Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Dinner will come together in a jiffy with just a handful of ingredients. This recipe for Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes is amazingly easy and delicious!

Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes | Life as Mom

About twice a year, I do what’s called a Pantry Challenge. What that means is that I try to make good use of the things that we already have in the pantry, fridge, and freezer before going shopping for more. Each time I do it, I learn more about my shopping habits, our family’s taste preferences, and my mad ninja skills in the kitchen.

Just kidding about that last part. Sorta. It’s always been a good experience overall, kinda like a real life game of Chopped.

Each Pantry Challenge involves it’s fair share of “experiments”. Having written several cookbooks, I have gotten my family pretty well-accustomed to “experiments”. They know it will be edible; they’re just not sure it will one of their favorite things ever.

I admit, sometimes, I hold my breath as I bring something to the table, wracking my brain to see if there’s an alternative meal choice in case this one is a train wreck. Thankfully, this dish of Creamy Noodles with Ham & Tomatoes constituted as a “home run” in my husband’s book.

Fun fact: all my experiments get ranked in baseball terms. Home runs are obviously delicious. Strike outs and base hits rarely meet the public. Ahem.

Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes | Life as Mom

I worked in an upscale restaurant years ago and observed one interesting practice that got embedded in my single, twenty-something mind. To create the day’s specials, the chef scanned what he already had in the refrigerators and created something on the spot.

He didn’t dream something up and then go get the ingredients. He worked from his pantry first.

See? A Pantry Challenge is cool, after all.

This Creamy Noodles dish has that type of origin story. It was originally made up of leftover spaghetti from the night before as well as leftover Easter ham. I had a tomato and basil from the produce box and just a bit of cream in the pantry. Voila!

Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes | Life as Mom

0 from 0 votes
Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Dinner will come together in a jiffy with just a handful of ingredients. This recipe for Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes is amazingly easy and delicious!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: creamy pasta, pasta with ham
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 641 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1 pound spaghetti cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic pressed
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Rinse and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook one minute, stirring. Add the cream and red pepper, stir.
  3. Add the spaghetti and ham and toss gently over low heat until heated through.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in the tomatoes and basil right before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 641 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 461mg20%
Potassium 448mg13%
Carbohydrates 87g29%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 852IU17%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 46mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Updated April 9, 2017.

Creamy Noodles with Ham and Tomatoes | Life as Mom

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. I wanted to share this recipe for stir fried pork chops & peppers. It goes together quickly and is super tasty!

  2. This cheesy breaded chicken is quick and delicious:

  3. My recipe is for Chicken Paprika. It is one of my husband’s favorites. Not only is a great make-a-head, but the marriage of flavors is amazing.

  4. I love creating recipes of the fly, I almost always have cubed cooked chicken and ham in the freezer that I can add to my creations. I will use pasta or potatoes, rice or sometimes boxed stuffing as the binder and then added in a cheese sauce, homemade creme of soup base, or perhaps gravy as the sauce. Homemade biscuits is often the topping. I keep bags of frozen mixed vegetables on hands to add to my creations. Its creative and sometimes I come up with winners and sometimes flops.. which is why I try to keep a few cans of soup on hand for flop nights.

  5. Deb says

    Mmmmm, my choice almost always involves pasta, and classic spaghetti is a favorite. I’ve recently learned how to make it a one-pot meal, and pretty healthy to boot!

  6. Steph says

    This recipe is similar to something I whip up when I’m in a big hurry. Looks good.

  7. Elisa says

    I also like to cook from the pantry, so I am looking forward to reading about your efforts.

  8. Demi says

    Made this for lunch today. Used spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti. Forgot to add the red pepper. It was very delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Alice E says

    Sounds Yummy! Have you ever tried cutting the ham julienne style instead of dicing it? I occasionally do a pasta salad with angel hair pasta or spaghetti and cut thin slices of the meat in thin strips to blend in with the pasta shape. I also have been known to add a bit of grated carrot. I’ll admit I do it that way because I think it is easier to eat with a fork and the diced bits sometimes seemed to all wind up in the bottom of the bowl.

    Just a thought I wanted to share. It looks yummy and I may have to go make some for supper.

  10. Alisha says

    I have some ham in the fridge right now that has already been diced and needs to be eaten today, this looks like it will happen tonight. I don’t have cream though… I’ll just try whole milk and thicken if I need too. Thanks for the great idea.

  11. Lizzy Jahncke says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this dish. We had lots of ham to use up, and I remembered seeing this recipe here before. Some of my family don’t like tomatoes, plus it’s a pantry challenge in January (= no tomatoes here right now). It was easy to leave them out. I will definitely be making this again. Hubby doesn’t usually say much about individual meals I cook, but he said this was really good. The kids devoured it. Great recipe, Jessica!

Share Your Thoughts