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Southern Ham Macaroni Salad for #SundaySupper

Southern Ham Macaroni Salad | Magnolia Days

Big ham + small family = major leftovers. That is a result I’ve dealt with for most all of my adult life. There really isn’t any such thing as a small ham especially when I want a bone-in one. Oh that bone is a treasure. Just thinking about a big pot of pinto beans or turnip green soup simmering with one makes me hungry. Creativity is needed to use up all the ham. Freezing is an option. Making Southern Ham Macaroni Salad is another tasty option too.

Most macaroni salads you find are loaded with mayo. It almost feels like eating mayonnaise soup with a few bits of pasta and perhaps a sprinkling of onion or celery. I’ve truly had some that were almost dripping. I swear they used a gallon of mayo for a box of pasta. Anyway, if you have ever had macaroni salad like that you know what I mean. Mine is not that way at all.

Southern Ham Macaroni Salad | Magnolia Days

What makes this ham macaroni salad Southern? It starts with a nod to pimento cheese. You make pimento cheese with cheddar cheese and diced pimento peppers. Both of those are in this salad. A certain sweet onion grown in Vidalia, GA goes in it too (or a general sweet onion if Vidalia is not available). Sweet pickle cubes, another popular southern item, also goes in the mix.

Southern Ham Macaroni Salad | Magnolia Days

The dressing could not be simpler. Mayonnaise is not involved. What binds the colorful bits of this salad together is sour cream and mustard. I’m pretty sure Greek yogurt could be used instead of sour cream however I have not tried it yet. Both add a nice tang and are equally creamy. You only need a little to bring together ham, macaroni, cheese, onion, pickle, pimento, and celery to make a salad perfect for lunch or a picnic.

Southern Ham Macaroni Salad | Magnolia Days

What do you make with leftover ham? What about the other leftovers from a big holiday meal? If you are looking for recipes then I’ve got a list for you. All you have to do is scroll down to find it. My fellow Sunday Supper bloggers show how to take Easter and Passover leftovers and transform them into even more deliciousness.

Got leftover macaroni?  Make Decadent Baked Macaroni and Cheese.

Southern Ham Macaroni Salad | Magnolia Days
3.84 from 12 votes

Southern Ham Macaroni Salad

Southern Ham Macaroni Salad is great to make for a picnic or luncheon. It made with cheddar cheese, onion, pimento, celery, pickle, and a simple dressing.
Course Salad
Cuisine American Southern
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Renee


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
  • 6 ounces cooked ham diced
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion Vidalia recommended
  • 1/3 cup sweet pickle cubes drained
  • 4 ounces chopped pimento drained
  • 1 celery stalk thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream plus more if needed*
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until macaroni is at room temperature or cooler. Drain completely.
  2. While the macaroni is cooking, place all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked macaroni and stir to combine and coat ingredients with sour cream.
  3. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Recipe Notes

*Pasta will tend to soak up moisture as it chills. You can stir in more sour cream if needed to make it creamier after chilling.

Transform your holiday extras into something delicious. Take a look at these recipes for Easter or Passover leftovers by Sunday Supper tastemakers:


Breakfast and Brunch:

Main Dishes:

Soups and Salads:


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Recipe Rating

plasterer bristol

Wednesday 8th of July 2015

Great little recipe. Top marks. Thanks for sharing this.


Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen

Saturday 11th of April 2015

I know exactly what you mean about macaroni "soup"! This salad on the other hand? YUM!! I try to use Greek yogurt whenever I can, so I think I will be giving this a try doing just that. I can't wait!!!

Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere

Thursday 9th of April 2015

This looks amazing! Perfect to transform those leftovers into a dish that makes you think of spring picnics!

Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook

Tuesday 7th of April 2015

Such a great idea, Renee. I love a good macaroni salad.


Tuesday 7th of April 2015

Pimento cheese in macaroni salad?! Brilliant! This looks so creamy and delicious Renee!!