Deviled Ham. Stick with me here.

If eternity is two people and a ham, it only begs the question: what happens when you devil it?
deviled hamWhen I told the kindergartner we’d be having ham again for dinner, she broke down in tears. I wish I were kidding, but there was actual passing of eye water, to paraphrase this line from here. I caved, and she had peanut butter and jelly for dinner instead. Given that the littlest one had already gone to bed, that left just two of us to tackle the remains of last week’s whole spiral cut ham for dinner. And you know what they say about two people and a ham.

Believe me, we’d already tried hard to have our way with the thing. The first two nights were pure delight. Oh, ham! Salty, sweet, meaty—we haven’t done this in a while. Night three? Aside from the feeling I got describing it over the phone to the lovely Suzanne, who keeps Kosher, we were perfectly pleased with our casserole of leftover brown rice and broccoli flecked with ham and baked in a cheesy béchamel sauce. Night four was automatically disqualified as a Friday in Lent with the grandparents visiting. (Are you starting to see a pattern here? Something to do with organized religion as a Ham Avoidance Mechanism (HAM)? Whoa.)

By the weekend, we needed a new strategy. Or should I say a new-old one? We needed to take radical action. And holy ham, did we ever.

I’m a big fan of deviled eggs. Also of retro-chic. Just look at this kitchen from The Well-Dressed Home and tell me you don’t agree.


So in a sense, it was only natural to happen upon the idea of taming the beast by deviling. In a different (perhaps more compelling) sense, though, I think deviled ham will always carry a certain WTF caché.

All in all, I’d have to say the Deviled Ham Project was successful. It comes together in a snap and makes a tasty and umami-rich spread for crackers or filling for sandwiches. As far as measurements go, I did succumb to a certain panic about the sheer poundage of ham we still had left, so this recipe makes what can only be described as a vast quantity of devilishness. It is easily halved, should you find yourself inspired but unfrenzied.

Deviled Ham

-Serves a huge crowd. Can be halved.-
Adapted from Food Network.

1 1/2 pounds leftover spiral-sliced ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup chopped yellow onion
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup drained capers
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley (use leaves picked from stems)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
20 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
Ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the blade and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors commune, if possible. Serve as a spread for crackers or a filling for sandwiches.

  • Suzanne

    My name in print…I’m famous. Even though I can’t use this recipe, I passed it along to someone else who can’t wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • You’re a brave woman to cook a large ham during lent…the deviled ham looks delicious–perfect for a luxurious summer picnic.ReplyCancel

  • Daphne

    Yes! It made it. Hurray! The cousin of pottage cheese with a dark side. But also yummy, savory – and of all things a meat spread not made of liver! I think it has inspired me to want to make ham salad just in time for…..Passover? Hmmn….on matzo toast points?ReplyCancel

  • I use to love deviled ham as a kid – you know the kind in a can. I can only imagine how much better this is. Oh, I have a big craving now!ReplyCancel

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  • Kathy

    Here is a good tip for this recipe, just replace the ham by some jamon iberico de bellota, in case you do not know it this is probably the best ham in the world, it is extremely tasty and healthy (no cholesterol), it comes from a particular breed of swine only found in Spain and Portugal. While it is a bit pricey, the results on the recipe are just amazing. If you want to keep it low budget, buy some Serrano ham which is also great.
    I always buy my iberico ham online at as it is fresh and delivered to your door. the market place for iberico ham.

  • agnes Goritski

    Couldnt find a recipe for deviled ham in any cooking books Got an insperation and WALLA the internet came to my rescue ,Thanks for the helpReplyCancel

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  • Lauren Williams

    The capers are a brilliant addition! Yum!!ReplyCancel

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