You’ll definitely want to try out this delicious and easy-to-make Old Fashioned Ham Salad recipe. Not only is making an easy sandwich a great way to use up leftover ham, but it’s also healthy and packed with flavor, much like our tuna salad recipe and egg salad sandwiches that you love!
Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch, a potluck dish, or an appetizer to bring to a party, this jam-packed ham salad is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Looking for ideas to use up the ham and cheese? Try these Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches or grab some rolls and make some Italian Sliders with Hawaiian Rolls. You can also check out this collection of Salad Recipes if this dish gets you in the mood for more salad experiments.
⭐️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It uses a few ingredients: With only 6 ingredients, this recipe uses items that you may even have on hand.
- Make-ahead recipe: This recipe actually works best when it sits in the refrigerator for an hour or so which makes it a great recipe to prepare early
- Ready in only 15 minutes: This recipe, from start to finish, only takes a quarter of an hour. So it is great to make it when you don’t have a lot of time.
What is Ham Salad?
Ham salad is a classic dish made from chopped pieces of ham, mixed with a variety of seasonings and vegetables, such as celery, onion, and mayo. It’s a simple and easy way to use up leftover ham from a holiday or a Sunday dinner, and it’s a popular option for picnics, potlucks, and sandwiches.
The origins of ham salad are unknown, but it has been a staple dish in American cuisine for many years. You can find ham salad recipes in cookbooks dating as far back as the 1900s, and it remains a beloved comfort food to this day.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
I’ve highlighted a couple of ingredients with some relevant notes. Aside from this, the ingredients needed are pretty basic.
- Mayonnaise – We used 3/4 a cup of mayo in this salad recipe but you can add more or less depending on your tastes.
- Dijon mustard – If you aren’t sure about the flavor of mustard, you can always reduce the amount a little. But it definitely adds something so it is worth keeping in the mix.
Sometimes substitutions are necessary because of ingredients that are unavailable or needed for dietary restrictions. Here are some suggestions that can help:
- Celery – if you don’t like celery, you could add carrots or green peppers to give a bit of crunch to the recipe. We love celery in our sandwich recipes, like this chicken salad sandwich recipe and it adds that perfect crunch.
- Sweet pickle relish – you can use dill pickle relish, chopped capers or some chopped green olives as a substitute for this.
- Dijon mustard – yellow mustard has a similar flavor, while whole grain mustard is a bit less tangy. Honey mustard is the sweeter version and works really well with the saltiness of the ham.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make Old Fashioned Ham Salad
This Old Fashioned Ham Salad is broken into 3 components:
- Prepare the salad ingredients
- Make the mustard mayonnaise
- Combine the ingredients
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
STEP 1. Prepare the salad ingredients. Add chopped ham to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse several times. Add chopped celery and onion to the food processor and pulse until desired consistency is met. Be careful not to over-mix. (Image 1).
Tip: If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a sharp knife to chop the meat and vegetables for the first step.
STEP 2. Make the mustard mayonnaise. In a small mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, relish, and Dijon mustard. Mix to combine. (Image 2).
STEP 3. Combine the ingredients. In a large mixing bowl combine ham and mayonnaise mixtures and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Image 3).
STEP 4. Serve with bread, crackers or sliced celery sticks. (Image 4).
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Let the salad sit for a bit. You can serve the dish as soon as you have made it, but it definitely benefits from sitting in the refrigerator for an hour or so. This enhances the flavors and is definitely worth waiting for.
- Use leftover ham. You can use fresh ham for the recipe, but it is a great way to use leftover ham from another recipe and cut down on food waste. Then, if you still have leftover ham, you’ll also love this ham casserole that uses a lot more!
📋 Recipe FAQs
If you’ve noticed that your ham salad has become watery, there are a few potential causes. If you’ve added too much mayonnaise or other wet ingredients, this can also contribute to a watery consistency. To avoid this issue, ensure your ingredients are fresh and add enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together without overdoing it.
You can also try draining any excess liquid from the chopped vegetables before mixing them into the ham salad, to reduce moisture content and prevent your ham salad from becoming too watery.
Both deviled ham and ham salad are tasty dishes made from chopped ham, but they differ in their texture and flavor. Deviled ham is smoother and creamier in texture, with a slightly spicier flavor due to the addition of mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Ham salad typically contains chunks of ham and vegetables, such as celery and onion, with mayonnaise, relish, and other seasonings for a sweet and savory flavor.
🍽 What to Serve with Ham Salad
This delicious old fashioned ham salad goes well with a variety of side dishes. Here are a few great options:
- Potato salad: This classic side dish offers a nice contrast to the salty and savory flavor of ham salad. This Amish potato salad recipe is a great classic!
- Fresh fruit salad: A side of fresh fruit, such as grapes or sliced apples, is a refreshing and healthy option that complements the flavors of the ham salad.
- Cole Slaw: This tangy and crunchy side dish pairs well with ham salad and adds a nice textural contrast.
- Pasta salad: A cold pasta salad with colorful vegetables and a light dressing is a great side dish that won’t overpower the flavors of the ham salad. See all of our easy pasta salads for recipe ideas!
- Veggies: Vegetables, such as these candied carrots, oven roasted broccoli, or roasted Brussels sprouts, are a healthy and flavorful side dish that complements the rich and savory flavors of the ham salad.
Ham salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days. However, it’s important to keep the ham salad in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out and to reduce the risk of contamination.
For best results, try to eat your ham salad within the first few days, as the ingredients may start to break down over time, affecting the flavor and texture.
🥗 More Salad Recipes You’ll Love
Want to add a few more salads to your menu plan? You could try this Italian Chopped Salad with pasta and delicious blue cheese. Or try an Asian Chopped Salad that combines sweet and savory ingredients in the best way. Or check out one of these 20+ of the Best Make-Ahead Salads when you are a bit short on time!
Did you make this? I’d be so grateful if you left a “star” rating below to let me know what you thought! Then, the next time you need a quick and easy recipe, come back to Fantabulosity to browse all of my easy recipes!
Ham Salad Recipe
- 1 pound ham roughly chopped
- 1 rib celery roughly chopped
- 1 small onion roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add chopped ham to the bowl of food processor. Pulse several times. Add chopped celery and onion to the food processor and pulse until desired consistency is met. Be careful not to over mix.
- In a small mixing bowl combine mayonnaise, relish, Dijon mustard. Mix to combine
- To a large mixing bowl combine ham and mayonnaise mixtures and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste
- Serve with bread, crackers or sliced celery sticks.
- This dish is a great way to use leftover ham.
- This dish can be served once prepared, however, allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for up to an hour will enhance the flavors
- If you do not have access to a food processor you can use a knife to chop the meat and vegetables.
- Leftovers can be stored in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.