Ham salad is a quick way to repurpose leftover ham. A bit of mayonnaise, hard-boiled eggs, sweet pickle relish, and some seasonings, and you’ll be in “hog heaven.” Use ham salad to make a satisfying sandwich, a light supper or appetizer with oven-baked sweet potato chips, or as a dressing-substitute for your daily salad.
Ham salad and bologna will always be connected in my mind.
My mom used to bring home long, fat sticks of bologna. I’m guessing it was cheaper than the sliced variety. She would attach an old-fashioned silver grinder to a stool in the kitchen.
Next, Mom would cut the bologna up in big chunks. Then we (my sister and I) pushed it through the grinder while turning the big silver handle.
Watching ground up bologna extruding out of the holes was a magical process in a kid’s eyes. I remember adding hard-boiled eggs, pickles, and mayonnaise together. Mom called it “ham salad.” What????
Today, I will not eat bologna. It’s probably not that bad if you fry it with the little slits, but I won’t go there, either.
Different ways to eat ham s
How do you eat ham salad? Is it always in a sandwich, or do you eat it with a spoon right out of the bowl? I have ideas.
Use as a sandwich filling.
Nothing is better than white bread with ham salad spread between the layers. Try it with homemade cranberry yeast bread, cranberry lemon dinner rolls, poppy seed rolls, or these dinner rolls using the Tangzhong method.
Take this recipe over the top by adding a leaf or two of fresh sweet basil to each sandwich. Your guests will be asking for your secret recipe. It is AMAZINGLY good.
Use as a dip or make an appetizer or light supper with oven-baked sweet potato chips.
Over a year ago, I discovered how fabulous ham salad tastes with crispy sweet potato chips. My husband has always favored eating his ham salad on crackers. However, I was trying to cut out grains back then, so I started looking for a substitute when I thought of my Skinny Sweet Potato Chips.
Consequently, those of you who eat grain-free or gluten-free may want to try this. Let me warn you though. The combination is addictive!
Serve over a bowl of lettuce.
Use a big scoop of ham salad as a “salad dressing” for your lettuce. Add some spicy pecans and fresh parmesan for a spectacular lunch. Because I eat a HUGE bowl of lettuce, adding some olive oil and vinegar to the whole lot will stretch the ham salad. (Also grain-free and gluten-free.)
Possible substitutions or changes to the original recipe:
Ham salad is not a precise recipe. Play with it. If you don’t have one or two ingredients, save yourself a trip to the store and substitute.
Substitutes could include Miracle Whip (it will taste different), Greek yogurt, or Sandwich Spread. Have you tried the new mayonnaise mixed with catsup? Delicious in this recipe!
For the mustard lovers among us, a teaspoon of your favorite mustard might be a welcome addition.
The eggs can be left out entirely. Or, egg lovers might want to add three or even four hard-boiled eggs to their ham salad. Leftover deviled eggs in the fridge? Chop them up and add them to your ham mixture.
Sweet pickle relish
Substitute dill pickle
Apple Cider Vinegar
Use white vinegar or lemon juice instead. Add one teaspoon and taste. Add another teaspoon if you think your ham salad still needs a little zip.
I debated whether to add this one. But actually, I use this very same recipe to make an everyday chicken salad. Substitute shredded or cubed chicken for the ham. Tuna works, too.
As noted before, my mom subbed bologna for ham. Or, don’t use any meat and throw in a couple of extra eggs to make a simple egg salad.
How to make ham salad with leftover ham:
If you make this and enjoy the recipe, it would help me and others if you would return to this post and leave a rating (on the recipe card itself underneath the picture). Although always appreciated, no comment is required. Thanks so much! Paula
- 1 pound ham (approximately 4 cups)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 stalk celery (optional, chopped very finely if you like crunch in your sandwich)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
- Seasoning salt, (sparingly if desired--ham is salty already)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Fresh sweet basil leaves
- Cube ham (remove the rind if desired) then place in a food processor and pulse approximately 10-15 times until ham is chopped but not too fine. Alternatively, use a meat grinder or chop as finely as you can with a knife.
- Chop hard-boiled eggs and celery, if using. Add to ham. Add remaining ingredients except vinegar and stir gently to combine.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of vinegar and taste. If ham salad needs a little more zip, add an additional teaspoon.
- Chop basil and add to spread if serving immediately. Otherwise, leaves should be left whole and added to sandwich before serving. Cut leaves will turn an unappetizing color.
- Cuisinart DLC-10SY Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor, White
- Swissmar Borner V-1001 V-Slicer Plus Mandoline 5 Piece Set
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 307 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 133mg Sodium: 1272mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 5g Protein: 24g
Post originally published in 2010; republished with new photos and copy April 2019.
If you are a ham lover…
…this Slow-Cooker Pulled Ham is an easy way to prepare a ham for sandwiches
… Spicy Ham and Mushrooms is a good way to use leftover ham
… Hearty Beef and Ham Stew is a reason to plan leftovers on purpose–my favorite soup in the world