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The Best Ham Salad (+Video)

The best ham salad recipe only requires leftover ham, mayonnaise, celery, onion and perfectly combined seasonings! My most requested recipe!

A TRIED AND TRUE HAM SALAD RECIPE

I’ve been making this salad for over 25 years. You just can’t top perfection. I actually tweaked this recipe based off a recipe I got from my very first Betty Crocker Cookbook. If you love my Potato Salad, then you’ll know that those old Betty Crocker recipes can’t be beat! I’ve only adjusted them slightly over the years to adjust to my taste and because I’m picky about my salad recipes! This recipe for ham salad all be the one you come back to over and over again!

ham salad shown in a white speckled bowl with a hand dipping a club cracker into the ham salad

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What kind of ham should I get?

This recipe is perfect for leftover holiday ham. For this recipe, I used a small boneless cooked ham. Thick ham steaks would also work well.

Do I have to use a food processor?

No. You could certainly cut this up by hand. It will take a bit of work though because you want it finely minced. You could also do this in a blender. Just mince a little at a time.

Why isn’t there salt added?

Give this ham salad a taste test before serving. I didn’t add any additional salt to mine because my ham was salty enough so additional salt would have been too much. Adjust to your taste.

What is the best way to serve ham salad?

Serve on rolls, biscuits, as Ham Salad Pinwheels, in a sandwich or as a spread for crackers!

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will last up to 4 or 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing ham salad. Sometimes the mayonnaise separates when it defrosts.

The Best Ham Salad recipe from The Country Cook, ham salad shown in a bowl with a sliced hardboiled egg on top

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • boneless cooked ham – this recipe is perfect for leftover ham or you can purchase a small smoked ham.
  • hard boiled egg – this adds more flavor than you realize and you don’t taste it as a separate ingredient but if you really hate eggs, just leave it out.
  • celery and onion – adding layers of flavor here, use what you like and if you don’t like it then leave it out but I promise you, these ingredients are worth it.
  • sweet pickle relish – relish is always controversial, I don’t know why but if you hate relish than leave it out – some folks like dill pickle relish.
  • mayonnaise – I am a mayonnaise purist. It has to be Hellman’s or Duke’s (or JFG) for me. I do not like Miracle Whip at all but if it’s your thing – then go for it.
  • mustard – some might think this is weird to add to ham salad but it adds a lovely bit of background flavor that you don’t taste as a separate ingredient.
Ham Salad Ingredients: boneless cooked ham, hard-boiled egg, celery, onion, sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, mustard

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HAM SALAD:

Put the ham, egg, celery and onion into a blender or food processor (season with a bit of salt and black pepper). Pulse (short, quick pulses) 20-25 times to mince. 

collage of two photos: ham, egg, celery and onion in a food processor and ham mixture in food processor after it has been processed.

Combine remaining ingredients into a separate bowl (sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, mustard.)

a collage of two photos: mayonnaise, mustard and sweet pickle relish in a medium white bowl and mayonnaise mixture added to a large bowl with diced ham mixture.

Then stir it into minced ham mixture. Cover and chill. I like to chill ham salad for several hours. It definitely gets better as it chills for a while.

overhead shot of ham salad in a bowl with rolls and crackers off to the side

Serve on rolls, in a sandwich or with crackers!

ham salad shown on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls stacked on a plate

CRAVING MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES?

Originally published: January 2014
Updated and Republished: March 2021

The Best Ham Salad recipe

The Best Ham Salad (+Video)

The best ham salad recipe only requires leftover ham, mayonnaise, celery, onion and perfectly combined seasonings!
4.96 from 194 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless cooked ham, diced (leftover or purchased thick slab, trimmed of fat)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • assorted crackers and/or soft rolls (for serving)

Instructions

  • Put 1 1/2 pounds boneless cooked ham, diced, 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped and 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion into a blender or food processor (season with a bit of fresh black pepper)
  • Pulse (short, quick pulses) 20-25 times to mince. Scrape down the sides of the food processor to make sure it all gets combined evenly.
  • Combine 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish, 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard, and salt and pepper (to taste) into a separate large bowl.
  • Then stir in minced ham mixture.
  • Cover and chill. I prefer to chill it for several hours. It definitely gets better as it chills for a while.
  • Serve with assorted crackers and/or soft rolls.

Video

Notes

  • This ham salad is perfect for that leftover holiday ham. I set about making my own version of a ham salad that combines all of my favorite flavors. I used a small boneless cooked ham.
  • Ham steaks also work for this recipe
  • You should end up with 3 cups ground ham after it is blended in the food processor or blender. 
  • Give this ham salad a taste test before serving. I didn’t add any additional salt to mine because my ham was salty enough so additional salt would have been too much. Adjust to your taste.
  • Serve on rolls, biscuits or as a spread for crackers!
Course: Brunch, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Protein: 15g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 948mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Updated to add: The original post had a giveaway. That giveaway has now ended.

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Recipe Rating




172 Comments

  1. Never tried B4, Every question answered & explained. don’t have celery, using little celery salt. we don’t usually have ham.. Best help ever.Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    Had a bunch of women over for a project and made this as one of the dishes. I made it the day before and I really think that is best as the flavors all melded together better than the first day. Will def make again and I have now sent this recipe to all who attended. (As well as the website to get more of your sure to be yummy recipes). Thanks

  3. 5 stars
    This sounds yummy, and I will be making it soon. But I just wanted to share that when I was a kid growing up on the farm (60s era) I would help my mom make ham salad sandwiches for the hay balers’ lunch. We used a ring of bologna for the “ham”, and ran it through the hand meat grinder (remember those?).

    1. I still have one! It’s been passed on to me from my Great Grandma and it’s attached to a table that I have. I also can still get the bologna in those rings at my local butchers so it’s still a thing. My butcher said he still has all kinds of folks that still prefer to grind their own meat 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    My husband said this is the best ham salad he’s ever had. He chopped up the ham because we don’t have a food processor and it turned out great.

  5. 5 stars
    I love ham salad and always keep some (store bought) in the fridge for a easy snack…it doesn’t last long because it’s quick to fix

    I tried this recipe to see if it would work because the store bought can be expensive to keep on hand…..

    It’s WONDERFUL!!! Better yet is that’s it cheaper to make and I know what’s going into it

  6. 5 stars
    My husband liked this so much that he personally made a second batch! I love it too. Reminds me of my grandma over 60 years ago who made this on Sunday lunch with leftover holiday ham. She made this and then served on white bread with crusts cut off and hard butter spread on the bread. I LOVE IT THAT WAY! Puts a smile on my face.

  7. 5 stars
    I just made this using ham leftover from Christmas Dinner. Even freshly made it is excellent! It’s in the refrigerator now, and I can hardly wait to try it again after it has chilled a few hours. Thanks so much! ❤️

  8. 5 stars
    My grandmother made a variation of this throughout my formative years and making this recipe again brought me back “home” and all the wonderful food she made for her grandchildren every day as we were brought up in the same ancient farmhouse that had been in my paternal father’s family for over a hundred years.

  9. I’m probably the only person without a food processor,,lol..BUT I have a meat grinder,can I grind it up twice with the small holes in the grinder?? will that work?? I really want to make this great recipe tnx

    1. It’s funny you say that because I developed this recipe using a food processor because most people don’t have a meat grinder. LOL. Yes, that will work. Grind it up as fine or as chunky as you like. I always feel that is personal preference 🙂

  10. I want to make this but need clarification on how many this serves. it says serves 10. Does that mean it will make 10 Normal size sandwiches? or 10 half sandwiches?

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this for years! With the exception of the celery. My husband LOVES this stuff and can eat a lot with butter crackers. I’m lucky to get a sandwich or two. Thanks for posting.

  12. 5 stars
    The beauty of these old-fashioned recipes is how easy it is to customize them to your tastes. All of the elements of a great ham salad recipe are here, the way most of us remember it. I doubled the onion, celery and relish because that’s the way mom used to make it, but it is simply damned delicious as written.

    It’s been years since I’ve had this, and I’m so glad this resource was here to guide me back to warm summer memories and this perfect concoction!

  13. 5 stars
    While normally I make a recipe as written first I didn’t this one as I’m not fond of celery or onions. We usually smoke a ham on the smoker even if it’s already been smoked used the left overs to make ham salad omg good.