Coquillettes ham recipe

Coquillettes with Ham (French Mac, Cheese and Ham)

Coquillettes with ham (or coquillettes au jambon) is a French house hold classic. It’s a recipe that is incredibly simple, quick to make and is a comfort food dish that you’ll even find in a lot of bistros in Paris. Incredibly versatile, you can add and change ingredients to adapt it to what you like! A kind of French version of the American Mac and Cheese classic, the French use a smaller version of Macaroni (coquilettes) and French cheese and ham.

It’s a dish that’ll be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta so if you looking for a quick mid week dinner read on!

coquillettes ham recipe French

Easy & Quick to make French Comfort Food

This recipe is far from the heights of sophisticated French food that you might think the French eat but it’s kid friendly classic for the average household here. Incredibly simple but actually delicious. It’s made even better than the average Mac and Cheese because we’re using quality French ham and some fantastic aged French cheese.

What You’ll Need

To make Coquillettes with Ham (coquilettes au Jambon) you’ll need:

coquillettes ham ingredients

Pasta: In France we use Coquillettes which is a dried French pasta shape that was invented by an Italian entrepreneur in the 1930s in France. It’s pretty much the same as Macaroni but smaller. You can use Macaroni as a replacement.

Ham: Simple white ham (or Jambon de Paris) is best for this recipe. Avoid using expensive Italian or Spanish hams for this recipe.

Cheese: Grated Comté, Gruyère or Emmental cheese is traditional in France. I use a mixture of Comté and Emmental and a bit of Parmesan for extra seasoning!

Butter: A knob of unsalted butter helps to enrich the pasta and make it even more creamy!

Cream: Cream is optional but I find it makes it more cohesive sauce.

Herbs: You can finish the pasta off with finely chopped parsley or chives for a more of an onion taste.

Truffle Oil: OPTIONAL this adds a more adult flavour to a simple kids meal. It’s frequently a dish found in Parisian bistros (Coquillettes au Jambon Truffé)!


Makes enough for 2 people.

  • 240g of Coquillettes or Macaroni pasta
  • 2 large slices of white ham, sliced in 2 cm rectangles
  • 100g of grated Comté, Gruyère, Emmental cheese
  • 30g of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp of heavy/double cream
  • 50g of unsalted butter
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Truffle Oil Optional

How to Make Coquillettes au Jambon

  1. Put a pan of boiling water on to boil and season it lightly.

  2. Add your pasta and let it cook according to the instructions on the packet.

  3. Once tender, drain the pasta and put it back in the pot ideally with a splash of pasta water.

  4. On the lowest possible heat, add the ham and cream and stir to combine. Add your cheese and stir until melted. Add the parsley and truffle oil if using and serve immediately!

What Else Can You Add?

Anything you’d like! If you want a thicker sauce then you can add Creme Fraiche with the cream. You can also use fresh or preserved truffle if you want the posh Parisian bistro experience!

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