The roasted turkey is the star of the show for many Thanksgiving dinner tables. However, juicy, sweet, and delicious ham also deserves some hype, especially for those not fond of turkey.
Holiday ham is a classic at nearly every celebration table. There’s Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas ham. But for this post, we’re focusing on the first one: Thanksgiving ham!
There are tons of fantastic ham recipes that vary based on glaze and flavors. You can bake, roast, smoke, or cook them in a slow cooker. I’ve compiled the best, so find your favorite in time for the feast!
1. Pineapple Glazed Ham
I’m starting the holiday ham recipe list with a personal favorite: pineapple glazed ham, which is the perfect blend of sweet, salty, and fruity flavors. There’s not just pineapples in it, but also brown sugar and cherries.
You’ll need a fully-cooked, bone-in ham. It’s harder to stick the fruits to a spiral ham, but if you forgo the fruits, then it would work out. You must have pineapple juice, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and ground cloves for the ham glaze.
There are also pineapple slices and maraschino cherries for decorating the ham. Drain both their juices and rinse the cherries.
2. Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze
A brown sugar glaze is a common feature of a classic ham recipe. It’s famous for a reason. The sugar provides amazing caramelization, while the inside is juicy, delicious, and tender.
Use a spiral-cut ham with the bone still in. If you use store-bought ham, check whether it is fully cooked or not. The status affects the way and temperature of cooking, with fully-cooked hams baked at lower temperatures.
Other ingredients include Dijon mustard, pineapple or orange juice, brown sugar, ground ginger, and cornstarch. Brush the ham, place in a large roasting pan, roast, glaze, and then cook until done.
3. Honey Glazed Ham
This easy recipe makes a delicious honey-glazed ham. Honey has a syrupy sweetness that seeps through the meat.
Besides the honey sweetness, you’ll incorporate other subtle flavors into the glaze. You get hints of tangy mustard, brown sugar, and a complex mix of spices. The flavor profile gets further elevated when you garnish it with fruits and herbs.
To make this honey-glazed ham, you’ll need a spiral cut ham, butter, brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and spices. Bake ham with half the glaze only. Then after two hours, pour the remaining glaze and continue cooking.
4. Root Beer Glazed Ham
Root beer is not anyone’s first choice for a glaze. Thus, root beer glazed ham is a unique recipe you can credit to the south. This ham packs rich new flavors, a deliciousness they can associate with your holiday table.
To make the root beer glaze, you’ll also need brown sugar, ketchup, white wine vinegar, steak sauce, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, and ground cloves. As for the ham, the recipe uses a full-cooked spiral cut with the bone still in.
Although I doubt you will have, the leftover ham makes terrific root beer and meat-flavored sandwiches and other dishes.
5. Orange Honey Glazed Ham
This fantastic recipe from the Cookie Rookie is one of the simplest I found. It needs only four ingredients, including the ham. But it still packs excellent sweetness and unique tangy flavors that blend well together.
The four ingredients are a fully-cooked spiral ham (bone-in), packed brown sugar, honey, and sweet orange marmalade. Combine and cook sugar, honey, and marmalade in a saucepan to make the glaze.
If you check out the post, the author also provides excellent tips on how to cut a half ham, utilize the bone for soup, and prep the ham in advance.
6. Maple Glazed Ham
Sweet maple syrup isn’t just for pancakes. They make an aromatic and delicious ham glaze perfect for the holidays, especially Christmas. But this is a great recipe for the Thanksgiving menu, too.
For the glaze, you’ll need maple syrup, brown sugar, mustard, ground cinnamon, and allspice or nutmeg. You’ll also need a leg of ham, many cloves, oranges, and water. The cloves are for decorating the ham.
This recipe takes effort because you’ll remove the leg skin, make the diamond cuts, insert the cloves, and more. But the fantastic dish will surely wow everyone, making it worth it.
7. Mustard Glazed Ham
Many of the recipes above included Dijon mustard in the ingredients list. But for this recipe, the spicy mustard flavors are the highlight. This ham features complex and unique flavors you wouldn’t want your Thanksgiving crowd to miss.
You’ll use either a half ham or a spiral cut. You’ll also need spicy brown mustard, brown sugar, ground rosemary, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Prep the glaze by combining everything (except ham) in a medium bowl. Then, cook ham either by grilling or in the oven. The grill provides a smoky flavor, but oven-baking is convenient.
8. Apple Cider Glazed Ham
If you’re making an apple pie for dessert, why not an apple-themed ham for the main course? This ham features apple cider flavors and fresh herbs. It’s also cooked and served with apple slices.
This recipe uses bone-in smoked ham. The ingredients list includes apple cider, Dijon mustard, thyme, garlic, butter, brown sugar, paprika, chicken stock, apples, and onions.
Only the chicken stock, apples, and onions aren’t used for the glaze. Instead, place them in the bottom of the roasting pan to lock moisture, provide aroma, and contribute more flavors to the ham as it bakes.
9. Bourbon Glazed Ham
Bourbon in desserts and dishes adds a level of sophistication, not to mention unique flavors and an exciting kick. Elevate your usual Thanksgiving ham by giving it a bourbon glaze.
To make the glaze, you’ll need bourbon, brown sugar, orange juice and zest, ground mustard, coriander, and cinnamon. These ingredients render a complex and delightful flavor palette for the spiral-sliced ham.
Variations are possible. Add marmalade and sliced oranges if you want to draw out the orange flavor. You can also add honey Dijon or stone ground mustard to accentuate the ground mustard flavor.
10. Smoked Thanksgiving Ham
Most Thanksgiving ham recipes feature baked or roasted dishes. Using the oven is more convenient than cracking open and prepping the grill.
But the best ham has excellent meat, incredible glaze, and unique smoky touch. This recipe uses a homemade brown sugar glaze and spice rub. You’ll need a BBQ rub, butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and apple cider to make those.
You’ll need a spiral-cut ham, and don’t worry if it’s smoked – twice-smoked ham tastes just as good. When smoking ham, the wood imparts flavor. It’s best to use apple, cherry, or hickory wood for this one.
11. Crock Pot Thanksgiving Ham
The flavor of Thanksgiving ham isn’t just from the glaze. The cooking method matters, too, whether you’ll grill, bake, or slow-cook meat in a crock pot.
Using a crock pot leads to tender and juicy ham. It’s also simple, as the slow cooker does most of the work. This recipe needs only three glaze ingredients: brown sugar, maple syrup, and pineapple juice (or apple cider).
Place everything in a crock pot and wait for 3-4 hours. Gather the remaining liquid in the pot and simmer it into a sauce. Pour over the ham and serve with fresh herbs.
11 Delicious Ham Recipes for Thanksgiving
Delight your Thanksgiving crowd with the fantastic ham recipes.
Pineapple Glazed Ham
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze
Honey Glazed Ham
Root Beer Glazed Ham
Orange Honey Glazed Ham
Maple Glazed Ham
Mustard Glazed Ham
Apple Cider Glazed Ham
Bourbon Glazed Ham
Smoked Thanksgiving Ham
Crock Pot Thanksgiving Ham
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a ham for Thanksgiving in 30 minutes or less!