Need a cold and refreshing side salad to serve as an appetizer? Prepare this tasty and simple Ham and Pea Pasta Salad that’s a perfect way to use up leftover ham. So great for Easter too!
I created a new favorite paleo pasta salad recipe, and my whole family has been loving it. Even my 18-month-old daughter has been cleaning her plate when I serve her this Ham and Pea Pasta Salad, and it’s soft enough for her now 8 whole teeth. It’s easy, refreshing, and so flavorful, and it’s the perfect way to use up leftover ham. My husband started calling it Easter pasta salad, because it’s so springy and the colors are so gorgeous and pastel.
What Is Pasta Salad?
Pasta salad typically consists of boiled pasta drained and combined with different ingredients, such as a dressing, vegetables, and even some meat. This Ham and Pea Pasta Salad consists of green peas, chunks of ham, and various other ingredients that bring it all together to create the perfect spring or summer salad.
Ham and Pea Pasta Salad Recipe
This recipe is the perfect pasta salad for Easter. If you are planning to have a small family gathering, you may want to offer a few sides to go with your entree of ham or turkey. The Ham and Pea Pasta Salad goes with just about everything and while it is a great side dish for Easter, you can make it whenever you want. It’s also a great salad to have in the summer when you are barbecuing food and hanging out with family outside.
What to Serve With Your Salad
Serve this Ham and Pea Pasta Salad (or Easter Pasta Salad) with some of your favorite meats. It tastes great with grilled chicken, pork, salmon, and homemade burgers.
What Do You Need to Make this Ham and Pea Pasta Salad?
When preparing the Ham and Pea Pasta Salad, these are the ingredients you will need:
- Penne pasta: Use Jovial Foods cassava flour pasta if you want to make a paleo pasta salad. If you are gluten free, there are so many options these days!
- Ham: Cut your ham into cubed pieces before tossing it into a mixing bowl with your pasta.
- Paleo mayo. Add paleo mayo as the base for your salad to bring the different ingredients together.
- Lemon juice. Use the juice of a single lemon to add a bit of zest to your salad.
- Celery. Chop celery into small pieces and toss it into the mixing bowl. The celery adds a light and refreshing crunch.
- Peas. Make sure you have frozen or fresh peas to add to your salad.
The only other ingredients needed include chopped fresh parsley, chopped fresh mint, dried chives, salt, and pepper.
Which Ham Is Best to Use?
You can use any type of ham that you would like to add to your macaroni salad. If you prepared ham in advance and have some leftovers from that, you can chop the pieces into small cubes and then toss them into the bowl with your pasta to make the salad. However, you can also use ham steaks. While buying a ham steak from the grocery store, you might notice there are different flavors available, such as smoked ham and brown sugar ham. Choose whichever you prefer for the salad.
Is It Better to Use Frozen or Fresh Peas for Ham and Pea Pasta Salad?
It really doesn’t matter if you use fresh or frozen peas. Both fresh and frozen peas offer the light sweetness that goes great with the ingredients in this paleo pasta salad.
Can I Make My Own Paleo Mayo?
If you do not have a bottle of paleo mayo, you can make your own from scratch in a pinch and use it to prepare this dish. You can combine avocado oil with spicy dijon mustard, white vinegar, egg, salt, and pepper to prepare a homemade mayo for your Ham and Pea Pasta Salad. You can also purchase it, and this is my favorite brand.
How to Store the Ham and Pea Pasta Salad
After you make the salad, be sure to put it in a food storage container with an airtight lid. You will need to keep your salad refrigerated to keep it fresh. It will stay good in the fridge for up to a week, giving you plenty of time to serve it with some of your favorite foods.
If you enjoyed this paleo pasta salad, you might also like…
- Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese (Paleo, Dairy Free)
- Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
- Whole30 Dill Pickle Potato Salad (Instant Pot or Stove Top)
- Whole30 Ham and Potato Soup (Paleo, Dairy Free)
- Egg Free Cauliflower Potato Salad (Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Keto)
Ham and Pea Pasta Salad
- Cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Add peas to the boiling water at the last minute.
- Drain the pasta and peas, and run under cold water to cool. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Add ham, celery, parsley, mint, mayo, lemon juice, and dried chives to the pasta and peas, and mix together. Mix in salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
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