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.
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:
- Very friendly dice the ham or whirl it in a food processor.
- Transfer the ham to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients (per the recipe below).
- 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!
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
- Scalloped Potatoes and Ham – the best side ever
- Ham and Corn Chowder – my personal favorite
- Ham Bone Soup (Slow Cooker) – great for leftovers
- Ham and Cheese Sliders – An easy lunch idea
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 Recipe
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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The base recipe is really good! I use Miracle Whip and add more egg, and a lot of processed cheese, and like the idea someone said of adding horseradish. I never measure, just wing it and adjust the taste at the end. I am sure this is one of those dishes that is better the next day or two getting better as it matures.
super yummy for sure and a great way to use up the last pound of our New Years Eve dinner!…definitely going in the family recipe book!
I added the optional sweet relish and some Dijon mustard. Turned out very well.
Have not tried it. Hence the 4 star….But everything else has been awesome. I’m ready, you’ve never disappointed
I have made this several times and it is delicious! I never thought I would like ham salad but this recipe changed my mind. I chop the ham finely by hand and use the relish. Very flavorful!
Oh yay! So glad this recipe was such a hit for you!!
I have leftover ham from Easter . I haven’t made ham salad in so long I needed a refresher. Will be making this recipe in the next few days. Your recipe sounds perfect! Thanx Lexy
In Pittsburgh we use jumbo or bologna , mayo , and gershan pickles to make what we callham salad
That sounds delicious, Dave! Thanks for sharing.
This may sound a little weird, but I use Spam for spam salad. Same ingredients just different meat.
People who don’t care for spam are surprised by this.
I love that, Deborah! It sounds great.
Spam is basically just canned ham… so yeah! I think this is a great idea.
What a great idea! I always keep a can in the pantry, so this is a new way to make it. Thank you!
I was so surprised. First time I’ve made ham spread. This is so good. I used Dijon and no relish, but Everything else.
I had some marble rye bread, so I toasted it and put a little Hellman’s on the toast with ice burg lettuce. So Yummy!
This is a keeper.
Thanks so much for sharing
You’re welcome Kristin! It’s great to hear when people try new things and love them!
My go-to recipe for ham salad. So good! I usually double it and use half mayo/half plain Greek yogurt. And always dill (never sweet). My favorite way to serve is as sandwiches on rye bread.
Delicious! Call me crazy, but I kicked it up a notch by adding horseradish! Thank you!
I like to use half miracle whip and half mayonnaise for some reason adding the miracle whip gives a good flavor
Ernie – I agree. I don’t normally like Miracle Whip, but for some reason the tanginess of it marries well with ham salad. I usually keep a small jar (that I get at the dollar store) on hand just for when I make ham salad.
My family makes this with bologna. We put the bologna, an onion, and dill pickles through an old meat grinder and then add Mayo or miracle whip. I have loved it since I was a kid.
Yes! We used to make this with ham sometimes and sometimes bologna. Great fun for kids grinding it in the grinder! Fond memories!
Skip the BS and post the recipe
The “BS” is all related to the recipe and ingredients. This helps those that are less familiar in the kitchen as cooks of all levels use this site. There is a “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of each page that will take you directly to the recipe.
That’s a pretty rude comment! I personally like all of the commentary and tips to make the recipe perfect. It’s easy enough for you to jump to the recipe if you’re not interested in reading more than that.
Pay for a cookbook or learn to scroll. The writing is part of how this type of site monetizes. As far as commentary this isn’t bad.
Jump to Recipe. Grinch…
So good and easy!
Just made this and doubled the recipe. I skipped the celery. I chopped up some bread and butter pickles to go with my sweet relish. I also used onion. I only had 1 cup of Mayo left, so for the remaining portion, I used coleslaw dressing. Mixed it all in and it’s a hit. Thank you for sharing.
I had lots of leftover ham, but no pickles so I used peperoncinis! Wonderful!
Yummy idea, thank you for sharing!