Only a handful of ingredients are needed to make this easy old-fashioned ham salad. Use as a sandwich spread for a delicious variation to a traditional cold cut. This salad is a great way to use up leftover holiday ham!
Baked ham is such an easy, versatile protein that is served at holidays year-round. My family usually serves it cold on sandwiches on Christmas Eve and warm with cheesy potatoes on Easter. I know families that serve ham on Thanksgiving and Christmas versus other proteins like turkey, making it a great option for virtually any holiday or get-together.
The best part of making a big ham for a celebration: it will feed a big crowd & there is almost always leftovers! Leftovers can be used to make cold cut sandwiches, a soup or make a batch of this ham salad!
What Kind of Ham is Best?
This recipe is versatile and will work nicely for any leftover ham you may have. The main difference will come down to the flavor. The flavor of ham salad made with a honey ham will have a sweeter flavor than a hickory ham. Chances are the ham you prefer to eat for your holiday meal you will also enjoy in a Ham Salad Sandwich.
The fact that most hams you purchase in the grocery store are either cured or smoked makes it one of the easiest meats to prepare. Some will be labeled "ready to eat" meaning they can be served cold while others need to be heated to an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
In a pinch you can also purchase a ham steak or prepackaged ham chunks if you don't have any leftover ham around. You never know when the craving may strike!
How To Make It
With leftover ham and only 4 other ingredients, this ham salad spread is so quick and easy to make!
- Cut ham into small cubes. Add the ham to a food processor along with some chopped onion. Pulse until the ham is finely minced. You may need to pause once or twice to scrape the sides of the food processor.
- Mix ham & onion mixture with mayo, relish and black pepper until well combined. That's it!
Pulsing is the best technique to break down the ham without it turning into a paste. If you don't have a food processor, mince the ham as small as you can with a sharp knife.
To assemble a sandwich, spread a good amount of ham salad onto a slice of bread. I love using thick sliced white bread. There's just something nostalgic about it. Add a couple leaves of romaine lettuce for some extra crunch, if desired. Top with another slice of bread, cut in half and enjoy!
You can also serve a scoop of salad on wheat bread, buns or croissants. Turn the ham salad into an appetizer by serving it on crackers, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe will make enough ham salad spread to make about 6 hearty sandwiches. Stored in the refrigerator it should keep 3-5 days. This makes it ideal for meal prepping lunches for the week.
It's not a good idea to freeze food items that contain mayonnaise. The ingredients in mayo will likely separate after thawing, creating an unappetizing salad texture.
You can easily half or double the recipe if you need to make more or less!
This all comes down to personal preference. A salad dressing, like Miracle Whip, tends to be lower in fat and calories making it a nice option. As far as flavor goes, Miracle Whip has a sweeter, tangy flavor which in turn will affect the flavor of the Ham Salad. If using Miracle Whip, I'd recommend using a dill pickle relish instead of a sweet relish.
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Old-Fashioned Ham Salad
- 1 # cooked ham about 3 cups cubed
- 2 tbsp. yellow onion finely chopped
- ⅓ cup mayo
- ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 12 slices thick white bread
- romaine lettuce optional
- Add diced ham and onion to the food processor. Pulse until ham is finely minced. Place mixture in a mixing bowl.
- Mix ham & onion mixture with mayo, relish and black pepper until well combined.
- To assemble a sandwich, place about ½ a cup of ham salad on a slice of white bread. Top with romaine lettuce and another slice of bread.
Helpful Equipment & Ingredient Links
- I love using thick sliced white bread to make a ham salad sandwich. There's just something nostalgic about it. Add a couple leaves of romaine lettuce for some extra crunch, if desired.
- You can also serve a scoop of salad on wheat bread, buns or croissants. Turn the ham salad into an appetizer by serving it on crackers, too!