Ham Pasta Salad made with peas, cheddar cheese, dill, and a delicious greek yogurt and mayo dressing is sure to be your new favorite pasta salad. Plus, it’s ready in just minutes and a great way to use leftover ham!
If you have leftover ham, or if your just craving a simple and hearty pasta salad, this Ham Pasta Salad is for you! Made with cubes of cheddar cheese, chopped ham, frozen peas, and red onion, it’s a great side dish or meal for any occasion.
So, whether you are hosting a barbecue or just looking for delicious way to use up leftover ham, be sure to try this simple recipe. Plus, you’ll love the fresh flavors of the dill and the tanginess of the greek yogurt.
For another simple and delicious recipe using shells, be sure to try this Sausage Kale Pasta recipe. And, for a 5-ingredient side dish that’s always a favorite, don’t miss this Pesto Pasta Salad recipe made with store-bought pesto. For something a bit healthier, don’t miss this Spinach Pasta Salad, Elote Pasta Salad, or this Tuna Pasta Salad with Dill recipe!
Why this Ham Pasta Salad is the BEST!
One bite and you’ll agree this is one of the tastiest pasta salad recipes out there. The combination of salty ham, sweet peas, cheddar, and fresh dill make this ham pasta salad truly unique.
This recipe is great to have on hand after the holidays when you have a bunch of leftover ham. It’s the perfect way to use up ham and give it a whole different flavor.
The sweetness and bite from the peas add a fun texture and pop of color to the recipe. Plus, the chopped fresh dill gives it a fresh taste.
To dress this salad I like to use equal amounts of mayo and nonfat greek yogurt. This helps with the calorie/fat intake as well as giving the pasta salad a tangy and smooth bite.
So give this recipe a try! It’s a great way to use up that leftover ham!
The main ingredients for this Ham Pasta Salad are: chopped ham, cheddar cheese, frozen peas, pasta shells, dill, mayo, and greek yogurt.
- Chopped Ham: leftover ham from the holidays is great in this salad. If you don’t have leftover ham, you can buy a ham steak in the grocery store or ask the deli to give you a large slab of ham lunch meat. Alternatively you can use grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken in place of the ham.
- Cheddar Cheese: cheddar is the classic pasta salad ingredient. Here you can use cubed cheddar cheese or shredded. You could also substitute your favorite cubed cheese in place.
- Pasta: this is a great recipe to make using a smaller pasta. I like to use pasta shells or macaroni here.
- Frozen Peas: peas add a nice crunch and sweetness to this salad. If you’re not a pea fan, you can substitute corn or cooked carrots in it’s place.
- Dill: I love the flavor of dill in this salad. However, if you don’t have fresh dill, you can substitute two tablespoons of dried dill or use another fresh herb you love.
- Greek yogurt: I always just use nonfat greek yogurt in this salad because it’s what I have on hand. Use whatever plain yogurt you have.
Read on to see how easy it to make this recipe!
How to Make Ham Pasta Salad
This pasta salad comes together quick and gets all tossed together in one bowl. To start you will need to boil the pasta until just al dente, according to package instructions.
Once the pasta has cooked, drain it well and add to a large mixing bowl. To the bowl add the chopped ham, frozen peas, cubed cheddar cheese, and diced onion.
For the ham, I usually have leftover spiral sliced ham. Just do a rough chop. If you happen to have thicker chunks of ham, you can cube it to match the cheddar cheese cubes.
Next, add on the mayo, greek yogurt, chopped fresh dill, kosher salt, and pepper. No need to mix the dressing separately.
Toss the entire salad together and either serve immediately or chill for later. I find that the flavors of the salad are best when it has about an hour to sit in the fridge before serving.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
Check out my tips and FAQs to make the perfect Ham Pasta Salad every time!
- You can cut the ham anyway you’d like. If you happen to have spiral cut ham, just chop it into desired size. Be sure to discard any tough parts of the ham.
- Make the recipe a couple of hours in advance of serving then cover and refrigerate.
- No need to defrost the peas. They should defrost on their own once tossed with the warm pasta.
- The pasta has the tendency to soak up the dressing. So if you are making in advance, add the dressing before serving, or stir in a bit more mayo and greek yogurt.
Yes, you always salt the pasta water when making pasta salad. You want to try and season the salad during every step. Add about a handful of kosher salt to the boiling water before adding in the pasta.
Make your pasta salad at least an hour to eight hours in advance. If you go too much longer, the pasta will absorb a lot of the sauce. You can save some sauce and toss the pasta salad with it before serving to keep it moist.
To reduce the calories in your pasta salad, substitute half of the mayo with nonfat greek yogurt. This will reduce the calories and fat, as well as add a delicious tangy creaminess to the salad.
More Pasta Salad Recipes
If you love pasta salad, be sure to check out these fan favorites!
Ham Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces pasta shells (small or medium sized)
- 1 cup chopped ham (5 ounces)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes (5 ounces)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup mayo
- ½ cup greek yogurt (nonfat works)
- ¼ cup chopped dill
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions; drain and pour into a large bowl. Let cool slightly.
- To the pasta, add the chopped ham, frozen peas, cubed cheddar cheese, and red onion. Toss slightly to combine. Add in the mayo, greek yogurt, dill, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste for seasoning.
- You can serve ham pasta salad immediately, but it’s best to refrigerate it for an hour before serving.
- If you are making this in advance, leave out half of the mayo and greek yogurt and add it in before serving.
- This recipe is a great use for leftover ham. However, you can also buy ham steaks in the grocery store. In a pinch, rotisserie chicken can be substituted.
- Fresh dill is a delicious addition to this pasta salad. If you can’t find fresh dill you can use 2 tablespoons of dried dill, or substitute your favorite herb.