A friend of mine was having a party, so I offered to bring dessert and a pasta salad. The dessert was a no-brainier. I brought my Sweet Cream & Berries. It was one of our restaurant’s most popular desserts. Everyone always goes crazy over it!!! But the pasta salad?? That’s a bit more difficult. I used to make so many when I catered luncheon events. I wasn’t sure what to bring. After going over a multitude of options, I decided to bring something reminiscent of the all-American – old-fashioned pasta salad. This salad is made with Black Forrest Ham, Jarslsberg Swiss Cheese, and a homemade honey mustard mayo dressing. It’s a really easy pasta salad to make, and it’s always a hit!
I start out with great ingredients – Black Forrest Ham & Jarlsberg Swiss.
Dice the ham, swiss and red pepper. Chop the green onion.
In a separate bowl mix the honey, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise. Add poppy seeds, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Combine pasta with the ham & cheese mixture and pour 2/3 of the honey mustard sauce onto the mixture and mix really well.
It’s really important to taste this salad before you serve it. As it sits, it will absorb the dressing. If you are making it a day ahead make sure you adjust the dressing and seasoning before serving.
Note if you are watching your calories then you can substitute reduced fat mayonnaise and turkey.
Ham & Cheese Pasta Salad
- 1 lb ziti noodles, cook according to package directions
- 6 oz Black Forrest Ham, sliced medium and then cut into small squares
- 6 oz Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, cut into medium dice
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup clover honey
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
- In a large mixing bowl add the pasta, Black Forrest ham, Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, red peppers, and green onions.
- In a separate bowl mix the honey, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, spices and poppy seeds.
- Add 2/3 of the dressing to the pasta mixture and toss really well.
- Taste and adjust for flavor. Reserve 1/3 of dressing. If you are eating the salad immediately, then adjust the dressing and add more if needed. If you are serving it the next day, adjust before serving.
- As the salad sits it will absorb the dressing. If you like it a little sweeter, add a squirt of honey. If you like it a bit sharper, add an extra teaspoon of Dijon. It’s easy to adjust and make your own.