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How To Make Ham Salad (+Video)

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 as an appetizer with oven-baked sweet potato chips.

Updated March 2020

Ham Salad in a bowl with a ham salad on a plate served on sweet potato chips.

Recipe Inspiration:

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.

My sister and I worked to push big chunks of bologna through the grinder while turning the big silver handle.

The deception…

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????

ham salad in a bowl

Different ways to serve ham salad:

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.

#1

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.

RELATED POSTS: Bread Machine Recipes To Make Any Occasion Special

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.

open-face ham salad sandwich

#2

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.

RELATED POST: 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!

ham salad served on sweet potato slices

#3

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.)

RELATED POST: Spicy Pecans

Ingredients and Substitutions:

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.

  • Mayonnaise: 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.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: 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 relish if you aren’t into sweetness. No pickle relish in the house? Try chopping bread and butter pickles finely to get a close flavor copy of the relish.
  • 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.
  • Ham: Use this 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. One of my readers suggested Spam. Or, don’t use any meat and throw in a couple of extra eggs to make a simple egg salad.

RELATED POST: Homemade Mayonnaise That Stays Fresh for a Month


How long does ham salad last?

Ham salad is good when covered for three days in the refrigerator.

How do you grind ham in a food processor?

Cut ham into 1-inch chunks. Fill the food processor bowl no higher than the level of the highest blade. Pulse 10 to 15 times until ham is shredded.

Read More> How to Make Perfect Soft and Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

How to make ham salad:

using a food processor to shred ham
After cubing leftover ham, place it in a food processor and pulse for 10-15 times until ham is shredded.
chopped hard boiled eggs.
Chop hard-boiled eggs finely.
combining all ingredients for ham salad
Stir in remaining ingredients.
seasoning ham salad with vinegar
Add two teaspoons apple cider vinegar to balance the sweet and salty flavors.

Making Sweet Potato Chips

slicing sweet potato chips with a mandoline
If you want to make sweet potato chips, use a mandolin to slice 1/16 inch thick. Coat lightly with olive oil and arrange on a foil-covered cookie sheet as seen below. Don’t overlap pieces.
Sweet potato chips baking on cookie sheet
Bake the potatoes in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Flip the slices and continue to cook another 5-10 minutes until toasty brown on the edges. Keep your eye on the potatoes as they can overbake and turn black in a hurry. Times will vary according to the thickness and size of your potato slices.

Pin the picture below to save for later.

ham salad served on sweet potato chips

If you are a ham lover:



Did you try this recipe and enjoy it? Consider helping other readers (and me) by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required.

If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Thank you for visiting!
Paula


ham salad piled atop oven-baked sweet potato chips

Ham Salad Sandwich Spread

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Make ham salad with leftover ham, hard-boiled eggs, pickle relish, and mayo. Basil make this recipe especially memorable. Serve on rolls, in sandwiches, or my favorite, oven-baked sweet potato chips. This recipe is easily cut in half if you don't have a pound of ham.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Chop hard-boiled eggs and celery, if using. Add to ham. Add remaining ingredients except vinegar and stir gently to combine.
  3. Mix in 1 teaspoon of vinegar and taste. If ham salad needs a little more zip, add an additional teaspoon.
  4. 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.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 1272mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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Lisa Renee'

Friday 19th of April 2019

Can’t wait to try this! I make my ham salad with left over ham, mayo, green onion and green bell pepper, so yummy!!!!

Paula

Friday 19th of April 2019

Your version sounds more colorful and equally delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Jan

Thursday 18th of April 2019

I’m sure this is absolutely delicious but I’m a child of the 60’s and a country girl. Ham Salad to me will always have bologna and Miracle Whip. I just made it last week for my grown sons. Ahhh, the memories...

Paula

Thursday 18th of April 2019

So your mom made it with bologna, too? Maybe everybody did it like that back then. Thanks for writing.

Akrista L.

Wednesday 14th of July 2010

This looks delicious! Your website is beautiful too - lovely photos, great recipes. I have found several others I'd like to try as well. Do you mind if we share your ham salad sandwich spread recipe on our site? We always provide a link back. Thanks!

Amanda

Sunday 16th of May 2010

Oh that looks great! Your photos are gorgeous as usual :)

Margaret

Sunday 16th of May 2010

Very similar to the recipe I use, but I like the addition of the basil. I use my Silver Bullet to chop up everything. Gives me little pieces.