What To Do with Leftover Ham? Make Ham Salad!

Do you have any good ideas for using up my leftover ham from Easter?

Seriously. As someone who held a ham in her freezer for an entire year because she was terrified by the prospect of finding a way to eat it all, I’ve been in your shoes.

And my eventual solution for that particular ham—offer it up as an entrée at a friend’s annual holiday party—isn’t something that works for everyone. Especially if ham was likely the main event at your Easter holiday feast one day ago.

ham salad
Photo: Casey Barber

If yours is a bone-in ham, the smart thing to do with that Flintstones-esque knob is to make soup. Amber at Bluebonnet Baker gilds the lily by adding bacon to her ham and bean soup.

Shaina at Food for My Family does a ham, potato, and beer cheese soup that can easily be adapted to get rid of any extra mashed potatoes you’ve got hanging around.

But say you live with a man who hates soup (ahem) or you can’t be bothered to simmer one more thing after expending all your energy on the Easter feast.

ham salad

That’s when ham salad swoops in to save the day.

Like chicken or tuna salad, ham salad is one of those cold, mayo-bound sandwich fillers that contain little to no vegetable matter (let alone a piece of lettuce).

Hey, what else are you going to do with the ends of your chipped chopped ham but throw together a nice ham salad for the deli case?

ham salad
Photo: Casey Barber

Some versions add hard-boiled eggs to the mixture, which is a clever way to double up on dealing with leftovers, but I’m a purist when it comes to my ham salad and gotta do things the western PA way.

More specifically, the DeLallo’s way with only ham, mayo, sweet pickles, and pimientos, ground finely to a spread instead of the chunkiness you’d expect from chicken or egg salad.

Though I will eat it in conjunction with hard-boiled eggs or deviled eggs, most of the time I prefer my ham salad with no other accompaniments but bread.

ham salad
Photo: Casey Barber

But it’s got to be good bread, and if you can find it, olive bread matches ham’s sweet-saltiness note for note.

(Plus, the combination of ham and olives makes this meal a kissing cousin to olive loaf, another one of my horrifying childhood favorites.)

This recipe, incidentally, would make excellent picnic fare should you find yourself hiking in Arches National Park near Ham Rock (my favorite rock formation in the park, for obvious reasons).

Maybe next Easter you can forego the family feast entirely for a more al fresco experience?

ham salad
ham salad

Ham Salad

Yield: about 3 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

So you've got a lot of leftover ham from your Easter meal. Why not make ham salad to help use it up? It's a tasty alternative to tuna or chicken salad.


  • 1/2 pound ham, sliced into large cubes
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces; 57 grams) mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 2 tablespoons drained diced pimientos
  • bread or crackers for serving


  1. Pulse the ham in a food processor until it's chopped into a coarsely ground consistency. You don't want to turn it into a paste or a puree; there should still be a distinct ham texture to it.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise, relish, and pimientos.
  3. Spread on bread or crackers (may I suggest pretzel bread or whole wheat pretzel crackers?) 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 460mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo!

FTC Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Good. Food. Stories. receives a minuscule commission on all purchases made through Amazon links in our posts.

Similar Posts


  1. Why yes I do have a load of leftover ham that I don’t know how to use! This is perfect. I’ve never thought of ham salad before but I think I need to try it.

  2. So good, so good. I actually am not a ham fan, but my family is, so I give in once or twice a year. My mom sent us home with half a ham (with the bone) yesterday. Two massive hams was a bit excessive for our family gathering I guess. I will definitely be trying this.

  3. How funny, I just wrote a blog on how to use up all those Easter eggs. I guess we were on the same food wavelength?

    Although I’ve never been in a left-over ham quandary, I’m tempted to buy a little ham to make this and spread it on white bread.

  4. That fig tapenade sounds heavenly. My family’s favorite use for leftover ham is ham loaf (kinda like cooked ham salad). Even though it is still cooked ham, it is different enough that everybody goes for it. And I like it because you can use up a LOT instead of just the bits you put into a macroni salad, or mix with rice, or all those other little sneaky ways to slip it into a meal.

  5. Sounds delicious! Although since neither of us are really ham fans, I made sure to pawn all of our leftovers off to our guests, haha!

Comments are closed.