Icelandic Asparagus & Ham Bake

"This tasty & versatile dish is very popular in Iceland & uses common ingredients. It is ideal for a brunch, luncheon entree or potluck occasion & also works for a dinner meal when combined w/a salad & crusty bread. Another popular variation skips the use of bread + the reserved liquids & combines the remaining ingredients to use as a filling for tartlet shells that can be served as a starter course or brunch & luncheon entree ... hence its versatility. I hope you will give this dish a try & enjoy it as we do here in Iceland. :-)"
photo by Andi Longmeadow Farm photo by Andi Longmeadow Farm
photo by Andi Longmeadow Farm
Ready In:
8 Wedges


  • 4 slices sandwich bread (white or wheat, lrg size & not thin-sliced, cut or torn in roughly 3/4 in pieces)
  • 2 eggs
  • 14 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 12 lb ham (diced, Deli-type pkg is fine & a larger or smaller amt is fine as well)
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 (8 ounce) can mushrooms (stems & pieces, chopped, drained & liquid reserved)
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can asparagus (cut spears, drained & liquid reserved)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (finely shredded)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) w/oven rack placed in the center position of the oven.
  • Lightly grease a 9-in rd baking dish (or spray w/PAM type spray) & set aside.
  • Place cut or torn bread pieces in a lrg mixing bowl & add liquid reserved from draining the mushrooms & asparagus.
  • Allow bread/liquid mixture to sit for a short time while liquid is absorbed & stir as needed (May add milk if more liquid is required to completely moisten the bread pieces, but it is unlikely to be needed.).
  • Add eggs to bread mixture & mix well.
  • Add cream cheese, ham, mayo, mushrooms & asparagus to the bread mixture & mix very well to combine (This will break up the asparagus pieces & is what you want to happen).
  • Pour mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle surface evenly w/shredded cheddar cheese & use your hand to press it lightly into the surface.
  • Bake for 30-40 min or till golden brown & tests done using a sharp knife in the center. Tent w/foil as needed during baking if browning faster than expected. Serve at once or set aside at rm temp & reheat in microwave as needed.
  • NOTE: Seasonings of choice can be added to suit individual preferences (esp pepper & garlic). My experience was the combo of canned mushrooms & asparagus + the reserved liquid used + the ham meant that no added salt was needed.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Ck2plz
    Great ingredients but came out too soft. I did add 2 extra pieces of bread after reading Loof's review just to make sure it wasn't soft. You don't need to add any milk because there was plenty of liquid; I will reduce the liquid just a tad next time. ZWT9 made for the Gourmet Goddesses July 2013
  2. DeniseBC
    Tasty and good! Next time I will play around with it a bit, but it was tasty just as it was! Sorry for the late review in honor of your Football Pool win!
  3. loof751
    This is an easy and tasty casserole! I loved the ham with the asparagus and mushrooms. To me my bread wasn't thin sliced but the casserole came out softer than I expected so I'll add a couple of extra slices next time. I did add a little garlic powder as you suggested but I agree that no salt was needed. Thanks for posting your recipe!
  4. ChiefWright
    A conventional, but dandy bake! It lends itself wonderfully to improvisation. I added garlic flakes and sundried tomatoes. Didn't have enough bread, so I added an extra egg. It came out a bit soft, but not runny. And very, very yummy! Thanks, twissis!
  5. Bokenpop aka Mad
    I wish that I had come across this delicious recipe a long, long time ago! I have made it three days in a row now since the family asked for it repeatedly. My bake seems to be more solid than the photo so I chose to make it as a nourishing "breakfast-on-the-go" slice. With this recipe, the possibilities are endless for meat and vegetable combinations, however, the Icelandic way is exceptionally good. Thank you, Twissis, for an excellent recipe.


I am an American transplanted from Dallas to Iceland by marriage to a native Icelander & I retired to become his "Kitchen Queen". We love to entertain our family & friends, so I have an eclectic collection of recipes. I especially love simple, easy-fix, flexible & make-ahead recipes - BUT also like challenging myself on occasion. I enjoy baking & food photography. I am devoted to the "More is Always Better Principle" & apply it liberally to bacon, butter & garlic. I can have ingredient issues due to availability here in Iceland & my DH is medically diet-restricted from some ingredients as well. Either situation might require me to modify a recipe, but I will do my best to be true to your recipes & fair/honest in my reviews. Mary Pat (aka twissis)
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