Tangy Honey Mustard Salad

Noodles and Cheese

Let’s see. Ham, three types of cheese, rotini pasta, Greek peperoncini and crunchy celery, all coated with a tangy honey mustard sauce. Let’s just take a moment to reflect on the deliciousness that is about to unfold. Gouda, Swiss, Cheddar… okay, that’s enough. There’s work to be done.

Truthfully though, I am quite happy with how this recipe turned out. Oddly enough, it was something I came up with a couple months ago, which I then promptly forgot about. Only recently did I stumble across the paper that I had jotted the recipe down on.

And it was totally off the top of my head (no bragging). After going back and checking it out, I decided I must then make it. Surprisingly, it was better than I thought it would be (little bragging). Although, how can you go wrong with ham and Gouda cheese right? The only minor problem was that the tangy honey mustard sauce was a little thinner than it should have been. But that’s not bad for guess work, I uhm… guess.

It was an easy fix. I increased the mayonnaise by an 1/8th of a cup, and reduced the apple cider vinegar by a 1/4 cup. That solved the problem beautifully. It was now thick enough to coat the noodles sufficiently while at the same time, not making a mad rush to the bottom of the dish. I’m only sharing this because I know how much everyone cares about my useless tidbits.

Diced Ham

With that being said, let me share a little background about why I decided to make a tangy honey mustard salad like this. And it will most likely be the inspiration for a tangy honey mustard sandwich in the near future. You see, I have two brothers and I mentioned in this blog post: Italiano Ham and Pepperoni Sub that I worked in a sandwich shop when I was younger. Well so did one of my brothers. I’m not going to name my two brothers, because quite honestly, no one would probably believe me if I told you their names.

But that’s a story for a different day. Anyway, my brother had this interesting (weird) sandwich he used to make. When he was younger – and probably still to this day – he just loved anything that was tangy or vinegary such as dill pickles and mustard.

Back to the sandwich though. It was carefully constructed out of a foot long piece of white bread (white or wheat were the only choices at that time) and white American cheese. Back then, there was only one type of cheese available at that particular sub-shop and that was white American. Now there’s a bunch more options, but whatever.

Ham and Cubed Cheese

*Skip the next part unless you want to read about my ramblings*

About the cheese though. The driver, as it was called at the time, (the person that cut the bread and put the meat and cheese on before passing it on to the next person) would say something along the lines of,  “Hey man, you want some cheese on that?”

And the customer would politely say, “Uh, yeah I already said I wanted a foot long cold cut trio with cheese on white bread.”

“So you want cheese?”

The customer would then look confused. “Seriously?”

“Will that be a foot long or six inch?”

About that time, the customer would close their eyes and begin messaging their temples. The goal was for them to give up and go across the street and order a hamburger. Unfortunately, it didn’t usually work. Apparently some people really like their sandwiches.

So the next question would usually be, “Would you like to add bacon to your spicy Italian sandwich? Perhaps even double bacon???”

“No I don’t want bacon. If I wanted bacon I would have ordered it. And if I wanted a spicy Italian I would have ordered that, but I don’t because I ordered a COLD CUT TRIO!”

“You sure about that? spicy Italian’s are pretty good.”

“Listen here you scatter brained, unicorn chasing walnut, just make me a foot long cold cut trio with cheese on white bread. Is that too much to ask?”

“Psshh…fine, you don’t have to be rude about it.”

So the sandwich would finally get made and bagged. The gloves would come off and the customer got rung up. By this time the customer was just happy they had their cold cut trio in hand, and had usually begun to calm down by that point. But the last and most important thing to remember is that once they had payed out and you gave them their receipt, it was time to forget their drink cup and immediately head to the back where you would do something like go in the walk in refrigerator so you couldn’t hear them yelling about their missing cup.

*End ramblings*

Next came the chicken fajita meat. Double meat to be exact. For some strange reason, I don’t know if I have ever eaten a chicken fajita sub. I worked there for 4 years and never ate a chicken fajita sub. What’s wrong with me.

Okay I know, back to the sandwich. This right here is why I will probably make a variation of this sandwich in the near future. Definitely with more ingredients though. Once the fajita meat was in place, next came the peperoncini. Some people called them yellow peppers, some people called them wax peppers, and others called them peperoncinos. I don’t know what they were really called, but whatever they were, he piled them on.

After an inordinate amount of peppers, he literally drenched the sandwich in honey mustard. And I don’t mean figuratively, I mean literally. He’ll probably deny that he put that much mustard on, but I know what I saw.

Honey Mustard Sauce

So those elements are what kind of guided me towards making a pasta salad with some homemade honey mustard. I wanted to experiment. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you definitely lose. I consider this a win, and I am happy.

Let us know what you think about this recipe in the comments section below. We’re looking forward to hearing your opinions. Scratch that, I am looking forward to hearing everyone’s opinions. Vanessa doesn’t like mustard so she’s disqualified from this recipe.

I don’t even know what “disqualified from this recipe” means, but that’s what she is.

Okay, bye.

Tangy Honey Mustard Salad

Andy’s Tangy Ham and Gouda Cheese Salad

By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 6-8


  • 2 cups rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup celery (sliced) *Edit (Andy has read this article and condemned celery. He says use 3/4 cup dill pickles) – your choice
  • 1/2 cup peperoncini (sliced)
  • 2 cups ham (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup Swiss cheese (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup gouda cheese (cubed)


  1. In a large sauce pan, bring enough water to fully submerge the rotini pasta to a boil. Make sure you have enough water. Once the water has reached a boil, add the noodles and quickly give them a good stir to prevent them from sticking.
  2. Cook the noodles until just al dente. The box I used says to boil for 7 minutes, but I have found that boiling them for at least 10 minutes is more ideal. If the noodles are overcooked they will fall apart when mixing the salad together.
  3. In a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, honey, dijon mustard, yellow mustard, and apple cider vinegar together and whisk until fully blended.
  4. Continue by adding the rest of the sliced and cubed ingredients.
  5. Mix everything together with a spatula until thoroughly combined.
  6. Serve as a side to your favorite dish, or let it simply be a stand alone dish.
  7. Enjoy!

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