Ham Salad

To make ground ham, chop leftover ham into cubes and either pulse in a food processor or put through a meat grinder.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes enough for 3 to 4 sandwiches


  • 2 cups finely diced or ground ham (about 3/4 pound)
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp minced green onion
  • 2 Tbsp minced celery
  • 2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons 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.

ham-salad-method-1 ham-salad-method-2

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.

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  • patnrick

    I love ham salad….i also add 2 tbs of favorite BBQ sauce for a unique twist….also add BBQ to my deviled eggs for my parties

  • Eddie

    Its pretty close to how I make Tuna for sandwiches and the like…

  • Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    Yum! What a delicious way to use leftover ham!

  • dell maxwell

    I enjoyed all the comments. I would like to add that my mother would use hot dogs and make a pate’ to spread on bread and crackers. I am going to make a delicious deviled ham spread now. I will add boiled eggs, cilantro, onions, bell pepper and a bit of garlic.

  • Rebekah

    Made this for lunch! Delicious! I read the other comments about it needing a little texture so I added a can of chopped Water Chestnuts. Adds a nice crunch without changing the flavor. I didn’t grind the ham just bought store bought that was cubed super fine so the ham wasn’t in huge chunks then I cut the rest of the ingredients the same size. This would be a great Party Food too!

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

      Cubed ham is the best. Just bought 2 clearance Easter hams and am super excited to make this. WE love going shopping the day after Easter to score big at the market. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Olivia

    My aunt put some oranges in, I think. It had a little bit of a citrus flavor to it…. We drank orange Tang with it, too ^^

  • Vicki

    Hi, this looked so good. I added a bit of horseradish, and left out the mustard. I also omitted the salt and added a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash. Like many of the posters, I added cheese. I used a fresh grated parmesean.

  • Renee

    What I found makes a fabulous ham salad is to grind together half ham AND half bologna. The bologna cuts the saltiness of the ham and gives the ham salad nice spreadability. Add to taste some sweet pickle relish and either mayo or Miracle Whip and you will have a family favorite!

  • Celia

    This was excellent! Like something from a really good deli. Thanks!

  • naomi raught

    My mom uses th basic version with ham, bologna or even chicken or turkey leftovers. I like grapes or apples, maybe some slivered almonds or pecans in my imaginary version. Though Mom has never and would never stray from her basic recipe of meat, onion, miracle whip and relish, I have 5 growing, hungry boys and I’m game for trying all sorts of variations. Thanks for giving my mind a little nudge about making that leftover meat, go further.

  • Tammy Collins

    Ham salad was and is one of my favorites but in our house we have quite a different twist on it! Like many of the comments here my mom and Grandma both used one of those crank things and of course sweet pickles. We also added onion which we would grate or grind into the salad and of course mayo. But as a teenager when I asked my mom why I thought other ham salads tasted so wierd to me she said that they probably don’t use peanut butter in theirs! I have tried it my different ways and I always come back to this way! You only need like a hardy tablespoon of it but it really adds something to it!!

  • Ashley

    When I saw this post, I decided that I had to make this…NOW! I didn’t grow up with ham salad, but it really looked like comfort food to me. My husband and I loved it (and have been eating it leftover for a few days now). The only issue I had was that I had no idea how much (in pounds) ham to ask for at the deli counter. So I ended up with waaayyyyy too much ham. It’s in the freezer now though, and we’re really glad that you shared this wonderful recipe :)

  • Debbi Does Dinner Healthy

    I am going to try this next time I have leftover ham. The only recipes for ham salad I seem to come across are for the pureed ham which sounds really gross to me. I know I wouldn’t HAVE to puree it but I just have never made it. This looks excellent! Thanks!

    Well, the thing about ground ham is that it is a lot easier to spread in a sandwich than cubed ham. But the cubed ham I think works better in a pasta salad or plain salad. ~Elise

  • dineindiva

    We always have ham salad with shredded cheddar, piled on kaiser roll halves and run under the broiler ’til hot and melty, on Christmas evening. It’s kind of the perfect end to ‘I have had my fill of holiday ham, thanks’.

    I also like to use finely chopped Tony Packo’s Sweet Hot Pickles instead or relish.

    Yum – I want some now.

  • tommy2rs

    I’m in the grind it first crowd. Also grew up with bologna salad like many others here. These days I take a whole (log, chub, tube?) of bologna and put it the smoker first. Use my standard rub and, in a departure from true smoker form, sauce it during the last 30 to 45 minutes. Gives a whole new dimension to the bologna salad experience.

  • Kim

    I had just baked a ham this weekend and saw your post – thank you! Never thought of making ham salad. I added some finely minced fresh jalapeno to the salad, and instead of Dijon, I mixed dry mustard powder with the mayo before adding to the salad. Pretty tasty!


  • melissa

    I have not made ham salad in a really long time and last recipie was not so good. So I made it again today with what I had ham miracle whip and egg. I thought yellow mustard might be good with it so I spooned a little salad on a soda cracker and toped with a tiny spot of mustard it was so good I will definitely always serve with mustard.

  • F-Troop Mom

    Like many of your other comments my grandmother used a meat grinder. The big difference is rather than pickles (and the other stuff) my grandmother used green olives. Those were all the ingredients, olives, ham and mayo and that’s the way I make it today, although the food processer is a lot easier than the meat grinder.

  • michele

    I grind the ham (used to be a hand crank now I have an attachment to my kitchenaid thank goodness) then add as much grated cheddar as I have in the fridge and if there’s not enough, some swiss or fontina or a mix of all, then I mix it with just enough salad dressing (mw) to bind it and voila. The best way to eat it is to fill a cheese topped kaiser roll with the salad and put it in the toaster oven long enough to melt the cheese, toast top of the muffin and warm the ham. The perfect meld of crispy, melty, savory, creamy and salty.

  • Steve

    Like LynnD, for a change I used chopped pineapple in place of relish, also some chopped walnuts and cherries, scallions mixed with just enought mayo to keep it together

  • LynnD

    I make a ham salad with ground ham, crushed pineapple, no bell pepper, diced rib of celery, hellman’s, chopped pecans, grated onion, 1 t. mustard, white pepper, dash of tabasco, 1 T of india relish.

  • Lana

    Your ham salad sandwich look so delicious!
    When I was growing up in Serbia, the only “ham salad” my mother prepared was Russian Salad (in Russia known as Salad Olivier, French Salad or Capitol Salad, if I am not mistaken). This was considered to be a fancy dish and was always served at special occasions and New Year’s dinners.
    All ingredients had to be chopped equal size, very small: ham, poached chicken breast, dill pickles, boiled carrots, boiled potatoes, hard boiled eggs (whites only – yolks were saved to make mayonnaise), and dill pickles. Blanched peas and homemade mayo were added in the end, and the salad was chilled.

  • georgia

    My favorite school lunch was the days they served balogna salad sandwiches many years ago. Loved them and have tried different recipes but none taste the way those school balogna sandwiches did. Would there be a school lunch room cook who could tell me how they were made? Also, my favorite at home sandwich was leftover fried potatoes at room temperature on white bread with a big slice of sweet onion on the potatoes.

  • cindy

    We added wasabi for some kick.

    Love it! ~Elise

  • Delores

    Potato Salad sandwiches are very good…..as is mashed potato sandwiches (cold, with salt and pepper to taste). I like to toast the bread. I will try this ham salad. It looks delicious!

  • Christy

    I just asked my mom how to make her Ham Salad last weekend. She would throw the ham in the food processor and add Durkee’s Mustard (YUM!) and pickle relish. Especially good in a pita….and infinitely less messy. But Durkee’s is definitely the key ingredient!

  • Tres Amie

    Put the ham through a grinder (food processor) and add the rest of the ingredients, along with some minced or shredded cheddar cheese, then spread it on some really good bread, butter the outsides and grill it like a grilled cheese sandwich. That’s amazing :)

    Oooo, YES! Grilled cheese ham salad sandwich, awesome. ~Elise

  • Monica

    Well…no one else has brought it up so I’ll speak up and admit my mom made it with SPAM. I know, I know, but boy it was good!!! Everything else was pretty much the same. Mash it up, add the relish and mayo (eggs were the rare addition) and some I remember some pretty good sandwiches!

    My dad loves spam, which had developed a taste for while in the Army. I have some vague recollection that he would make something like this with spam too! ~Elise

  • Mrs. K

    We had party meat or sandwich spread with bologna as opposed to ham salad. I just can’t being myself to eat regular ham salad but I may just give this recipe a try. Long time lurker. Thanks for all the great recipes. :)

  • Li

    My grandma used to make something with similar ingredients, then run it all through the grinder and called it deviled ham. It was great on dollar rolls

  • Anne

    I have always been afraid of store bought ham salad. Just get an ick factor looking at it. But the ingredients you posted look pretty darn good.

    I am on Weight Watchers. So I am going to sub fat free greek yogurt for the mayo. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Kari

    My mom used to make a diced ham salad and she added cooked elbow macaroni and little tiny cubes of a real sharp cheddar cheese. (I guess it was kind of more a variation of macaroni salad than ham salad)I used to love it!! She also put diced celery and a little diced pimento in it as well. Mmmm….

  • Sally

    This is one of my favorite things. When I was growing up there was an even cheaper variation made with ring bologna put through a meat grinder. Either way — it’s good, cheap and tasty!

  • susan from food blogga

    You know, Elise, I don’t think I ever ate ham salad growing up. Pasta was our go-to inexpensive meal. In fact, it wasn’t until I was working on my sandwich cookbook last year that I started eating all kinds of delicious old-fashioned salads like ham, chicken, and egg. I love that you don’t skimp on the sweet pickle relish. It’s so wonderfully tangy.

    PS- Tell your dad for me that I too could live on his potato salad. :)

  • Debbie

    I haven’t had Ham Salad in several years. This sounds good! Thanks! Wanted to share with you a variation I used to help make when I was little. Use Bologna, a solid chunk from the grocers, a pound or so, however much you want to make. We put it thru one of those old grinders that you clamp to the edge of the table. After grinding the bologna, grind a couple of sweet pickles. This cleans the grinder of any left in meat. Then we just added mayo or salad dressing, whichever you prefer. I guess now, I could think of a few other things to put in it,(onions, celery, peppers, spices) but we made sandwiches of this mix. Add your own extras if you want, but this is yummy just the way it is, and sure doesn’t taste like bologna anymore! And my family called it Ham Salad. I don’t know why! LOL

  • Val from PA

    This is pretty much the same way I make ham salad but I love your addition of red pepper, fresh parsley and lemon juice… Will have to try your version soon…

    Ham salad is also great on rye flavored triscuits!! Yummmm!!!!

  • Steve 802

    Ah … sometime we had ham salad, but for end of summer picnics, the special treat was bologna salad … pretty similar to the ham salad. The extra special treat was that we kids got to turn the crank on the meat grinder while my dad added the ingredients !

    (I think I will try this using my food processor :)

  • Diane

    I am starting to feel like we grew up in the same house! First, hot dogs in spaghetti sauce and now ham salad. My Mom had an old fashion meat grinder that screwed onto the edge of the kitchen table. So our ham salad was “ground ham” not diced. Same ingredients though.

  • James

    For a tangy variation, use dill pickles for sweet relish and scallions for onion. Sometimes I add a little grated cheddar also. It wouldn’t be summer without this in my refrigerator.

  • Carroll

    My Mom always made ham salad but we ground the ham with one of those big metal grinders that clamps to the edge of the countertop. After grinding the ham, she put the pickles through the grinder too so we’d get lots of great pickle juice in there. Yum! Brings back great memories.

  • Tim Lewallen

    Try making it with smoked ham! It adds an entirely new dimension.

  • Mom4Max

    When my mother used to make this, she would run the ham and the pickles through a food grinder. This gave it more the consistency of a tuna salad.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.