Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad

June 4, 2024
Looking for a super simple, super tasty macaroni salad? Give Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad a try!  Made with just a few basic ingredients, this simple macaroni salad is easy to pull together and loaded with flavor, too. Not to mention, it's a great dish for enjoying that leftover ham.
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Bowl of Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad Image

Truth be told, when I cook a ham I'm not sure if I'm more excited to eat the ham as a main dish on the day it's cooked or to enjoy the leftovers in all kinds of tasty dishes afterwards. I actually think I lean toward liking the leftovers most.

There are just so many ways to enjoy leftover ham -- In tasty soups like slow cooker ham & corn chowder or classic ham & kidney bean soup, or creamy casseroles like leftover ham & noodle casserole and my Mom's "famous" ham & cheese lasagna. Or, how about the ever-popular, ever-classic ham salad that's one of the tastiest sandwich fillings around?

Made with just a few basic ingredients, this simple macaroni salad is easy to pull together and loaded with flavor.  

Or, chop that leftover ham up and enjoy it in one of the simplest and tastiest pasta salads around -- This super easy Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad.

Made with just a few basic ingredients, this simple macaroni salad is easy to pull together and loaded with flavor.  

But hey, you don't need to have ham leftovers to whip up a batch. It's a perfect macaroni salad for potlucks or all those summer cookouts when you might not have just cooked a ham -- Just buy a ham steak to chop up, or ask the deli to cut you some extra-thick deli ham. Either way works great to stand in for the ham leftovers and whip up this tasty salad macaroni salad to enjoy.

Serving Spoon of Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad Image

Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad Ingredients:

This tasty macaroni salad comes together with pretty simple ingredients. Of course, you'll need:

  • Ham - The star of the show. Chopped leftover ham works fabulous. If you didn't just cook a ham to have leftovers, grab a ham steak at the grocery store to chop up, or ask the deli to cut you some extra-thick deli ham.

Once the ham is covered, the other base ingredients are things most people tend to have on hand:

  • Elbow macaroni noodles - The pasta base of the macaroni salad. Small shells, bowties, or penne pasta could be substituted if you prefer.
  • White vinegar - Stirred into the still-warm cooked macaroni, white vinegar is absorbed by and flavors the noodles.
  • An onion - Brings background flavor to the salad. It's best very finely chopped to avoid large pieces of raw onion in the finished salad.
  • A block of cheddar cheese - The cheese element of this "Ham & Cheese" pasta salad. Cut the cheese block into small cubes to add great texture and flavor to the salad.
  • A bag of frozen peas - Adds nice color and a tasty vegetable component to the salad. No need to cook the peas. -- Simply thaw and stir them together with the other ingredients.

Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad Base Ingredients in Mixing Bowl Image

These base ingredients are then tossed together in a very basic dressing of mayonnaise and white vinegar, seasoned with a touch of salt, pepper, and sugar.

For the salad's dressing, you'll need:
  • Mayonnaise - The base of the salad's dressing. Choose a high quality mayonnaise for the best and creamiest result.
  • White vinegar - Add a bit of zip to the dressing. We do not recommend substituting a different type of vinegar as a substitution could alter the salad's flavor too much.
  • Granulated sugar - A small touch of sugar (just 1 teaspoon) nicely balances the dressing.
  • Salt & pepper - Seasons and enhances the macaroni salad's flavors.


How to Make Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad:

Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad is pretty simple to make.

Start by cooking macaroni according to the package directions. Place the warm drained macaroni in a large bowl and toss it with a little white vinegar. The still-warm noodles will absorb the vinegar, giving them some nice background flavor.

Then stir in cubed cheddar cheese, chopped ham, thawed peas, and finely chopped onion.  

Mixing Together Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad Ingredients Image

Prepare the dressing by whisking together some mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a separate small bowl. Pour the dressing over the macaroni mixture and give it a good stir.

Adding Dressing to Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad Image

Once everything is well combined, chill the macaroni salad for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld. I actually prefer to chill the salad overnight to allow the flavors to more fully meld together.

While the salad chills, the texture will change a little, as well, as the macaroni noodles absorb some of the dressing.

If too much dressing is absorbed and the salad seems "dry" at the time of serving, just stir in a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise to moisten it back up to your liking.

Close-Up of Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad Image

And that's all there is to whipping up a batch of Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad.  Made with just a few basic ingredients, it's easy to pull together and loaded with flavor, too.

A perfect hearty side dish for enjoying that leftover ham, or a perfect simple macaroni salad for potlucks and all those fun summer cookouts.

Check out these other super tasty pasta salad recipes:

Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad in Glass Bowl Image
Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!


macaroni salad, macaroni salad recipe, ham cheese macaroni salad recipe, recipes with leftover ham, ham leftovers
Salads
American
Yield: about 10-12 servings

Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad

Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad

Looking for a super simple, super tasty macaroni salad? Give Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad a try! Made with just a few basic ingredients, this simple macaroni salad is easy to pull together and loaded with flavor, too. Not to mention, it's a great dish for enjoying that leftover ham.
Prep time: 20 MCook time: 20 MTotal time: 40 M

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2. T. white vinegar
  • 2 c. chopped cooked ham
  • 1 (12 oz.) package frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 (8 oz.) block mild or medium cheddar cheese, cut in small cubes
  • 1/2 c. very finely chopped onion
Dressing:
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 T. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Instructions:

How to make Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad

  1. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain well.
  2. Place warm macaroni in a large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons vinegar.  
  3. Stir in cubed cheese, ham, peas, and onion.  Set aside to let noodles absorb the vinegar.
  4. Prepare dressing in a separate smaller bowl:  Whisk together mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. 
  5. Pour over the macaroni mixture and stir until well combined.
  6. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving. Or, chill overnight to allow the flavors to fully meld.
Created using The Recipes Generator


Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad ~ Made with just a few basic ingredients, this simple macaroni salad is easy to pull together & loaded with flavor. Perfect for potlucks & summer cookouts. Not to mention, a great dish for enjoying that leftover ham, too!  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.

10 comments

  1. OH I just know my husband would LOVE this recipe! I often make a ham and pea mac and cheese with our leftovers and while this sounds like many of the same flavors it would be so much easier and a nice change of pace to try. Pinned.

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  2. I will have to try the ham and cheese macaronni salad. It sounds really tasty. I have been looking for new recipes. So this recipe is right on time. Thanks

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  3. I just love this macaroni salad an all time classic! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and sure hope you will come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  4. I love the texture of the peas in this. It's a bright salad! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. I hope to see you again at tomorrow's party.

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  5. Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy – I am planning to add this to my spring and summer rotation!

    I’m so happy to announce that you are one of our Featured Guests this week! :-)

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  6. So so good. I added a diced Roma tomato and about 1/4 c diced dill pickle. Trying to make meats s t r e t c h during COVID-19. This is a delicious and filling pasta salad. I love the sweet peas and onions, too. Five stars!

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  7. My mom used to make this salad and she's been gone for 35 years so stumbling across this recipe while trying to figure out what to do with leftover ham was such a blessing. Thanks for sharing 💚

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, the best recipes are passed down in a family. The best recipes remind me of dinners with my parents.

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  8. This is great post about food recipe, I will definitely try it.

    ReplyDelete

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