Ham and Cheese Sliders are my favorite Hawaiian roll sliders. I make them all the time and there’s NEVER any leftovers!
I first had Ham and Cheese Sliders at a baby shower about 10 years ago. I wanted to steal the pan, take them to a vacant bedroom and devour the whole tray.
The hostess said the recipe ran in her family for years as I snapped a pic of the handwritten note card on my phone. Turns out, Ham and Cheese Sliders aren’t that secret.
What's In This Article
What are Hawaiian Sliders?
These sliders sandwiches will for sure go down in history, but who gets the credit is a bit of debate. I found it very hard to find a full background so I had to piece it together.
They go by several names, but the most popular are Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sliders, Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Baked Ham and Cheese sliders, King’s Hawaiian Sliders, Ham and Swiss and just Hawaiian Ham.
They are a fusion of the popular hot ham sandwich Croque Monsieur (a buttery French grilled cheese) and American cold ham sandwich. Toss in famous King’s Hawaiian Slider Rolls and all the sudden they were now also Hawaiian.
I did find some information that eluded to the fact that the ham used to be SPAM, which would indeed, make them decidedly more Polynesian.
Hawaiian Roll Ham Sliders
If you aren’t familiar, the most popular brand is King’s Hawaiian Bread. They come in a bright orange package most commonly seen on end caps at the the grocery store.
These rolls are soft, fluffy, buttery and have a touch of honey which provides the unique flavor to other types of bread. They can be easily cut horizontally while still intact, making them perfect for building baked ham sliders.
Other brands make sweet rolls and regular slider cut rolls will also work perfectly fine, but these complement the flavors of ham and Dijon dressing so well.
What you’ll need for Ham Sliders
Ham is clearly the star ingredients, but what type of ham gives your sliders personality. I like to play on the honey flavors of the bread, so honey ham straight from the deli is my first choice. I try to get it thinly sliced and then layer it on thick.
Baked, brown sugar or even boiled ham are all acceptable choices.
As is swapping out the meat for sliced turkey, chicken or roast beef. Even bacon strips are a fun addition. If you are feeling totally experimental, make it into a club and use a combo!
They are commonly just called ham and cheese sliders, but the majority of recipes use Swiss cheese. I used Swiss cheese and white cheddar. Again, thinly sliced will give you the best meltability.
Vary this by using sharp cheddar, Jarlsberg, provolone or even a spicy pepper jack.
Dijon Butter Topping
Aw, the topping. This is really what makes these decadent and the perfect party appetizer or snack. These sandwiches are drenched in melted butter dotted with Dijon mustard, poppy seeds, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder.
Soaking into the bread, this transform a fairly plain sandwich into lick-your-fingers good.
Some folks don’t care for poppy seeds and they are optional. Swap them out for sesame seeds or just omit altogether.
Other variations are minced dried onion or onion powder, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and dried parsley.
Can I leave off the butter topping? Sure! They won’t have as much flavor, but they will still be good. The butter topping is really what elevates this recipes from the others.
You can also add more toppings to the actual sandwich; caramelized onions, roast garlic, bread and butter pickles and roast tomatoes are also fabulous flavor combos.
How to make Ham and Cheese Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prep a 9×13 pan by coating lightly with cooking spray.
2. Place all 12 Hawaiian rolls onto a cutting board and using a serrated knife, slice in half while keeping the tops and bottoms intact. It should be like one large sandwich.
3. Place the bottom layer of rolls in a 9×13 pan and then evenly layer the Swiss cheese on first, the the ham and finally the white American cheese.
4. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, Dijon mustard, poppy seeds, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Place in the microwave until the butter has melted, approximately 40 seconds.
5. Baste the butter mixture over the tops of the rolls, trying to get as much on top as you can, it might pool at the bottom and that is fine, the bread will absorb its goodness.
6. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
7. Remove the aluminum foil and continue to bake until tops are slightly browned and cheese has melted.
8. Remove, cut the rolls into 12 individual sliders. Serve them hot or at room temperature.
Can I make them ahead of time?
You can assemble the actual sandwich and mix the butter topping, but I would wait to cover in butter and bake until ready to serve.
Ham Sliders Recipe storage
Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminum foil in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Leftover ham and cheese sliders can be reheated in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil at 300°F for about 10 minutes or in the microwave, although microwaving can make the bread rubbery so I strongly suggest using the oven.
Or you can be like my husband and just eat them cold.
Can I reheat them? You can reheat anything, but it rarely tastes as good as it did fresh. Microwave or a quick jaunt in the oven at 350 degrees wrapped in aluminum foil will do the trick.
To be honest… you probably won’t have any leftovers!
Can I freeze ham and cheese sliders? I don’t recommend freezing these as a sandwich. They will most likely thaw being a soggy.
What goes with Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sliders?
Well, I guess you need to ask yourself if you are serving these as an appetizer with other munchies or for the entree of a brunch or lunch.
If serving as an appetizer, I suggest pairing it with:
If serving as an entree, pair with these easy dinner ideas:
Ham Sliders Recipe FAQs
Too much butter will make your sliders soggy. Getting the correct volume of butter to soak into the rolls gives them the butter effect without making them soggy. Also make sure to brown without the aluminum so some of the liquid has the chance to evaporate out.
I plan for 2 sliders per person, but they are really good and some folks will eat more. Know your audience!
You can wrap them in foil and place them in a slow cooker on the “keep warm” setting.
Ham pairs well with nearly all cheese, but the best flavor affinities are mozzarella, Swiss, gruyere, Havarti, American and cheddar.
More easy slider recipes:
Hawaiian Ham Sliders
- 12 Hawaiian Slider Rolls
- 1/2 pound honey ham , thinly sliced
- 1/4 pound Swiss cheese , thinly sliced
- 1/4 pound white American cheese
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place all 12 Hawaiian rolls onto a surface suitable for cutting. Using a serrated knife, slice in half while keeping the tops and bottoms intact. It should be like one large sandwich.
- Place the bottom layer of rolls in a 9×13 pan.
- Evenly layer the Swiss cheese on first, the the ham and finally the white American cheese.
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, Dijon mustard, poppy seeds, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Place in the microwave until the butter has melted, approximately 40 seconds.
- Baste over the tops of the rolls, trying to get as much on top as you can.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil and continue to bake until tops are slightly browned and cheese has melted.
- Remove, cut the rolls into 12 individual sliders and serve hot.
- If you've tried this recipe, make sure to come back and let us know how it went in the comments or ratings.
I used ham, olive loaf (don’t judge), swiss and American cheese. I followed the recipe but honestly, I had a ton of the butter topping leftover. Next time, I am going to just use a quarter cup of butter mixture. But its a very good topping that goes very nicely on top of the sandwiches.
No judgement! I welcome everyone putting their own spin on recipes- sounds delightful!
I make these delicious mini sandwiches a LOT! I use gouda cheese to give it a little different twist.
These were a hit ! I substituted everything bagel seasoning for poppy seeds and pepper jack in stead of Swiss
Oh! That sounds Ah-MAZING!!!!
These are such a fun little lunch idea!
Yum! That Dijon mustard topping really takes these sandwiches to a whole new level. Disappeared from the table in record time!
So delicious! I could eat these all day!
I’ve always made my hot ham and cheese sandwiches using croissant dough and cutting it into individual pieces. I love the idea of using sweet rolls to make sliders! Will be doing this at the next kid’s party or sleepover…mine LOVE ham and cheese!
I have had these before and they are delicious! My question is, can I make these and then wrap in foil and keep in a crockpot until time to serve? We will be outside with no stove near by, however I will have access to an electric outlet so I will be able to use a crock pot.
I would think so! Since the bread is a little drenched in butter anyhow, I wouldn’t think they’d get too soggy. I wouldn’t make them too far in advance though.
My 11 year old loves this recipe and asks for it at least every other week.
Aw, that is great to hear, Lauri! Tell your 11-year-old that I said thank you, that means a lot.
These are so yummy! Thanks for the recipe!
Woohoo! Glad you loved them!
We absolutely love this recipe. We tailgate for university football games and this is our go to recipe. The sauce on top is so delicious! Even though it’s February, my daughter just requested them for dinner. We make them with ham and Swiss, but also mix it up with roast beef and cheddar. Thank you for a wonderful recipe we have eaten 50 times already!
Yum! And thank you for taking time out to come back and let us know. It means a lot.
These were okay. I’ve made others (reubens, roast beef) that we’re better. I think some sort of spread, maybe a mustard of some sort, on the sandwich itself would increase the flavor. A simple butter and garlic brushed on top would be good.
The Hot Ham and Cheese sandwiches were so delicious. We’ve made them before but misplaced our recipe. I’m so thankful that I found your recipe.
I love this recipe! I am making it for the second time. But a little FYI and no big deal cuz like you said you’d have to eat a lot of those poppy seeds BUT quinine is also used as a cutting agent in the street for opiates so it’s actually not that rare to test positive for both if using opiates.
Use half. Utter. Too greasy and fatty with whole stick. Otherwise delicious!
Followed the recipe, bottoms turned out very soggy. I’d recommend making the sauce and brushing it over the tops instead of pouring it. Very good and flavorful though!
Im using salted butter I hope that will be o.k.
Yep! You should be fine, but you can omit the additional salt, if you want. I personally, love salt, so it doesn’t bother me. LOL.
Great idea, I love sliders they make dinner so easy, can’t wait to make this again!
One word: addicting! I wish I didn’t have to share them. Ha! Thanks for this delish recipe!
Made this five years ago for an Easter egg hunt. Everyone DEMANDED that I finally make it again this year. It’s a great recipe!