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These easy Ham and Cheese Sliders are a quick, freezer-friendly, make ahead meal that’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners, tailgates, get-togethers with friends, and church potlucks. Best of all, you can assemble the entire recipe in advance and just bake the party sandwiches whenever you need to serve them. Baked Hawaiian ham and cheese sliders with a buttery brown sugar spread are sweet, savory, and the perfect solution to casual entertaining!

Close overhead shot of a pan of easy ham and cheese sliders on hawaiian rolls in a baking dish

Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sliders

These aren’t just your average ham and cheese sliders! Sometimes called “funeral sandwiches” because they’re a popular dish to serve at funerals and other Southern gatherings, the hot ham and cheese sliders are an easy, crowd-pleasing option that always disappears fast.

Nobody can resist the combination of salty ham, gooey, melted cheese, and a sweet-and-savory brown sugar butter spread on fluffy King’s Hawaiian rolls. Best of all, you can customize the little sandwiches to suit your family’s preferences. Try turkey or roast beef instead of ham, use a variety of cheeses like Swiss, cheddar or American, or scale the recipe to feed a crowd.

Stirring butter mixture in a blue bowl

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pan of Hawaiian roll ham and cheese sliders. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Salted butter: the base of the sandwich spread.
  • Mustard: I use yellow mustard, but Dijon mustard is also a great option.
  • Brown sugar: a sweet touch that contrasts nicely with the salty ham.
  • Poppy seeds: give the spread texture and a bit of flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: for savory, umami flavor in the spread.
  • Garlic powder: for even more flavor!
  • Onion: finely grated on the smallest side of a box grater.
  • Hawaiian rolls: I use these King’s Hawaiian rolls, but you can substitute with another similar package of slider buns.
  • Ham: thinly-sliced from the deli counter.
  • Cheese: I like cheddar, but Swiss or American are also good options.
Spreading butter mixture on hawaiian roll

How to Make Ham and Cheese Sliders

These easy sliders can be assembled in advance, making them ideal for busy weeknight dinners or party hosting.

  1. Stir together brown sugar butter mixture.
  2. Spread butter mixture on top and bottom of rolls.
  3. Add ham and cheese, then replace the tops of the rolls.
  4. Arrange the sliders in a greased baking dish; cover with foil.
  5. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese and butter melt.
Process shot showing how to assemble ham and cheese sliders

What to Serve with Ham and Cheese Sliders

For a regular weeknight dinner, pair the sliders with a simple green salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, or potato chips.

If you’re serving the baked ham and cheese sliders as a part of a larger appetizer spread for a party, here are some other ideas that go well with the little sandwiches:

Hands serving hot ham and cheese sliders with a spatula

How to Freeze Ham and Cheese Sliders

Once the sandwiches are assembled, you can either cover them with foil and bake in a 350°F oven for about 10-15 minutes (just until the cheese melts); or you can wrap the dish tightly and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

This Ham and Cheese Sliders recipe is SO EASY — you can bake them directly from the freezer! Simply add 5-10 minutes to the total baking time to make sure that the cheese fully melts.

How to Keep Ham and Cheese Sliders Warm

If you want to keep the sliders warm at a party or football tailgate, keep them covered with foil to trap the heat and moisture. You can also wrap them individually in foil, place them in a slow cooker, and keep on the “warm” setting for a few hours.

Close up side shot of sweet ham and cheese sliders on a serving tray on a table

Can I make these easy ham and cheese sliders without poppy seeds?

If you don’t have poppy seeds in your pantry (or if you just don’t care for them), you can certainly omit them from the buttery spread. The sliders will taste delicious, and you don’t even need to replace the seeds with something else.

Side shot of easy ham and cheese sliders on a dinner table

Additional Recipe Variations

  • Instead of spreading the inside of the rolls with the butter mixture, melt the butter mixture in a saucepan on the stovetop. Pour the melted butter sauce over the top of the sliders and refrigerate for several hours. Bake the sliders covered, according to the recipe instructions. You can see an example of similar baked sliders here.
  • Use Dijon mustard instead of yellow mustard for a zesty “kick.”
  • Swap out the ham and turkey for other meats and cheeses. You can try roast beef, chicken, or turkey, or even add a slice of bacon! American cheese, Swiss cheese, and cheddar cheese are all great options, too!
  • Grab your favorite style of sliders buns — I suggest King’s Hawaiian Rolls, potato slider buns, or plain dinner rolls.
Close overhead image of a blue and white serving tray full of hawaiian ham and cheese sliders

Tips for the Best Ham and Cheese Sliders Recipe

  • Prep ahead for easy meals and parties! Assemble the sandwiches, cover them tightly, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Remember to soften the butter at room temperature before assembling the sandwiches. This makes it easy to mix and spread.
  • Use the smallest side of a box grater to finely grate the onion. This will help the onion mix smoothly into the butter and will avoid any large chunks of onion throughout.
  • King’s Hawaiian rolls are my top pick for a sweet, fluffy sandwich bun that pairs nicely with the salty ham.
Hot ham and cheese sliders in a baking dish on a wooden table served with a side salad and potato chips

More Easy Ham Recipes to Try

Close overhead shot of a pan of easy ham and cheese sliders on hawaiian rolls in a baking dish

Ham and Cheese Sliders

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 12 sliders
Calories 198 kcal
​​​​​​​These easy Ham and Cheese Sliders are a quick, freezer-friendly, make ahead meal that's perfect for busy weeknight dinners, tailgates, get-togethers with friends, or church potlucks!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 stick (½ cup) salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ small onion, finely grated
  • 1 (12 oz) package King's Hawaiian rolls
  • 12 slices thinly sliced deli ham
  • 3 slices cheese (Swiss, cheddar, or American), cut into 12 squares

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a large baking dish (about 9 x 13 inches) with cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together butter, poppy seeds, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and onion.
  • Split open a roll and spread butter mixture on the top and bottom of the inside of the roll. Add 1 slice of ham and 1 square of cheese; replace the top of the roll to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  • Place sliders close together in prepared dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Notes

  • Instead of spreading the inside of the rolls with the butter mixture, melt the butter mixture in a saucepan on the stovetop. Pour the melted butter sauce over the top of the sliders and refrigerate for several hours. Bake the sliders covered, according to the recipe instructions. You can see an example of similar baked sliders here.
  • Use Dijon mustard instead of yellow mustard for a zesty “kick.”
  • Swap out the ham and turkey for other meats and cheeses. You can try roast beef, chicken, or turkey, or even add a slice of bacon! American cheese, Swiss cheese, and cheddar cheese are all great options, too!
  • Grab your favorite style of sliders buns — I suggest King’s Hawaiian Rolls, potato slider buns, or plain dinner rolls.
  • Prep ahead for easy meals and parties! Assemble the sandwiches, cover them tightly, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Remember to soften the butter at room temperature before assembling the sandwiches. This makes it easy to mix and spread.
  • Use the smallest side of a box grater to finely grate the onion. This will help the onion mix smoothly into the butter and will avoid any large chunks of onion throughout.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliderCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 315mgPotassium: 45mgSugar: 4gVitamin A: 285IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword: appetizer, easy, ham and cheese sandwich, ham and cheese sliders, hawaiian ham and cheese sliders
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in September, 2018. The photos were updated in December, 2021.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. I love this idea freezing for later. It’s perfect for people like me – as we always have left over rolls. Instead of letting the buns go stale, I will make a filling for the leftover buns and freeze for later.

    1. Thanks, Harriet! That’s exactly right! It’s perfect for leftover rolls, and you can just assemble however many rolls you have at a time. It doesn’t have to be a full dozen. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Such a good meal! My girls ask me to make this all the time! I make two batches and the husband takes them to work for lunch!

    1. Hi, Melissa! No, not specifically — but I think you could definitely add scrambled eggs to the sandwiches and enjoy them for breakfast or brunch. Let me know if you give it a shot! 🙂

  3. Hi, I was wondering if you can make these ahead & stick in the fridge & then heat in the morning? Will the bun get soggy?

  4. I made these before but I’ve never frozen… Do you recommend letting them in the fridge before putting them in the oven?

    1. Hi, Heather! You can do it either way — thaw in the fridge overnight or bake directly from the freezer. If you bake them while they’re still frozen, you’ll need to add some time to the total baking. It will probably take closer to 25-30 minutes for them to heat through. Enjoy!

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe….absolutely delicious! My beautiful Mom, who has passed away, loved to make these! They were the hit of a July 4th party we attended each year! My Mom only made one change….she starting using country ham sliced very thin. It means the world to me to have this recipe again! Thank you for the cherished memories!
    Laurie

  6. 5 stars
    Fantastic dinner idea. Made 2 days ahead and kept covered in fridge with damp tea towel and foil. Then took away the tea towel and heated – so easy. After a busy day when we were late from work/school such an easy dinner and we were fighting for leftovers. Will become a go-to recipe for away days when we get home late and hope to try with all the other fillings you suggest.