These Maple-Glazed Ham Steaks with Red-Eye Gravy are the hearty breakfast you didn’t know you needed. Juicy ham is smothered in maple syrup, caramelized to perfection, and topped with a simple, sweet, slightly spicy gravy.

Maple glazed ham steaks sliced and served with red eye gravy over biscuits, egg and potatoes on individual plates

Let’s get real. Ham recipes are a lifesaver. And we grew up with ham steaks as a real treat! First of all, they’re great when you don’t want a ton of leftover ham laying around or you can buy them individually packaged and sliced.

Ham steaks are also already cooked, so all you have to do is warm them up. And for me, the best way to cook these thick ham slices is to pan-fry them so that they get crisp from edge to edge, giving each slice a good texture.

These Maple Glazed Ham Steaks with Red-Eye Gravy are one of my favorite ham steak recipes. Sweet, sticky, and tender ham steaks smothered in a quick, buttery gravy that’s leveled up with coffee, brown sugar, and chili powder. This comfort food breakfast will knock your socks off!

Love ham steaks as much as I do? Check out my Southern cola ham steak recipe!

What is a ham steak?

Ham steak is a single slice of a whole ham that’s typically cut from the center of a whole ham roast. Ham steaks are pre-cooked and sold as individually packaged slices.

What is red-eye gravy?

Red-eye gravy is an incredibly simple gravy made from just a few basic ingredients—butter and coffee being the two big ones—hence the “red-eye” in the name. 

For this gravy, I added a layer of maple to sweeten things and tie in the maple glazed steak. I also added a hint of chili powder, because who doesn’t love that sweet and spicy combo?

Ingredients needed:

  • Ham Steaks – ham steaks can be found next to the whole roast hams at your local grocery store. Ensure that the package says “fully cooked”, “cured”, or “hickory smoked”.
  • Butter – butter creates a flavor base for the red-eye gravy.
  • Coffee – I use leftover strong black coffee. If you don’t have leftover coffee, just brew it fresh!
  • Maple Syrup and Brown Sugar – sweetens and thickens the gravy.
  • Chili Powder – gives the gravy a touch of smokiness to offset the sweetness from the maple syrup and brown sugar.

How to cook ham steak

You’ll start by making the red-eye gravy. First, heat a small pan over medium heat, add in and melt the butter. Stir in coffee, maple syrup, brown sugar, and chili powder. Simmer over medium-low heat until to thicken.

Heat a separate large skillet over medium-high heat, and to pan fry the ham steaks. Brush them with additional maple syrup and cook, flipping as needed, until sticky and browned. Remove and place in the oven.

In the same pan, fry a couple of eggs. Serve with sliced ham steak and a drizzle of gravy!

Is ham steak already cooked?

Yes! The single, by the slice, pre-packed ham steaks you find at the market are already cooked, which means they truly are as simple as opening, heating, and eating! 

You can find ham steaks in the meat department at most markets, near the pork area. When you’re buying, look for packages that read “fully cooked”, “cured”, or “hickory smoked”.

ham steak, sliced in half with red eye gravy on a plate with biscuits, potatoes, and an egg. Parsley in the background

Do you put the glaze on the ham before or after you cook it?

Before! Brushing the ham steaks with maple syrup before cooking them creates a delicious, sweet, sticky, caramelized exterior. 

Pair that glazed ham steak with the sweet, smoky red-eye gravy, and breakfast has never looked (or tasted) better!

Serving suggestions

Considering the coffee in the gravy, I love to serve these maple-glazed ham steaks up for breakfast. They’re perfect paired with fried eggs, pan-seared or oven-roasted breakfast potatoes, sage and honey biscuits, or classic Honey Butter Biscuits and of course another steaming hot cup of coffee!

If you’re a caffeine-all-day type of person, feel free to serve this meal for dinner! In that case, these ham steaks would be delicious paired with cayenne maple-roasted bacon brussels sprouts and squash, honey and fig mac and cheese, roasted root veggies with maple dipping aioli, or mashed potatoes!

How to store

Leftover ham steak will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months. To enjoy again, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then warm on the stove until heated through.

Leftover red-eye gravy will last separately in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. To enjoy again, thaw in the fridge if frozen then warm on the stove until heated through.

More easy breakfast inspiration

If you’ve tried my Red Eye Gravy (and you totally should if you have made it this far into the post) or any other recipe on please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below.
I get inspired by your feedback and comments! You can also join in on the adventures on Instagram @girlcarnivoreTwitter Facebook.

Maple Glazed Ham Steaks with Red-Eye Gravy

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
maple glazed ham steaks on plates with red eye gravy, eggs, biscuits and a bit of parsley
This is a quick and easy red-eye gravy that isn’t thick or heavy. It can be made with a few pantry staples in a kick-butt brunch under 20 minutes.


  • 2 ham steaks
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups leftover strong black coffee
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder


  • Heat a small pan over medium heat and melt the butter
  • Stir in the coffee, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, brown sugar and chili powder to combine.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, to thicken.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the ham steaks and brush them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
  • Heat the ham steaks, flipping as needed, as the syrup becomes thick and sticky and coats the ham and browns.
  • Remove the steaks from the pan and place in the oven to keep warm.
  • In the same pan where you fried the ham, fry a couple of eggs to serve with the ham steaks.
  • When the eggs are fried, slice the ham steaks into portions and serve with the fried egg and drizzle the red-eye gravy over top.
  • Serve with pan-seared oven-roasted potatoes and fluffy biscuits if desired.


Tip: When making brunch, I always preheat the oven to 200 to keep things warm as I cook. Make sure any dishes you place in there are heatproof. 
You can find ham steaks in the pre-packaged meat department. They are often near bacon and those easily heated pre-made potatoes and other sides. They are individually wrapped and have extended ‘best by’ dates. 
If you don’t have leftover coffee to use for this, fresh coffee works great too. I just can’t imagine not drinking it…. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1541mg | Potassium: 470mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 387IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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