Old Fashioned Ham Salad Recipe

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Old Fashioned Ham Salad is a classic recipe made with boneless ham, onions, celery, tangy mustard and mayonnaise. It's perfect as a salad, stuffed into a sandwich, or spread on crackers as delicious party dip!

old fashioned ham salad on toasted bread with a pickle spear.
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Why You'll Love It

  • Quick and Easy: ready to eat in minutes!
  • Budget Friendly: great way to use leftover ham which saves time and money
  • Loaded with Flavor: tangy flavors create a delicious salad or sandwich spread
  • Fun Party Spread: great recipe for parties and family picnics
  • Versatile Recipe: add several variations to make it your own!

Recipe Highlights

This old fashioned ham salad recipe is the easiest way to whip up a quick lunch or afternoon snack! You can use it as a savory sandwich filling, or turn it into a spread for crackers and veggies.

It's one of my favorite recipes that Granny used to make, and similar to Tuna Fish Salad, creamy Red Skin Potato Salad and Egg Salad with Pickles. These old-fashioned recipes have been handed down through the generations...which means they're tried and true!

ham salad made into a spread for a party dip.

Folks say this is the best ham salad recipe just like it is, but you can also make it in several different ways! Just dice up some boneless ham for a chopped salad, or pulse it in a food processor to create a tasty spread that will tickle your taste buds.

It's also a great recipe for spring or summer when it's too hot to cook. This classic dish is so versatile, it's perfect to serve as tea sandwiches at bridal showers and at holiday season parties as an appetizer spread.

But, the best part is you can make this timeless southern recipe from your leftover honey-baked ham so nothing goes to waste after the holidays are over!

Equipment Needed

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Ingredients

Find all of the ingredients listed below in local grocery stores. You may have everything needed to make this recipe in your fridge right now! See recipe card for quantities.

  • boneless ham
  • mayonnaise
  • celery stalks
  • sweet onion
  • sweet pickle relish
  • dijon mustard
  • dried parsley
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
ingredients needed to make classic ham salad.

How to Make Old Fashioned Ham Salad

Do you want to make a chopped salad or spread? If you choose a spread, you'll simply grind the recipe one step further in a food processor or blender.

To make the ham mixture, chop boneless ham into small cubes. Dice celery and onion into small pieces.

mayonnaise and other ingredients being added to ham salad.

Place ham in a large bowl with celery, onion, sweet pickle relish and seasonings. Add ½ cup mayonnaise and dijon mustard. Stir until smooth and creamy. Add dried parsley for color and taste.

ham salad after being mixed with other ingredients.

Serve on a bed of lettuce or stuff into a flaky croissant or tortilla. Chill in the fridge for even better flavor.

If making a spread, add ham mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse several times until spreadable.

ham salad in a food processor.

Southerners like to add boiled eggs which packs it with protein! This is totally optional and included as an ingredient in the recipe card if needed.

Helpful Tips

  • Use boneless ham, or cut the meat off the ham bone before chopping into small bites.
  • Dice celery and onion ahead of time for faster prep.
  • Drain pickle relish before adding to salad so it won't be runny.

Recipe FAQs

When was ham salad invented?

Some folks say it originated in Britain, while others believe it to be introduced in America during the depression era in the 1920's. In the 1950's, It was regularly offered as a post funeral food and served on white bread because it was inexpensive and convenient. It has since become a favorite way to use up leftover ham after the holidays.

Can ham salad be made without mayo?

Yes, but it changes the recipe entirely and doesn't taste the same. If you want to try a substitution for mayo, use low fat cream cheese. You could use Miracle Whip, but it also changes the flavor.

Are ham salad sandwiches healthy?

Ham is a good source of protein, however when mayonnaise is added, the fat content raises significantly. There are veggies included, which contain vitamins and minerals, and you can use low fat mayo if watching calories.

old fashioned ham salad stuffed into a croissant with tomatoes and sprouts.

Storage and Freezing

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Stir well before serving. Be sure to chill leftovers promptly since this recipe is mayonnaise based.

Can ham salad be frozen?

Ham freezes well, but once you've added mayonnaise it changes the consistency. Freeze spreads for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Freezing a chopped salad is a little more difficult, so I would stick to making a spread if freezing is necessary.

Variations

There are many ways to enjoy this old fashioned ham salad recipe! Here are some great ideas to mix things up a little bit:

  • Party spread - pulse it in a food processor or blender to make it spreadable.
  • Hard-boiled eggs - add a couple of hard boiled eggs to make ham and egg salad
  • Dill pickles - use dill pickles instead of sweet relish for a savory taste
  • Bread and butter pickles - add homemade refrigerator pickles for extra flavor
  • Cream cheese - blend ham spread with cream cheese to make it even more spreadable
  • Deviled ham salad - add sriracha, hot sauce or cayenne pepper for a deviled kick!
  • Add shredded cheddar cheese - mix in cheddar cheese to make it chunky
  • Red bell peppers and green onions - add veggies to make a red and green holiday meal
  • Nuts and fruit - create a crunchy walnut salad with dried cranberries and nuts
old fashioned ham salad on a bed of lettuce.

How to Serve Ham Salad

One of the best ways to serve this easy southern recipe is with crackers, kettle potato chips or bread sticks. Here are a few other ways to enjoy this spread:

  • as a main dish - place on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes
  • with veggies - add fresh vegetables like carrot sticks and cauliflower
  • include condiments - pickles and olives make the perfect accompaniment
  • as a side dish - goes great with many other side dishes
  • in a sandwich - stuff creamy spread into a croissant, toasted slices of bread, buttermilk biscuits, a flour tortilla, lettuce wraps, pinwheels, or soft Hawaiian sweet rolls
  • as an appetizer - serve spread in a decorative dish with crackers and chips
Old fashioned ham salad recipe on toasted bread with a pickle spear on top.

What Goes with Ham Salad?

A favorite way to serve this classic southern recipe is in a trio which includes a scoop of chicken salad and egg salad on a bed of lettuce with crackers for dipping.

Serve it alongside a fresh fruit platter, on a charcuterie board, or in an individual grazing box. It goes well with a warm cup of tomato soup too!

Ham spread also tastes great with pineapple cheese casserole and can be mixed into Meat Lover's Quiche to make a delicious breakfast entree! I love it with a big scoop of Macaroni Salad!

Recipe Card

old fashioned ham salad as a filling for a sandwich with a pickle on top.

Old Fashioned Ham Salad Recipe

Old Fashioned Ham Salad is a classic recipe made with boneless ham, onions, celery, mustard and mayonnaise. It's the perfect sandwich spread and party dip!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers, Brunch, Salads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings8
Calories: 241kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless cooked ham, chopped (smoked tastes great)
  • 1 boiled egg (optional)
  • 2 small celery stalks (diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet onion (diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon garlic powder (no salt)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (I use Dukes)
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions

Chopped Ham Salad

  • Chop boneless ham into small cubes. Dice celery and onion into small pieces. Add diced boiled egg if desired (optional).
  • Place ham in a large bowl with celery, onion, sweet pickle relish, black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Add mayonnaise and dijon mustard. Stir until smooth and creamy. Add dried parsley for color and taste.
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce or stuff into a flaky croissant, sandwich or tortilla.

Ham Salad Spread

  • If making a spread, add ham mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse several times until spreadable. Do not grind until it becomes a paste. It should still be a little chunky.
  • Serve as an appetizer or dip for parties and picnics.

Notes

  • How long does ham salad last? Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Stir well before serving.
  • Can ham salad be frozen? Ham freezes well, but once you've added mayonnaise it changes the consistency. Freeze spreads for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Freezing a chopped salad is a little more difficult, so I would stick to making a spread if freezing is necessary.
  • View the Google Web Story for Ham Salad!

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 835mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh, this takes me back to my grandmother's house! She made deviled ham salad every Saturday for me when I was little. Love this recipe!

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