Our Cold Ham and Orzo Salad was created from my mothers recipe. Hers originally had elbow noodles and was made completely by taste. I had that salad every summer growing up and loved it every time. Now when I make it, it brings back fond memories of us grilling outside on a warm summers night in Wisconsin while a gentle breeze carrying the smell of a fresh rain storm passes by you. We ate outside on our picnic tables as much as we could every summer right next to the horseshoe pit, tire swing, and campfire. Summers in Wisconsin are pretty great and I miss them tremendously.
Anyway back to this awesome Salad…
I love a recipe that is quick and easy, can be done ahead of time, and is kid friendly. I mean who doesn’t, am I right? So, why the noodle change you might ask? Well, a little back story: my husband Nathan LOVES Orzo and requests Chicken Piccata all the time. One week, I had made ham the night before and had some left overs. Using those delicious ham chunks, I made a batch of my Sauerkraut Soup. But I still had some ham left (it was a HUGE spiral ham to begin with) and out of nowhere I was instantly taken back to the memory of my Mom doing the same thing, and one of her go-to recipes was that cold summer ham salad with elbow noodles.
So I decided to try it out with Orzo (’cause I love my hubby) and man, was it ever a hit. I mean, like the family enjoyed it so much that I had to steal some away just to make a small container for Nathan to have in his lunch the next day. The stuff almost vanished as soon as the forks were full.
Cold Ham and Orzo Salad can serve as a stand alone meal in a pinch or accompany your favorite picnic or BBQ meal as a side dish (just another reason why this recipe is so good).
- 1 1/2 lbs. left over Ham or pre-cookedHam Steak
- 1/2 large Onion
- 1 1/2 cups dry Orzo, cooked and drained
- 8 oz. Cheddar Cheese, cubed small
- 14.5 oz canned Peas, drained
- 1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
- 4 Tbsp Relish
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Milk to thin it out if you feel the sauce is too thick
Cook the 1 1/2 cups of Orzo Pasta per the package instructions, drain and set aside.
Mix together the Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip with the Relish, Salt, and Pepper. Next in a large bowl, mix it all together with the Orzo, Ham, Onion, Peas, and Cheese. Adjust the Salt and Pepper to your liking. You can serve immediately or do up ahead of time. Store in air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.Print