This warm and hearty dish of tender potatoes and silky pasta with ham is a budget-friendly meal that is both simple to make and incredibly delicious. Grenadir is the epitome of quick comfort, requiring just a handful of basic pantry staples.
This traditional dish from Croatia shows how simple ingredients can turn into something SO yummy. It's easy, low in fat despite the double carb, and if you skip the ham, it's vegan!
Best of all, you can whip up this tasty meal in just 10 minutes using leftover cooked pasta and potatoes!
Grenadir, also called Granadir or Grenadier Marsh, is a very common dish in Central Europe with regional variations.
Although the origin of this potato pasta dish is unknown, its name, “March of the Grenadiers,” hints at a typical military food - cheap and filling.
For me, Grenadier is one of those dishes that triggers childhood memories of happiness and contentment, even though I never associated food with happiness when I was a wee child.
But now...the aroma of onions hitting the hot oil always tickles my nose and makes me hungry. I promise you will like it too.
🛒 Ingredients and Notes
- Onion - Use yellow, also known as Spanish onion or white. Shallot works, too, but not red onion.
- Potatoes - Any potatoes will work. (*See the note below in "Expert Tips.")
- Pasta - Any short-shaped pasta or macaroni you have on hand. You know those leftover bits of pasta at the bottom of the package, not quite enough for a full serving? That mixed pasta is great for this recipe!
- Ham - You can use prepackaged diced or cubed ham or chop up your leftovers from the holiday meal.
🔪 How to make Grenadir from scratch
Your kids could also (help) make it in these easy steps:
- Sauté chopped onions in oil until translucent.
- Add cooked potatoes and gently stir to combine.
- Add cooked pasta - sprinkle with paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in cubed ham, if using. When heated through, garnish with parsley, chives, or basil and serve.
It doesn't get easier than that!
💡 Top tip
Don't hesitate to use leftover potatoes, pasta, and ham. Grenadir is a great way to breathe new life into yesterday's meal. 😋
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- You can cook potatoes with or without skin first. Using leftover dairy-free mashed potatoes works just as well.
- Waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or red potatoes hold their shape better during cooking. However, don't go shopping just for this dish. Any potatoes will work. I usually have Russet potatoes in my pantry, which is what I used here.
- Any short pasta such as farfale, ziti, rigatoni, rotini, or fusilli would do just fine. There are no rules!
What To Serve with Potato Pasta?
- You can make grenadir with bacon (pancetta) or smoked sausage instead of ham.
- Leave out the meat for a side dish or a filling vegetarian and vegan meal best served with salad.
- Mix in a bit of tomato sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
❓Frequently Asked Questions
Of course! Opt for a vegan twist by skipping the ham!
Instead of ham, you can use bacon or smoked sausage, such as kielbasa.
Absolutely! Mix potatoes with your favorite GF pasta brand!
Yes, cook the potatoes and pasta a day or two prior - it only seems to get better.
More recipes using leftover potatoes or pasta:
Easy Potato Pasta with Ham - Grenadir
- 2 Saucepans
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cups cooked potatoes, (or about 1 ½ pounds uncooked), cubed
- 4 cups cooked short-shaped pasta, (or about 8 ounces uncooked)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 8 ounces ham, diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- parsley or chives for garnish, optional
- Boil peeled and cubed potatoes in salted water until cooked. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente.
- In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add one chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about five minutes.
- Add 4 cups cooked potatoes and gently stir to combine.
- Stir in 4 cups of cooked pasta - sprinkle with paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in 8 ounces of diced ham, if using. When heated through, garnish with parsley or chives, and serve.
- You don't have to have exact or equal amounts of potatoes or pasta for this recipe to work.
- You can cook potatoes with or without skin first.
- Waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold or red potatoes hold their shape better during cooking. However, don't go shopping just for this dish. Any potatoes will work, even if they fall apart- they'll still taste great! I usually have Russet potatoes in my pantry, which I use here.
- This dish is excellent for using leftover ham, pasta, and potatoes. Even dairy-free mashed potatoes work as well.
- Want a vegetarian or a side dish? Leave out the ham. Serve with a green salad.
- Not a fan of ham? Use bacon or smoked sausage.
Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in May 2015 and updated in January 2024 with new photos and recipe tips.