With the rich gorgeousness of brown sugar and the tang of pineapple, this 3-ingredient crockpot ham is the easiest way to bring your ham game this holiday season!
Looking for an easy recipe for a holiday dinner? This recipe is perfect for your Christmas ham, for Easter dinner, or anytime you want to impress people with very little work. It combines my two favorite things: just a few minutes of prep time and an absolutely delicious result. That beautifully caramelized brown sugar glaze and the tender juicy meat are hard to argue with!
This recipe is also dang convenient. When I’m overwhelmed making a holiday meal, I really appreciate the ability to be hands off while the ham cooks. This recipe also saves oven space by using the crockpot.
What’s in this crockpot ham recipe?
Once it’s on the table, you’d never know this only takes three ingredients, two of which are pantry staples. Here’s the secret to perfectly flavorful ham:
- Ham: There are multiple types of ham that will work for this. The classic (and the prettiest by far) is the spiral-cut ham. Boneless sliced ham, bone-in ham, and deli ham all work as well. You could even use a whole boneless ham, provided your crockpot’s big enough! The pictures in this post use a deli ham I got on sale for $2.50.
- Crushed Pineapple: Using crushed pineapple and its juice allows all that tangy goodness from the pineapple to get into every part of the ham. You can also use tidbits, pineapple chunks, or even slices of fresh pineapple + pineapple juice. Just be sure to tuck pieces of pineapple in between each slice.
- Brown Sugar: This is the secret to the lovely browning on the slices. I love the depth of flavor that dark brown sugar adds, but light brown works as well. Totally up to you!
What size of ham should I use?
This is based on the size of your crockpot. On average, a 6qt crockpot can handle up to 5 lbs of ham. An 8 qt can take up to 7 lbs.
If your ham is a weird shape, you can slice it up and pack the slices in so that they fit.
If your ham is too tall to get a good seal with your lid, you can make an aluminum foil tent over the top of the ham.
Making Delicious Crockpot Ham
Step 1 | Slice
To start, if your ham doesn’t come pre-sliced (as with spiral ham), you’ll need to slice it yourself. The thinner you can slice the ham, the more juicy and flavorful your final product will be. If you have a meat slicer, this is a great time to use it. I do not, so I have fairly thick slices, which still ended up tasting great.
Once you’ve sliced the ham, you’ll place it in the crockpot.
Step 2 | Crockpot
Once the ham’s in the crockpot, the hard part’s done! For the next step, you’ll just dump in the pineapple with all of its juice and half of the brown sugar. Use a fork to make sure that the pineapple and brown sugar get down between each slice.
Then, place the lid on the crockpot. and let it cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4. That slow cooking is going to infuse the ham with all of those delicious flavors.
Step 3 | Caramelize
This easy step is actually optional, but I love the way it makes the ham both look and taste. You’re going to remove your ham slices from the crockpot and put them into a baking dish. Then, you can sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the ham. Try to get it pretty evenly distributed. Then, you can broil the ham for about 5 minutes. This is going to caramelize the sugar, creating a sweet and slightly crispy glaze. It also give the ham that gorgeously golden-brown finish.
Step 4 | Enjoy!
Let your fully cooked ham cool slightly, then enjoy! We love it with a variety of favorite side dishes, like salad, bread, or even funeral potatoes!
When I make this, we have plenty of leftovers which can be a little much, even for a ham fan like me! One lovely thing about this crock pot ham recipe, though, is that. it can be repurposed into tons of delicious leftover ham recipes. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Ham Salad: Just like chicken salad, combine chopped ham with mayonnaise to make a delicious sandwich filling!
- Ham Sandwiches: I know this very cliche, but a slice of this brown sugar ham with my favorite sandwich fixings is one of my favorite things!
- Quiche: Toss a handful of chopped ham into this easy quiche recipe for a delicious breakfast, brunch, or light dinner.
- Ham and Rice Casserole: Chopped ham, rice, and a medley of veggies make this simple casserole a great dinner for a busy night.
- Ham Chowder: Savory ham in a creamy broth. This soup is perfect for cold days.
- Freeze it for later: This ham freezes well. You can split it into portions, or chop it up to use in soups or casseroles. Then, place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. It will keep for up to 3 months!
Basting is optional, but it can help enhance the flavor. You can use the juices from the crockpot to baste the ham occasionally.
Store leftover ham in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze it for longer storage.
Fresh pineapple can be used, but canned pineapple often comes with its own juice, which adds to the overall flavor. If using fresh, consider adding a bit of juice or water.
Sure thing! Feel free to throw in some cloves, cinnamon, or a touch of mustard for extra depth.
3-Ingredient Crockpot Ham
- 4-6 lb ham
- 8 oz crushed pineapple
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, divided
- Slice ham, then place into crockpot.
- Add pineapple and 3/4 cup brown sugar.
- Allow ham to cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Remove ham from crockpot and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the ham. Let it melt into the ham to form a glaze.
- Optional: Broil your ham for 5 minutes to caramelize the brown sugar glaze.
- Allow ham to cool slightly, then serve!