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This delicious Ham Salad combines savory chunks of ham with the creamy goodness of a mayo dressing! Whether nestled into a sandwich, spread over crackers, or served atop fresh greens, it’s a fantastic addition to any meal!
Easy Ham Salad Recipe
Wondering what to do with leftover holiday ham? My yummy ham salad recipe is the answer! Made with a combination of chopped ham folded together with the perfect amount of mayonnaise, crisp celery, sweet pickle relish, and Dijon mustard, it’s the ideal balance of savory, creamy, and tangy! Enjoy it in sandwiches, wraps, or as a tasty dip!
Why You’ll Love This Ham Salad
- Quick and Easy! With just a few simple steps and a handful of basic ingredients, you can whip up this ham salad in 15 minutes. It’s the perfect quick and easy lunch or snack.
- Delicious Leftovers! This recipe is the ultimate leftover savior! The salty ham, creamy mayonnaise, crunchy celery, and zesty pickle relish create an explosion of taste and texture.
- Versatile Dish! Pile it high on your favorite bread, use it as a party dip, or scoop it into lettuce cups for a low-carb option! You can also easily tailor the recipe to suit your personal taste.
- Ham: I typically use leftover homemade ham, but you could even use a ham steak.
- Mayonnaise: The creamy backbone that binds the ingredients together. You can use your favorite store-bought or homemade mayonnaise.
- Celery: Adds a refreshing crunch and a subtle earthy note. Feel free to add a little diced onion too if you like.
- Sweet Pickle Relish: Provides a hint of sweetness and tanginess. You can use chopped sweet gherkins if you don’t have any sweet relish on hand.
- Dijon Mustard: Contributes a sophisticated, slightly spicy element. Yellow mustard offers a milder alternative if you prefer.
- Black Pepper: Adds a hint of warmth and depth that brings the flavors together.
First, add the chunks of ham to a food processor and then pulse it a few times until the ham is finely chopped but not pureed. It should still have some texture. You can also finely dice the ham by hand with a sharp knife.
Next, put the chopped ham in a large bowl along with the mayonnaise, celery, sweet pickle relish, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. Then stir everything together until well combined.
Now, taste the ham mixture and add more salt and pepper if needed. At this point, you can also add more relish, mustard, or mayo to suit your taste.
Once made, put the ham salad into an airtight container and refrigerate it for at least an hour. This gives the flavors plenty of time to meld. Then you can make sandwiches with it, serve it with crackers, or add a scoop to a green salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I add to the recipe?
Anything! Consider mixing in some diced bell peppers or onions for added crunch, grated cheese, hard-boiled egg, fresh herbs like parsley or dill, or use chopped dill pickles for a twist. You can be as creative as you like.
Why is my ham salad salty?
The culprit may lie in the natural saltiness of the ham or other ingredients. This is why it’s important to make the salad first and then add more salt if needed. Sometimes adding a dash of lemon juice will balance the saltiness.
What can I use in place of mayonnaise?
Greek yogurt, with its tangy essence, serves as a lighter option that complements the savory notes of the ham. You could also try using mashed avocados or hummus.
- Don’t over-process the ham. It’s important to just pulse the ham in the food processor. The goal is to achieve a finely chopped consistency that retains some texture, not to turn it into mush.
- Season to taste. Once prepared, give the salad a taste before chilling it in the fridge. If you add salt sooner it may turn out too salty and if you do it after chilling the flavors won’t blend together as well.
- Let it chill. Give the dish at least an hour to chill in the fridge. This period of refrigeration allows the various flavors to meld and intensify.
- Keep it cold. To ensure food safety and freshness, you should not leave the salad at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Store your ham salad in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If using it for sandwiches, make them just before consuming to prevent the bread from becoming overly soggy.
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- In a food processor, add your chunks of ham. Pulse a few times until the ham is finely chopped but not completely pureed. You want some texture in there.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped ham, mayonnaise, celery, sweet pickle relish, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. Stir everything together until well combined.
- Give your ham salad a quick taste. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Maybe a tad more pepper or a bit more relish depending on your preference.
- Transfer the ham salad to a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Serve it on your favorite bread, crackers, or even wrapped in lettuce for a low-carb option!
- Ham Selection: You can use leftover cooked ham, deli ham, or even canned ham. If you prefer a less salty option, go for a lower-sodium ham.
- Texture Tip: For the best texture, chop the ham in a food processor until it’s finely chopped but still has some texture. Avoid over-processing to prevent it from becoming too paste-like.
- Customize Your Flavor: Feel free to adjust the amounts of mayonnaise, mustard, and relish to suit your taste. Add more relish for sweetness or more mustard for tanginess.
- Make-Ahead: This salad can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. In fact, it tastes better after it has been chilled for a few hours as the flavors meld together.
- Serving Suggestions: Serve it on bread, croissants, or crackers. It’s also great in lettuce wraps for a low-carb option or as a filling for tomatoes and avocados.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.