No Food Processor? No Problem! 10 Easy Ways to Make Delicious Ham Salad

As a busy mom who loves to cook, I’m always looking for tasty recipes that are easy to whip up with minimal equipment. Ham salad is a classic picnic and potluck favorite, but many recipes call for chopping the ingredients in a food processor. Who has time for extra appliances and cleanup? Not me! Over the years, I’ve discovered some simple shortcuts for making homemade ham salad without dragging out the food processor. Follow my techniques below for easy ham salad bursting with flavor.

Why Make Your Own Ham Salad?

Store-bought ham salad is convenient, but it often contains preservatives, corn syrup and other additives you won’t find in homemade. Plus, my ham salad recipe allows you to control the flavor and customize it to your taste. Make it exactly how your family likes it! Homemade also uses up leftover holiday ham so nothing goes to waste. With just a few basic ingredients, you can whip up ham salad in minutes.

Tips for Easy, Food Processor-Free Ham Salad

  • Use fully cooked boneless ham. This makes chopping much easier. Cooked ham steaks work great too.

  • Chill the ham first. It’s easier to cut chilled meat.

  • Remove any fat, skin or bone before chopping.

  • Cut ham into small 1/2 inch cubes. Smaller pieces distribute seasoning better.

  • Add flavorful mix-ins like sweet pickles, hard-boiled egg, onion and celery.

  • Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to mince ham into very small pieces.

  • Smash with a fork to break up chunks if needed.

  • Stir in mayo, mustard and seasonings until combined.

10 No-Food Processor Ham Salad Methods

From using kitchen tools to handy gadgets, there are many ways to chop ham for salad without dragging out the food processor. Try these easy shortcuts

1. Knife-Cut into Cubes

  • Chill cooked ham. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

  • Mince cubes into very small crumbles using a rocking motion.

  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Use a fork to break up any large pieces.

2. Blender or Mini-Chopper

  • Cut ham into 1-inch chunks.

  • Place a few chunks at a time into a blender or mini chopper. Pulse to finely mince.

  • Transfer to a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.

3. Kitchen Shears

  • Sturdy shears quickly cut cooked ham into small pieces.

  • An up and down chopping motion works best.

  • Use shears for any large chunks too.

4. Box Grater

  • Chill the ham thoroughly so it’s firm.

  • Grate it using the small holes on a box grater.

  • Mix in other ingredients and break up any chunks.

5. Potato Masher

  • Dice the ham. Place in a bowl.

  • Use a potato masher to smash it into smaller crumbles.

  • Mix in remaining ingredients until fully blended.

6. Dinner Forks

  • Chop ham into small cubes.

  • Use 2 forks to shred and shred the cubes into tinier pieces.

  • Mix in other ingredients and combine well.

7. Pastry Cutter

  • Chill diced ham cubes so they don’t stick.

  • Use a pastry cutter to slice cubes into smaller bits.

  • Mix in remaining ingredients until fully incorporated.

8. Food Mill

  • Use a food mill to grind chilled diced ham into fine crumbs.

  • You may need to work in batches.

  • Mix crumbs with remaining ham salad ingredients.

9. Mortar and Pestle

  • Chill and dice ham into 1/4 inch pieces.

  • Grind small batches into crumbs using mortar and pestle.

  • Mix ground ham with remaining ingredients.

10. Meat Tenderizer Tool

  • Cut ham into 1-inch chunks.

  • Use a meat tenderizer tool, like a Jaccard, to mince it.

  • Mix thoroughly with remaining ingredients.

My Favorite Ham Salad Combinations

Once you’ve chopped the ham, adding flavorful mix-ins and creamy dressing makes it pop! Here are some of my favorite ham salad recipes:

Classic Ham Salad

  • Chopped cooked ham
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Sweet pickles or pickle relish
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Mustard

This traditional combo is simple yet delicious! The mayo and egg make it creamy while the crunchy veggies add texture. Tart pickles and mustard punch up the flavor.

Hawaiian Ham Salad

  • Chopped cooked ham
  • Mayonnaise
  • Diced pineapple
  • Green onion
  • Chopped macadamia nuts
  • Shredded coconut

For a tropical twist, stir in sweet pineapple, toasted nuts and coconut. The freshness of green onion brightens it up.

BLT Ham Salad

  • Chopped cooked ham
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chopped tomato
  • Crisp crumbled bacon
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Minced onion

Transform your ham salad into a BLT by mixing in crispy bacon, juicy tomato and shredded lettuce. The flavors of this classic sandwich shine through.

Southwestern Ham Salad

  • Chopped cooked ham
  • Mayonnaise
  • Diced avocado
  • Corn
  • Chopped red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Cumin

Make your ham salad a fiesta with zesty ingredients like avocado, corn, red onion and lime juice. Hints of cumin and cilantro give it a Tex-Mex flair.

Tips for Storing Ham Salad

Made a big batch of ham salad? Here are some storage tips:

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.

  • For longer storage, freeze ham salad for 2-3 months.

  • Place plastic wrap directly on surface before sealing to prevent drying out.

  • Label container with date and contents.

  • Freeze ham salad in individual portions to grab and thaw as needed.

  • Defrost overnight in fridge before serving.

Old Fashioned Ham Salad Spread


What is ham salad made of?

Ham salad is a great way to use leftover ham. Mix together diced ham, hard-boiled eggs, pickle relish, mayo, onion, celery, bell pepper, and mustard for a terrific salad you can use on sandwiches or enjoy on its own.

How long is ham salad safe to eat?

Properly stored, homemade ham salad will last up to five days in the refrigerator.

What is deviled ham spread made of?

Place ham, mayonnaise, mustard, hot pepper sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, black pepper, paprika, and caraway seeds in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the ingredients to your desired texture; stir in onion and celery. Chill before serving.

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