One of the best reasons to serve a ham for a holiday dinner or family gathering is the prospect of leftover ham, don't you think? Ham keeps well and can be used for a hearty ham and bean soup, a pasta dish with peas, or for a crowd-pleasing ham salad.
It's one of those feed-a-lot-of-people comfort food salads that makes you look forward to leftovers.
How to Use Leftover Ham in Ham Salad
Put it in a sandwich (or a slider bun!), eat it plain, or add it to macaroni. The basic components of our favorite ham salad are ground or finely diced ham, sweet pickle relish (sweet works better than dill for ham, in my opinion), and hard-boiled eggs. Then add something for crunch (celery and/or bell peppers) and mayo to bind it.
Add a little mustard and lemon juice to brighten the flavors, and maybe a touch of cayenne as a nod to deviled ham or eggs.
Do you have a twist on ham salad that you enjoy? Please let us know about it in the comments!
Photos updated; recipe first published 2010.
The Best Ham to Use for Ham Salad
Any cooked ham or ham steak works for this recipe. If the ham has a sweet glaze on it, be aware the sweet flavors will come through in the salad. To avoid the sweetness being a dominant flavor, cut away any parts covered in glaze before dicing or grinding the ham.
How to Store Ham Salad
Store ham salad tightly covered in the refrigerator for three to five days.
Can You Freeze Ham Salad?
We don't recommend freezing prepared ham salad because the mayonnaise can separate as it defrosts. For making ham salad at a later date, freeze diced or ground ham in a freezer-safe zipper bag or container for up to three months.
Hard-Boiled Eggs for Ham Salad
If you don't have a favorite method of hard-boiling eggs, try steamed hard-boiled eggs or Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs.
More Recipes to Use Up Leftover Ham
- Deviled Ham With Pickled Jalapenos
- Pasta With Ham and Peas
- White Bean and Ham Soup
- Ham and Potato Hash
- Pineapple Glazed Ham Balls
To make ground ham, chop leftover ham into cubes and either pulse in a food processor or put through a meat grinder.
2 cups finely diced or ground ham (about 3/4 pound)
3 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced celery
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Large pinch cayenne, optional
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Mix the ham salad:
Mix everything but the salt, pepper and cayenne in a large bowl. Taste and add cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste. Chill.
Serve straight, or mixed in with macaroni, or in a sandwich in a hamburger bun, slider roll, kaiser roll, regular bread, in a pita, or as a wrap. Good with lemonade on a hot day.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 3 to 4|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18g||23%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||17%|
|Total Carbohydrate 16g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 13g|
|Vitamin C 28mg||138%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|