The Best Ham Salad Ever
I’m sharing the best ham salad recipe today with you. Did your parents make tuna salad, egg salad, corned beef, or ham salad as you were growing up? After I got married and realized the cost of food after living on my own, I realized why my mom always added hard-boiled eggs to tuna and ham salad sandwiches. At the time, I’m sure eggs were cheaper so she stretched the meat to go further with a filler.
It’s funny because even now when I open a can of tuna, I have to giggle. When our family was young, I could make seven sandwiches with one can of tuna. Why seven, well we had four daughters and Mark needed two sandwiches.
Our family consisted of 6 people, so there you have it. I wonder if you could even taste the layer of tuna back then, life is full of memories.
When you buy ham, it may come as a spiral-cut ham, or glazed, usually with honey. Most grocery store hams are fully cooked, but be sure and read the label on the one you purchase. I typically buy one that we serve cold, that’s fully cooked and ready to serve.
If you decide to warm yours up, you may want to use a thermometer to ensure the temperature is 140 degrees F. If you have some extra glaze, drizzle it over the ham and brown it under the broiler until it’s brown. Keep your eye on the meat so it doesn’t burn.
If you purchased a partially cooked ham, please read the label. Remember most hams are already cooked, do not cook them again or you will have a super dry ham, not fun to serve.
In case you missed my post, Pork: Everything You Need to Know
What is Ham?
I quote from Wikipedia, “Ham is pork from a leg cut that has been preserved by wet or dry curing, with or without smoking. As a processed meat, the term “ham” includes both whole cuts of meat and ones that have been mechanically formed.”
The Best Ham Salad Ever
Kitchen Items You Will Need
- Silicone Cutting Boards (these are my favorite)
- A Good Knife
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Food Processor (optional)
- Meat Grinder (optional)
Ham Salad Ingredients
- Boneless Ham: The bone has been removed from the ham before it has been processed, packaged, and sealed nice and tight. Due to the bone having been removed, it is best suited for carving. Delicious in flavor! Perfect for sandwiches and salads! An excellent source of protein.
- Celery: Refreshingly crisp, light, and delicious veggie! High in antioxidants and the fiber it contains is great for the digestive and cardiovascular systems.
- Onions: Both white and yellow onions have a very distinct spicy flavor that adds a lot to a savory soup, casserole, or side dish. White onions tend to be a bit stronger and pungent in flavor than yellow onions.
- Sweet Pickle Relish: A sweet-tasting relish typically made of cucumbers, onion, mustard seeds, sugar, celery seeds, salt, and vinegar.
- Mayonnaise: Also known as “mayo.” A thick and creamy sour dressing made of eggs, oil, vinegar, or lemon juice.
- Prepared Yellow Mustard: A condiment generally made of ground mustard seeds, water, salt, vinegar, and spices.
- Pepper To Taste: Pepper adds flavor and helps to bring all of the flavors together.
The Best Ham Salad Ever
Step One: Gather Ingredients – Cube Ham, Chop Onions and Celery
Gather the ingredients so you don’t have to scramble to look for them. I love everything lined up, can you tell? I cubed the ham, chopped the onions, and chopped the celery beforehand.
Step Two: Place Ham, Celery, and Onion In Food Processor
Place your food processor on the countertop, and place the ham, celery, and onion in the bowl of the processor or blender.
Step Three: Pulse Food Processor
Place the lid on and lock it in place. I pushed the pulse button 20 short and quick times to get it to the consistency I wanted. Be sure and scrape the sides of the bowl to mix it thoroughly.
Step Four: Combine Mayo, Pickle Relish, and Mustard – Mix
Combine the mayo, sweet relish, and mustard and stir until mixed. Add the meat mixture with the mayo mixture. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
Finished Product – The Best Ham Salad
Serve the ham mixture on rolls or use it as a spread on your favorite crackers. The ham salad may or may not need salt, so use a little pepper first. Ham has added salt when it is processed, so adding more salt will increase the sodium content a bit. I recommend tasting your ham salad to determine if salt or pepper needs to be added. Enjoy.
The Best Ham Salad Recipe
- 2 pounds Ham, boneless
- 2 stalks Celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Onion, chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons Pickle relish (sweet or dill works)
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Prepared mustard
- Pepper to taste
- 10 Dinner Rolls or Crackers (for a spread)
- 1 Hard-Boiled Egg, optional
Gather the ingredients so you're ready to make the recipe.
Place your food processor on the countertop, and place the ham, celery, and onion in the bowl of the processor.
I pushed the pulse button 20 short and quick times to get it to the consistency I wanted.
Be sure and scrape the sides of the bowl to mix it thoroughly.
Combine the mayo, pickle relish, and mustard and stir until mixed.
Add the meat mixture with the mayo mixture. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
Serve on rolls or use as a spread on your favorite crackers. The ham salad may or may not need salt, so use a little pepper first. Enjoy.
What can I serve with this?
- Dinner Rolls
- Crackers – Chicken in a Biscuit, Wheat Thins, or Triscuit
- A Tossed Salad
- Spinach Salad
- Fresh Fruit
How long can I safely store this in the refrigerator?
I’m a nervous Nellie when it comes to leftovers with meat, especially pork. To be honest, I would freeze what you can’t use within 1-2 days.
What should I store the leftovers in?
Place the leftovers in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
Can I make this recipe with Miracle Whip?
Yes, you can, for sure. I grew up making it with mayo, but Mark introduced me to Miracle Whip and the rest is history. If you make this recipe with Miracle Whip, please don’t freeze it, when it thaws it will be a watery mess. I know from experience.
Are there any variations that can be made with this easy ham salad recipe?
This is one of my favorite ham salad recipes! It is so easy to make and very delicious as is! If you are interested in making any variations, I feel that swapping out the yellow mustard for dijon mustard would be a good option. Especially if you are interested in a little spice!
Using dill pickles instead of sweet relish is also another variation that you could make if you would like sour and tart vs sweet.
Adding fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or cilantro would be another alternative. The possibilities are endless with this recipe!
Can I freeze the leftovers?
I don’t necessarily suggest freezing ham salad. It doesn’t always defrost well due to the mayonnaise separating from the other ingredients. But yes, you can freeze it, just know that there may be a little separation.
Place the leftovers in a freezer bag or airtight container and leave some headspace for expansion. Freeze for up to 1-2 months.
There is something awesome about making another meal with leftover ham from the day before. I hope you try making the best ham salad recipe soon.
You can serve this recipe at a variety of get-togethers such as Easter brunch and Christmas dinner. I have also served it along with a bowl of chicken salad to give our guests the option of either.
Let me know what you put in your ham salad. Let’s compare notes. May God Bless this world, Linda
16 thoughts on “The Best Ham Salad Ever”
Which reminds me…I bought lots of the $1 cans of ham/turkey/chicken/tuna and one way to use is making sandwiches. It isn’t my first go to when hungry because I forget, bu they need using and I should make a list to remind me.
Great recipe even if I have to use canned ham. AND, this recipe is great with the other meats too.
Hi JayJay, I grew up on liverwurst as well. I love hearing you picked up cans of meat for $1!!! Linda
Linda, I’m more of a tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad guy but this ham salad looks so good I printed it off to try. Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Ray, I love the ham salad from HoneyBaked Ham. We do not have one here so I wanted to perfect the recipe BEFORE I serve my HoneyBaked Ham on Sunday. This ham I bought from a grocery store. I ordered a frozen ham from HoneyBaked ham and it was shipped here. Plus, HoneyBaked Ham sells Champagne Mustard. Life is good! Linda
Linda, life is indeed good when you have HoneyBaked Ham and Champagne Mustard. I’m having a treat for breakfast this morning–fried potatoes covered with sausage gravy and eggs. And if I’m feeling particularly decadent I’ll add an English Muffin with strawberry cream cheese.
Life is good when you don’t have to wonder where your next meal is coming from, and when you can share those meals with your loved ones..
Hi Ray, oh my gosh, I LOVE sausage and gravy!! English Muffins with strawberry cream cheese. We truly are blessed that we have food on the table. Plus if we have the means we can share with others. Linda
Hi Linda! Have you actually frozen this? I have always heard–may just be rumors–not to freeze mayo. Looks good for fresh anyway. Thanks!
Hi Jan, I have not frozen this recipe but I have frozen the Ham Salad from Honeybaked Ham. I look at it this way, sometimes I can see that I will not be able to eat all of the Ham Salad from them, I froze some, drained off the liquid, and added fresh mayo. Mayo will never look the same after freezing. Linda
I like ham salad but my favorite was when we had a nice roast (beef) and mom ground up the leftovers and created pretty much what you have in the recipe but with ground cooked roast beef. Still my favorite. That being said, as a single, I rarely cook a roast or even a ham anymore so those are pretty much off the menu but I do egg salad, chicken salad when I get a roasted chicken. I don’t do fish or shellfish at all so no tuna (anaphylactic with shellfish and my allergist says no to any kind of seafood just in case. I also have to very carefully read labels to make sure there is no fish/shellfish in the product.
Anyway, my daughter and son-in-law are cooking steaks for Easter dinner so I won’t have any left overs to bring home!!
Hi Leanne, oh my, steak for Easter dinner, squeal!!! That sounds awesome! I forgot my mom made ground beef sandwiches, they are so good! I can’t remember the last roast I bought. An allergy to shellfish is nothing to mess with, I hear you on that one. Have fun on Sunday!!! Linda
This sounds delicious. I like to make my salads using half Mayo/half nonfat Greek
yogurt. Adds tang and decreases the fat. Without Miracle Whip’s.additives. I may try this with lower sodium ham and no added salt. We both have BP and Cardiac Issues. When you use the egg, do you chop it, pulse it or slice it? I grew up on liverwurst with mustard sandwiches too. I use that half Mayo/half Greek yogurt on meat salads, pasta salads, slaw and chopped vegetable salad, plus herbs for flavor. You could add bell pepper to this, especially for children or those who dislike onions. Guess recipe.
Hi MaryAnn, thank you for the 5 stars! I’m glad you mentioned the sodium. I thought the chunk of ham I purchased was too salty to me. I will have to try the Greek yogurt with Mayo, a great idea. The HoneyBaked hams are not as salty. I did not add any salt to my batch. When I make my egg salad, I chop it. You and I grew up on liverwurst sandwiches!! I wish my dad was alive, he used to make a liverwurst dip with green onions as I remember. Today it might be called pate, but it was a dip to us. It was so good!! Linda
We will definitely have to try this recipe. What size food processor do you recommend?
Hi Karl, thank you for asking, I just looked and I have a 14-Cup Cuisinart. I know my mom didn’t have a food processor, they didn’t make them back then. If you have a meat grinder that would work. I know my mom used a meat grinder for all meat spreads. I will go add the link. Enjoy, Linda
I love this recipe and when we have ham I always make the ham salad I have also frozen it and then when I want the salad I thaw the ham and add the rest of the ingredients so good!!
Hi Deborah, SQUEAL! I’m so thankful to hear this! Thanks for the 5 star! I love hearing you freeze it! It’s so fun to make it! Linda