This classic holiday ham is basted with a honey pineapple glaze and served with a sweet and tangy pineapple sauce. Classic Glazed Ham with Pineapple Sauce is a fabulous choice for your holiday menu.
I didn’t realize that the ham with pineapple sauce I grew up eating on the holidays was unique. That changed when I searched high and low for a recipe similar to the one my mom made every year and found it wasn’t really out there. There were plenty of pineapple sauce recipes that called for crushed or chunked pineapple, but Mom’s sauce was smooth, similar to a pineapple gravy.
It’s that tangy pineapple-y sauce that really makes this recipe something unique and, for me, very nostalgic.
Like so many of the recipes of Mom’s recipes, I’ve pulled this one together from an incomplete ingredient list stashed away in my recipe binder. A good reminder to document those treasured family recipes! Some of those people around you who may currently seem very unimpressed with cooking will want them some day. Guaranteed.
In prior years I’ve shared spiral sliced hams so for this recipe I went the classic route. I used a bone-in ham shank studded with cloves and basted it with a brown sugar-honey-pineapple glaze towards the end of the baking time .
If you’ve got a spiral sliced ham on your hands, take a look at my Maple Glazed Spiral Ham or Slow Cooker Ham with Peach Thyme Glaze. Both delicious choices for spiral hams.
Table of contents
Prepping the Ham
Bone-in ham shanks comes with a thick layer of skin called a “rind”. You can trim this, if you’d like. Then, use a paring knife to make shallow even cuts across the fat on top of ham in one direction. Repeat, making slits in opposite direction to form diamond shapes. Insert cloves at intersection of cuts.
How to Make Classic Glazed Ham with Pineapple Sauce
Place a rack in a large roasting pan and place a large sheet of heavy duty foil on top. Place the ham on top of the sheet of foil.
Enclose the ham in the foil with the opening at the top. This makes it easy to open up when it’s time to baste the ham with the glaze.
When it’s time to baste, open up that foil and baste away. The foil will catch all those sticky drippings and clean up will be a breeze.
Baking ham enclosed in foil ensures a moist and tender result and easy cleanup. This is especially important for glazed hams.
Pretty as a picture and ready to carve. You want to remove the cloves before serving.
I found these ham carving tips for bone-in hams extremely helpful.
FAQ and Valerie’s Tips
This recipe calls for a bone-in ham which helps to add flavor during cooking but also because there are so many delicious ways to make use of leftover ham bones that I think they are pure gold. For some ham bone inspiration check out my Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup, Baked Beans from Scratch, and Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup.
The butt portion is the more round, meatier end, and the shank portion is tapered and easier to carve which is why I like the shank for a holiday ham. Either will work for this recipe. Better Homes & Gardens has some really excellent information on the different cuts of ham.
For a bone-in shank or butt portion ham figure about 3/4 pound person. So, technically, you’d need a 7 1/2 pound ham to feed 10 people but personally, I’d go with a 10-pounder to ensure plenty of leftovers. I’ve got you covered with some leftover ham recipe inspiration with this Ham Salad, Easy Ham and Cheese Stuffed Crescents, White Bean and Ham Soup, and Ham and Cheese Sliders. Stay tuned for an awesome leftover ham breakfast recipe coming very soon.
How to Make Pineapple Sauce
- Whisk together brown sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan (don’t place over heat). Whisk in the pineapple juice and water until smooth.
- Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened and bubbly.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, apple cider vinegar, and salt until butter has melted.
- Classic Scalloped Potatoes
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- Creamy Cauliflower Gratin
- Broccoli Pearl Onion Casserole
- Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic, Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts
Leftover Ham Recipes
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Classic Glazed Ham with Pineapple Sauce
- 9 to 11 pound bone-in fully-cooked smoked ham , (shank or butt portion)
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Pinch salt
For the Ham:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Trim rind (thick layer of skin) with a sharp knife if necessary. Use paring knife to make shallow even cuts across the fat on top of ham in one direction. Repeat, making slits in opposite direction to form diamond shapes. Insert cloves at intersection of cuts (remove the cloves before eating the ham).
- Place a large sheet of heavy duty foil on top of a rack in a large roasting pan. Place ham, cut side down, on top of foil and enclose (so you can open the foil from the top). Bake for 2 1/2 hours (15 minutes per pound), or until a thermometer placed in thickest part of ham registers 130 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over LOW heat. Add brown sugar, honey, and pineapple juice Whisk in the Dijon and bring mixture just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside. Glaze will thicken slightly as it sits.
- After initial baking time, remove roasting pan from oven and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Carefully open foil and brush ham liberally with glaze. Return to oven, with foil open, for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing with more glaze several more times as it cooks. Ham should register 140 degrees F in the center when checked with an instant read thermometer.
- About 30 minutes before ham is ready to come out of the oven, prepare the Pineapple Sauce.
For the Pineapple Sauce:
- Whisk together brown sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan (don’t place over heat). Whisk in the pineapple juice and water until smooth. Place saucepan over MEDIUM heat and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, apple cider vinegar, and salt until butter has melted.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
I had tried this recipe a few months ago for a family gathering and everyone loved it, especially my grandkids. We thought we’d do it again for Thanksgiving since we enjoyed it so much.
Fantastic! Thanks so much for your comment, Greg. 🙂
I used your recipe for the pineapple glaze on my roast loin of pork. It was out if this world!! Everyone raved about it!! Thank you!
Hi Steve. I bet the sauce is delicious with pork! Thanks so much for your comment.
Can you omit butter in sause
I made the sauce tonight, just to go with grilled gammon. It was absolutely delicious… I used white wine vinegar and threw some pineapple pieces in along with a few chilli flakes. Husband loved it!
What other things can you suggest to make with the left over ham since it has the clove flavor in it? Thanks
Check out this post for some good ideas on using leftover ham – 25 Recipes for Leftover Ham.
Hi Valerie I make the glaze today and after
It was bubbly that I put the vinegar I didnt have the the apple cider vinegar I used one tbs of white vinegar, and then I cut pineapple chuncks from the can and dumped on the glaze DELISH!!! With the ham thank you!! You saved my day!!!
Absolutely delicious and beautiful too. Definitely will make again. Didn’t change a thing. Made more than enough glaze so froze the extra to make it again.
What if I omit using a glaze since we love the smoke flavor of hickory smoked ham, and just use the sauce at the table? Will that work even though the ham isn’t going to be as sweet? Thanks!
Of course! This pineapple sauce is delicious served with ham regardless of how you cook it.
Can the sauce be made in advance if I’m just serving on the side?
I think you’ll be fine. The sauce will thicken up for sure so just be prepared to add a touch of water or extra pineapple juice to thin it. Try heating it first to see how much it loosens up and then add liquid, as needed.
Tried this recipe yesterday and it was a big hit with the family, especially the pineapple sauce! It added the perfect tanginess to the smokey ham. The only thing I omitted was the cloves – I didn’t have any available. Thanks for posting!
You’re so welcome, Josh! I’m happy it worked out for you. 🙂
Thank you, Valerie. Some 45 years ago I ate at a local restaurant called the Hawaain Cottage. I ordered ham and it came with a clear pineapple sauce drizzled over the ham slices. I have never been able to recreate this delish sauce. I will try yours tonight, I think it’s the same one I had 45 years ago. Can’t wait to try it out.
I sure hope it ends up being similar to the one you remember, Alice!
Thank you for sharing the recipe! I have never tried pineapple sauce or use cloves in making ham like this. Sounds so yum! Gonna try this recipe tomorrow!