Ham Salad is a deli classic that is great for spreading over toast and crackers or make into a flavorful sandwich. If you have leftover ham in your fridge this can be prepared in minutes!
There is a ham crisis in the country right now. In the days immediately post-Christmas millions of refrigerators are brimming with mountains of leftover ham that needs to be repurposed into new meals. Luckily, you likely already have the ingredients needed to create this ham salad in your kitchen right now!
What is Ham Salad
Ham salad is not a traditional salad, as you would normally think of green leafy salad. Instead, it is more similar to egg salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad. Ham salad is a protein-centric salad featuring small chunks of ham in a seasoned mayo-based dressing, with crunchy bits of fresh produce added for texture. This popular spread is commonly found in deli counters across the country.
How to Make Ham Salad
The key to making the best ham salad is uniformly creating small bits of ham, eggs, celery, and onions so every bite contains all of the flavors. It would be exceedingly tedious to chop the ham as finely as needed, so instead give it a few pulses in your food processor, or run it through your meat grinder once with a medium grinding plate. If you do not have either of those appliances you can run the ham through a box grater to break them down into small shreds then finish chopping them into pea-sized pieces with a knife.
Can Ham Salad Be Made Ahead
Yes, absolutely. Ham salad is actually best when made ahead. Once the ham salad is prepared, storing it in your refrigerator overnight will allow the flavors to meld together. However, if you are pressed for time you can certainly enjoy it right away instead.
Ham Salad Spread
People often refer to this dish as ham salad spread for obvious reasons: it can be used as a spread. Spreading it on toast and crackers are two common applications. Since this is not an overly gourmet spread, basic buttery crackers, like Ritz, are perfect.
Ham Salad Sandwich
Making a ham salad sandwich is probably my favorite way to enjoy this recipe. You can use classic white or wheat bread slices, however, I really like to serve it on a toasted croissant. Simple buns or dinner rolls also work great.
Healthy Ham Salad
As it is traditionally made, ham salad is not overly healthy. However, you can make a healthy ham salad by substituting plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Greek yogurt is a great mayo alternative for many recipes.
- 3 cups ground Ham (leftover ham works great)
- 2 hard boiled Eggs (diced)
- 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons minced Celery
- 3 tablespoons minced Onion
- 2 tablespoons Sweet Pickle Relish
- 1 tablespoon Yellow Mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- 1 pinch Cayenne
- Run ham through a meat grinder on a medium grinding plate, or chop finely in a food processor to create small chunks of ham.
- Add ham into a bowl with all remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Serve as a sandwich or with crackers.
- Ham salad can be enjoyed right away, however, the flavor is best if allowed to rest in the refrigerator overnight.
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