This creamy and cheesy ham pasta salad recipe is the perfect spring and summer supper. Who can say no to a dish overflowing with tender smoked ham, pasta, lots of fresh veggies, and ranch dressing?
The question I’ve been asked the most this week amid record high temperatures is “What can I cook for supper that won’t heat up the kitchen?”. So I whipped up one of my favorite pasta salads to post for ya real quick. This one is filled with smoked ham (the smoked part is important), tomatoes, cucumbers, English peas (I guess that means they talk with a British accent), cheese, and bowtie pasta. It’s all tied together with a creamy ranch dressing.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen to whip up this quick and easy ham pasta salad recipe. Chop the ham and veggies while the pasta boils, then combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pop it in the fridge for an hour or several to let all the flavors mingle and voila, that’s how you make my creamy ham pasta salad.
Now, before we go further, I just wanna say these are my ingredients. But feel free to alter the recipe to use up what you have on hand or to suit your personal tastes. If you don’t like cucumber, leave it out. Alternatively, if you can’t get enough of carrot, pop them in. If this cold pasta salad doesn’t suit your family’s tastes, don’t fret because they’re not the ones making this ~grins~. It’s good to be the cook!
Let’s make supper.. or lunch… or a mid-day snack.
- Bowtie pasta
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Grape tomatoes
- Frozen peas
- Bell pepper
- Ranch dressing
- Smoked ham
How to Make Ham Pasta Salad
First, we’re going to boil our pasta according to the package directions. Drain in a colander and pour running cold water over pasta, while stirring, until completely cooled. Allow the pasta to drain fully before pouring it into a large bowl.
While that’s boiling, dice up your ham into nice bite-sized pieces or smaller, peel and chop up cucumber, and chop up your bell pepper.
Now we’re going to combine everything in a big ol’ bowl. First goes the pasta.
Then add the ham…
the shredded cheddar cheese…
the thawed frozen peas…
the bell pepper…
the grape tomatoes…
and finally, add in your dressing.
Now we’re going to stir up our ham pasta salad really well.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.
If you’re hungry, eat some now and I won’t tell.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- There are so many ways to make this ham and cheese pasta salad recipe your own. Let’s take a look:
- Use whatever meat you like. This might be shredded chicken breast, rotisserie chicken, leftover turkey breast, leftover ham, or cooked bacon.
- Add whatever frozen or fresh vegetables you like as well. Some other suggestions include corn, red onion or green onion, broccoli, and celery.
- Use a different salad dressing. Many recipes opt for just mayonnaise or Italian dressing.
- Use half cheddar cheese and half shredded parmesan cheese if you like.
- For pickle fans, add 1/2 cup of drained dill pickle relish.
- Use whatever small pasta you have on hand, whether that’s elbow macaroni pasta, small shell pasta, or rotini.
- Whenever I need smoked ham for a quick recipe, I just go to the deli counter and ask for a single slice that is about 1/2-inch thick. That is the perfect size for dicing up and using in recipes. The smoked ham adds a wonderful flavor to this meal.
- You don’t need to cook the frozen peas. Just let them thaw a bit while you prepare this and they’ll be fine.
Check out these other sensational salad recipes:
Old-Fashioned Ham Salad Recipe
Recipe for Caprese Salad with Chicken and Avocado
Chicken Salad Recipe for Sandwiches
Broccoli Salad With Bacon and Raisins
The BEST German Potato Salad Recipe
- 1 box bowtie pasta 1 pound
- 1-2 cups diced smoked ham
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed slightly
- 1 peeled and chopped large cucumber
- 1/2 diced bell pepper
- 1-2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1 cup buttermilk ranch dressing
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and pour running cold water over pasta, while stirring, until completely cooled. Allow the pasta to drain fully before pouring it into a large bowl.1 box bowtie pasta
- Add all other ingredients to the large bowl and stir until well combined.1-2 cups diced smoked ham, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 peeled and chopped large cucumber, 1/2 diced bell pepper, 1 cup buttermilk ranch dressing, 1-2 cups grape tomatoes
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps well for three days in the refrigerator.
In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.
Brother David Steindl-Rast
This is so good
Although I did tweak it a bit
Used black forest ham couldn’t find smoked
Use cherry tomatoes
Used broccoli don’t like peas
Thank you for this recipe
I have this hambone left from New Year’s Dinner (frozen). All I’ve ever done with hambones is make bean soup or flavoring for greens. Any suggestions? I love all your blogs and recipes. When are you going to write another cookbook with complete menus?
Hey! you posted this in two different places on my site so I’ll just paste in the answer I just left on the other posting.
I love to season pots of beans with it and soups, beyond that I use it for ham salads and such if there is a good bit of ham on it, or in a pasta dish, shredding the ham. My third book comes out this fall but it isn’t menus, it’s a different theme book but will go well with the other two. I don’t plan on writing any more physical books after this because the book tours and promotional travel are hard on my family. However, I am looking into the option of self publishing books or perhaps going with smaller publishers that don’t require book tours. I am very grateful for the blessing of larger publishers wanting to publish my works, I’m just a homebody 🙂
Christy besides your inspiring letters and messages the thing I like best about your recipes is that they are just “GOOD OL’ DOWN HOME COOKING” I know whenever I use one of your recipes most of the time it is something that is already in the pantry and if not it is a very easy ingredient to get not some weird spice that costs an arm and a leg and you only use once. Thank you Christy for being so down to Earth. You make all of us readers feel as if we are a member of the family. Many Blessings to you for all you do for us.