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Easy 3-Ingredient Ham Glaze with Pineapple and Brown Sugar

An easy 3-ingredient ham glaze made with crushed pineapple, brown sugar, and ginger. Use it to add pizzaz to your favorite pre-cooked ham. It works great with boneless, bone-in, or spiral hams to make a delicious holiday feast! Serve this as an Easter or Christmas ham.

A baked ham with a 3-ingredient ham glaze made from crushed pineapple and brown sugar.

Around here, no holiday meal is complete without a ham! We live in the rural south. We always have baked ham for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners. My husband and I laugh because we each have aunts who moved away from our hometown. Both aunts like to pick up fancy honey-baked ham from the city to contribute to holiday meals. Those fancy hams from the city are delicious. But let’s say you want to save money on a mouthwatering meal and avoid a trip. It’s super easy to make a fancy glazed ham at home!

Hams always go on sale leading up to the major holidays, and serving a pre-cooked ham is easy and delicious. You can choose a boneless, bone-in, or spiral ham and add a simple glaze to make it fit for any special occasion. My favorite 3-ingredient ham glaze uses canned crushed pineapple, brown sugar, and ground ginger. So simple, sweet, and delicious!

Now, let’s talk about the ingredients you need and optional variations to make it your own. Then, step-by-step photos to help you make the best baked holiday ham with a 3-ingredient ham glaze. Then, check the printable recipe card for the exact quantities and instructions.

Glaze Ingredients

A smoked ham, a can of crushed pineapple, brown sugar, and ground ginger.

The sweet and acidic pineapple balances the saltiness of the ham. Use crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice. Do not use raw pineapple! Raw pineapple contains an enzyme mixture called bromelain. It’s used as a meat tenderizer. Putting it on your pre-cooked ham can cause it to get mushy. The canning process deactivates the bromelain. So, canned crushed pineapple will not cause your ham to get mushy. Use the whole can of crushed pineapple. It may seem like a lot, but the pineapple juice in the crushed pineapple adds liquid to the glaze.

Brown sugar mixes with the pineapple juice and cooks down. It creates a sweet, sticky, caramelized glaze.

Ground ginger adds a mild spice to this sweet and savory ham. 

What Kind of Ham Should I Use With This 3-Ingredient Glaze?

Use a fully-cooked smoked ham to make this. It can be a spiral ham, a boneless ham, or a bone-in ham. Do not use country ham. You can throw that out if your ham comes with a glaze packet. We’re going to make something better! The glaze will cover a whole ham. You can half the recipe for a quarter or half ham.

There are a few types of ham on the market. That makes it hard to do a catch-all recipe. Read the cooking and preparation instructions on your ham before you begin cooking. Remove the rings if necessary. Most pre-cooked holiday hams in grocery stores today have already done that step for you. You will follow the instructions on your ham for reheating it in the oven. It’s generally 15-20 minutes a pound. When there are 45 minutes of cooking time left, add the glaze. 

Optional Variations

  • Mix up the sugar: Use half brown sugar and half honey or maple syrup
  • Add mustard: Make a pineapple mustard glazed ham by stirring ¼ cup of your favorite mustard into the glaze. Yellow, spicy brown, and Dijon mustard all go well with ham.
  • Add soy sauce: Add a tablespoon of soy sauce to the glaze before putting it on the ham.
  • Add other spices: Add a pinch of nutmeg and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to the glaze.
  • Put a cherry on top: After glazing, add a few maraschino or sour cherries to the top for a classic tropical-looking ham. You can secure the cherries with toothpicks to help them stay in place.
  • Add cloves: Cloves don’t add much to the look when you already have all that gorgeous pineapple on top. But, if you love the flavor of cloves with ham, you can stud the ham with a few cloves before spooning the pineapple brown sugar glaze on top.

How to Make a Baked Ham with this 3-Ingredient Glaze 

Pre-heat the oven to 350℉

I prefer to use my enameled Dutch oven to bake a ham. If you don’t have an enameled Dutch oven to fit your ham, use a roasting pan and aluminum foil instead.

If your ham comes with a glaze packet, discard it.

A boneless smoked ham in a Dutch oven.

Remove your ham from the packaging. If you’re using an enameled Dutch oven, place it straight into the pot and cover it with the lid. Then, bake it according to the package directions. In the photos, I was cooking a 7lb boneless ham and planned to cook it for 15 minutes per pound. 

If you’re using a roasting pan, place it in the roasting pan with a rack and cover it with aluminum foil. Then bake until time to glaze.

A few minutes before removing the ham from the oven, go ahead and make your glaze.

Open the can of crushed pineapple and dump it into a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and ground ginger. Stir to combine. Then, set it aside.

Remove the ham from the oven and remove the lid or foil from the pan. 

Use a sharp knife to score the ham in a crisscross pattern. Then spoon the pineapple mixture over the ham and place the ham back in the oven uncovered.

Cook for 45 minutes. Baste it with the glaze in the pan every 15 minutes.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Then, transfer it to a large platter or cutting board for carving.

Meanwhile, simmer the remaining glaze to thicken it. If you’re using a Dutch oven, you can place it on the burner. If using a roasting pan, transfer the glaze to a small saucepan. 

Bring the glaze to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for one minute to thicken it. Serve the carved ham with the glaze.

How to Serve 3-Ingredient Glazed Ham

  • Use a sharp knife or an electric carving knife to slice it to your desired thickness.
  • This simple glazed ham is perfect for a holiday feast. You can choose the size of your ham to suit an intimate gathering or to feed a crowd. Plus, ham makes fantastic leftovers!
  • Serve this ham with creamy smashed potatoes, green beans, and crunchy broccoli salad. Add some dinner rolls or cheddar biscuits. And your favorite mustard to complete the meal. Try serving an old-fashioned coconut poke cake for dessert!
  • Make this roast for any special occasion or festive dinner. The pineapple and brown sugar glaze is perfect for an Easter ham. It makes a beautiful Christmas ham. The Christmas before we went to Maui, we had a Hawaiian-themed Christmas. It was so much fun. Next time we do a Hawaiian-themed Christmas dinner, I’ll serve this pineapple brown sugar ham.
A baked ham with a 3-ingredient pineapple and brown sugar glaze.

Storage and freezing

Store leftover ham in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it. I recommended portioning sliced ham into dinner-sized portions for your family. You can thinly slice some for sandwich meat and thickly slice some for ham steaks. Then, freeze them in freezer-safe containers, freezer bags, or vacuum bags. You can also dice some of the ham and freeze it in 1-cup portions to add to recipes. Label, date, and seal before freezing the ham.

What to do with Leftover Glazed Ham

  • Thinly slice it to make ham and cheese sandwiches. I always make ham delights. They’re like the ultimate hot ham and cheese sliders!
  • Make sweet and savory ham biscuits.
  • Make ham and bean soup, split pea soup, or ham chowder.
  • Add diced ham to quiche, omelets, casseroles, or mac and cheese. 

What is your favorite way to serve ham with a 3-ingredient glaze? Let me know in the comments!

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Easy 3-Ingredient Ham Glaze with Pineapple and Brown Sugar

A baked ham with a 3-ingredient pineapple glaze.

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An easy 3-ingredient ham glaze that can be used on boneless, bone-in, or spiral ham for a holiday feast.

  • Author: Mandi
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ham 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 fully cooked ham*
  • 1 20ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350℉

  1. Remove the ham from the package and remove the rind if necessary. Place the ham in an enameled Dutch oven or a roasting pan with a rack. Place the lid on the Dutch oven or cover it with aluminum foil if using a roasting pan.
  2. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes per pound. 
  3. While the ham is cooking, make the glaze. Add the crushed pineapple, brown sugar, and ground ginger to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. 
  4. Remove the ham from the oven 45 minutes before it finishes cooking. Score the top, and spoon all the glaze over the ham.
  5. Return the ham to the oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove the ham from the oven every 15 minutes and baste it with the juices in the pan.
  6. If the pineapple isn’t golden after 45 minutes, turn the broiler on for a minute or 2. Watch closely. Do not walk away!
  7. Remove from the oven and rest for 20 minutes. Transfer to a large platter or cutting board for carving.
  8. Meanwhile, simmer the remaining glaze to thicken it. If you’re using a Dutch oven, you can place it on the burner. If using a roasting pan, transfer the glaze to a small saucepan. 
  9. Bring the glaze to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for one minute to thicken it.
  10. Slice the ham how you like and serve with the remaining glaze and your favorite mustard.

Notes

  • Use a fully cooked smoked ham. Bone-in, boneless, or spiral hams all work. Do not use country ham.
  • Follow the recommended cooking time per pound on your ham’s packaging. It will vary for different types of hams.
  • Nutrition information was calculated based on using a 7-pound boneless smoked ham.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 5 ounces of ham with glaze
  • Calories: 206
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Sodium: 1836.8 mg
  • Fat: 6.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 28.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 65.1 mg

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One Comment

  1. This was so delicious! We added a little bit of soy sauce and mustard like you suggested and the whole family loved it! The crushed pineapple is such a good idea.






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