Deviled Ham with Pickled Jalapeños

Do any of you follow Mad Men? I watch an occasional episode, more captivated by the outfits and decor than anything else. (Wait, I recognize that wall hanging! My mother used to wear dresses like that! My father wore those skinny ties!) So delightfully retro. Like deviled ham.

I can just imagine some deviled ham canapés being served at one of those 60s parties. Being just a kid during that time I would more likely have found a deviled ham sandwich along with carrot sticks and a thermos, packed in my metal Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea lunch box.

Unlike many retro foods that have happily skipped their way into the sunset (I’m talking about you, green jello salad), deviled ham is one that deserves to stick around. It’s so good! Especially this version, a Southwestern twist with pickled jalapeños supplying the heat.

Deviled Ham with Pickled Jalapeños Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches


  • 7 ounces boneless ham steak, cut into cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons chopped green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced iceberg or butter lettuce


1 Process the ham in a food processor, until finely ground but not a paste. Remove from processor to a bowl. Process the celery and the pickled jalapeños and add them to the bowl with the ham.

2 Fold in the mayonnaise and cumin. Stir in the chopped green onions.

3 Make sandwiches with the bread and sliced lettuce. Slice the sandwiches on the diagonal to serve.

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Deviled Ham Salad from Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan

Deviled Ham Deviled Egg from Taste and Tell

Deviled Ham Spread from Kalyn's Kitchen

Ham Salad here on Simply Recipes

Deviled Ham with Pickled Jalapeños on Simply Recipes


  1. Ann

    I am now CRAVING a ham salad sandwich! I ate these as a kid, too and sometimes buy a chunk of ham just to grind it up in my old metal clamp-on grinder I inherited from my nana. Mayonnaise and a bit of dried mustard mixed in. Mmmmm. Love, ann

  2. Nancy

    I remember ham salad sandwiches. I am going to make it for lunch tomorrow! My mom also used one of the old fashioned meat grinders to make this.

  3. BD

    Underwood Deviled Ham from the 60s. Takes me back.

  4. Lesley S

    This sounds delicious! Ham salad is one of my favorite holiday leftover treats. My mom always adds a little horseradish to hers which gives it such a nice kick. I imagine the jalapenos would do the same. I think this will be our dinner tonight!

  5. Bruce Farr

    Elise: Your delightful-looking deviled ham sandwich reminded me that, when I was a kid, ham salad was one of our staples. I learned to make it myself, securing a heavy old hand-crank grinder on the edge of the kitchen table and “processing” away. If I had a dollar for every one of those sandwiches I consumed then, I could now retire!

  6. Liz

    Nice recipe. Thank you.

  7. Candy C.

    Love, love, love ham salad sandwiches! I usually just add pickle relish and mayo but my hubby would really like the addition of the jalapenos and cumin!

  8. Diane Barto

    My nana always ground in a carrot; it added an unobtrusive sweetness. I have to try it with jalapenos.

  9. Becky

    YUM! This is an old favorite of mine, too. Why did Ham Salad (or Deviled Ham) go out of style? I think it is still a Southern (or Midwest) thing, we used to serve it in a restaurant I worked in in Kentucky, and my Mom and Grandma and I would find it in Publix stores in Florida. But while I lived in California for 20 years it was completely unheard of.

  10. Mila [email protected]

    This is a great looking sandwich. I’ve never had a ham sandwich before, but want to make this. Changing the subject a bit– why no crusts on the bread? Where did this tradition come from? I’ve been fighting my kids’ obsession with no-crust sandwiches. I don’t find the crust tasting any different than the rest of the bread. Is it for esthetics? To make it fit better in the sandwich box?

    • Elise

      Hi Mila, great question! It could be a texture thing. Or that spreads like this are traditional on little tea sandwiches, that barely qualify as sandwiches. There is something delicate and lovely about skipping the crust with this recipe.

  11. Debbie

    Yum! Although I must admit I added sliced tomato and left the crusts on! Definitely part of the sandwich rotation.

  12. Shan

    I never thought to zap the meat in the cuisinart, but it really does make all the difference. The jalapenos were a nice twist. As usual another terrific recipe. I had a Snoopy lunchbox with a thermos with a glass interior. Broke that thermos while running to the lunch tables. Tripped on a tree root. Poured glass milk into my cup. 1972. I got a Holly Hobby Lunch box after that. Not the same

  13. Rudi O

    I’m about to make this for lunch today!
    Just noticed a typo, “1/4 mayonnaise”, I’ll just assume that is a ‘cup’….

    Thanks for the great recipes!

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