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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mustard Brown Sugar Glazed Ham Balls

    A couple of month's back Val from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids shared a recipe for Iowa Ham Balls.  I had never heard of such a thing, so I couldn't help but to share it on my Facebook page to see if I was the only one.  After all, Iowa is just 45 minutes away from me, how had these passed me by?!  Our friend Lindsey's mom, Betty, chimed in saying ham balls were a family favorite of theirs.  Of course now I was even more intrigued.

   Betty was kind enough to send over her recipe.  It was definitely different than Val's recipe, but had a similar idea.  In fact, they had mostly similar ingredients just put together in a different way. Now I had to give them a try!  I have been making a lot of ham recipes lately getting ready for our Easter open house.

     I want to make sure I have something delicious to serve everyone, but that means we have extra ham in the fridge already.  So I pulled some out and went to work making ham balls.  It seemed a bit of a shame to grind up such good ham, but I couldn't wait any longer.  Besides, this time of year you can get real ham for about the same price as the pressed ham anyway.

      Knowing I have another carving ham in the fridge downstairs just waiting for me to use up the last one... and a whole ham for Easter too... Matt recently accused me of hoarding hams and turkeys!  He probably wouldn't know or care except my stash started spilling into his fridge/freezer so he took notice.

       Note to self, in the future I need to keep my cache somewhere he won't see it!  I can't help it there was a great deal on turkeys, so I put a few in the freezer and I happen to have a great source for good ham so I replace them as I use them.  Good thing he was kidding (at least partly!) or he wouldn't get to eat from the bounty anymore! ;-)

Ham balls made by Betty herself

    So, with the help of a food processor, the ham balls really came together quite easily.  The batch filled a 9x13 pan.  Next time I think I will make the balls a little taller so I could baste the balls with the glaze as they cooked, but they were delicious this way.

    If you like meatballs in a sweet sauce, or glazed ham you are going to love these!  I served them at a family dinner and we ate more than half the pan with plenty of other choices to go around!  You could make these smaller and serve them as an appetizer or make bigger balls and serve them as an entree.  Either way, they will be delicious!

     Betty's Glazed Ham Balls
makes about 30-35  ham balls

2 lbs ham, ground in food processor
1 lb ground beef
1/8 tsp pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2/3 cup milk
1 cup cracker crumbs (Betty said she usually uses saltines, but any cracker/bread crumbs should do)

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tsp dried mustard powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Mix together ham ball ingredients and form into balls the size of a large egg
  3. Place close together in prepared pan.
  4. Mix together glaze ingredients and pour over ham balls.
  5. Bake uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  If you are able, base the meatballs a couple of times during the baking time. 
  6.  Let stand for a few minutes before serving. 


  1. That makes two of us because I have never heard of these either. They look amazing and I do love the glaze. Thanks Carlee.

    1. The funniest part is my grandma randomly mentioned ham balls recently... now I wonder what was in her recipe! Now we know the exist!

  2. Thus looks like a flavor party in my mouth!! That glaze, oh my!!

    1. They are definitely full of flavor. I never even knew I was missing out all this time!

  3. What a surprise to see ground beef and tomato sauce in these. I would have never guessed that.

  4. That glaze sounds to die for! Looks super yummy. Is it bad I want these over regular old Easter ham dinner? :D

    1. I say go for it! Or make a larger ham for the leftovers ;-)

  5. I LOVE ham balls! One of my mothers special dinners when I was growing up in Iowa :)

    1. That is so interesting! It really does seem to be an Iowa specialty. I don't know how I could live so close and not know anything about them!

  6. Oh these sound perfect for a party! Mustard and brown sugar are the best combo for ham balls. Thanks so much for sharing at Inspiration Thursday!

  7. I love love your Ham Balls and can't wait to try this recipe. Hope you have a very special week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Miz Helen

    1. Thanks, Miz Helen! I hope you love them. Have a happy Easter!

  8. Girl, these are screaming my name! That mustard in the glaze would be so good, I love horseradish on ham also, maybe a horseradish sauce for dipping! This is definitely a must try!!!!

    1. I love the idea of horseradish sauce for dipping! It'd be the whole sweet and heat thing. Yum!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!