A deliciously easy pasta salad for all of you ham lovers out there!
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pasta salads. I’ve already shared recipes for Chicken Macaroni Salad and Macaroni Tuna Salad. This new pasta salad recipe features ham and a light, creamy dill dressing that is very tasty.
I used a Niman Ranch brand of ham steak for my dish, but you can use some leftover cooked ham for this if you have it around. It’s always good to have leftover ham recipes on hand during the holidays when you have to figure out what to do with all that extra food.
The gluten-free brown rice pasta I used is from Tinkyada. It holds up really well in dishes like this one and doesn’t get all mushy when cooked correctly.
As you can see, the dressing on this dish is NOT one of those mayo-heavy ones like you find at your local deli. One reason why it makes such a great pasta salad for Summer. It’s mayo-based, but I keep it light by using a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, mayo and dijon mustard. It gets a touch of sweetness from a little honey, and the dill adds a ton of extra flavor that pairs so well the rest of the ingredients. I used dried dill in my recipe, but you could certainly use some fresh if you have it.
This will serve four as a main course or up to six as a side dish.
Ham and Pasta Salad
- 2-1/4 cups macaroni pasta ( Jovial Foods or Tinkyada brown rice pasta recommended for gluten-free)
- sea salt for pasta water
- 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 4 scallions , thinly sliced
- 8 oz . ham steak , cubed (or 1-1/2 cups of cubed leftover ham)
- 1/2 cup mayo (homemade or good quality store-bought)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp liquid raw honey
- 1 tsp dried dill (or 3 tsp chopped fresh dill)
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or salt to taste
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add sea salt and pasta, and let cook, stirring often, until just tender. Drain the pasta, and rinse with cold water until it's cool, then drain shortly. You want the pasta to still be slightly wet so that the pasta doesn't absorb too much dressing. Place it into a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, dill weed, and sea salt.
Add the dressing, ham and vegetables to the pasta, gently mix to combine, then serve. If you have leftovers, you may need to add a little warm water to loosen the mixture back up before serving.
Gluten-free pastas vary widely in their cook time. Use the cook times on packages as a guide, but start checking a few minutes before that time. My recipe was tested with Tinkyada brown rice macaroni.