Ham Salad (Recipes SHOULD be easy!)


Good morning! ~thinks a minute~ Okay, so it was morning when I started working on this post. However, by the time I got back from the grocery store, made the ham salad, and heard my stomach growl as I took photos of the finished product, I ended up sitting down to eat my model (it was just too pretty not to eat right then and there) and lo and behold, by the time this puppy is posted it will likely be early afternoon – if I’m lucky. Good thing is, by then it will be time for a snack of …more ham salad ~grins~. It’s a tough job.

I’ve had more requests for a ham salad tutorial than I can count since starting Southern Plate so I’m hoping y’all will enjoy this one. This is one of those old timey recipes that used up leftovers and scraps of ham to make something pretty, filling, and delicious. There are as many ways to do ham salad as the day is long so if you don’t have your own ham salad recipe, feel free to take this one and customize it to your tastes or make it up with what you have on hand. Don’t have spicy brown mustard? Use a bit of regular and add a little more pepper if you like. Prefer a different mayonnaise than what I used? Go for it. Tweak it, mix it up, taste it, and make it your own.

Fact is, I can think of very few recipes as simple as this one. I’ve been getting a lot of comments lately from really nice folks thanking me for having such simple recipes and I want to thank You for being kind enough to read them and taking the time to comment! I think cooking really should be simple, though, and I’ve found that its the simple recipes that tend to taste the best.

Of course, that could be due to the fact that I won’t actually go to the trouble of making a complicated recipe…

Either way you look at it, here is another simple but good one for ya. Hope you get to try it soon!

You’ll need: Spicy brown mustard, sweet pickle relish, mayo*, boiled eggs, pepper to taste, and chopped ham**.

*I am not a big mayo person. I often try to get Duke’s because so many of y’all have told me how much you love it but I mostly just use it to mix up things with so sometimes grab whatever I can find first. If you have a favorite mayo, be sure to use that in this recipe.

**A lot of folks chop up their ham for ham salad in the food processor. If you like it really fine, that is the best way. I’d just as soon chop it up coarsely with a knife as opposed to having to get the food processor out and go to the trouble of cleaning it afterward. Big old chunks of ham are a beautiful sight! You’ll notice from the photo that I also don’t cut the skin off my ham, but just leave it on there. I don’t see any reason to add an extra step to things. You can if you like, of course, but if you’d rather not just consider it a wee more on the gourmet side. Kinda like how we made that stew a few days ago and didn’t peel the potatoes but just called it “rustic” instead. It’s all in the perspective…

Place your ham in a mixing bowl. Add Mayo.

See how easy this is already?

Add pickle relish.

I’m using the same cup I had the mayo in and just eyeballing it. No sense in dirtying up another measuring cup.

Add in your mustard

Don’t stress if you don’t have this exact type of mustard. Just use what you have on hand and roll with it.

Some of the best recipes came about by folks using what they had on hand.

Here we go. Ready to stir!

It doesn’t look too purty right now but hang in there with me.

Stirred up well

Oh, let me tell ya about my bowl.

This is a Pyrex mixing bowl from the sixties-ish era and the pattern is called Snowflake Garland. It is one of my favorite patterns because this is the pattern of dishes my Grandmother Lucille had when I was a little girl (for those of y’all who have heard this story before, bear with me!).

We didn’t have much money at all growing up so we never ate out. We actually won dinner for our family at McDonald’s once and it was such a big deal that we had a family photo taken out front! But Grandmama and Grandaddy both worked and could afford food out from time to time. A lot of times they’d invite us over to their house for supper. Lela (my great grandmother who lived with them) would make corn and rolls and Grandmama would make her mashed potatoes and then they’d go get Kentucky Fried Chicken to go with it. We’d eat it on these snowflake garland plates and to us that meal was just such a treat. To this day, whenever I use my snowflake garland plates, I think “These plates are for the fancy food!”.

If you’d like to read more about the plates we had growing up and why I use the dishes I do, there is a tangent on that in my Pork Chop Biscuits post.

After you have everything all stirred up and added in, add in your chopped boiled eggs.

Stir gently. Your ham salad is now ready!

You can refrigerate it for a while to allow the flavors to blend well or you can just eat it right now.

Guess which one I’m gonna do?

Ham Salad
  • 2 cups chopped smoked or baked ham- diced as finely as you like
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
  • 2 boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • pepper to taste (I usually don't add salt because the ham is salty, but add it if you like!)
  1. Chop up ham with a knife or food processor (however fine you want it to be). Place ham, mayonnaise, relish, mustard, and pepper in a bowl. Stir with spoon until well blended. Gently stir in chopped eggs. Serve on sandwiches, rolls, or crackers.
  2. Makes about three cups ham salad.

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  1. Elizabeth says

    This may sound silly to you but I made up a ham salad recipe and it was just pretty much the same as your recipe here but I added about 1/4 c honey to mine. You ought to try it it really is great. I put everything else in there just as you did, just added the honey. let me know what you think of it! We have very similar tastes I think because I have loved so many of your recipes both posted here and in your books, so I thought you might like to try my addition to this recipe. You can just put some honey in a small bit of it and stir it in to taste incase you don’t like it. But I have made it several years in a row for our church “salad luncheon” where every woman in our “circle” makes salad of some kind and it is always all gone.

  2. Kathy W. says

    Christy, you are such a joy! Honestly! Your recipes are exactly like the ones my Granny and my Mama always made! (Of course, even though I now live close to Huntsville, I was born and raised in south GA. Hmmm….ain’t like l was livin above the Mason/Dixon Line now is it? Heaven forbid! LOL) i am (of course) just kidding to all of you not blessed to be born Southern. Don’t worry…..we’ll guide y’all through it!

    No harm meant – Truly! :) Bless your hearts!

  3. Melanie says

    Thank you for posting a great receipe for ham salad. The last time I made it, it was terrible and I have steared away from it for several years now. I added a little onion and celery as my family doesn’t like sweet pickles. Other than that, I did exactly what you did and the egg just takes the salad over the edge! Thanks so much for bringing my southern roots back to me:)

  4. Deb Evans says

    This is pretty much how I make mine, with the exception of the relish…..I’ve always used dill relish. I can’t imagine it with sweet. The next time I make it, I think I will set out a portion & put some sweet in it to see how it tastes. :-) You never know, might like it more fixed that way. Psst, and I was so sorry to hear about your accident. Being from Arkansas, I hope you will come back for a visit sometime & make some “happy” memories to take away with you & think fondly of our beautiful state. 😉

  5. Beulah says

    I had dishes just like those when i was first married but with 7 childrennthey slowly got broken. Those are the good ole days! Your Ham Salad looks so good i think i will make some for my supper.

  6. Glenave Curtis says

    Hi Christy. I very much enjoy your posts and recipes.
    You and I seem to be a lot alike; I know, you must have heard that a thousand times or more! I can tell from your writing that we probably have the same core values, we love family, we love to cook and share our bounty, we are avid recipe collectors, and other similarities. We also have a degree in home economics (I taught in public and private schools for 26 years). I also tested recipes for General Mills (Betty Crocker). Upon retirement, I wrote and had published “Recipes for Body and Soul”. If you are interested, you can read about it at amazon.com.

  7. Pat Wilson says

    Christy, my family loves good old fashion ham and egg pie with left-over ham. I was sure that would be one of your ways to use the left over ham. That was even a request for Easter dinner along with the sliced ham. If you haven’t tried it, it is delicious also.

  8. Eva says

    Another of my faves, we never had mayo so it generally got a bit of oil and vinegar dressing and the mustard and of course chopped onions, green if we had them, regular usually, and sometimes chives and baby horseradish leaves in spring.
    Of course there was Lima beans and ham bone, or hambone scrapple. Fried ham, plain old ham sandwiches, and so forth. Mom got every cent worth of food value out of the ham. She would sometimes get a whole ham, usually for an occasion like Easter, but she would buy a smoked picnic several times a year and we would have a ham dinner for company on Friday and then the leftovers would get used up over the next week. So good.

  9. Cathy Wilkinson says

    I will make it without eggs. None of us in my family eat eggs. I sometimes add chopped up bacon to mine for extra flavor. And if you really want to try something unique, chop up some cucumber and mix it in. My boys love it.

  10. Laura Whittaker says

    We make our ham salad like this too – but when I don’t have relish – I just cut up some pickles and put a little pickle juice in! Oh and Christy we made the Mud Hens and our mouths were doing a happy dance! Even my husband who doesn’t like marshmallows! thank you and God bless you and your family!

  11. Susan the Farm Quilter says

    I have never had (or even heard of) ham salad, but I’m going to give them a try!! My parents have had these Corelle dishes since I was a little girl. My dad still uses them and I hope that in 10-20 years I’ll be using them (dad is 94 and I’d like to keep him around for a while!). Just love the snowflake pattern!

  12. Winnie Mom says

    Your recipe is pretty much how I make ham salad. If eating like a salad sometime would add some pasta. Always adding diced celery, vidalia onions, diced radishes and dill relish. My family likes the crunchies in all our salads. We too use Dukes because it has less carbs than other brands. Enjoy your recipes using ingredients we usually have on hand. Happy New Year!!


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