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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!
4.97 from 204 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

YouTube 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.

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

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Recipe Rating




180 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    it was the best – and totally easy to make. After gathering ingredients (I gave a rough chop to all ingredients before processing to go easy on my food processor), the whole thing took only minutes to make and serve. We used to call this dish “deviled ham.” Hubby was expecting sliced ham and expressed disappointment – until he tasted this, and then he could not get enough. We ate it with side dishes (mac and cheese is good) and leftovers went on sandwiches the next day. So good.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious, whenever I make this I get so many compliments! This recipe is very simple and I love that it’s also quick to make.

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe I put 3 eggs in it & little more mustard mayo. Just add to your taste & consistency.
    Ham Salad was so quick & easy

  4. 5 stars
    This ham salad is delicious! Followed the recipe as written except for the hard boiled egg. I had run out of eggs making a pound cake the day before. My mom used to make ham salad with leftover Christmas or Easter ham. Tastes just like hers – brought back great memories! Thanks for the terrific recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Gotta say this was one of the easiest and yummiest recipes for ham salad I have ever made. Thank you for the great tip about the food processor. Worked perfectly!

  6. 5 stars
    WHOA – this was really good! Love, love the tip about the food processor. Why didn’t I think of that before!

  7. 5 stars
    I always add a bit of pineapple juice to my ham salad….no measuring just enough to taste. maybe a 1/4 c. or less. This was devine!

  8. Pimento Cheese, especially a grilled pimento cheese sandwich! Another favorite is definitely Banana Pudding with meringue!

  9. One of my favorites is Italian Cream Cake. I think that's a southern recipes, isn't it?
    sharonjo at gwtc dot net