An easy casserole made with asparagus, ham, rice, and cheese. Make it two ways – layering the casserole ingredients for a simple weeknight meal or roll them up fancy in an impressive display for entertaining.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Asparagus & Ham AuGratin Casserole

A springtime family favorite Asparagus & Ham Au Gratin recipe that’s perfect for using leftover Easter Ham!

Asparagus & Ham Au Gratin layered-style casserole made with cheesy Monterey Jack Cheese sauce is a comfort-food favorite around our house. With its great taste, few ingredients and easy instructions for making it, it may become a favorite springtime meal at your home too!

I discovered this recipe for Asparagus & Ham Au Gratin over 40 years ago in an ideals All-Holidays Cookbook. The magazine-style cookbook was given to me by my aunt when I was newly married.

Back then, as a new bride, I was always looking for ways to impress my new in-laws with my cooking ability, especially around holiday times when we’d get together.

My aunt came to my recipe aid often – sending recipes she thought I’d like from newspapers collected from where she and my uncle lived, or at other times sharing pages saved from issues of the Family Circle or Good Housekeeping magazines. And then, over several years, she sent me a handful of the ideals Magazine cookbooks as gifts around Christmas time. I still treasure each recipe I got and the cookbooks today.

The way that the ideals All-Holiday Cookbook suggested to make this recipe was to use 1/4”-inch slices of ham, filled with the cheese and rice mixture and asparagus, then rolling it all up before placing each roll in a shallow casserole dish. After the rolls filled the baking dish, a cheese sauce made from process Swiss cheese blankets the top. The final step includes sprinkling with parmesan cheese before baking for a quick 25 to 30 minutes.

While that method did impress both my in-laws and others that I’d made it for, over the years, as my schedule became busier, I decided that rolling the rice and asparagus in the ham took way too much time.

That’s when I created the shortcut version that you’ll find in my recipe version below. I’ve used this shortcut method many times since, in fact, most times, for whenever I’ve wanted to make this springtime casserole dish.

In the years since shortcutting the prep method, I’ve also changed the cheese I use from Swiss cheese to Monterey Jack Cheese. I’ve found that Monterey Jack Cheese works equally well, and it’s also been a little more popular with my kid’s taste buds.

Monterey Jack Cheese is one of four kinds of cheese to “supposedly” have been created in the United States. It is said to be a “descendent of the semi-soft Italian cheese that fed Caesar’s armies.” As the story goes, the cheese originated in the Mexican Franciscan friars of Monterey, California, during the 1700s. Its texture is somewhat “granular similar to Wisconsin brick.” Most importantly, is that Monterey Jack is believed to be a descendant of “Queso del Pais,” which translates as “country cheese,” a soft, white cheese that the missionaries called “Queso Blanco Pais.” If you’re a fan of Mexican cooking, Queso Blanco may sound vaguely familiar to you.

These days, since my schedule is a bit saner and our children have now grown...

Whenever company visits in springtime, or when celebrating a holiday and I’m wanting to impress my guests – I’ll decide to take the time to make Asparagus & Ham Au Gratin rolled up and fancy for presenting in regal fashion.  It’s then that I dollop the cheesy rice mixture onto the ham, add the fresh-cooked asparagus spears, then roll everything up before putting the filled rolls into the casserole dish, covering them with the remaining cheesy sauce and the parmesan, then baking.

The pictures below show the recipe as it’s made step-by-step.

Picture the recipe step-by-step...


Keto in Five

I hope you’ll make this recipe for Asparagus & Ham Au Gratin. Make it with layered ingredients or roll them all up, presenting them fancy. Make the casserole both ways, especially when fresh-to-market asparagus is less expensive and readily available in the springtime.

Let me know what your favorite way to make it is in the comments below – whether you’ve rolled it up or layered them ingredient style if you fixed it with Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese. Tell me; I love getting your feedback. It means a lot. ♥


P.S. If you like food history, you might be interested in...

The fascinating part about Monterey Jack Cheese is how it came to be known and named after the ruthlessly corrupt landowner, David Jack.

To fully understand this tragic tale, picture yourself in Monterey Bay, California. The year is 1770. It’s one year after the first California Catholic mission in present-day San Diego was founded.

The missionaries there not only brought their religion to this unknown part of the world, but their foods as well, including grapes, olives, and cattle. The cattle were a great resource because not only did they provide meat and fresh milk, but the milk was also used to produce a soft, white cheese, the missionaries called Queso Blanco Pais.

Now, fast forward several decades to the year 1846, when under Spanish and Mexican rule, the control of California changed hands. Mexico and the United States went to war, a war that ended in a resounding United States victory.

The warring nations signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, and, as a condition, Mexico sold California to the US at a bargain-basement price of 15 million dollars (a bit over $400 million today).

With the establishment of the new territory, Americans came pouring into California. Some came looking for gold, others came looking for land, and those who came also began looking for power and fortune.

In the treaty, the US promised to uphold Mexico’s rancho system. Still, federal government-established commissions found loopholes and ways to undermine Mexican farmers – like demanding long-forgotten paperwork and attendance at far away hearings. Many Mexicans lost their beloved farms to people like David Jack.

David Jack, originally from Scotland living then in New York, first arrived in California in 1849. But before he left New York, he invested his total savings of $1,400 in revolvers, which he intended to sell to “law-abiding and lawless alike,” thinking that both would pay a handsome price for such items at that time in Californian history.

Jack arrived in San Francisco in April 1849, where he sold his entire investment for $4,000 in the first 48 hours, making a 286% profit in the process. He immediately made his way to the gold mines but found little success. Returning to San Francisco, Jack gained employment as an Inspector in the Custom House, earning $100 a month and putting his capital of $4,000 to good use. He lent portions of it at an interest of 2% a month ( a ridiculously steep rate of interest, back then).

After a brief trip back to Scotland, Jack returned to California settling in Monterey in 1857, where he befriended attorney Delos R. Ashley, who had been hired by the town of Monterey to legitimize their land claims to the United States Land Claims Commission. Two years later, Ashley won the case but demanded nearly one thousand dollars in attorney fees, and the town couldn’t pay.

Later, Monterey and Ashley reached an agreement – Monterey would auction off the very lands that Ashley defended to help pay his fees. On February 9th, 1859, a rapidly-called auction took place with only two bidders, you guessed it, Mr. Ashley and David Jack.

Nearly all of Monterey’s 30,000 acres of land sold to the two men – The price they paid: $1000.02. Locals eventually came to call this auction the “Rape of Monterey.”

Jack stayed on in Monterey, working to maximize his profits. He was ruthless and became known for charging obscene taxes to renters and foreclosing on properties, sometimes posting notices in English to intentionally confuse the Spanish-speaking farm owners.

On Jack’s land, there were cattle ranches, vineyards, and a dairy on the Salinas River. It was there that Jack produced the cheese that its origins trace back to the Spanish Franciscan fathers who came north to California from Mexico during the early days of the missions.

Although a controversial figure, as far as anyone knows, Jack broke no laws. He eventually had a partnership in 14 dairies throughout Monterey, with Spanish and Portuguese dairymen. Together they dominated Northern Californian dairy farming.

During his time in Monterey, Jack suffered from the same problems of surplus milk that the Spanish Franciscan fathers before him had, and similarly, he solved the problem by producing his cheese. Realizing the commercial value of Jack cheese, he began selling it throughout Monterey and California with his name “Jack’s Cheese” on it. Soon, the cheese became so popular that people were eating it all across California—all of them asking for “Monterey Jack’s Cheese.” Today you can find it all over the world.

Learn how to adjust the serving size.

Asparagus & Ham AuGratin Casserole

Asparagus & Ham Au Gratin

Asparagus & Ham Au Gratin – An easy casserole made with asparagus, ham, rice, and cheese. Make it two ways – layering the casserole ingredients for a simple weeknight meal or roll them up fancy in an impressive display for entertaining.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Comment/Rate
Course: Dinner, entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: asparagus, cheese, ham, Rice
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Restine Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 254kcal


  • 8 x 12-inch shallow oven-proof Baking Pan
  • Deep skillet or Saucepan
  • whisk


  • 1 1/3 cup quick-cooking rice cooked according to package directions
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 dash Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese shredded [2]
  • 16- ounces fully cooked Ham cubed
  • 24 to 32 slender Asparagus spears steamed or boiled and drained
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly butter or spray the bottom and sides of an 8 x 12-inch shallow oven-proof baking pan, set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a deep skillet, blend in the flour and salt with a whisk. Add the milk and nutmeg, continually stirring until cooked and thickened, approximately one to two minutes. Add the Monterey Jack cheese and stir until melted.
  • Blend one cup of the cheese sauce into the cooked rice. Spread the mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking pan. Top the rice mixture with the cubed Ham and arrange the asparagus across the top. [1] Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the asparagus.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350ºF until hot, about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges become slightly browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy!


[1] To fancy up this dish, for entertaining, use 1/4-inch thick slices of boneless, fully cooked ham. Spoon a healthy dollop of the sauce and rice mixture onto the narrow end of each ham slice. Top each prepared slice with 3 or 4 asparagus spears and roll the ham up around the filling. Arrange the rolls into a shallow baking dish. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the rolls and continue with the final step above.
[2] Can substitute 1 cup Swiss Cheese, shredded

Copyright © 2017-2020 Kymberley Pekrul | G-Free Deliciously | | All content, and photographs are copyright protected. The sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please read my Photo Use Policy for detailed guidelines and further clarification.

Recipe Card powered by WP Recipe Maker | Nutrition by NutriFox

(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Did you fix this recipe?

Tag @gfreedeliciously and hashtag it #gfreedeliciously on Instagram.


Where there's a whisk, there's always a way to enjoy it gluten-free...


The Highest Quality Canned Seafood Products From Vital Choice! All With Free Shipping On $99! Click Here!
Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Hi, I'm Kymberley, the creator of G-Free Deliciously and the Amazing, Glorious Journey Programs. I pray that my work will inspire you to honor your body through God and Good Food from the inside out, all while enjoying your Amazing, Glorious Journey!

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Take a peek at the behind
G-Free Deliciously

Being creative, cooking, fresh veggies, the violin, decorating for holidays, sewing, hand-quilting, cowgirl boots, country music, fresh herbs in pots, blowing dandelions to the wind, walking barefoot in the grass, hanging out with eclectic interesting people, reading, writing, warm lazy summer days, and yoga!

Gluten, cilantro, mixed vegetables (the frozen kind I grew up with), negativism, rudeness, narcissism, overstaying a welcome,
not helping out, liars, promiscuity, cockiness, know-it-alls, being overly-dramatic, goal-less-ness, poor hygiene, chauvinism, lacking a sense of humor, excessive competitiveness, Laziness, horrifying spellers, people-bashing, criticism and mockery of others and their beliefs, flakiness (because flaky people are really unappealing), more swagger than substance, people who constantly manage others (those folks who think they have all the answers…)

Lambrusco, my iPad, popcorn suppers, dark chocolate, cookbooks, Almond-Rocca, historical romances, sun-bathing, weekend coffee with a good book in bed, PBS cooking shows, romantic comedies, cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and fragrant bubble baths with soft music and wine…

Say please and thank you, LAUGH, Pray often, ENCOURAGE others, Be KIND, HONEST, HAPPY, Keep your PROMISES, Be GRATEFUL, Wash your hands, FORGIVE yourself and others, LISTEN, Have FAITH, Be CONFIDENT, Honor your parents, CHERISH your children and grandchildren, TREASURE your family, ABIDE in GOD’s love, Be POLITE, Guard your HEART, SEEK your purpose, FEED your mind, body and soul, Be HOPEFUL, Resist temptation, Lay your burdens down, TRUST your gut, CONNECT with nature, Know that GOD made you perfect just the way you are, SERVE others, LIVE to love, Be COURAGEOUS, Shine bright, OPEN your mind, RESPECT differences, HONOR your inner hunger, SING loud, Be PROUD of who you are, Practice PATIENCE, Never give up, WEATHER the storms of life, Say I love you, LOVE one another

  • I’ve traveled to 32 states in the USA where I’ve enjoyed the food, history, people and the local culture while visiting.
  • Among the states, I’ve lived in are Arizona, California, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • My favorite island is Maui.
  • I’ve also been to Canada and Mexico.
  • I rode horses as a kid, and barrel-raced.
  • I broke my neck when I was 18 and went to senior prom in a neck brace.
  • As a little girl, I grew up living next door to my grandma and grandpa on a small lake in rural southern Michigan.
  • The first thing I learned to cook was pancakes.
  • The craziest thing I ever made was mint-flavored green cupcakes when I was 13. My family didn’t like them much…

Share the LVE

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

About Me

Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Creator | Publisher

I'm so happy you're here...

Where my passion is all about helping people to create lasting change in their health and life by making delicious, nutritious choices for eating better. Here you'll find easy recipes that use only real, whole foods with ingredients you can trust. Gluten-free meals that never, ever compromise on taste, which save you time - even when life gets busy.


Recent Posts

Follow Me

Weekly Video

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed and recommend them because they are companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions!


Dessert in Five






On G-Free Deliciously

More to explore...

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

Great for picnics, potlucks, or holidays, this recipe for Jalapeno Deviled Eggs adds a slightly spicy bite to classic deviled eggs with its updated jalapeno twist!

How To Eat The Most Deliciously Flavorful Kale

If you’ve never tried kale, here’s what you’ll need to know to choose, buy, and store this good-for-you healthy, tasty, vegetable.

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
{Easy Recipe}

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Make this affordable, easy recipe for a delicious grilled chicken sandwich with toppings and a meal that is ready in no time!

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Chipotle Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Hotdogs & Beans

Seriously amazing grilled bacon-wrapped hotdogs stuffed with chipotle cheddar cheese – serve them on a bun or alongside our favorite grillin’ beans for a simple and delicious meal with a hint of smoky flavor!

Visit Us
Follow Me
Follow by Email
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Scroll to Top

NO Need to Look for Your Calculator:

Adjusting the serving size of recipes is easier than you may think.

To change the number of portions that a recipe makes go to the “Servings” quantity in the recipe section below. Hover over the servings amount and a slider box will appear above the amount. Slide the toggle to adjust the desired number of portions you want to make. Please note that when adjusting the serving amount the ingredient measures will change to decimal equivalents. Need help with cooking and recipe conversions? Head over to Good Cooking’s Cooking & Recipe Conversions Guide for their online collection of helpful links!

Stay well-fed.

Subscribe to get your FREE recipe eBook
with 20 Amazing Salad Recipes
to make eating healthy delicious!