Only 5 ingredients are needed to make this easy, old-fashioned ham salad. Use as a sandwich spread, or as an appetizer dip served with crackers. It's 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.
Many families 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 for a batch of this ham salad!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Only 5 ingredients are needed to make this recipe. No hard-boiled eggs or celery needed.
- A perfect make-ahead recipe that is a nice alternative to a traditional lunchmeat deli sandwich.
- A great way to use up leftover ham! Store-bought deli ham can also be used.
- Serve as a sandwich or as a dip making it perfect for parties, baby showers or luncheons. Goes great alongside other deli salads such as egg salad, tuna salad or chicken 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 this recipe.
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 as they are "ready-to-eat".
In a pinch you can also purchase a ham steak, prepackaged ham chunks, or deli ham if you don't have any leftover ham around. You never know when the craving may strike!
Here's a few tips and tricks regarding the ingredients for this recipe. Measurements are included in the recipe card below.
- Ham - see notes above. Cut ham into small cubes before adding to the food processor. Bologna can also be used.
- Onion - Rough chop about ¼ of an onion before adding to the food processor. Either yellow or white onions will work.
- Mayonnaise - Binds the salad together. For a lower-fat option, sub half or all the mayo for plain greek yogurt.
- Sweet pickle relish - Gives this vintage salad it's signature tang. In a pinch, chopped dill pickles will work.
- Black pepper - For seasoning. You'll notice there is no salt added to this recipe. Typically ham itself is fairly salty, so no extra salt is needed.
With leftover ham and only 4 other ingredients, this ham salad spread is so quick and easy to make!
Step 1: Cut ham into small cubes. Add 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.
Pulsing is the best technique to break down the ham without it turning into a paste. Don't over pulse! If you don't have a food processor, mince the ham as small as you can with a sharp knife.
Step 2: Mix ham & onion mixture with mayo, relish and black pepper until well combined. That's it!
This recipe calls for just enough mayo to bring the mixture together. It's not overly wet, which I prefer when it comes to deli salads like this.
The salad can be eaten right away, but making it a few hours ahead of time will allow the flavors to really meld together.
- To assemble a sandwich, spread a good amount of ham salad (about ½ cup) onto a slice of bread. I love using thick sliced white bread. 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, a wrap or on croissants. Serve with potato chips and some fresh fruit and veggies for a filling lunch!
- Turn the ham salad into an appetizer by serving it with a variety of crackers.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe will make enough ham salad spread to make 6 hearty sandwiches, or 3 cups of prepared salad. Stored in the refrigerator it will 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. While it's fine from a food safety standpoint, 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.
Other Sandwich Recipes You'll Love
Have you made one of my recipes? I’d love your feedback on the comment box and star rating below the recipe!
Old-Fashioned Ham Salad
- 1 # cooked ham about 3 cups cubed
- ¼ cup yellow onion about ¼ onion, chopped
- ½ cup mayo
- ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 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.
- Salad can be eaten right away, but allowing it to sit for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator will allow flavors to meld together.
Helpful Equipment & Ingredient Links
- Yields about 3 cups.
- 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, a wrap or croissants.
- Turn the ham salad into an appetizer by serving it on crackers, too!