Ham Salad

by aimee @ shugarysweets on December 29, 2013

Grandma’s Ham Salad recipe. A delicious dip with crackers! Make this for your next party, just do it!

Grandma's Ham Salad recipe: perfect on crackers!

Every year, no matter where our family Christmas is being held, I’m always in charge of bringing Grandma’s Ham Salad.

Growing up, my Grandma always served the same food for Christmas. We ate cold cut sandwiches, potato salad and ham salad. I know it may not be your traditional holiday meal, but I looked forward to it for so many reasons.

First, the cold cuts. My mom NEVER bought deli meat or cheese when I was a kid. We ate bologna or Buddig (anyone remember this??). My Grandparents always had fresh sliced deli meats and cheeses. Yes, CHEESE. I only knew cheese to come in plastic, individually wrapped. But deli cheese? OMG yum. It’s all I ever buy now as an adult.

And potato salad. You may remember me sharing my grandma’s potato salad HERE. It is simply the best. The key to her potato salad is dicing everything VERY VERY small.

Finally, the ham salad. You have to own a meat grinder to make this salad. Which is why this became my job every year since she has passed on. I’m the only one in the family with a meat grinder. I use THIS ATTACHMENT for my KitchenAid. I love it!

But Grandma’s ham salad took me several years to get right because her recipe had no measurements except a 5lb ham. Everything else was just a list of ingredients. I had to figure out HOW MUCH of everything she used. One year I used too much soy sauce, yikes, it was so salty. One year, way to much mayo and it was almost as creamy as potato salad.

Now, I’ve pretty much got it down, and I can eyeball everything. However, for you all, I measured and am sharing it today! Never had ham salad? You are missing out. Do you like those ham roll ups with cream cheese and onion (or pickles)??? It kinda tastes like that….kinda.

This recipe makes a lot of ham salad. Before you ask, I don’t know if you can freeze it, I’ve never tried. I bring it home for the holidays and all of my family members get a container. If it’s not all eaten at once, of course! ENJOY!!

Ham Salad- grandma's dip recipe is perfect on crackers!

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Ham Salad


  • 5lb ham, fully cooked
  • 2 jars (10oz each) dill pickle relish
  • 3 tsp yellow mustard
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp soy sauce


  1. Grind fully cooked ham with a coarse meat grinder. Add mustard, mayonnaise and soy sauce, mixing until fully combined. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 5 days. ENJOY.


**For best flavor, use a brown sugar glazed ham. If I can't find one, I bake a ham making a brown sugar glaze and topping with cloves. YUM.


Delicious New Years recipes:

pecan pie truffles

Pecan Pie Truffles


Ham and Onion Cheeseball


Turtle Cheeseball

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent December 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I grew up on a ham salad that was very similar to this… I’m going to have to ask my mom for the recipe to compare it. My parents do cold cuts for xmas eve dinner now, to make things easier. We love it. More time to concentrate on the visitors than on making another elaborate meal.
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Barb December 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hi…..3/4 c. of mayo and 3 t. (1 T.) of mustard surely can’t be enough for 5 lbs. of ham. Are you sure of those amounts?


aimee @ shugarysweets December 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Yep, positive! It’s not a creamy dish, its just enough moisture to combine the ham!
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Skye December 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Memory flashback…Buddig beef on whole wheat bread (a brand called Roman Meal) with just enough mustard to moisten the bread. I too love deli meat now. I will definitely try your Grandma’s ham salad because it sounds a lot like my grandma’s. Thank you for posting this recipe!


Renee@ Two in the Kitchen December 29, 2013 at 11:24 pm

We LOVE our Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment!! It makes life so much easier! I love your family story that goes along with this great looking Ham Salad! Have a great New Year!!
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aimee @ shugarysweets December 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Thanks Renee, have a great New Year as well :)


buttercream bakehouse December 30, 2013 at 7:26 am

You always have such great tips with apps and desserts. Keep up the good work in 2014. Happy New Year my bloggy friend! :)


aimee @ shugarysweets December 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Oh thank you so much! Happy New Year to you too :)


Memaw in FL December 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I too grew with ham salad on the menu. However, we didn’t always have a ham so Mom used Spam. I know, Oh Yucky Spam! She would grind it with the metal monster attached to the kitchen counter run onion through with it, add relish, mayo and there you have it. It was delish (to me and Dad at least).


aimee @ shugarysweets December 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm

So glad there are other Ham Salad lovers out there!


Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas December 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Wow! That sounds like something I would love. Thank you for sharing. I didn’t think anyone else liked ham salad. Great stuff for sure!
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Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff December 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm

My hubby love ham salad … must try your recipe!
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Deborah January 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm

I totally need a meat grinder. This is something my family would love!!
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Monica January 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm

My mom always makes this with leftover ham! We just call it ‘ham and pickle.’ It’s one of those things that I never really want it, but when it’s there I love having it, if that makes any sense. I thought about making it this year, and now seeing yours I think I will! :)


Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen January 5, 2014 at 6:02 pm

When I was pregnant with my first little guy I had a SEVERE craving for ham salad. I was at work so over my lunch break I went to the grocery store and bought a 1/4 lb of ham salad and a loaf of bread. I swear it was a miracle that I made it back to work before devouring it. I ate the whole thing by myself. It kind of makes me sick thinking about it now lol
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Gloria // Simply Gloria January 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Yes, I remember the Buddig! Too funny. We also had our share of bologna while growing up….especially Spam! I tell my kids those stories all the time…and they are thankful they get to eat real ham!
This recipe looks amazing…my boys would really dig this!
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Nutmeg Nanny January 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm

This dip looks so tasty, I am sure it would be a huge hit in my house!
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Lisa P. April 18, 2014 at 7:11 am

Hi! This ham salad looks delicious! Reminds me of my wedding day! My hubby and I were young and broke and my sweet neighbor made the food for my reception. She made pimiento cheese and ham salad finger sandwiches. Her ham salad also had pecans ground into it, as well, and it was spectacular! That was nearly 20 years ago and I can still taste it! I will definitely be trying this recipe and perhaps adding a few pecans!


KelliT December 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm

This is exactly like my grandmas recipe with one exception, she adds a couple of slices of american cheese(and uses a food processor instead of meat grinder. It really adds to it, oddly enough!


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