Freezer Meal Recipes: Ham and Cheese Braid

January 11, 2015 25 Comments | Disclosure

Easy and Delicious Freezer Meal!

This is a freezer meal that the whole family is sure to love! I have some picky eaters that willingly and happily ate this ham and cheese braid, so it is definitely a keeper for me. Plus, it is super easy to make!

baked ham and cheese braid freezer meal with text

I made 6 of these ham and cheese braids the other day! I participate in a freezer meal group, so we each make several of one meal, then exchange meals with the others in the group to get a nice variety each month. I assembled two braids at a time until all six were done. It was easy and went quickly!

making ham and cheese braid

I bought Rhodes frozen white bread dough (with a coupon, of course), bulk shredded cheese, and a whole cooked boneless ham. You can try using a different bread dough, including homemade, if you want to. We like the white bread dough better than the wheat for this recipe though. The ham happened to be on sale for less than the deli meats and the pre-sliced, pre-packaged meats. Plus, the nice lady at the deli was able to slice up the entire ham for me free of charge.

freezer meal ham and cheese braid assembly

A pizza wheel works great to cut the strips along the edges of the dough. Layer the seasoned butter, ham, and cheese down the center of the of the rolled out bread dough. Then criss-cross the strips over the top of it all. Brush on some more butter and sprinkle on some pretty poppy seeds. Viola!

wrapping the ham and cheese braid for the freezer

To protect the braid from freezer burn, it helps to wrap it in plastic wrap and foil. I think it works nicely to wrap the foil around at an diagonal angle, basically as you might see a Subway “sandwich artist” do. 😉 Label your bundle of ham and cheese goodness, then let it reside in the freezer.

baked ham and cheese braid

Before baking, you will want to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then let it come to room temperature on the counter for a few hours before baking. Bake it right on the foil you use for wrapping and cleanup is a breeze!

Round out this meal with a vegetable side dish, like a green salad or steamed broccoli.

Ham and Cheese Braid Recipe

Rating: 51

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ham and Cheese Braid Recipe


    1 Entree:
  • 1 loaf Rhodes frozen bread dough
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 envelope Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 - 3/4 pound thinly sliced ham
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 6 Entrees:
  • 6 loaves Rhodes frozen bread dough
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 envelopes Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
  • 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 pounds thinly sliced ham
  • 9 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 teaspoons poppy seeds


  1. Thaw the bread dough and let rise (according to package directions). Roll bread dough out into a rectangular shape, approximately 1/4-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut strips along each side of the dough (even numbers on each side).
  2. Combine butter and ranch mix. Spread about 4 tablespoons of butter mixture along the center of the dough lengthwise. Layer ham and cheese over the butter. Starting at the bottom, take each edge strip of dough, gently cross and stretch it over to the other side of the braid, tucking the end under the braid. Continue criss-crossing until your dough is all braided up. Brush remaining butter/ranch mixture over top. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  3. Preparing For the Freezer: Wrap braid in plastic wrap and then foil. Label and freeze.
  4. Prepare after Freezing: Place the braid in fridge to thaw overnight. A couple of hours before you are ready to bake, place braid on the counter to come to room temperature. Remove plastic wrap. Use foil layer to line the baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

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ham and cheese braid

Learn more about Freezer Meal Cooking:


Ateco 4.25 by 0.75-Inch Small Sized Blade Ultra Spatula

Any time I need to spread something, like the butter in this recipe, or frosting, I always reach for my little angled spatula. Easy, smooth, and even spreading!


  1. I just assembled these this week and my family absolutely loves this recipe. I made 5 in one night (because that is how many bread loaves were in the package of rhodes dough I bought).

    I also like this recipe because I like to purchase a whole or half ham and then take it to the deli and have them slice it. This cuts the price of lunch meat at least in half and I still get to choose my high end meats :). With that much sandwich meat I usually freeze it. This recipe I used it all up on the sandwiches (which I froze) but everything was already assembled.


  2. Glad you enjoyed it! :) Thanks for your comment!

  3. Where is the rhodes dough located?

  4. Thanks! Going to winco today.

  5. I made 3 of these today and we tried one of them out for dinner tonight, and they were very yummy. My DH thought that I bought them, he was pretty amazed that I made them myself(I don’t usually cook very much, but I have been trying to lately). Even my DD loved them, and she is very picky, she kept telling me how delicious they were.

  6. Jessica says:

    Its in the oven now and smells and looks great. much is a cube of butter? I used 2 T

    • Did you LOVE IT? It is soooo yummy! 1 cube is equal to 1/2 cup. It actually tends to be too much so yours probably turned out great the way you did it. We actually usually use half that I am going to update the recipe.

  7. I wonder if you can make this like stromboli/calzones with pizza sauce, mozz. cheese and pepperoni/ham/veggies?

  8. My mom has a braid recipe (with a completely different filling) that uses Pillsbury crescent rolls pressed together for the crust… I used your recipe with that crust, and then used chicken instead of ham, and added bacon bits. My family enjoyed it, thanks!

  9. I was wondering do you cook it in the plastic wrap and the foil or do you remove the plastic wrap?

  10. Kim Peterson says:

    Making 5 of these for a frozen meal exchange with other moms. How long do you let the dough thaw/rise before making? Which method is best to use?

    • Hi Kim, we usually buy the Rhodes loaves and just follow the instructions on the back for thawing and letting it rise. We usually have them rising while we’re working on other meals, and they’ve gotten pretty huge and still turn out great. :) You’ll be fine if you just follow the instructions on the Rhodes packaging for letting it thaw/rise. Good luck!

      • The bread dough comes frozen, right? So, as you thaw it the first time does it rise and then you assemble the braid? Then you freeze it again? Does it rise again before you bake it? I’m not really that comfortable in the kitchen, but this recipe sounds like it would be really good…. thank you for the additional information.

  11. Do you have a handy trick for rolling out the bread dough? I had a bear of a time with mine, it kept shrinking back down.

  12. Can I just place in oven with no heat to thaw? I usually put my dishes in the oven to thaw at 6 am then set timer to cook when i need it to start. Never tried this with bread though

    • That sounds like it would work fine. Love the genius of not having your kitchen counter riddled with thawing food all day! Brilliant!

  13. Any suggestions instead of the ranch dressing. I have one sone who won’t anything with ranch and/or creamy dressings. HELP!

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