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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 203 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




178 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this for a year now. I would change NOTHING in your recipe. Two things I would suggest though is:
    1. My Ninja is a 40 oz ( I think) and 1.5 pouns is a bit too much for it. So, I keep it at about 1 cup when chopping the ham. If I only make one batch then I just cut the mayo to 1/2 cup and leave everything else the same. If I am doing more, then I can double/triple everything.
    2. Don’t wait till Easter or whatever. You can make this throughout the summer or winter and you DO NOT NEED a whole ham. At our Wally World they sell, Ham steaks, and packages of Diced Ham, Spiral cut ends, and what is essentially ham slices from a canned ham? Anyway, my favorite is the Spiral End cuts as there is way more fat….and that is what I have loved my whole life. I am not a Health Freak, so I go by taste…nothing more. Anyway, the point being, that you can enjoy this year round.

  2. 5 stars
    Quick, easy and taste great. It’s a very versatile recipe. I used di relish instead of sweet relish and left out the egg. It was exactly the taste I was looking for

  3. 5 stars
    I just made this for lunch and it was delicious! I cut the recipe down to 1/3 using a half pound of cubed ham. I still added a whole egg. I ALWAYS use eggs in tuna salad but never have in ham salad before and it is a great addition. I followed everything else in the recipe pretty much as written. As I started to mix the mayo with the ham it looked like not enough mayo but the ratio turned out to be just right. Thanks for posting such a tasty recipe.

  4. So I’m used to ham salad being made with bologna. Would this work instead of the ham? Same amount?

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! I LOVE ham salad, but I needed an easy recipe to make it. This one is perfect!

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe. Made appetizers for bridal shower….. We call them ham puffs (choux pastry). I used a half ham which yielded 18 cups of ground ham, and x6 the recipe for 60 guests. These are awesome. Thanks for the delicious ham salad recipe.

  7. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love ham salad so I thought I’d google it. So happy I found a recipe for it. Thanks so much

  8. 5 stars
    I have had trouble making a ham salad. I saw your recipe and thought that it has all the things in it that we like. Made it for Hubby and he ‘loved’ it.
    Why is a recipe for ham salad so hard to find in a cook book? Glad I thought to Google it. Thank you for your recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

    I’m wondering, would the same thing work for bologna, to make a bologna salad spread? We used to buy that at a local grocery store and I’ve never found it anyplace else, but it was great.

    1. Hi Adia! I was going to ask the same question, but I figured that an even swap would work. My mom used to make some excellent bologna salad and I know that a lot of meat markets/butchers sell it where I live in N.W. Ohio, but it’s a crap shoot at the quality, or the “like mom’s” factor. So you may want to ask your local butcher if they have it or make it too, but homemade is ALWAYS the best.

      Thanks Brandie! I will be saving this one since it looks like what my mom used to make, aside from the mayo. She used Miracle Whip or salad dressing in hers which is literally the only way I will eat that crap. I am a REAL mayo girl from the North and loving Duke’s since it’s made its way up here, finally! No more overpriced jars online for me!

  10. 5 stars
    Yum…thanks for the food processor trick! I just used sweet pickle relish and Miracle whip…Just like I remembered!

  11. 5 stars
    Made it exactly as listed. Even used my food processor on it.
    Didn’t change a thing. It was SO yummy! I think that it would also be very good served on a brioche bun. But, I used crackers

  12. 5 stars
    Your Ham Salad recipe is excellent!
    We left out the egg.
    Makes really tasty sandwich when it is grilled on rye bread!

  13. 5 stars
    Wow! When preparing for us to make tuna salad, my husband mistook cans of Hormel cooked ham for cans of tuna (same size cans). After he opened the cans, we realized the mistake. Oh, well, we decided to make ham salad. Never had made ham salad before. Amazing! Will definitely make this again. Thank you for posting.

  14. 5 stars
    I don’t eat meat but family does. I made this for my elderly father-in-law so he could eat ham even though he has no teeth. He liked it a lot!

  15. 5 stars
    The ham salad recipe from country cook is absolutely to die for! Love it and so easy! Thank you

  16. 5 stars
    I halved the recipe. I did have to add just enough additional mayo to hold the ham mixture together. No salt needed. We made ham salad sandwiches on hard rolls, which were delicious!

  17. I like to go to my favorite deli, buy some of their best ham, shaved & take home and run a knife through. Super easy!

    1. 5 stars
      I just made some for lunch today from leftover ham. I am enjoying it on buttery crackers. Best I have ever made!