Ham Salad

When you grow up in a big family on a limited budget, more likely than not one of those big picnic salads like potato salad or macaroni salad, is on the menu that week. Heck, we practically live on dad’s potato salad and mom’s tuna macaroni salad during the summer, even now, when the kids are all grown and at most there are only half as many of us at the dinner table. Here’s one of those feed-a-lot-of-people comfort food salads that you can easily make with leftover ham. Ham salad. Put it in a sandwich, eat it plain, add it to macaroni; it’s all good. The basic components are finely diced or ground ham (I could have done a better job dicing the ham for the sandwich pictured), sweet pickle relish (must be sweet, not dill), and hard boiled eggs. Then something for crunch (celery and/or bell peppers) and mayo to bind it.

This ham salad recipe is fairly straightforward. Do you have a twist on ham salad that you enjoy? Please let us know about it in the comments.

Ham Salad Recipe

  • Yield: Makes enough for 3 to 4 sandwiches.


  • 2 cups finely diced ham
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp minced celery
  • 2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • A large pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Mix everything but the salt, pepper and cayenne in a large bowl. Taste and add cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste. Serve chilled.

Serve straight, or mixed in with macaroni, or in a sandwich in a hamburger bun, a Kaiser roll, regular bread, in a pita or as a wrap. Good with lemonade on a hot day.

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Deviled Ham Salad from Lisa Fain our Homesick Texan
Ham Salad Sandwich Spread with a Basil Twist from Salad in a Jar
Fig and Parma Ham Salad from It's All Delicious
Thurns Ham Salad with a fried egg on top, from Restaurant Widow

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Showing 4 of 48 Comments

  • Kristin

    I bet some green apple finely diced could be a good alternative to the veggies. I’ve never heard of this sort of salad, but it seems like a valid way to use up Easter leftovers when my family has an overabundance of ham and hard-boiled eggs.

  • Sue

    My mom ground the ham with an old hand-cranked meat grinder. Then mixed in the pickle relish, celery and mayo. This was the ‘on-the-road’ sandwich to eat in the car when we were taking a long road trip. Brings back memories!

  • sarah

    It’s your mention of potato salad that prompted me to comment, actually. Like ham salad, potato salad is a great staple, but it needs that extra crunch to make it interesting. I tried one from Ruth Reichl’s book this week (the editor of Gourmet) and it was delicious. Ham salad is a bit more versatile, though, as I wouldn’t want to eat potato salad as a sandwich filling!

  • Catherine

    My grandma makes a great ham salad and I will say the one thing we are sticklers about going into it it Miracle Whip. It just tastes better with the ham than the mayo, though frankly I have no clue what the difference is between the two.

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