There’s a time for the ease of store-bought thinly sliced deli meat, and then there’s a time for a homemade deviled ham salad piled high onto fresh croissants with crisp, leafy lettuce, and thick slices of the brightest and freshest red tomatoes. So, do you want fast and easy, or do you want fast, easy, fresh, and delicious?
When I was a kid, my mom would make ham salad sandwiches using a can of flaked ham that had been mashed with mayonnaise and spread onto store-bought white bread. Those sandwiches were delicious and they served a purpose. For my mom, that purpose was to feed us so that we could get back to school or so she could get back to work. Well, sorry mom, my Deviled Ham Salad Croissant Sandwiches are better!
My mom passed away a few years ago, but I know she would point out that my croissant version has one major flaw. She would cook with tomatoes, but you would never catch her eating a slice of tomato on her sandwich. She hated “raw” tomatoes! I’m so much like her in many ways, but that’s where we differ. I absolutely love tomatoes and will eat them like candy – especially those cherry or grape tomatoes!
If she were still with us, I’m sure I could convince her to try it my way. You see, Dear Reader, there are two ways to add tomato to a sandwich. There’s the right way and there’s the wrong way. And, because I’m such a giver, I’m going to share the right way with you today!
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this Deviled Ham Salad Croissant Sandwiches recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Ham – For this recipe you can use canned flaked ham, or you can use cooked ham. The next section will provide more clarification on this.
- Sweet Pickle Relish – I always have a jar of this in the fridge and a back up in the pantry, because I use it often. It adds sweetness and moisture to the ham, which allows you to cut back on the mayonnaise. But, more importantly, it adds flavour and texture.
- Mayonnaise – You can use any mayonnaise, even the fat free stuff!
- Mustard – Classic yellow mustard pairs well with ham, but you can use spicy or grainy mustard too if you wish.
- Ground Black Pepper
- Salt – Be careful about adding too much salt. Ham is already salty and so is mayonnaise. So, mix everything together first and taste it before adding any additional salt.
- Tomatoes – Use the freshest tomatoes you can find. It makes a world of difference.
- Lettuce – I like to use a bright green leafy lettuce, like green leaf lettuce or romaine.
- Croissants – I used six croissants even though I could only fit five of them on my serving plate!
- Butter – Optional.
REAL HAM OR CANNED HAM?
You can use one or the other. If I’m in a complete hurry, I will use canned ham. Use your favourite brand, but be careful. Since we are adding things like mayonnaise, the mixture might get a little too salty. If you use canned ham, try to find a low sodium version. I don’t have much luck around here with low sodium canned ham, but I have seen it in some stores from time to time.
When using canned ham, I prefer the Maple Leaf brand. I’m not sure if that particular brand is available in the United States, because I believe it is a Canadian product. But, every store has a version of canned ham in stock. Just be sure to buy the right type of ham if using canned. The flaked type is best, but if you can only find the block style, like this, you can make that work as well. You will just need to cube it and add it to your food processor. Pulse it once or twice and it’s ready to go.
If you prefer to use smoked ham or deli ham rather than canned ham, you can do that too. In fact, I love both the hickory smoked ham and the Virginia ham. Both of those will result in a delicious croissant sandwich. Like the block style ham, place two cups of cubed ham into your food processor and pulse it a few time until it’s shredded or flaked. The cubes should be about half inch in size.
HOW TO MAKE DEVILED HAM SALAD
Once you have decided which type of ham you prefer to use, it’s time to prep it. I’ve already told you how to deal with the block-style ham, but if you buy canned ham, the process is different. Open the can and if there is any packing liquid, drain it off. Transfer the canned ham to a large bowl and use a fork to break it up and flake it. Set that aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, mustard, and ground black pepper. Pour this mixture into the bowl of flaked ham and toss to combine. Don’t overmix, because the ham will break up too much. It’s nice to have little chunks of ham on the sandwich rather than all mush. Although, even if you over mix it, it’s still going to be delicious! Finally, taste it and season with salt if needed.
I like to prepare the deviled ham salad in advance. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a few hours. The mixture firms up and all of the ingredients and flavours combine to make a better tasting ham. In fact, you can make this mixture a day or two in advance. Just keep it covered well and refrigerated.
ASSEMBLING DEVILED HAM SALAD CROISSANT SANDWICHES
This recipe will yield enough deviled ham to make six sandwiches. If you don’t need that much, you can prepare half of the recipe, or just pile more of the ham onto your sandwich! Start by slicing the croissants in half. At this point, you can butter the croissants if you choose. Some people like to have butter on a sandwich. I can go either way. I did not add butter to this particular sandwich, because croissants are buttery enough already. If I was using regular bread, I probably would smear once slice with butter.
Whether or not you use butter, the same rule can be applied to mayonnaise. If you choose, you can smear a little bit of mayonnaise onto each half of the croissant. Next, layer lettuce leaves onto the bottom half of the croissant. Top that with a slice or two of tomato. Don’t forget to season the tomato! I know this is the exact reason why my mom never cared for tomato on her sandwich!
Spoon the deviled ham mixture onto the top half of the croissant and gently push it out to the edges so that the entire surface of the croissant is covered. Flip the top half of the croissant onto the bottom half and press down lightly to seal. That’s it! Serve that baby up with some kettle chips and a pickle. It really doesn’t get any better than that!
LEFTOVER DEVILED HAM SALAD
If you happen to have any leftover ham, don’t think that you have to make more Deviled Ham Salad Croissant Sandwiches. There are other ways to enjoy this delicious deviled ham salad! The most obvious suggestion that comes to mind is in a bowl with a good helping of crackers, crostini, cheese, pickles, etc. This is one of my favourite dinners. We put out platters of veggies, dips, hummus, cheese, crackers, jarred pickles and onions, etc. And, we eat until we are full and content.
I’ve never tried this, but a friend of mine will use leftover Deviled Ham Salad to make a pasta salad. She says to cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, but save two tablespoons of the pasta water for every 1/2 cup of ham you have left over.
Stir the pasta water into the deviled ham mixture to thin it out and loosen it up. Pour that over the pasta. Add some cheese and parsley. Toss to coat the pasta and serve immediately. I must say, it does sound appealing, doesn’t it!? If you have leftovers, how do you plan to use it up? I want to know, so please leave me a comment in the comment section below!
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Deviled Ham Salad Croissant Sandwiches
- 2 cups ham *see notes section
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 whole tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 head green leaf lettuce
- 6 croissants
- Flake or shred the ham and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Set it aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, mustard, and ground black pepper.
- Pour this mixture into the bowl of flaked ham and toss to combine. Don’t overmix, because the ham will break up too much.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. (The mixture can be used immediately, but it's better once refrigerated.)
- Slice the croissants in half. At this point, you can butter the croissants if you choose. I did not add butter, because croissants are buttery already. If I was using regular bread, I probably would smear once slice with butter. Alternatively, you can spread mayo onto the croissant.
- Layer lettuce leaves onto the bottom half of the croissant. Top that with a slice or two of tomato. Season the sliced tomato with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the deviled ham mixture onto the top half of the croissant and gently push it out to the edges so that the entire surface of the croissant is covered. Flip the top half of the croissant onto the bottom half and press down lightly to seal.
- Serve with kettle chips and a pickle.
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