts of home very soon.

    Yummy looking quarantine kitchen casserole today Marie, mildly disappointed the crunchy Cheetos didn't make the cut though : D

    1. LOL, They were considered however! Four more sleeps! Can't wait! xoxo

  8. I will be making this dish very soon. It sounds just right for the 2 of us.
    BTW I live in B.C. but grew up in Manitoba. In both provinces Summer Savoury was grown by most homemakers and considered essential especially for green bean soup.
    Good to know your quarantine will soon be done. Stay well.

    1. That's good to know Granny! Maybe it is a Canadian thing. Most Americans' can't access it or don't know what it is! It is a kitchen essential for me! Thanks so much! xoxo

  9. This looks like good warming comfort food ! I hope there is some heating in that place for you . Is it snowing over there yet ? Glad you are nearly free . Hugs Debbie xxx

    1. No snow yet but toasty warm in here. I have had to open a window each morning as I am not used to how very dry it is! xoxo


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