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Ham Salad Recipe

Ham Salad Recipe

Easy to follow, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe for an old fashioned, southern style ham salad.

Southern Ham Salad

Ham Salad, slider.

Ham Salad

Most folks will end up baking a ham sometime throughout the year. Whether it’s for Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, or Christmas; baked ham usually ends up on the table at one or the other holiday.

I might need to clarify that we’re talking about “City Ham” as opposed to “Country Ham” for this recipe. What’s the difference you ask?

City ham is what you’ll generally find in your butchers case at the supermarket. It’s often wet cured and sometimes cold smoked for a deeper flavor. You’ll find a whole ham, ham shank, or butt ham which are usually sold fully cooked and ready to eat.

Ham steaks are also available this way and could easily be purchased just for making ham salad if you don’t happen to have any leftovers.

Country ham is dry cured, either in salt, sugar or both. It can be smoked for added flavor, and will be aged for several months to several years before serving. It usually needs to be soaked overnight to remove a lot of the salt brine before cooking to even taste good.

So, now that we have that out of the way, the next thing is whether or not you’ll actually end up with enough leftovers to make our Ham Salad once your big meal has been served.

After slicing most of the meat from the bone, I pick the smaller remaining pieces and trimmings and set them aside for making ham salad. It’s really easy to make, and makes a great sandwich or spread for crackers.

I prefer to use my homemade sweet pickles (Mama’s recipe) but you can easily use a store bought sweet pickle relish if you have it. I just prefer the sweet and salty combination of flavors mixing the sweet pickles with the already salty taste of the ham.

Ready to give it a try? Alright then, let’s grab that ham bone, pick it dry and head to the kitchen.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Ham Salad, you'll need these ingredients.

Southern style Ham Salad:  You’ll need these ingredients.

Ham Salad, chop ham as desired.

We’ll begin by chopping up the leftover ham. You can chop it as fine as you’d like, or do like me and leave it a little bit chunky.

It only takes a minute or two with a good knife to get these results, but if you prefer, chop it in your food processor. I’d just rather wash my knife and chopping board as opposed to the food processor. Smile.

Ham Salad, mash the egg with a fork.

Place the hard boiled egg in a medium sized mixing bowl, and mash it up with a fork.

Ham Salad, add the ham.

Toss the chopped ham into the bowl on top of the egg.

Ham Salad, add the celery.

Add the chopped celery.

TIP: Keep celery in your refrigerator much longer by wrapping it in a couple of layers of paper towel, then wrapping that in aluminum foil. You’ll be amazed at how long it will stay fresh.

Ham Salad, add the pickle relish.

Place the sweet pickle relish in the bowl.

I’m using some of my homemade sweet pickles, as I do in just about all of my “salad” type recipes. You can just use a regular sweet pickle relish if that’s what you have on hand.

I like the salty-sweet combination that comes from the cooked ham and then the pickles.

Ham Salad, add the mustard.

Add the mustard.

Now, before you go laughing at me using this little packet of mustard, let me explain. I drained the bottle in making the glaze that I used on this ham when I baked it. I just haven’t had the chance to pick up another bottle since then and didn’t think about being totally out until I’d already started setting up my ingredients for the first photo.

That’s when I remembered I might have a packet laying around somewhere from one of my drive-thru, bring it home, take out orders. And of course, I could only find ONE of those, but its all I needed.

Ham Salad, add the black pepper.

Add the black pepper.

Ham Salad, add the mayo.

Then, add in the mayonnaise. Hopefully you’re using my favorite brand… Duke’s.

Ham Salad, mix it together well.

Using a large spoon, mix all the ingredients together well, until it’s fully blended.

If you’d prefer a little creamier salad, feel free to add a bit more mayo and pickle juice.

Ham Salad, scrape down the bowl.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pack it all together so all the flavors can blend together.

Ham Salad, refrigerate for an hour or two.

Refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour or two. Overnight will be better if you can possibly wait that long. Smile.


My favorite way to enjoy this Ham Salad is by just spreading a good amount between two slices of white loaf bread.

You can also use it as a spread for crackers, or on a stalk of celery.

If you make it in a food processor, you can make it thin enough to use as a dip. Either way, it’s good.

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