Our family loves this quick and easy, hearty Ham and Noodle Casserole (German: Nudelauflauf mit Schincken). Tender pasta, topped with a simple egg and cream sauce and finished with Swiss cheese.
This egg noodle casserole recipe is based on a classic German casserole. When I was growing up in Germany 'Nudelauflauf' ('Noodle-Auf-lauf') was always part of my family's meal plan.
And it's not lost any of its appeal and popularity these days when I cook it for my own family in the US. As with most recipes, I make some minor adjustments to make sure all of the ingredients can easily be found in American supermarkets.
Why We Love This Casserole
EASY - This foolproof easy dinner recipe takes just a few minutes to put together. This casserole recipe is great when you are looking for a quick, filling, and effortless comfort food dinner idea.
INGREDIENTS - Except for the egg noodles (which you can substitute) and ham steak, chances are that you will have every ingredient already in your fridge and pantry.
FAMILY FRIENDLY - This recipe is much loved by grownups and kids.
FLAVORFUL - Something magical happens anytime you get a chance to combine ham, eggs, cream, and cheese.
What You'll Need To Make This Recipe
PASTA - If you can find egg noodles I recommend using them. If you can't choose another short pasta, such as fusilli or rotini.
HAM - In Germany, we use 'Schinken' for this casserole recipe. Schinken is a type of German ham. In the US I use ham steak.
CREAM - For this recipe, we use a 2:1 combination of heavy cream and milk. This allows the sauce to be creamy without being overwhelmingly rich.
EGGS - Adds creaminess and extra protein.
NUTMEG - If you have tried some of my other recipes such as Spätzle or Potato Dumplings you already know that nutmeg is one of Germany's favorite spices.
SWISS CHEESE - You can use any type of Swiss cheese you like. In Germany, my family uses a lot of Emmenthal cheese for this kind of dish. But that can be pricy. Regular Swiss cheese, Gruyere, or Fontina will all work.
Disclaimer. If possible stay away from shredded cheeses. They are full of preservatives and don't melt as well. But if that's all you have go ahead. Sometimes we all have to do what we have to do to get dinner on the table.
How To Make Ham and Noodle Casserole
Be sure to scroll to the bottom for the full recipe
- Cook egg noodles: Cook egg noodles according to the package instructions.
- Make the sauce: In a medium mixing bowl whisk eggs, heavy cream, and milk until creamy. Season with nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
- Combine: Transfer cooked pasta into a lightly greased casserole dish and the diced ham. Toss until well combined. Pour egg and cream sauce over the egg noodles and top with cheese.
- Bake: Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400º Fahrenheit. Remove cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Recipe Success Tips
This is a great recipe to offer as a breakfast casserole for brunch.
- Avoid pre-shredded cheese whenever possible. It's typically full of fillers and preservatives to keep the cheese fresh and these don't tend to melt very well (plus there are no nutritional benefits). And if you break it down a log of cheese will typically be less expensive than any pre-shredded cheese.
- You can also make this recipe with Cheddar cheese or even Mozzarella cheese. Or try a combination of Swiss and Cheddar, Mozzarella and Swiss. There are plenty of options to be creative.
- This is also a great option to use up any leftover ham. And perfect for a filling post-Thanksgiving brunch.
STORE - Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. The casserole will last for 3-4 days.
REHEAT IN THE OVEN - Preheat the oven to 200º Fahrenheit. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and gently heat until warm - about 10 minutes.
REHEAT IN THE MICROWAVE - If you're using the microwave to reheat the ham and noodle casserole do it one portion at a time. Place a cover on the dish and choose the 'casserole' preset or a medium heat setting.
If You Like This Casserole, You'll Like These Recipes!
Lazy Lasagna - My easiest lasagna recipe and you just need 4 ingredients.
Shrimp Carbonara - Learn how to make this restaurant favorite at home.
Roasted Lemon Chicken with Olives and Capers - This recipe is perfect when you want to surprise your family with something special.
Lasagna Rolls - A fun and somewhat elegant twist on classic lasagna.
Krautfleckerl - A delicious cabbage noodle dish made with cabbage, ham, bacon, and parmesan cheese. Think of it as the German version of Haluski!
Ham and Noodle Casserole
- Cooking Spray
- 16 ounces egg noodles cooked
- 14 ounces ham diced
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- 4 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces Swiss cheese sliced or shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook egg noodles according to the package instructions.
Putting the Casserole together
- Combine eggs, milk, heavy cream, nutmeg, and salt and whisk until well combined.
- Transfer cooked egg noodles into the casserole dish and top with diced ham. Pour the egg and cream sauce over the ham and noodles and add a layer of Swiss cheese.
- Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
I lived in Germany and I began making it here. The way my stepmother made it was with pancetta and German egg noodles. But yes, it is an incredibly easy and delicious meal. I do have a question. I use heavy cream and butter only because we have egg allergies in our household. However, it still kind of of dries out.. or more like over cooks no matter what I do because it is missing the binding ingredient I guess. So would you recommend more heavy cream? Or any other ideas that can help?
I hope you enjoyed your time in Germany!
What a great question. And there is no easy answer. but if you're up for a little experimentation, I can offer some suggestions. I suggest you begin experimentation by using bread crumbs as a substitute. The bread crumbs can act as a binder, too.
Once the cooked noodles are in the casserole dish, sprinkle them with 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, pour the cream mixture over the noodles, add ham (pancetta is a great idea, too!), and topp with the cheese. I could imagine that it might add some interesting texture. Another option that might work is to blend some quick-cooking oats into crumbs and use those instead of the bread crumbs. Please me know how it worked out for you. If not, I'll put my thinking cap back on. 🙂