Hawaiian Ham Sliders Recipe

Ham and Cheese Sliders are my favorite Hawaiian roll sliders. I make them all the time and there’s NEVER any leftovers!

pile of butter ham sliders on a white plate


 

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. 

side angle view of ham and cheese sliders on a baking sheet

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.

hand holding ham and cheese slider with poppy seed topping

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.

single slider on a piece of parchment paper

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

The Meat

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.

ingredients for hawaiian ham and cheese slider sandwiches

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!

The Cheese

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.

close up of buttery ham and cheese sandwich

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.

poppy seed butter topping for ham sandwiches

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.

basting butter over ham and cheese sandwiches

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.

close up of hawaiian slider roll

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.

plate of hawaiian ham and cheese sliders

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

How do you keep sliders from getting soggy?

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.

How many sliders are needed per person?

I plan for 2 sliders per person, but they are really good and some folks will eat more. Know your audience!

How do you keep ham and cheese sliders warm for a party?

You can wrap them in foil and place them in a slow cooker on the “keep warm” setting.

What cheese goes best with ham?

Ham pairs well with nearly all cheese, but the best flavor affinities are mozzarella, Swiss, gruyere, Havarti, American and cheddar.

ham and cheese sliders for pinterest

More easy slider recipes:

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BBQ Chicken Sliders

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Pizza Sliders

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close up of ham and cheese sandwich for pinterest
plate of buttery hawaiian ham and cheese sliders

Ham and Cheese Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls

4.01 from 261 votes
Ham and Cheese Sliders are easy, cheesy and delicious! One of the best recipe for parties of all types, from baby showers and birthday parties to holiday parties and casual family get-togethers.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 280 kcal, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Protein: 12 g, Fat: 18 g, Saturated Fat: 10 g, Cholesterol: 59 mg, Sodium: 413 mg, Potassium: 80 mg, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 395 IU, Calcium: 164 mg, Iron: 0.3 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 280
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ham and cheese sliders, slider recipes
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
party appetizer slider sandwiches
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    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.

  2. 5 stars
    These were a hit ! I substituted everything bagel seasoning for poppy seeds and pepper jack in stead of Swiss

      1. 5 stars
        We love these. So easy and pretty quick. My 13 year old can whip these up for himself in a smaller quantity and adjust ingredients. For our preference I will use a little less butter and garlic powder and we love garlic. They are delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    Yum! That Dijon mustard topping really takes these sandwiches to a whole new level. Disappeared from the table in record time!

  4. 5 stars
    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!

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. Aw, that is great to hear, Lauri! Tell your 11-year-old that I said thank you, that means a lot.

  6. 5 stars
    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!

  7. 3 stars
    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.

  8. 5 stars
    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.

  9. 5 stars
    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.

  10. 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!

    1. 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.

  11. 5 stars
    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!