Ham Salad Recipe

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A vintage creation that deserves some fresh attention, this Ham Salad Recipe is a genius way to turn leftover ham into fabulous lunches, snacks, and picnic-ready eats. It’s also one tasty party appetizer and makes a very good Ham Salad Sandwich. 

Ham salad in a teal bowl surrounded by crackers.


 

Are you sitting on a pile of leftover ham from Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas? First things first: grab that ham bone and make Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup.

Next order of business: Make this easy Ham Salad recipe.

The best Ham Salad recipe goes way, way back, and has been made by the mom and grandmother in almost every family. In the olden days, ham was run through a meat grinder with a handheld crank to get it soft and spreadable. Today, you can get the same results with a food processor. It’s spreadable, edible, and it’s the easiest thing in the world to make.

Fill a ramekin with homemade Ham Salad and scatter a few crackers on a plate at your next casual get-together. People will automatically know what to do and love you for it. Before you know it, everything will be gobbled up and you’ll be wishing you bought a larger baked ham, after all!

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for ham salad.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Ham: This recipe is perfect for leftover baked ham, but you can substitute it with chopped ham steak or any cooked ham. Hams with a sweet or strong glaze, especially those with fruit, may change the flavor profile of this ham salad. Cut away any edges of the ham with glaze before adding to the food processor.
  • Mayonnaise: Start with ¼ cup mayo (as listed in the recipe) but feel free to add more if you want to.
  • Dill relish: Or minced dill pickles. Substitute sweet relish if you prefer that flavor.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To a food processor fit with the blade attachment, add ham. Pulse until finely chopped (similar texture to bacon bits). Or, finely chop ham by hand.
Ham salad in a food processor.
  1. In a large bowl, add ground ham, mayonnaise, onion, and relish and stir to combine. Season ham mixture to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and chill until serving time. Use bread for a ham salad sandwich recipe or enjoy it with crackers.
A ham salad sandwich on toast next to chips and a pickle.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 2 cups of Ham salad, enough for 4 sandwiches, ½ cup salad per sandwich.
  • Storage: Store leftover ham salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Freezing ham salad is not recommended. The mayonnaise is likely to separate when thawing and make the salad watery. But there is no food-safety reason you cannot freeze it; it’s just a quality issue.
  • With veggies: Add finely (FINELY!) minced celery, or carrots if you want extra vegetables and crunch. I recommend you finely chop these veggies by hand rather than adding them to the food processor with the ham. Minced green onion, bell peppers, and fresh parsley work too.
  • With hard-boiled eggs: What better way to use up those Easter eggs? Pulse a couple of hard-boiled eggs in with the ham—you will love it.
  • With cheese: Ham and Swiss cheese come together in this classic variation. Add ½ cup of chopped Swiss cheese to the food processor and pulse together with the ham. Serve the ham salad in lettuce wraps or slathered a French baguette.
  • Spicy: Added ⅛ teaspoon jerk seasoning and a couple of shakes of hot pepper sauce to spice up your ham salad ingredients a bit. Or add a small dollop of Dijon mustard, horseradish, or lemon juice to the mixture.
  • All the deli salads: Do you love a classic deli salad as much as I do? You won’t want to miss Tuna Salad, Egg Salad, Macaroni Salad, Broccoli Salad, and Chicken Salad.
  • Baked Ham: Not that you need an excuse to make ham salad, but try Baked Ham with Crumb Topping, Glazed Ham, or my wildly popular Dr. Pepper Ham next time you want a delicious ham dinner.
A tuna salad sandwich on a plate with a pickle spear and potato chips.
I never get tired of an excellent Tuna Salad Recipe, and of the hundreds of versions I’ve made, this version is the best. Serve on toast, crackers, a bed of greens, or grilled as a very delicious tuna melt.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can you keep ham salad in the fridge?

Ham salad can be stored in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

What is deli ham salad made of?

Recipes may vary, but like any bound salad, ham salad is made with a protein and mayonnaise. Other ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, and spices are added. This version uses ham, mayo, dill pickle relish, and minced onion.

More recipes with ham

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Ham salad in a teal bowl surrounded by crackers.

Ham Salad Recipe

A vintage creation that deserves some fresh attention, this Ham Salad Recipe is a genius way to turn leftover ham into fabulous lunches, snacks, and picnic-ready eats.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings (½ cup each)
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 280
No ratings yet

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • To a food processor fit with the blade attachment, add ham. Pulse until finely chopped (similar texture to bacon bits). Or, finely chop ham by hand.
  • In a large bowl, add ground ham, mayonnaise, relish, and onion, and stir to combine. Season ham mixture to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and chill until serving time. Serve with bread or crackers.

Notes

  1. Ham: This recipe is perfect for leftover baked ham, but you can substitute any cooked ham.
  2. Mayonnaise:Start with ¼ cup mayo (as listed in the recipe) but feel free to add more if you want to.
  3. Dill pickle relish: Or minced dill relish.  Or substitute sweet pickle relish if you prefer that flavor.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 2 cups of Ham salad, enough for 4 sandwiches, ½ cup salad per sandwich.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5 cupCalories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 22gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 1565mgPotassium: 341mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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