This Sweet Orange Glazed Ham is one of the easiest ways to create a memorable holiday feast… Plus it’s a godsend for procrastinators.
For many of us, Ham is synonymous with holiday feasts, and was a staple on our Christmas or Easter dinner tables. But once you see how easy and delicious this ham recipe is, you’ll want to make it year-round.
Should I Make Ham?
In case you are on the fence about making a ham in the first place, here is a helpful pros and cons list.
- Ham is easy! All you really need to make is a 3 ingredient glaze.
- Ham comes pre-cooked from the store (so no worries about raw/undercooked meat).
- Spiral Ham is pre-sliced!
- Ham is a worthy centerpiece. It smells amazing while it cooks, and it feeds a crowd.
- Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner; Ham leftovers are the BEST!
- Many folks don’t eat pork at all
- It can be very salty (depending on the brand/flavoring/curing process)
- Ham might have a smidge less panache than some other holiday dinners
You could (and definitely SHOULD) cook a golden Garlic and Herb Oven Roasted Turkey, or a tender tower of standing Prime Rib Roast at least once in your life… But when compared to these other culinary cornerstones, NONE compare to the ease and versatility of THIS Sweet Orange Glazed Ham.
Selecting Your Ham
At the grocery store when it comes to hams there are many choices available to you.
For this Sweet Orange Glazed Ham recipe, you want to select a 6 to 8 pound fully cooked bone-in spiral cut ham.
Bone-in = great flavor, PLUS you’ll have that hambone ready after the feast for a soup starter. Split Pea Soup anyone?
But what about Cured vs Uncured, Plain vs Smoked?
For this orange glazed ham recipe, AVOID any pre-glazed hams or specialty flavors, but when it comes to the other variables, it’s more a matter of personal preference. Our favorite is an uncured smoked ham.
Cured hams will have been injected with a solution of salts, seasonings, and preservatives before they were cooked so they will appear a deeper pink color and have a more intense (and salty) flavor.
Smoked ham just adds some rustic flavor personality (usually from burning hickory or applewood chips) that enhances the natural flavor of the meat during the cooking process.
Bone-in hams are pre-cut to save you some time and hassle. A spiral cut ham will be much easier to serve (since you won’t need to struggle to carve the thing while it’s piping hot). Plus the glaze runs into the slices while it cooks.
Ham: Perfect for Procrastinators?
The day of your holiday feast is the worst time to discover that your plans for a prized Turkey dinner are ruined because
- a) you forgot to buy the bird,
- b) you didn’t leave yourself the MULTIPLE DAYS of required time for the darn thing to thaw out properly,
- or c) there was some other issue involving the 12+ pound slab of raw dripping poultry in your fridge… You know, the one with the bag of gibblets and gizzards inside its cavity… Maybe something about that whole “situation” just doesn’t fill you with the “holiday spirit”.
If the turkey isn’t happening for you, don’t worry. You aren’t alone. Ham is the safety net you need, and it is about to save your proverbial bacon (pun intended).
Ham comes pre-cooked, pre-sliced, non-frozen and will only take you 2 hours from start to finish to cook. Dinner rescued.
Now Let’s Talk About the Glaze
Ham is naturally salty and (like any meat) hits the savory notes your taster craves. So then why does it need the glaze?
Here’s the deal: when you combine the bright sweetness of the sugar and honey, and the sharp citrusy acid in the orange, they compliment each other in a way that adds texture and interest to an otherwise one-dimensional salty ham.
It takes your meat from a one man savory show, to a symphony of flavors; similar to the magic that occurs with this Asian Chicken Marinade.
What You Need to Make Orange Glazed Ham
- The Ham (6-8 lbs, bone-in spiral cut ham)
- Brown sugar
- Orange Marmalade (yes, this is Paddington Bear’s favorite holiday meal)
How To Make Orange Glazed Ham
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Make your glaze in a saucepan by simmering together the brown sugar, honey, and orange marmalade
- Spoon half the glaze over the ham in a roasting pan or baking dish
- Bake the ham for 1 hour
- Cover the ham with the remaining glaze
- Bake another 15-30 until internal temperature of ham reaches 140°F
- Serve and enjoy!
The whole process of making Sweet Orange Glazed Ham only takes about 2 hours from start to finish, and really there’s only about 15 minutes of hands-on work involved.
I’m sure you won’t have trouble finding ways to fill all that free time on the day of your holiday meal, but since you’ll be around the kitchen anyways, why not make yourself the perfect side dish(es) to go along with your holiday ham?
Side Dishes That Go With Ham
You can pair this Orange Glazed Ham with just about any traditional holiday side dish, but you want to make sure that you have your bases covered.
Potatoes that Pair
Ham goes great with potatoes. You can stick with traditional Creamy Mashed Potatoes, crowd-friendly Easy Cheesy Potato Casserole, or if you really want some spectacular spuds, try my recipe for buttery Melting Potatoes, or Herbed Potatoes Anna.
If you’re looking for a simple sidekick to slather some butter onto, I’d recommend my Butterhorn rolls, or for something a bit more hearty, try my Easy Drop Biscuits recipe. A great Gluten-Free option is my Brazilian Cheese Bread Bites.
…but if it’s Easter you are planning for, make sure you bake up some Resurrection Rolls.
Veggie Sides for Ham
Other Sides to Complete Your Spread
For more ideas on what to serve alongside your ham dinner, check out our Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu. From side dishes to beverages to dessert, there’s something here for everyone (Gluten-free and vegetarian recipe options too!) so you can rest assured that your holiday feast will be complete.
And even after dinner is over, this Orange Glazed Ham isn’t done yet…
Ham: A Leftovers All-Star
Ham is the best meat for leftovers. I said it.
Name me another that fits into any meal of the day, and can be used in everything from omelettes, to sandwiches, to soups, to salads.
For Lunch/Dinner: One of our favorite salads of all time is this 1905 Salad, which features ham & Swiss. Speaking of which, if you’ve got some Hawaiian rolls around, you can use that leftover ham to make a tray of Ham and Swiss Sliders.
- 1 fully cooked bone-in spiral ham (6 to 8 pounds)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place ham in a shallow roasting pan or baking dish.
- In a saucepan over medium heat combine the brown sugar, honey and orange marmalade. Stir until combined.
- Continue to stirring over medium heat until the mixture comes to a bubble. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Spoon half of the glaze over the ham.
- Bake in oven, uncovered, at 350°F for 1 hour.
- Spoon the remaining glaze over the ham and bake another 15-30 minutes longer until internal temp of ham reaches 140°F.
- Serve and Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 0gSugar: 46gProtein: 2g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.