Ham Salad

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Grandma’s Ham Salad recipe makes a delicious party dip or ham sandwich spread! Put your leftover ham to use and make this for your next get-together!

We love using up leftover honey baked ham for some of of our favorite dinners and snacks. You can also whip up some easy egg salad sandwiches to pair with today’s salad.

Ham salad in a white bowl served on a stack of ritz crackers.

Ham Salad for generations

Every year, no matter where our family Christmas is being held, I’m always in charge of bringing Grandma’s Ham Salad. It’s been a staple in my family for years and I have such fond memories associated with it!

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.

Ham salad was always the first item I scooped onto my plate at those family gatherings. You had to be quick or it could all disappear before you got your fill! That’s how much everyone loved Grandam’s ham salad.

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

For the ham salad you have to own a meat grinder, or ask your butcher to grind the meat for you. It’s worth it.

Grandma’s ham salad recipe took me several years to get right because her recipe card had no measurements included except a 5lb ham. Everything else was just a list of ingredients. I had to figure out HOW MUCH of everything she used.

She never measured, just tossed everything in a bowl and turned ground ham into a tangy, savory salad with just a hint of creaminess.

I persisted, though, and by now I’ve got the balance just right. Usually, I just eyeball everything (like Grandma did) but before writing the recipe down I made sure to measure everything.

Ham Sandwich Spread

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. 

Just make it to find out for yourself! Anyone who likes ham likes this Ham salad, I promise.

Like I mentioned before, I bring this to every family holiday. Some of us scoop it up with crackers (my favorite way). It’s also an amazing spread for a sandwich. Scoop it onto toasted rolls or sliced bread and you have a full meal!

It’s not quite as creamy and “gloopy” as a potato or chicken salad but it definitely has a creaminess too it that’s just wonderful.

With the saltiness of the Ham and the zing of dill pickle relish, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about Grandma’s Ham Salad recipe!

What you’ll Need

This recipe makes a lot of ham salad! Make it for a party or when you have company coming over and you’re all but guaranteed to have plenty.

The good news is that this ham salad freezes well, too! So go ahead and make the whole recipe and pop any leftovers in the freezer for later.

Here’s what you need to make ham salad:

  • Cooked Ham – we love our honey baked ham recipe for this!
  • Yellow mustard
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Soy sauce
  • Dill pickle relish

How to Make Ham Salad

Use a meat grinder to grind the fully cooked ham into coarse grinds. Add the mayo, mustard, relish and soy sauce and mix until well combined.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve! It keeps well (covered and refrigerated) for up to 5 days.

To freeze:  Place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator, stir, and serve!

What to serve with Ham Salad:

This ham salad is always on our family’s Christmas table, per Grandma’s tradition! We serve it with Ritz crackers or hearty wheat crackers. It’s also tasty scooped up with celery sticks on a party tray!

Any leftovers are likely to end up in our sandwiches for the rest of the week’s lunches.

This recipe makes for a great ham sandwich spread that the kids love! They can assemble it themselves, too, because it’s all the sandwich fillings in one.

Leftover Ham Recipes

If you have access to a meat grinder, I can’t recommend this recipe enough for using up your leftover Easter or Christmas Ham.

Looking for even more leftover ham recipes?  Give this Ham Casserole a try! It’s the ideal quick and easy dinner for after the holiday rush. You’ll love this Broccoli Ham Quiche, too!

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

More Holiday Recipes

Salads and Side Dishes

See all Side Dishes recipes

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Ham Salad

5 from 5 votes
By: Aimee
Grandma's Ham Salad recipe. A delicious dip with crackers! Make this for your next party, just do it!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24 servings


  • 5 pound ham fully cooked
  • 2 jars dill pickle relish 10 ounce each
  • 3 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
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  • 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.


  • If you have access to a meat grinder, I can’t recommend this recipe enough for using up your leftover Easter or Christmas Ham.


Calories: 196kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 1011mg, Sugar: 1g
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on December 29, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. This sounds like a great recipe, but do you drain the pickle relish? Obviously you add the relish with the other ingredients….

    Thanks. We are enjoying the peach dump cake today, a dessert in the middle of the day to make our captivity more fun.

    Peggy Q

  2. I love ham salad. My recipe is a little different though. I use 2 lb ham, chopped fine in processor, 8 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 c mayo, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp hot sauce, 2tbsp finely chopped onion and 2 tbsp. parsley flakes. Mix all ingredients until well combined.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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! 🙂

  8. 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!

  9. 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).

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

  11. 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!!

  12. 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!

  13. 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?

  14. 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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