If you have five minutes to spare, make this scrumptious and creamy old-fashioned ham salad recipe and you’ll know exactly why it’s a go-to lunch in the South.
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. Similar to chicken salad and tuna salad, this is one of those old-timey recipes that use up leftovers and scraps of ham to make something pretty, filling, and delicious. Click here for more recipes that use leftover ham.
There are as many ways to make as the day is long so if you don’t have your own old-fashioned 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 mustard 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 it’s 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!
- Spicy brown mustard
- Sweet pickle relish
- Boiled eggs
- Black pepper to taste (I usually don’t add salt because the ham is salty, but add it if you like).
- Chopped ham
How to Make My Old-Fashioned Ham Salad Recipe
First, chop up your ham into cubes.
You’ll want to do the same for your boiled eggs too.
Place your cooked ham in a mixing bowl.
Add the mayo.
See how easy this is already?
Then the pickle relish.
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.
Finally, season with black pepper to taste.
Here we go. Ready to stir!
It doesn’t look too pretty right now but hang in there with me.
After you have everything all stirred up, add in your chopped boiled eggs.
Stir gently. Your ham salad spread is now ready! This recipe makes about three cups of delectable ham salad.
You can refrigerate it for a while (an hour is best) to allow the flavors to blend well or you can just eat it right now.
Guess which one I’m gonna do?
The Best Ham Salad Sandwich
Let’s build the perfect ham salad sandwich for lunch! Start with your favorite spread, like more mayo, aioli if you have some handy or good ole butter.
Load up on the leafy greens.
Then add the ham salad.
Store leftover ham salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Because it uses mayonnaise, I don’t recommend freezing. Lucky it’s super easy to make from scratch!
- Now, 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.
- Instead of mayonnaise, you can also use sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt.
- 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.
- Here are some variations to make this Southern ham salad sandwich recipe your own:
- Substitute the spicy brown mustard for Dijon mustard or yellow mustard.
- Add 1 rib of chopped celery.
- Add the chopped nuts of your choice, like pecans or walnuts.
- If you like pickles, add 1/2 cup of chopped dill pickle.
- Another option is some chopped fresh parsley.
- For a zesty flavor, add a dash of bottled or fresh lemon juice.
- Add shredded cheddar cheese.
- Add chopped green onion or red onion.
How do you serve this old-fashioned ham salad recipe?
Ham salad is perfect as a savory sandwich spread or as a dip with crackers. Serve it on homemade rolls with fresh greens for an unbeatable lunch.
Try these other sensational sandwich recipes next:
Chicken Salad Recipe for Sandwiches
- 2 cups chopped smoked or baked ham diced as finely as you like
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 2 peeled and chopped boiled eggs
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- pepper to taste
- Chop up the ham with a knife or food processor (however fine you want it to be).2 cups chopped smoked or baked ham
- Place the ham, mayonnaise, relish, mustard, and pepper in a bowl. Stir with a spoon until well blended. Gently stir in the chopped boiled eggs.2 cups chopped smoked or baked ham, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard, pepper to taste, 2 peeled and chopped boiled eggs
- Serve on sandwiches, rolls, or crackers.
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I’ve also made this recipe using bologna instead of ham. If you are on a strict budget, it’s quite good.
That’s a great idea for a substitution 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
When we were kids & money was tight mom made this with bologna. We called it “mock ham salad!” I’m 73 now, so it’s been around a long time.
I absolutely love your recipes. I have made a few of your cobblers and they were delicious. I’m currently making the ham salad now as we speak!
After an 8 hour ride on a Greyhound bus, arriving at my Grandmother and Grandfather’s house quite late at night, my Grandmother always had ham salad sandwiches ready. I’m long in the tooth, (what’s left of them), and I just figured out why her ham salad tasted unlike any I’ve ever made: she ground the ham in a meat grinder. The only ingredients were ham and mayonnaise. Meat grinder. Is mine still in the cupboard, or did my daughter steal it away. Well, this evening, I’ve added a genuine southern touch to the ham and mayonnaise, and celery, this time: turmeric.
PS What the heck- I’ve put in dill, too. A first. You’ve all inspired me to “wake up” with my food preparations again. (Dill good for herbal benefits, too). Forgot to say that always, my Grandmother used Wonder Bread. Fine white bread was considered the height of having made it in the New World.
Isn’t it odd how that one little thing can make such a big difference? I hope you are able to find your meat grinder and make a batch that tastes just like your grandmothers!!
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!!
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!
Oh my goodness, you need to try it Susan!!!