This classic recipe for Ham Salad is here to stay and soon become one of your favorite ways to use leftover ham after the holidays.
What is Ham Salad?
Ham salad is a dish that combines diced or ground ham with ingredients like mayo, mustard, pickles, onions, and celery. It's versatile, serving as a sandwich spread or dip for crackers and veggies. Ingredient ratios vary based on the recipe or personal taste.
This article teaches you to make a quick, tasty ham salad in under 10 minutes, using pantry staples. It's a beloved Southern recipe, part of the mayo-based salad family. If you like egg, tuna, or chicken salad, you'll quickly add this to your favorites.
Ham salad recipes typically call for cooked or canned ham, which can be cubed, minced, or ground. Grinding the ham and mixing it with other ingredients yields a spread-like texture rather than a salad.
To maintain texture and body, I used a food processor to chop the ham while leaving some larger pieces.
Some other names for this dish:
Ham salad is particularly popular in regions of the United States known for pork and ham production, such as the Upper Midwest and Southeast.
Various names are used for this dish. Amish ham salad, Classic Ham Salad, or Ham and Egg Salad all share common ingredients like ham, mayo, celery, and onions.
However, some variations replace mayo with cream cheese or add herbs and spices for flavor enhancement. In certain regions, it may also be known as "ham spread" or "ham salad spread."
Are you wondering if you have to go shopping for the ingredients? Here is a visual image of the ingredients you will need.
For specific amounts, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the article.
How to make this recipe:
Step 1. Prepare the ingredients.
Boil the eggs, chop the ham, and dice celery, onions, and pickles. Squeeze the pickles to remove as much juice as possible so you don't end up with a watery salad.
Step 2. Make the dressing.
Grab a small bowl and combine mayo and mustard, mixing until blended.
Step 3. Assemble the salad.
Mix ham, eggs, celery, onion, and pickles in a larger bowl. Pour the mayo dressing over the mixture and mix to combine.
Step 4. Serve it or hide it and eat it all by yourself. :- )
Yes, it is so good that you will want to keep it all for yourself. However, you can serve it in multiple ways.
a. In a sandwich, with some lettuce and fresh tomatoes, maybe some crumbled cooked bacon.
b. As an appetizer, served chilled on bread, crackers, pita/tortilla chips or lettuce leaves. (It goes very well with quick breads and you can try a few from my collection of 25 Savory Quick Bread Recipes.)
c. By itself, with a light salad next to it, for lunch or dinner.
This salad lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days if you store it in an airtight container. The best way to serve it is chilled. Leftovers sitting on the table for multiple hours (during a party, for example) must be tossed.
It is not recommended to freeze ham salad as the texture and taste may be affected after thawing. Freezing can cause the mayonnaise and other ingredients to separate and the texture to become mushy. Store this ham salad in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
No salt is included in the recipe because both the ham and mayo already contain salt. Adding extra salt is unnecessary, but you can adjust it to your preference, as with any recipe.
Ham salad is beloved due to its versatility, simplicity, and year-round appeal. It's a staple at picnics, parties, and family gatherings, carrying a rich tradition passed down through generations.
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Ham Salad Recipe
- 16 ounces cooked ham finely diced or ground
- 2 hard-boiled eggs chopped
- 2 celery ribs finely diced
- 1 medium red onion finely diced
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup pickles finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon mustard
Step 1. Prepare the ingredients.
- Boil the eggs, chop the ham, and dice the celery, onions, and pickles. Squeeze the pickles to remove as much juice as possible so you don't end up with a watery salad.
Make the dressing.
- Combine mayo and mustard in a small bowl and mix until well blended.
Assemble the salad.
- In a larger bowl, mix ham, eggs, celery, onion, and pickles.
- Pour the mayo dressing over the ham mixture and mix to combine.
- Serve it on bread or crackers, as a lunch sandwich, or as an appetizer.
- Hot sauce (1 teaspoon or according to your taste)
- Replace mayo with cream cheese (8 ounces)
- Replace red onions with green onions
- Add cayenne pepper or paprika