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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until macaroni is at room temperature or cooler. Drain completely.
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.
Cover and chill for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
*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:
- Bacon and Sriracha Deviled Eggs by Casa de Crews
- Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Jalapeno Cilantro Deviled Eggs by Our Good Life
- Rissole by Brunch with Joy
- Savory Basque Tart by Food Lust People Love
Breakfast and Brunch:
- Breakfast Burritos by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Breakfast Enchiladas by Curious Cuisiniere
- Gluten-Free Ham Spinach & Gruyere Quiche by Amee’s Savory Dish
- Ham and Egg Hash by Whole Food | Real Families
- Matzo Brei Pancakes by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Savory Ham and Scallion Corn Cakes by The Weekend Gourmet
- Black Pepper Fried Brown Rice with Ham by Food Done Light
- Cajun Hambalaya by Palatable Pastime
- Cal-Mex Avocado and Egg Salad by eating in instead
- Chunky Healthy Egg Salad by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Ham Fried Rice by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Kimchi Fried Rice by Wallflower Girl
- Pan-Fried Ham with Okra and Red-Eye Gravy by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Salmon, Asparagus and Capers Panini by Family Foodie
Soups and Salads:
- Ham and Corn Chowder by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Southern Ham Macaroni Salad by Magnolia Days
- Split Pea and Ham Slowcooker Soup by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Apple Blueberry Flip Flop by Recipe for Perfection
- Cadbury Egg Stuffed Croissants by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Cheese and Pineapple Bread Pudding by Basic N Delicious
- Chocolate Brownies with Kentucky Bourbon and Chocolate Mint Ganache by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Easter Candy Bark by Pies and Plots
- Easter Candy Brownie Cookies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Peanut Butter Brownie No Bake Cheesecake by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Matzo S’mores by Desserts Required
- Sunshine Cake by The Ninja Baker
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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!!