This Old Fashioned Ham Salad Recipe is a classic throwback dish that is perfect for using up leftover ham from the holidays! Simple, yet packed with flavor and a little crunch, it’s excellent with crackers or on sandwiches! No leftover ham? No problem! Deli ham works perfectly, too!
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Ya’ll know I LOVE me a good throwback recipe! In my opinion, food should be simple and delicious and so many throwback recipes I had as a kid are just that! Like my Taco Casserole or these Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes!
This easy ham salad is simple and DELICIOUS–and just like my grandma used to make! It’s more of a “southern style” ham salad recipe and includes eggs and a lot of the same ingredients you’d find in egg salad or deviled eggs. Sometimes I even call this a deviled ham salad! 😉
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- A great way to use up leftover ham!
- Can be made ahead of time and stores well in the fridge.
- Simple recipe and super easy to assemble!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make the best ham salad:
Ham: Honestly, you can use any kind of ham you like! Leftover holiday ham is obviously easy and ideal. If you just want to whip this up for “everyday,” deli sliced ham (from the deli counter) works best because of the low moisture content.
I personally love honey smoked ham in this recipe, but use whatever you like!
Mustard: Regular yellow mustard works best (not dijon).
HOW TO MAKE OLD FASHIONED HAM SALAD RECIPE: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Place roughly chopped ham in a food processor and pulse 7-10 times until finely chopped. Don’t over mix or it will get mushy.
Step 2: Transfer the ground ham to a mixing bowl and add all remaining ingredients: onion, celery, mayo, eggs, mustard and a little black pepper to taste.
Step 3: Mix until everything is well-blended. Then, serve on sandwiches, with crackers on in lettuce cups!
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- If you want to make this recipe with sliced ham, try to get ham from the deli counter as it has less water in it. If you get pre packaged ham, just make sure you pat the slices “dry” with paper towels so there isn’t any excess moisture to make your ham salad soggy.
- If you are serving this as an appetizer for a party, garnish it with a little chopped fresh parsley for a pop of color!
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. ((These are my favorite storage containers))
- Freezing: You can freeze this ham salad! As long as you use full fat mayo, this homemade ham salad freezes up great! Freeze in a large freezer bag or in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter or in the fridge overnight.
ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
This ham salad recipe is my original, traditional recipe, but there are lots of yummy additions and substitutions to make it your own!
- Sweet Pickle Relish: Some people like to add some sweet relish to this ham salad if their ham is more on the savory side.
- Cheddar Cheese: Stir in some freshly grated cheese to make this a cheesy “dip!”
- Hot Sauce: Need a little spice? Add a few dashes of hot sauce (such as Tabasco)!
- Ham: The kind of ham you use doesn’t matter! Leftover holiday ham is perfect. If you want to make this with sliced ham, opt for ham from the deli as it has less water content. I recommend honey ham as the sweetness is so delish in this recipe!
- Mayo: If you want a little extra sweetness, Miracle Whip can also be used!
- Onion: I prefer red onion but any sweet onion works. Finely chopped green onion is great, too!
- Celery: Don’t like celery? Try chopped dill pickles or dill pickle relish instead for a little crunch!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Besides just eating on a spoon straight from the bowl?!? There are lots of different ways to serve up this amazing ham salad!
With Crackers: My favorite way to enjoy this ham salad is as an appetizer “dip” with crackers. Ritz crackers are traditional, but wheat cracker (like Wheat Thins) or thick potato chips are also delish!
On Sandwiches: Ham salad on white bread is traditional, but again, make it your own! Use wheat bread of pile it on a baguette or soft roll with lettuce!
In Lettuce Cups: Keto or low carbin’ it? Serve this delicious ham salad in fresh romaine or butter lettuce leaves!
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Old Fashioned Ham Salad Recipe
- 1 lb. cooked ham (leftover ham or deli sliced), roughly chopped See Note 1
- 4 large boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp regular yellow mustard
- black pepper to taste
- Boil your eggs. See Note 2 below for my favorite methods for boiling eggs! When cool, finely chop.
- Place ham in a food processor and pulse 7-10 times until ham is finely chopped (don't blend too much or the ham will become mushy). See photo in the post above for how the ham should look texture-wise!
- In a large mixing bowl, add ham and all remaining ingredients. Stir until everything is well mixed.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Add eggs to a medium saucepan, then cover eggs with water. Bring water to a rolling boil, then turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let the pan/eggs sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse eggs under cold water and peel.
- In the Instant Pot! I use this method: Instant Pot Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs.