This picture-perfect holiday ham is coated with a brown sugar orange glaze and garnished with vibrant pomegranate seeds, orange zest, and chopped parsley.

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Close up top down view of prepared orange glazed pomegranate ham, showing off the pomegranate and parsley garnish.

About Orange Glazed Ham

Celebrate the holidays with this picture-perfect ham as your main course! With a sweetened citrus flavor and garnished with bright red pomegranate seeds, this tender ham is as pretty as it is delicious.

What’s in this Christmas ham?

In order to make this delicious ham coated in orange and brown sugar, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Spiral cut bone-in ham – Popular during the holidays, this style of ham is already pre-cooked and only needs a bit of flavor and a slow reheating.
  • Orange juice and orange zest – For creating the namesake flavor of this recipe.
  • Light brown sugar, honey, and ground cinnamon – For adding delicious sweetness and flavor. For a deeper flavor, the light brown sugar can be substituted for dark brown sugar.
  • Pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley – Both are technically optional but they provide great holiday flavor and vibrant pops of color.

How many oranges do you need?

This recipe calls for both orange zest and orange juice, but how many oranges you need will depend how much you want to prepare on your own. For example:

  • To make enough orange zest, you’ll need about two medium oranges.
  • To make enough orange juice, you’ll need about four to five medium oranges or three to four large oranges.

What type of ham should you use?

When it comes to picking a ham, you’ll want to purchase a spiral-cut pre-cooked ham. You can also purchase a pre-cooked ham that hasn’t already been cut, but you will need to score the top of the ham before baking so that the glaze can still penetrate the meat. From there, you’ll typically find there are two options:

  1. Bone-in hams are more flavorful, but may pose more of a challenge to carve (especially the closer you get to the bone). But for many, the extra work is more than worth it since you’ll also have the ham bone at the end, which is great to have for making soups or broths.
  2. Boneless hams have the bone completely removed, which will have some impact on flavor and weight. In many cases, the shape of the ham is reformed to fit a conventional “ham” shape. The biggest benefits of boneless hams are that they have less waste (no bones to throw away) and they’re much easier to cut and serve.

If you’d like to read more about different cuts of hams and the differences in preparing them, check out this Better Homes and Gardens article.

Close up side view of prepared orange glazed ham, showing off the cut in the ham and the creaminess of the glaze.

How much ham per person?

When planning your dinner, use these measurements as a general guide for how much ham you’ll need:

  • Bone-in ham: About 1/2 pound per person
  • Boneless: About 1/3 pound per person

What to serve with glazed ham

How long is glazed ham good for?

Once prepared, ham leftovers should last anywhere from three to five days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze this ham?

Yes, you totally can!

To freeze, store the ham in an airtight container or freezer bag. Once frozen, glazed ham will remain good for up to one to two months. If possible, save any juices from baking the ham; these will help add moisture when it comes time to reheat the ham.

How to reheat ham

If still frozen, allow the ham thaw in the refrigerator for one to two days. NOTE: Never thaw a ham on the counter; the outer layer of the ham will be at room temperature for too long, posing a food safety risk.

Once thawed, place the ham in a roasting pan and loosely cover it with aluminum foil. NOTE: If you saved the original juices from cooking, you can remove the roasting pan’s grate, place the ham directly inside the pan, and add the juices around the ham.

Reheat the ham at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes per every one pound of ham.

Notes & tips for orange glazed ham

  • I used a brand of ham I like (Hickory Farms) which comes with glaze and a baking bag, but for this particular recipe, I did not use them. If you’d still like to use the baking bag, just follow the baking instructions included with the packaging and use the below pineapple glaze instead.
  • This ham can be baked in any type of pan, but I highly recommend a roasting pan. It’s amazing how much you’ll use it once you have one!
  • If you don’t have or want a roasting pan, a 9×13 baking dish will work as well.
Top down view of two slices of orange glazed ham served on a plate, with a few pomegranate seeds resting on the ham and pictured with traditional sides and slices of orange.

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How to make orange glazed ham

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Kick things off by removing the ham from the packaging and discarding any flavor packets or baking bags, but reserving about one cup of liquid if you can. Set the ham in a roasting pan and add any reserved liquid to the bottom of the pan.

Step 2 – In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon. Mix it all together until the brown sugar has dissolved.

Step 3 – Drizzle half of the glaze over the ham.

Step 4 – Bake!

Step 5 – When the ham is almost done, add the other half of the orange mixer to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, until the glaze has thickened, then set it aside to cool slightly.

Step 6 – Pour the glaze over the baked ham, then garnish with orange zest, pomegranate seeds, and parsley (all optional).

Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Close up top down view of prepared orange glazed pomegranate ham, showing off the pomegranate and parsley garnish.
5 from 1 vote

Orange Glazed Ham

15 mins prep + 2 hrs cook
722 kcal
Yields: 18 servings
This picture-perfect holiday ham is coated with a brown sugar orange glaze and garnished with vibrant pomegranate seeds, orange zest, and chopped parsley.

Ingredients 

  • 9 pounds spiral cut bone-in ham, or up to 12 pounds
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Unpackage ham and discard any flavor packets or baking bags. If there is liquid, reserve about 1 cup and discard rest. Place ham in a roasting pan cut side down, so that spirals are visible along top, then pour any reserved liquid into bottom of pan. If desired, use a knife to score along top of ham to help glaze penetrate. Set roasting pan aside for now.
    9 pounds spiral cut bone-in ham
  • In a large bowl, add orange juice, brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon. Whisk until brown sugar has dissolved.
    2 cups orange juice, 2 cups light brown sugar, 1 cup honey, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pour half of orange mixture over ham, coating evenly.
  • Bake ham, uncovered, for 1.5-2 hours, depending on weight (roughly 10-15 minutes per pound.) For best results, use an oven-safe thermometer to ensure internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.
  • During last hour of baking for ham, prepare glaze. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add remaining half of orange juice mixture. Begin to cook, whisking constantly, until glaze begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to whisk and cook for 10-15 minutes, making sure mixture does not bubble over.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool until ham has finished baking.
  • When ham is done, spoon thickened orange glaze over ham, making sure to press glaze between slices. Finish by garnishing with orange zest, pomegranate seeds, and parsley (all optional).
    2 tablespoons orange zest, 1 cup pomegranate seeds, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 722kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 2700mg | Potassium: 771mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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