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Southern Baked Ham with Pineapple

This old-fashioned Southern Baked Ham with Pineapple is baked and drizzled with a honey and brown sugar glaze and topped with cherries. Serve this holiday ham for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any gathering.

ham sliced on a plate with pineapples, cherries, and drizzled in honey

What Type of Ham to Use

Start with whether you plan to buy a fresh ham or a cured, smoked, and pre-cooked ham. Fresh hams aren’t that common. Most people prefer cured hams, so that’s what you will typically find in grocery stores, especially around the holidays.

I like to use bone-in hams because they have more flavor. You can also use the leftover ham bone can be used in other recipes to add flavor, like my Instant Pot Split Pea Soup.

I’m not a huge fan of carving, so I like to grab spiral sliced hams. The smoked ham is placed on a spit and rotated against a blade while moving lengthwise so it’s sliced in a spiral, right to the bone. You will still have to cut along the bone to remove your slices, but the hard part is already done and the presentation is beautiful. The slices fall right off the bone.

Some people prefer to use a whole ham instead of spiral cut because they feel spiral cut will lose moisture. I find that if I tent a spiral ham with foil while baking, it stays juicy.

You can use a boneless ham steak if you wish. These are usually a lot smaller and aren’t typically served for most holiday gatherings. They are great for things like sandwiches and paninis.

When buying a ham, read the labels. Some hams are artificially plumped up with water or solutions, but this dilutes the flavor. Look for one with no added water or juices. The label should just read “ham” — not Ham, water added or Ham with natural juices. Check out this complete guide to buying hams.

What Type of Pineapples to Use

I like to use canned pineapple slices along with the leftover juice. This is simply family tradition. You can use fresh pineapple if you wish along with whatever pineapple juice you prefer. Using the canned pineapple rings is very easy to do.

How to Score the Ham

Hams are really thick, so scoring a ham before you bake it is necessary in order to help the ham glaze penetrate into the meat. Scoring will also make the ham gorgeous and very presentable. You will make diagonal cuts into the ham.

I don’t score spiral sliced hams because they are already cut and you can baste the glaze into the cut sections of the meat.

While scoring, use a sharp knife and a cutting board. Start at one end of the ham, and near the bottom cut about 1/3 of an inch into the ham and in a complete line across.

Continue to make similar cuts and lines about an inch apart.

Turn the ham and repeat the diagonal lines to form a criss cross pattern.

How to Make Ham Glaze

I like to use a combination of pineapple juice, brown sugar or brown sweetener, honey, cinnamon, ground cloves, and cornstarch (as a thickener) to make the glaze. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan on the stove until thick.

How to Cook a Ham With Pineapple and Cherries

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Score the ham if necessary.
  2. Place a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add brown sugar or sweetener, honey, all of the pineapple juice from the can, cinnamon, and ground cloves.
  3. Stir until the sweetener has melted.
  4. Add the cornstarch and water to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Add the slurry mixture to the glaze. Stir until the glaze thickens.
  6. Place the ham on a foil lined sheet pan or in a roasting pan. Drizzle the glaze over the ham.
  7. Use toothpicks to secure the pineapple slices and cherries over the exterior of the ham.
  8. Bake.
pineapple honey glaze

How Long to Bake

According to the USDA, to reheat cooked hams, set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F and heat to an internal temperature of 140 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

To reheat a spiral-sliced, bone-in ham in a conventional oven, cover the entire ham or portion with heavy aluminum foil and heat at 325 °F for about 10 minutes per pound. Individual slices may also be warmed in a skillet or microwave.

For a smoked (pre-cooked) whole, bone-in ham with a weight of 10-14 pounds, bake for 15-18 minutes per pound.

For a whole, bone-in fresh, un-cooked ham with a weight of 12-16 pounds, cook for 22-26 minutes per pound.

Boneless hams should be cooked for 10-15 minutes per pound.

pineapple glazed ham on a sheet pan

What to Bake it in

I like to use a sheet pan along with foil. Foil is highly recommended, especially if you are using a spiral sliced ham. The foil will tent excess heat and produce a juicy ham. You can use large foil pans or roasting pans if you wish.

pineapple glazed ham on a sheet pan

How Much Ham Should You Estimate Per Person

 Estimate about ½ pound per person. I typically grab a ham that weighs 10-12 pounds. These will feed around 20 people, making great leftovers if you have a smaller group.

pineapple glazed ham with cherries on a white plate

Can You Make it Ahead?

For holiday celebrations, I prefer to make the ham in the morning. It always tastes best when it’s freshly baked. You can make the ham up to 3-4 days in advance if preferred.

How to Store it

The ham can be stored in the fridge tightly sealed and covered for up to 3-4 days.

pineapple glazed ham with cherries on a white plate

Freezer Tips

You can freeze leftovers (tightly sealed) for 1-2 months for optimal freshness. This is for quality only, as frozen hams remain safe to eat indefinitely.

More Holiday and Thanksgiving Main Dish Recipes

Baked Turkey Wings
Air Fryer Turkey Legs
Baked Crab Legs
Air Fryer Baked Ham
Instant Pot Brisket
Air Fryer Ribs

Lobster Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Air Fryer Turkey Breast
Cajun Spiced Roasted Turkey

Seafood Mac and Cheese
Stuffed Turkey Legs

Pair With These Southern Side Dishes

Southern Soul Food Mac and Cheese
Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
Southern Cornbread Dressing

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes
Southern Mustard Greens

Southern Okra and Tomatoes
Southern Style Green Beans
Southern Baked Beans
Southern Black Eyed Peas
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
Scalloped Corn

Leftover Ham Recipes

Ham Potato and Vegetable Soup
Ham and Cheese Panini

Check out our list of the Best Authentic Soul Food Recipes here.

Southern Baked Ham with Pineapple

This old-fashioned Southern Baked Ham with Pineapple is baked and drizzled with a honey and brown sugar glaze and topped with cherries. Serve this holiday ham for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any gathering.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, southern
Keyword ham with pineapple and cherries, honey glazed ham, pineapple glazed ham, southern baked ham with pineapple
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 405kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sweetener or sugar Dark or light.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 10-12 pound fully cooked ham I prefer bone-in and spiral cut.
  • 20 oz canned pineapple slices Retain the pineapple juice.
  • maraschino cherries Optional
  • toothpicks
  • foil

Instructions

  • Allow the ham to come to room temperature prior to baking. This will usually take an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Score the ham if necessary.
  • Place a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar or sweetener, honey, all of the pineapple juice from the can, cinnamon, and ground cloves.
  • Stir for 3-4 minutes until the sweetener has melted.
  • Add the cornstarch and water to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry mixture to the glaze. Stir as you pour and add it in slowly. Stir until the glaze thickens.
  • Place the ham on a foil lined sheet pan or in a roasting pan. Drizzle the glaze over the ham. Use a cooking brush if necessary to add glaze into the cuts of the ham.
  • Use toothpicks to secure the pineapple slices and cherries over the exterior of the ham. Wrap and tent foil around the ham. Do not wrap it tightly, the glaze will stick to the foil. Wrap it so that it's insulated.
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and baste the ham with the glaze. (Bake time will vary based on the size of your ham. See notes.)
  • Return the ham to the oven uncovered. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Allow the ham to rest for at least 20 minutes after baking.

Video

Notes

  • Bake a (pre-cooked) spiral-sliced, bone-in ham for 10 minutes per pound. 
  • For a smoked (pre-cooked) whole, bone-in ham with a weight of 10-14 pounds, bake for 15-18 minutes per pound.
  • For a whole, bone-in fresh, un-cooked ham with a weight of 12-16 pounds, cook for 22-26 minutes per pound.
  • Boneless hams should be cooked for 10-15 minutes per pound.
  • I discard the glaze packet that comes with the ham.
  • I don’t find it necessary to score a spiral-sliced ham.
  • Typically, flour can be substituted for cornstarch as a thickener. In this instance, I noticed it would form large clumps in the glaze. I don’t recommend using it.
  • You can use full cloves if you wish. They can be inserted into the ham using toothpicks.
  • Make sure you bring the ham to room temperature prior to baking. You don’t want to shock your ham by transferring it straight from the fridge into the oven, which can be a jarring temperature change. 
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Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 0.5pound | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 19g
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