Baked Ham with Pineapple is a show-stopping main dish that is simple to make and totally impressive. Wow your guests with this baked ham with pineapple that’s ready in about 2 hours.
I know you’ve seen this before: A glossy, glazed ham with bright yellow pineapple rings with cherries in the center to look like tropical flowers. This impressive dish has been served at holiday tables for years and years, and probably by your great great grandmother!
Canned pineapple was a new and exciting ingredient in the early 1900’s, and home cooks found many recipes using it in women’s magazines and newspapers. In 1925, the first printed recipe for baked ham with pineapple showed up, and the rest is history. Pineapple rings just belong on ham now, and that’s that!
Even without that historical pop culture influence, I think pineapple ham would have eventually caught on anyways. The sweetness and acidity of pineapple complements the smoky, saltiness of ham perfectly.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s so pretty: A baked ham with gorgeous yellow pineapple rings with red maraschino cherry centers is going to be the centerpiece of your holiday dinner.
- Easy to Make: Ham is generally one of the easiest holiday meats to make, as it’s pre-cooked. We just need to add flavor and warm it up.
- Easy to find ingredients: The use of dried ground spices rather than whole ones makes this one a bit more simple than clove studded recipes, but you’ll still get all of the spicy flavors.
- The perfect glaze: We’re making a glaze for ham with pineapple, sugar, and honey. It’s the perfect amount of sweet to add a caramelized crisp to the outside of the ham and balance the saltiness.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Ham: To make a pineapple studded ham, choose a 6-7 pound pre-cooked ham that is not already pre-sliced. I prefer a boneless ham as it’s easier to slice, but you can use a bone in ham as well.
- Pineapple Rings: 1 large can of pineapple rings is perfect for this recipe. Reserve the juice from the can for the glaze.
- Maraschino Cherries: Make your life easier by getting the cherries without the stems. You’ll need just a small 4 ounce jar.
- Brown Sugar and Pineapple Glaze: I’ll break down the ingredients for this below. The glaze is what makes this ham better than all others.
Pineapple Ham Glaze Ingredients
- Brown Sugar and Honey: These two sweeteners do their job to make the glaze sweet, but also add a lot of caramelly, earthy flavor.
- Dijon Mustard: The tangy, savory, and sophisticated warmth of dijon mustard is delicious with ham (and all types of pork), and works to balance the sweetness in this ham glaze.
- Spices: the warm sweetness of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves is the finishing touch for our pineapple ham glaze.
How to Make a Baked Ham with Pineapple
- Prepare. Make sure that you have a large roasting pan lined with foil and a handful of toothpicks at the ready. Preheat the oven 325°F/160°C, and bring the ham to room temperature.
- Score Ham: Place ham in a roasting pan. With a sharp knife, score the rind of the ham with a diamond pattern.
- Make Pineapple Ham Glaze: Combine the glaze ingredients with ¼ cup of pineapple juice reserved from the canned pineapple rings.
- Bake: Brush half of the glaze over the ham. Cover it with foil and bake for an hour and a half.
- Decorate: Remove the ham from the oven, uncover, then brush with the remaining glaze. Arrange the pineapple rings all over the ham using toothpicks. Then add one maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
- Continue Baking: Bake uncovered for 30-45 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140°F/60°C.
- Broil: To get an extra brown and crispy crust, turn on the broiler, and place the ham under it for 1-5 minutes until the fruit just turns brown.
- Rest: Allow the ham to rest on a platter for 15-30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Don’t overcook the ham. Use a thermometer to make sure it’s at the right temperature, and then remove it from the oven.
- Use foil: Cooking the ham under foil for the first part of cooking keeps it moist.
- Don’t burn the pineapple: The sugar on the ham glaze will burn if left under the broiler for too long. Keep an eye on it to avoid that.
- Buy the right ham: This recipe is for a pre-cooked ham, which most will be. Read the packaging to be sure though.
How to Buy a Ham
Here are a few tips if you’re shopping for a ham and not quite sure what to get. Ham, in general, is going to be a cut of meat from the bag leg of the animal, but there are many variations of that available in stores.
Raw, Cured, or Smoked – Raw ham must be cooked for longer and can retain more moisture. If using cured or smoked, you just need to heat it up as it’s already fully cooked (like our recipe here). A smoked ham has been cured and then smoked.
Shank end or Butt End – A ham is sliced into 2 parts that are sold separately. The shank end is fattier but comes with just one straight bone, and the butt end is leaner but has more bones. You can decide which you prefer.
Whole or Spiral – Spiral cut ham is easier to find and serve, but a whole ham can be juicier but tricky to carve and work with.
How much to buy – Plan about half a pound of meat per person if using a boneless ham, and ¾ of ham per person if using bone-in ham.
What to Serve with Pineapple Ham
This holiday main deserves all of your best holiday side dishes! Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes or Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus bundles, and Broccoli Casserole would be my first choices.
You definitely can, but keep in mind that it’s difficult to get the pineapple rings to stay on a pre-sliced ham. It’s easier to add pineapple to a regular ham, and then slice it later. As a bonus, this ham will be moist and juicy and definitely won’t dry out.
The slow cooker does a beautiful job of heating a ham with pineapple. Prep the ham as directed, and cook for 3-4 hours on low, until the ham is heated through. Remove from the pot and place under the broiler to brown the fruit if desired.
Keep your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze sliced or diced ham for up to 3 months to use in recipes later.
This easy and impressive holiday ham recipe will be a family favorite immediately. You’ll be so glad you decided to try this classic dish.
- 6-7 pound fully cooked ham preferably boneless, but bone-in is fine if that’s what’s available.
- 15 ounce can pineapple rings in juice reserve juice, about 3 tbsp
- 4 ounces jarred maraschino cherries without stems
For the glaze
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- Allow the ham to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. This will keep it from being cold in the center.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C, line a roasting pan with foil.
- Place ham in the roasting pan, with a sharp knife score the rind with a diamond pattern.
- Make the glaze: combine the glaze ingredients with ¼ cup of pineapple juice.
- Brush half of the glaze over the ham, cover with foil and cook for an hour and a half.
- Remove the ham from the oven, uncover then brush with the remaining glaze. Arrange the pineapple rings all over the ham using toothpicks. Then add 1 maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
- Bake uncovered for 30-45 more minutes or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140°F/60°C.
- To get an extra brown and crispy crust, turn on the broiler and broil for 1-5 minutes to crisp up the top.
- Allow the ham to rest on a platter for 15-30 minutes before slicing and serving.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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