As much as I love ham, I almost love the leftovers more so I can make this recipe!

This ham salad recipe is a mixture of very finely chopped ham and mayonnaise with our favorite add-ins! I love chopped pickles (or sweet relish) and a tiny squeeze of mustard. 

A few seconds in a food processor and a handful of tasty mix-ins, serve this with crackers or as a sandwich on bread.

ham salad on bread with pickles

An Old Fashioned Favorite

It seems like every family has its own version of ham salad. Growing up we always made it using canned ham (I still love it that way) but more often I make it with leftover ham.

  • Just 3 ingredients plus your favorite add ins (like pickles, sweet pickle relish, mustard or onions).
  • Can be made with leftover ham or canned ham. This is a great way to enjoy leftover Easter or Christmas ham.
  • Can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for a few days for quick snacks and lunches.
  • Great for sandwiches or with crackers.

This ham salad spread recipe is super easy however we use leftover ham making it incredibly delicious! We love serving it during lunchtime in the summer with some cucumber salad and homemade chicken salad sandwiches!

How to Make Ham Salad

Homemade ham salad is a quickie lunch fix, whether you have a food processor or not. Here’s all you do:

  1. Very friendly dice the ham or whirl it in a food processor.
  2. Transfer the ham to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients (per the recipe below).
  3. Serve the ham mixture in rolls or on bread or even put it out for guests to dip crackers into. To keep it low carb, wrap it in lettuce wraps or serve it over salad.

Really, that’s all there is to it!

Raw ingredients for Ham Salad

Ham Salad Variations

Get creative! Start with a base of ham and mayo and then add your favorite flavors. I personally skip the salt since ham is salty but Here are some variations on this simple ham salad recipe:

  • Snacking and lunches: Serve it on bread, a slider bun, or crackers with a side of potato chips.
  • Feeding a crowd? Make your leftover ham stretch farther by mixing it with diced, hard boiled eggs.
  • Only have a little ham salad left? Blend it to a finer consistency with a little pickle juice, put it in a small bowl, and serve it as a dip.
  • Grilled ham and cheese on rye. Combine the ham mixture with some shredded cheddar cheese and grill it. The flavors will melt together for a yummy lunch.
  • Turn it into a meal. For dinner, use your basic ham salad recipe as the basis for a macaroni salad with ham, or ham pasta salad. Dice in some sweet gherkins or dill pickles, and add a dollop of Dijon mustard for some tangy flavors.
  • Diced onion and bell pepper, or jars of pimento or roasted red pepper also combine well in a ham macaroni salad. Use rotini or penne if you are making ham pasta salad.

More Ways to Use Leftover Ham

Ham Salad in a bowl

How to Freeze Ham Salad

Ham salad is best served chilled. It keeps just a few days in the fridge.

If you plan to keep it longer than that, it can be frozen in an air-tight container. Remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight and drain any liquid. Stir in a spoonful of fresh mayonnaise if needed.

More Easy Salads for Sandwiches

Did you enjoy this Ham Salad Recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

ham salad on bread with pickles
5 from 128 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Ham Salad Recipe

The best thing about leftover ham is it gives you the chance to make ham salad! You can whip it up in the food processor in a flash.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 pound cooked ham diced
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • black pepper to taste

Optional Add Ins

  • 3 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 2 teaspoons mustard or dijon
  • ½ cup dill pickles chopped
  • 1 green onion finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice


  • Place diced ham in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. You want it fairly fine but not a paste.
  • Place in a bowl and add remaining ingredients until creamy and smooth.
  • Serve with crackers or use to make ham salad sandwiches.


If you don't have a food processor, the ham can be very finely chopped with a knife.
I do not add extra salt to this recipe as I find ham salty enough. Taste and season to your liking.
This ham salad can be served on bread, rolls, crackers, or even salad.
5 from 128 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 275 | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1388mg | Potassium: 268mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Ham, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Very good. Ya can’t get Ham Salad in NM and my husband from Ohio loves it so I made it and he says it tastes just like the real thing. I used the sweet relish and miracle whip.5 stars

  2. I’ve made enough ham salad in my life to know that this is going to be great. I think I’ll use the sweet relish option this time and the dill pickle next time5 stars

  3. Holly,

    Thanks for the recipe. I combined all the ingredients. It was very delicious and even my 73 year old mother complimented me on it.

    I have been using a few of your other recipes so keep them coming.5 stars

  4. Just made this using Farmland diced ham. I rinsed the ham with cold water in a mesh strainer to decrease salt. Pulsed in my small processor. We like it simple. Used mayo and Homemade Chili Sauce (brand). My mom always bought minced ham from the butcher yrs ago.Havent had this in yrs. Thought of her & my sister making this. May need to freeze some. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  5. This ham salad is delicious and so easy to make. Need to go to Honey Baked and get some more ham to have leftovers for this again. Thank you!5 stars

  6. Yum!! I added finely chopped dill pickles to the ham salad and it was dill-icious!! LOL My husband kept going on and on about it and ended up eating three ham salad sandwiches,it’s in one sitting!! I thought it was awesome as well, but I restrained myself and had only one. It wasn’t easy. I’ve had ham salad with sweet pickle relish before and it was okay, but the dill pickles just gave it that something special that took it to another level, for us. Maybe, it’s the saltiness of the dill pickles that counter the slight sweetness of the ham that makes it so yummy, not sure, but I might have to do more research! Thanks so much!5 stars

    1. Hi Gerry, if you scroll all the way to the bottom (or use the jump to recipe button at the top) there is a recipe card with full ingredient list and instructions.

  7. I also add some dried cranberries for some tartness and the added texture. Sometimes I mince a banana pepper as well for a zestiest option.5 stars

  8. I use boiled eggs, finely chopped bacon, red onion, bell pepper, celery, sweet relish mayo, dijon mustard, red pepper flakes and shredded smoked cheddar and shredded smoked ham. But I’m a dude and I don’t know no damn better. Lol

    1. Try mustard with dill and also added sweet pickles. Tried in potato salad as I use all the other ingredients you used In Your ham salad. Very good!!

      Hint: you can find yellow mustard now with lots of added ingredients. My fav is the yellow mustard with dill.

  9. Delish! Used mustard, sweet pickle relish, some relish “juice”, green onion, mayo and 1/2 jalapeño (seeded). Would’ve added the celery if mine wasn’t rotten, lol! Great recipe, thanks!5 stars

  10. Excellent. Added a bit of spicy musturerd teaspoon of swt relish cause wife doesnt care for it. It turned out perfect5 stars

  11. Oh do I agree that ham salad is wonderful. One exception; use sweet pickles or relish instead of dill pickles for ham. Definitely use the Dijon mustard. So good.5 stars

  12. Your ‘add-ins’ are usually what’s in REAL Ham Salad where I came from! Most folks use sweet pickles OR sweet pickle relish, NOT dill pickles, nor their juice. A ‘neutral’ ham is typically used (not sweet ham or smoked ham) so that the flavor of the ham won’t overpower the add-ins. BTW, can’t anyone make a salad without adding mustard? It must be a southern ‘thang’, and it tends to overpower the flavor of the salad. If you season your dish, you won’t have to muck it up by adding (the flavor copout) mustard! Sorry, but I had to say this.

    1. There are certainly different ways to make a ham salad including the optional items. I’m sure your version is delicious too, I’m not from the South but I am sharing my version here.

      We don’t find that 2 teaspoons of mustard overpower the ham but again, it’s listed as optional so you can certainly leave it out.