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Southern Ham Salad

This creamy Southern Ham Salad recipe is tangy with just a hint of sweetness from the pickle relish. It’s been served as a spread on crackers, celery ribs or turned into a quick sandwich using leftover ham in Southern kitchens for decades. You can bet every version of this simple ham spread is made unique with every Southern cook having their own little twist in flavors to make it their own.

Southern Ham Salad

Tried and True Southern Ham Salad Recipe

Old school cook’s would have run leftover ham through a meat grinder until it’s the right consistency. I use my food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade and it works like a charm. My family has always included egg as an ingredient so I do the same. If you’re not sure, you may try one or two eggs until you get to your sweet spot in taste. Again, it all comes down to how you were taught to make it and can be adjusted to your personal taste. How to make the easiest leftover Ham Salad: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)

  • Dressing – In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, Dijon, celery, onion, Dijon, honey, onion powder, lemon pepper, garlic powder and garlic salt.
  • Ham – Chop ham finely by hand.
  • Eggs – Boil and peel the eggs and finely chop.
  • Combine – To the dressing add chopped ham and eggs folding into the mixture by hand. Mix well.
  • Chill for 4 hours or until serving on rolls with lettuce or as a spread for crackers and celery.
Southern Ham Salad

How to Make the Best Southern Ham Salad Recipe

So, what is ham salad? It’s a vintage refrigerator salad and spread. Just like egg salad and pimento cheese ham salad is a fantastic quick and easy salad to have handy on days there’s no time to cook. It’s also super nice for keeping the family happy when they want just a little something to hold them over until dinner and for me, that’s always a win.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make this easy Ham Salad recipe: 2 pounds of coarsely ground ham and hard boiled eggs. For the dressing you’ll need real mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, Dijon mustard, diced celery, minced onion, honey, onion powder, lemon pepper, granulated garlic or garlic powder, black pepper and garlic salt.
  • To make ham salad, I like to start with the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl first. Whisk together everything but the ham and chopped boiled eggs. Once everything comes together then add the ground ham and chopped eggs and mix until it’s fully combined.
  • I recommend finely chopping the ham by hand for this salad. If you pulse it in a food processor be careful as it can grind it more to a pate texture.
  • Serve ham salad on a bed of lettuce or turned into a southern lettuce wrap. You can also use it to stuff inside of croissants, white bread, buttermilk biscuits on yeast rolls or with crackers as a spread. You can even serve ham salad as a dip with celery.
  • You can store ham salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze ham salad for up to 2 months.
Southern Ham Salad

More Recipes Using Leftover Ham to Make

Leftover ham is a gift and can easily be transformed into more delicious recipes to enjoy. Other leftover ham recipes to try:

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Southern Ham Salad

Prep Time10 minutes
Chill time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: southern-ham-salad
Servings: 12 servings (may vary)
Calories: 270kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp minced celery
  • 1 Tbsp minced sweet onion
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated galric or garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 lb ham coarsely ground
  • 3 large hard boiled eggs chopped
  • Buns and lettuce crackers or celery ribs for serving


  • In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, Dijon, celery, onion, Dijon, honey, onion powder, lemon pepper, garlic powder and garlic salt.
  • Fold in the chopped ham and chopped hard boiled eggs. Mix well.
  • Chill for 4 hours or until serving on rolls with lettuce or as a spread for crackers and celery.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 1289mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 252IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. 5 stars
    love adding the egg. I personally leave out the honey and sometimes sub 1/2 cup dill relish for 1/2 cup of sweet relish. Love it both ways and when feeling frisky use sweet relish and a teaspoon or so of a good curry spice. Great recipe, thanks.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe – I’ve looked everywhere for the food my grandmother used to make and you’re the only one posting it! Thanks so much!

  3. I remember my grandmother making this and me loving it as a kid. I was looking it up online to try and find a recipe that was similar, and yours looks like the most like what she made. I am excited to try this recipe!

  4. I have made a similar Ham salad for over 50 years but add, as my Grandma and Mother always did, chopped peanuts or chopped dry roasted nuts. This addition always brings great comments.

    1. I’m not sure I can answer that with certainty as the ham is measured prior to grinding in this recipe. I’m wondering if you mean, how many cups does 2 lbs of ham make? Around 4-5.

  5. 5 stars
    My MIL and her sister-in-law had a running battle on whose ham salad was better. My preference was always Aunt Suzie’s and your recipe couldn’t be any closer. Both lovely ladies have been gone for years, so I am looking forward to surprising family with your recipe.

  6. I have some left over spiral ham. Would I just chop that up as fine as possible to use for this recipe? It sounds delicious and I would really like to try it.

    1. I’ve used all sorts of ham for ham salad sometimes Smithfield and at other times a quality ham from my local Costco. Use a good quality ham or deli ham that you enjoy.

  7. Just made some yesterday for my husband. It was leftover from a glazed spiral ham, so I didn’t add any seasonings. Just Hellman’s Light and some sweet relish! I think your seasoning choices are lovely, just a bit more than I have ever needed. The smokey flavor of our own smoked hams would usually overpower anything else but the sweet relish. I’ve never tried egg in it, and he wouldn’t go for that, but maybe just for me some day.

    1. As I said in the narrative ham salad ingredients can run the gamut. Of course, we love it this way but as with any dish there’s always room for creativity.

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