Packed with fresh and simple ingredients, this ham and corn pasta salad recipe is an ideal side dish for BBQs, picnics, or cookouts.
Whether you’re looking for a light lunch idea or a side dish to take to a potluck or tailgate, this creamy pasta salad with mayonnaise, sour cream, and ranch seasoning will become a favorite way to use up cubed ham.
Mouthwatering reasons to fall in love with this pasta salad recipe.
Easy to Love Bursting with the robust flavors of ham, corn, and creamy dressing, this pasta salad recipe will surely win over everyone at the BBQ this year! Tip: Want to use fresh ham? Try this Ninja Foodi Ham recipe.
Perfect for Parties A go-to companion for picnics, family gatherings, or holiday meals, ham corn salad is delicious for a hot summer’s day—hearty, filling, and a great side dish on the plate.
Change up the Ingredients You can adapt this recipe to fit dietary needs or personal tastes, adding other ingredients like peas or changing out the ham for other leftovers like diced turkey and chicken.
- Sour cream and real mayonnaise
- Dry ranch dressing and Ground black pepper
- Corn (drained) – want to use peas? Try Ham and Pea Salad instead.
- Diced ham
- Pasta – Pasta should be cooked per package directions and rinsed with cold water to chill. Make sure to drain any excess water before making a salad.
Where is the salt?
You are right – typically, recipes have salt in them. However, we find that ham itself is salty and therefore doesn’t need additional salt. That being said, you can season this pasta salad in any way that makes your mouth happy!
How to make Ham Pasta Salad.
- Grab a large mixing bowl, and let’s get started! First, blend the sour cream, mayonnaise, and dry ranch seasoning. Give it a good stir until it’s all wonderfully mixed and creamy.
- Generously sprinkle in ground black pepper.
- Gently fold in the drained corn and diced ham. Make sure you mix it well so that every bite has a little bit of everything.
- Add the pasta and stir everything together until it’s all evenly coated with that delicious, creamy dressing.
- Cover the bowl and send it off to the refrigerator. Let those flavors combine until you’re ready to serve.
- Serve this ham and corn pasta salad chilled.
Exciting Add-Ins and Substitution Ideas
- Add-Ins: Cherry tomatoes for a juicy burst, black olives for a nutty taste, fresh herbs, or green bell peppers for crunch.
- Substitutions: Prefer something lighter? Try Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Swap ham for turkey or use frozen corn instead of canned.
- Cubed Cheese: Swiss, cheddar, Gruyère, and mozzarella all pair nicely with ham.
- Diced Pickles: For a tangy contrast to ham’s salty flavor.
Commonly Asked Questions and Answers
Can I make ham salad ahead of time?
Making pasta salad in advance can be a real time-saver, especially if you’re planning a gathering or meal prep.
- Same-Day Preparation: Making pasta salad a few hours before serving and chilling it in the refrigerator allows the flavors to meld together.
- One Day Ahead: Many pasta salads can be made a day in advance. If you choose this option, keep certain ingredients separate until closer to serving time, like fresh herbs or ingredients that might become soggy.
- Two to Three Days Ahead: Some pasta salads, particularly those with a creamy dressing and heartier ingredients (like the ham and corn pasta salad you’re working with), can be made up to two or three days in advance. Be aware that the texture and flavor might change slightly, so it’s good to taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
- Storing Tips: If you’re making it ahead, keep the pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If the salad seems a bit dry when you’re ready to serve it, you can freshen it up with more dressing.
Is there a vegetarian version?
Replace the ham with a plant-based alternative or add more veggies. It’s still delicious.
Ham Pasta Salad with Corn
- mixing bowl
Pasta Salad Dressing
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup real mayo
- 1 oz. dry ranch seasoning typically this is 1 packet.
Ham Pasta Salad
- Ground black pepper
- 15.25 oz corn canned, drained well
- 2 cups diced ham
- 12 oz. cooked pasta cooked according to package directions, well drained, and completely cooled. Use cavatappi or macaroni noodles.
- Before assembling pasta salad, the pasta itself needs to be cooked according to package instructions. As shown, we used cavatappi noodles; however, macaroni noodles are fine as well. Pasta should be rinsed in cold water and drained and cooled completely before making salad. If the pasta is still hot, it will melt the dressing.
- Grab a big mixing bowl and dump in the sour cream, mayonnaise, and ranch seasoning. Give it a good mix until it's all blended together.
- Generously add in cracked black pepper.
- Fold in drained corn and diced ham, making sure to mix it up.
- Toss in cooked and cooled pasta and stir until everything's coated nicely in ranch dressing.
- Pop a lid on the bowl and stick it in the fridge until you're ready to dig in. Best served chilled – enjoy!
Does this dish have to be chilled before eating?No, it doesn’t HAVE to be; however, it does taste better if chilled for at least an hour. This allows time for the ingredients to blend together, and pasta salads also taste the best cold.
Storing Ham Salad:Use an Airtight Container: Place the pasta salad in an airtight container. This helps to preserve moisture and prevent the salad from absorbing other odors in the refrigerator. It’s generally best consumed within 3 to 5 days, especially when it contains perishable items like mayonnaise and ham. Avoid Freezing: Ham pasta salad, especially dressed with mayonnaise or sour cream, may not freeze well. The texture of the pasta and the creaminess of the dressing can change upon thawing, becoming mushy or separated.
Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.