This simple Ham Pasta Salad is a delicious way to use up the leftover cooked ham! Made with fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and green onions, this recipe is bursting with colors and freshness! The creamy salad dressing is made from scratch with mayo, sour cream, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. It's a crowd-pleasing side dish (or lunch or dinner) that can be made in 20 minutes on busy weeknights and is perfect for sharing at parties, picnics, and potlucks.
Quick and easy 20-minute ham pasta salad
There is nothing complicated about this recipe. Simply combine cooked ham (leftover ham works great!) together with fresh veggies (cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions) and pasta (I used farfalle or bow-tie pasta). Quickly whip up the homemade creamy salad dressing, and the ham pasta salad is ready in 20 minutes! Easy enough to make on busy weeknights as lunch or dinner. Perfect for sharing at parties, picnics, BBQs, and other festive events. It's a crowd pleaser just like this creamy chicken pasta salad.
What makes this salad different from other ham salads?
It's packed with fresh ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions. Add more vegetables if you like. Other veggies that I like to use in a ham pasta salad are diced bell peppers, broccoli, celery, green peas, or red onion.
- Ham. I used regular pre-cooked ham which I diced into small cubes. This recipe is great for ham leftovers!
- Pasta. Short pasta works best in pasta salads as it easily absorbs the dressing and is bite-sized just like other ingredients. You can use bow-tie pasta (farfalle), rotini, fusilli (spiral pasta), penne, or rigatoni.
- Cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes) are sliced in half and are a perfect bite-size for the ham pasta salad. You can also use diced regular tomatoes.
- Cucumbers. I used 1 small cucumber which I sliced into bite-size pieces.
- Green onions have a milder flavor than regular onions and I love using them in pasta salads.
- Salad dressing ingredients include mayo, sour cream, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and salt.
Homemade salad dressing
Whenever I make a pasta salad, I love combining mayo and sour cream together for a creamy salad dressing and it's a lovely flavor combination! I also add Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt. If you don't like sour cream (or don't have it), feel free to use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for an equally good flavor! Combine all salad dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl or in a mason jar and whisk well. You can use this homemade dressing not only with this ham pasta salad but with any other salad of your choice!
How to make ham pasta salad
- Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water according to package instructions.
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
- Cut the cucumber into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Chop up green onions and ham.
- In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients together: ham, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and cooked and drained pasta.
- In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream (or kefir or Greek yogurt), lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and salt.
- Add the dressing to the bowl with the ham pasta salad and stir everything together.
Cooking tips and recipe notes
- Cook pasta al dente for the best texture. That means the pasta should feel firm to the bite while being soft yet not mushy. This kind of texture works best with pasta salad especially if you want to make it ahead.
- Rinse pasta under cold water after you cooked it. I always do it for pasta salads as that prevents the pasta from getting softer and mushy. It also prevents the short-cut pasta from sticking to each other.
- Make it gluten-free. Use the gluten-free pasta of your choice. Lentil or chickpea gluten-free pasta will taste great here. If using gluten-free pasta, rinse it under cold water after cooking to keep it from getting mushy.
- Serve it warm or at room temperature. This ham pasta salad tastes the best when it's a bit warmed up or brought to room temperature. Not refrigerator cold.
- Add more veggies, such as diced bell peppers, broccoli, celery, green peas, or red onion.
- Add pickles or pickle relish.
- Add chopped boiled eggs.
- Add shredded or cubed cheese: Cheddar, Pepper Jack. Small Mozzarella balls (pearls) work great, too.
- Add chopped cooked bacon or cooked prosciutto.
- Season the salad dressing with smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or garlic powder.
- Store leftover creamy ham pasta salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- It's a great recipe to make ahead! In fact, you might find that it tastes even better the next day as the flavors blend together. Serve it warm or at room temperature (not refrigerator cold).
Other recipes for leftover ham
- Creamy Ham Pasta with Asparagus
- Ham Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Mozzarella, and Italian Dressing
- Chicken Bake with Ham, Swiss Cheese, and Dijon Mustard
- Ham and Cheese Asparagus
Other pasta salads you might like
- Broccoli Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Chicken Pasta Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, and Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad with Black Beans and Bell Peppers
- Corn Pasta Salad with Bacon and Creamy Pesto Dressing
Creamy Ham Pasta Salad
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain.
- When the pasta is done, rinse it well with cold water and drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- In a medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Whisk until well combined. Add salt, to taste.
- In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients: cooked and drained pasta, sliced cooked ham, sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and chopped green onions.
- Add salad dressing (to taste, you don't have to add all of it) and toss to coat. Add salt, to taste, if needed.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.