Try this Spicy Smoked Ham Salad with a chipotle mayo dressing. Made from smoked pulled ham, the woodfire flavors come alive in every bite. Pile it on sandwiches, crackers, or blue corn chips. It’s delicious any way you eat it!
Old-fashioned ham salad is a staple for leftover ham, typically combined with mayo, eggs, mustard, and some crunchy veggies. I’ve gone through many boxes of buttery crackers over the years, transporting ham salad to my mouth.
Let’s step it up with some chiles and smoke, using some leftover smoked pulled ham paired with a spicy, creamy chipotle mayo. This pink ham salad is packed with crunchy veggies as well, giving you a wide combination of textures and flavors.
Why This Recipe Works
Smoke and heat. The addition of smoked pulled ham along with smoky & spicy chipotle mayo really packs a punch of flavors. This smoked ham salad is a kicked-up version of your grandma’s classic.
Quick to make. Once you have the ham, this is a one-food-processor meal. Dice the ham, blend the mayo, and a little chop chop on the veggies.
Easily customizable. Don’t want chipotle? Skip it, or try other ingredients (such as gochujang) to mix into the mayo. Swap out the scallions for onions, pickles, and boiled eggs, or simply add them all. This recipe is a template for you.
You’ll Need Ham
Any ham will work for this recipe, even already smoked & storebought ham that you can simply heat up.
Now that’s not nearly as fun, but it will work.
I highly recommend making the Smoked Pulled Ham, which should already be shredded and ready to go.
Step 1: Chop the Smoked Ham
Make sure you pick through the ham to remove any larger, unwanted bits of fat before chopping.
The best tool for the job is a food processor, which will chop the ham into perfectly-sized bits within a couple of minutes or less. Rip the pieces of ham into slightly smaller shreds and measure out 4 cups for this recipe.
Pulse with the food processor a few times until the pieces have been chopped fairly evenly.
Step 2: Make the Chipotle Mayo
Clean out the ham from the food processor and place it into a large bowl for mixing.
Add in the ingredients for the chipotle mayo. We might as well use the same tool to chop up the chipotle and blend it in.
Chipotle Mayo Ingredients:
- Chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce
- Chile powder
- Fresh lime juice
- Salt to taste
Give it a whirl on high to blitz up that chipotle chile for a minute and you’re done. Taste and adjust with more salt if needed, but remember that the ham will also be salty. We’re going to mix this in together.
Step 3: Mix Everything
Add the chipotle mayo into the bowl with the chopped smoked ham.
For an added crunch, stir in diced celery and scallions. Both of these add pungent, herby flavors while providing some additional texture.
Variations of Mix-Ins
Old-fashioned ham salad is a classic with pickles, relish, eggs, and all sorts of other delicious mix-ins. I love using some of those, plus some new ideas. Here’s a list of ingredients that taste absolutely delicious with my spicy smoked ham salad:
- Boiled eggs
- Red onion
- Sweet pickle relish
- Dijon or coarse mustard
- Smoked pickled jalapenos
- Bell pepper
- Pickled mustard seeds
- Herbs, such as parsley and cilantro
Serving this on top of a buttery bun is the way to go, but not the only way. This smoked ham salad is also absolutely delicious as a dip.
- Sandwiches – White bread or croissants are my fav, but use what you love. Leafy greens are important, they keep the ham in place while you’re holding it!
- Crackers – Buttery crackers or even saltines are classic, the perfect crispy shovel for transporting smoked ham salad.
- Crostini – Get a little fancy at home and serve these for a party.
- Blue corn chips – Earthy flavors of blue corn compliment the sweet and creamy smoked ham salad, giving a well-rounded profile.
- Cucumbers – Sliced rounds of cucumbers make for an alternatively healthy option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, however, I would recommend that it be seasoned & smoked. Buying ham from the store and chopping it will not produce the same results. Spiralized smoked ham also works well.
I recommend using it within 3-5 days. That expiration can vary if you add certain ingredients, such as boiled eggs.
Sandwiches and crackers are the most common. Give blue corn tortilla chips a try, which pairs well with the southwest flavor profile.
- 4 cups Smoked Pulled Ham
- 3/4 cup Chipotle Mayo (recipe below)
- 1 cup celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- Black pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup mayo
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- Salt to taste
- Remove any large bits of fat from the smoked ham. Place the ham into a food processor and pulse a few times until it has been chopped into small pieces. Alternatively, you can chop the ham on a cutting board. Place the chopped ham in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Wipe out the food processor and add all ingredients for the chipotle mayo. Blend to mix everything and season to taste. Add extra adobo sauce from the chipotles for more heat.
- Mix the chipotle mayo into the bowl with the diced ham. Add in the celery, scallions, and season with black pepper to taste. Adjust with spices as needed.
- Serve on sandwiches, crackers, or chips. This will stay fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days.
The blog has more ideas for variations with mix-ins.
Seasoning & smoking a ham first will give you the best results. The recipe will not have the same depth of flavor using ham straight from the packaging.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Pork
- Method: Smoking
- Cuisine: Side Dish
Keywords: smoked ham, ham salad, smoked ham salad, pulled ham, pork, smoked pork, ham salad sandwich