Easter Ham Recipe

Summer is the season for burgers and hotdogs. Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. And Easter? Why, that's a time to enjoy some delicious ham, of course! But ... why, exactly? Why do we eat ham on Easter, anyway? Simply put, it's a tradition born out of good old logic. According to Martha Stewart, pigs were historically slaughtered in the fall and required the winter months to cure. This meant they were ready to be eaten in the spring months, perfectly aligning with Easter. And given that many people followed a Lenten fast from meat, the first real opportunity to enjoy ham was for the Easter dinner. 

Sure, today you can find ham in any season (not to mention turkey or burgers or dogs), but we like our traditions, so let's not rock the boat. Instead, let's rock your tastebuds with this preparation of an Easter ham care of chef and recipe developer Hayley MacLean. One taste, and you won't care why ham became the Easter meat, you'll only care that there's enough of the stuff left for seconds and thirds. "This Easter ham is delicious served with roasted spring vegetables like asparagus or carrots, and some cheesy mashed potatoes," says MacLean, adding: "Or for a fun twist, mashed parsnips! For dessert, a lemon tart with fresh fruit would be perfect as well."

Gather your ingredients for the Easter ham

This recipe counts on you acquiring a pre-cooked ham: it's all about slowly and steadily adding flavor to the meat that's already safe to eat. To do that, in addition to a 3-4 pound ham, you'll need whole cloves, light brown sugar, orange marmalade, spicy brown mustard, and apple cider vinegar.

Prep the ham and begin roasting

First things first, preheat your oven to 325 F. Then, place the ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. 

Next, with a sharp knife, make a series of evenly-spaced diagonal cuts in both directions across the top of the ham, cutting about a ½-inch deep each time. Insert a whole clove into the center of each diamond that's created by the cuts, then cover the ham with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes. "Do not forget to cover the ham during the initial bake," cautions MacLean, explaining: "The foil cover keeps the ham from drying out and allows the heat to permeate throughout the meat."

Prepare the glaze

When you're a few minutes out from the end of the first bake (so after about 40 minutes), it's time to whisk up the glaze. In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, marmalade, spicy brown mustard, and apple cider vinegar, and stir them until they're fully combined.

Then, carefully pull the ham from the oven and discard the foil wrapping.

Glaze the ham repeatedly

Working quickly so you don't lose too much heat, brush the glaze liberally over the ham. Pop it back in the oven and let it bake, uncovered, for an additional 45 minutes. Brush the ham with more of the glaze every 15 minutes.

When the second baking time is up, serve the ham immediately with the remaining glaze. And yes, the leftovers do make amazing sandwiches and go great in omelets or soups, so don't worry a bit if there's plenty to spare. "Leftovers will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat [them], cut off the portion desired and pop [it] in the microwave with a cover to [keep] it from drying out," MacLean says.

Easter Ham Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
Serving a ham at Easter might be tradition, but it shouldn't be boring. This Easter ham recipe features an easy and tasty glaze to wow your holiday guests.
Prep Time
Cook Time
a sliced smoked ham
Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • 1 3-4 pound fully cooked boneless ham
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Place the ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Make diagonal cuts in both directions about a ½-inch deep on the top of the ham. Insert a whole clove into the center of each diamond you created, then cover with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, marmalade, spicy brown mustard, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. After the initial bake, uncover the ham and brush the glaze over the ham. Bake uncovered for an additional 45 minutes, brushing with the glaze every 15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately with the remaining glaze.
Calories per Serving 597
Total Fat 27.7 g
Saturated Fat 9.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 156.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 27.9 g
Sodium 2,884.1 mg
Protein 44.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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