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Easiest-Ever Ham Salad

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  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 15 min
  • Ingredients 6
  • Servings 6
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If you love tuna salad, potato salad or even chicken salad, you’ll love our ham salad! This easy-to-make, tasty mixture is delicious when used as a sandwich filling or set out with crackers for a tasty and unexpected appetizer.
Each of the 4 ingredients you probably already have on hand adds a punch of flavor, so not only does this salad come together in minutes, but it’s packed with yumminess in every bite.

We love to make this after a big holiday meal when there is leftover ham. It’s a terrific way to use up the ham your family will devour--without letting it go to waste!

But don’t keep this recipe for only after the holidays! Did you know you can purchase finely chopped ham right in the refrigerated meat case of larger grocery stores? Pull out this recipe when you’ve got a particularly busy night ahead or on a hot summer evening, when it’s just too hot to cook.
Updated Mar 8, 2024
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How To Make Homemade Ham Salad

Making the best ham salad recipe is a cinch!
Here are the basics for how to make ham salad. Check the recipe for the exact amounts of each ingredient, so it tastes amazing.

Start with whatever cooked or smoked ham you have on-hand or pick up at the grocery store. It’s a great way to use up that ham lurking in your fridge after Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving. (And you can high-five yourself for finding an irresistible recipe your family will love that doesn’t let the ham go to waste! You can also use deli ham, prechopped ham or even turkey ham, the salad will be delicious.

Throw a few other ingredients into the bowl: sliced green onions, dill pickle relish, mayonnaise and mustard, and the salad is done. You can enjoy it right away or make it ahead of time. The homemade ham salad ingredient flavors will blend as they hang out together, making the salad even more delicious.

What To Serve with Ham Salad

There are so many ways to enjoy our old-fashioned ham salad recipe!
Make a Tasty Sandwich: Bake up a batch of Grands! ™ Refrigerated Biscuits, split them in half and fill with this delicious salad, for amazing ham salad sandwiches. Or spread the ham filling between two slices of your favorite sandwich bread, split croissants, or ciabatta rolls, or serve it hoagie style in brat buns or long sections of French bread, cut lengthwise.

Soup and Sandwich Combos: For heartier appetites or cold days, serve ham salad sandwiches with Cheesy Slow-Cooker Soup or Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash Soup.

Sandwich and Salad Buddies: You can make a simple side salad or an even heartier main dish salad to go with a ham salad sandwich. Pick one that sounds good to you here.

Easy Apps: If you’re looking to have a casual appetizer gathering with friends while playing games or watching the game, pair this salad as a ham salad spread with your favorite dippers with Easy Stuffed Mushrooms and Chicken Taco-Stuffed Crescent Rolls. This trio makes a nice combo of flavors and textures, without spending the day in the kitchen!

The Best Ham Salad Ingredients

Ham Choices: This is a great way to use up leftover cooked or smoked ham after the big Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving holiday meal, but that’s not your only option! Use a cooked or smoked ham slice from the grocery store, deli ham or even prechopped ham. Or you can even use turkey ham! This recipe works perfectly with whatever ham you have on hand or pick up at the store.

Green is Good: They say we eat with our eyes first—so we add sliced green onions for terrific color as well as a mild oniony flavor. We love it when an ingredient does double-duty!

Pickle Perfection: What really gives this yummy salad some amazing flavor, is the addition of dill pickle relish or chopped dill pickles. We love using pickle relish if we have it on hand, as there is no chopping required!

Mayonnaise: Whether you are in the mayonnaise-loving camp or the salad dressing fan camp, either will work in this recipe, offering a slightly different flavor.

Mustard: Dijon mustard adds just the right piquancy to this salad, being good buddies with dill pickles and green onions, for outstanding flavor.

How To Store Ham Salad

Ham salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator to get a jump on quick meals, however, be sure to not leave ham salad out of the refrigerator no longer than 2 hours, for it to be safe to eat later.
If you are serving it at a picnic or potluck, place a bowl of ice under the salad to keep it cool…but still get it back in a cold cooler or the refrigerator within 2 hours. If it’s going to sit out longer than that, it’s better to throw any leftovers out than to take the risk of getting a food borne illness.

Spoon ham salad into food storage containers with tight-fitting lids. Refrigerate salad for up to 4 or 5 days.

It is not recommended to freeze the salad, as it will become watery.


  • 3 cups finely chopped fully cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (4 medium)
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle relish or chopped dill pickles
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Lettuce leaves, if desired


  • 1
    In large bowl, mix all ingredients except lettuce until well blended.
  • 2
    Serve on lettuce leaves. Cover and refrigerate any remaining salad.

Tips from the Pillsbury Kitchens

  • tip 1
    For a sweeter flavor, use honey-roasted ham and sweet pickle relish.
  • tip 2
    For a pop of color and crunch, add 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper.
  • tip 3
    For a sandwich, bake Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers or Southern Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits. Split biscuits, top with lettuce leaf and ham salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ham Salad Recipe Variations

Try any of these delicious ways to add a flavor twist or to serve ham salad in a clever new way:
Quick Customizable Swaps: Add some fresh or dried dillweed, for a yummy herbal taste, swap the Dijon for honey mustard or sweet pickle relish, for a sweeter taste. Give it a smoky flavor by adding a little smoked paprika with the mayonnaise.

Easy Sandwiches: Want to know the best ham salad sandwich recipe? Simply spread some of this savory salad between two slices of bread! If you like, add crispy romaine heart leaves and sliced tomato or avocado…trust us, your taste buds will love you.

Simple Appetizer: Throw this salad in a low-sided, attractive serving bowl and put out some slices of French baguette or crackers or bite-size pieces of naan bread for guests to spread it on and gobble up. Or make it a bit fancier by spreading it on cocktail caraway rye bread slices and topping each with a fancy toothpick speared with a dill pickle slice.

Delightful Dip: Serve a bowlful of this dip with crackers or tortilla chips while watching tv or for an afterschool snack.

Can You Make Ham Salad Ahead of Time?

Yes! Our homemade ham salad is a great recipe to make in advance. Making it in advance to get a jump on your dinner prep on a busy night is a great strategic play to avoid the usual stress of getting a meal on the table. If you like to prep meals in advance, this is a great recipe you can make to enjoy for a quick lunch or dinner throughout the week. And best of all, when you make it ahead, the flavors get a chance to mingle, leaving an even better flavored salad!
Just follow the storage information in the How to Store Ham Salad section above, to be sure you’re eating the freshest and safest ham salad. Mayonnaise-based salads with perishable ingredients such as ham, need to be handled intentionally, so that when you enjoy them, they make the right kind of memories, not the wrong ones!

What’s the Best Ham for Ham Salad?

The best ham to use for this amazingly simple and tasty ham salad is the one you have in the fridge! Honestly, no matter what type of cooked or smoked ham you have on hand, it will taste delicious!
You can use any ready-to-eat ham, cooked ham, or smoked ham for this recipe. Even turkey ham would be sensational. Cured hams such as bacon or prosciutto would be too salty to eat a lot of, as in this recipe, but you could swap 1/4 cup of one of these finely chopped cured options for an equal amount of the ham called for. See How to Make Ham Salad above, for even more ham choices, beyond having some leftover ham in the fridge, you can make this tasty salad any time of the year.

How to Chop Ham for Ham Salad?

Cutting the ham into small pieces means that this salad can be used as a ham salad spread. If they are cut too large, it will be harder to use this salad spread as a sandwich filling or as a dip, to pick up with chips or a cracker. This casual salad does not require any special kind of ham or perfectly cubed pieces to be happy, just chop it however you like, so that the pieces end up being about 1/4-inch in size. If you like them perfectly cubed—go for it!
It is best to start with slices that are at least 1/4-inch thick. First cut it into long, thin strips. Gather the strips together and rotate them to cut crosswise into small pieces. Boom—you are done!

If you start with shaved ham slices from the deli, you’ll end up with too much ham in the recipe and it might get overly salty. If this is the kind of ham you have on hand, simply add a little extra mayonnaise and mustard than what is called for.

Nutrition Information

250 Calories, 20g Total Fat, 15g Protein, 1g Total Carbohydrate, 0g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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