What is a Ham Nugget? A Complete Guide

Ham nuggets are a popular processed meat product that can be a tasty and convenient addition to many meals But what exactly are ham nuggets? This guide will explore what ham nuggets are, how they are made, their typical nutrition facts, and how to cook them for maximum enjoyment

Overview of Ham Nuggets

Ham nuggets are made from small, boneless cuts of cured ham. They are formed into bite-sized pieces, breaded or coated, and fully cooked. This makes ham nuggets an easy protein to heat and eat in just minutes.

They have a mild ham flavor and tender, meaty texture when cooked. The small round or oblong shape resembles a chicken nugget, allowing them to be picked up and eaten by hand.

Ham nuggets can be purchased fresh or frozen at most grocery stores. Popular brands include Banquet, Foremost Farms, and Smithfield. They provide a quick addition to things like kids’ lunches, appetizer trays, weeknight dinners, and more.

How Ham Nuggets Are Made

Ham nuggets go through a process to transform small pieces of ham into the finished product

  • Ham trimmings are ground, seasoned, and mixed. Trimmings from other cuts of cured ham are utilized to keep costs down.

  • The ground ham mixture is formed into bite-sized nugget shapes. They are commonly round, oval or oblong in shape.

  • Nuggets are breaded or coated in a crunchy outer layer. Breadcrumbs, cornflake coating, or pork rind coating gives a crispy texture.

  • The ham nuggets are fully cooked through methods like frying, baking, or steaming. This preserves and prepares them for sale and reheating.

  • After cooking, ham nuggets are quickly frozen and packaged for distribution and sale.

  • No further cooking is required, just quick and convenient reheating as the nuggets are already fully cooked.

Typical Nutrition Facts

The nutrition profile of ham nuggets can vary slightly by brand. Here are some general nutrition facts for a typical serving of 5 frozen ham nuggets:

  • Calories: 220-250
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbs: 8-10g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Sodium: 450-550mg

Ham nuggets provide a good amount of protein. They are also relatively low carb. The fat and sodium content is moderate. Always check labels, as ingredients vary.

How to Cook Ham Nuggets Perfectly

Though fully cooked, ham nuggets need to be reheated. Here are some cooking methods to heat them up while keeping them moist and tender:

  • Oven: Place nuggets on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 8-12 minutes until hot and lightly browned.

  • Microwave: Put nuggets on a microwave-safe plate, cover, and heat at 70% power for 1-2 minutes. Check for doneness.

  • Air Fryer: Air fry ham nuggets at 370°F for 4-8 minutes, flip halfway through. Monitor to avoid dryness.

  • Skillet: Pan fry breaded ham nuggets over medium heat in oil for 2-3 minutes per side until crispy.

  • Deep Fryer: Fry frozen ham nuggets at 350°F for 1-2 minutes until heated through and crispy.

For best results, ensure ham nuggets are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F. Cooking times vary based on amount and appliance.

Serving Suggestions and Recipe Ideas

Ham nuggets offer versatility to use in a variety of dishes:

  • Appetizers – Skewer with fruit and cheese or serve with spicy mustard for dipping.

  • Salads – Dice and add to pasta, potato, grain, or spinach salads.

  • Sandwiches – Enjoy ham nuggets on rolls or buns for an easy hot ham sandwich.

  • Breakfast – Pair with scrambled eggs or use in breakfast burritos and sandwiches.

  • Soup – Drop ham nuggets in split pea, baked potato, or vegetable soup.

  • Pizza – Top homemade or frozen pizza with ham nuggets for added protein.

  • Snacks – Offer baked ham nuggets as a high-protein snack option.

Ham nuggets can be used any time you want to add quick ham flavor to a dish! Get creative with ways you can incorporate them into meals.

Buying and Storing Ham Nuggets

When shopping, look for ham nuggets without artificial preservatives or additives if that is important to you. Check the best by date and choose packages without damage.

For storage, keep ham nuggets sealed in the original packaging until ready to use. They will last unopened in the freezer for 3-6 months. Once thawed, cooked ham nuggets can be refrigerated 3-5 days.

Properly stored, ham nuggets stay fresh and ready for quick cooking when you need them!

The Convenience of Ham Nuggets

Ham nuggets offer an easy way to add ham flavor into all kinds of recipes. Their fun size, mild flavor, and quick cooking time makes them ideal for everything from kids’ lunches to appetizer trays. They provide a good protein option packed with ham taste.

Next time you want to add a little ham to your meal without much fuss, consider the convenience and versatility of ham nuggets!

How to Cook a Small Fully Cooked Ham


Are ham nuggets already cooked?

The Valbella Ham Nugget is a small, delicious boneless ham that’s already cooked. You only need to heat it up, cut it, and serve!

How to heat up a ham nugget?

Cover with tightly with foil. Reheat in a 325-degree oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 135 to 140 degrees. You can also place the ham in an oven bag.

How to cook a Dearborn nugget ham?

Heating/Cooking Suggestions: For best results: Preheat oven, remove outer coverings and place in covered pan. Bake at 325˚ for 12-14 minutes per pound.

Leave a Comment