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Ham & Cheese Tailgate Sliders

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These Southern-style ham and cheese sliders are doused in a tangy butter, mustard and poppy seed sauce. It’s impossible to eat just one!

ham and cheese sliders

These Southern-style ham and cheese sliders doused in a tangy butter, mustard, and poppy seed sauce are perfect for casual get togethers because they feed a crowd and can be made ahead — but mostly because everyone loves them. No matter if I serve them to my girlfriends on game night or my teenagers when they have friends over, they disappear in a flash. Trust me, make extra!

What you’ll need to make Ham and cheese sliders


How to make Ham and cheese sliders

Begin by making the tangy butter sauce.


Simply whisk together the butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and poppy seeds. Set aside.


Using serrated bread knife, cut the rolls in half, leaving the top and bottom halves intact.


Spread mustard over the rolls, then place the bottom half, cut side up, in a 9-inch square metal baking pan. Place half of the cheese in an even layer over the bottom, followed by all of the ham, followed by the remaining cheese. Cover with the roll tops.


Evenly spoon the butter sauce over the top, letting it drip down the sides.


Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and toasted.


Let cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan. Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the sandwich block to a cutting board. Slice into sandwiches, then serve warm or room temperature.




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Ham & Cheese Tailgate Sliders

These Southern-style ham and cheese sliders are doused in a tangy butter, mustard and poppy seed sauce. It’s impossible to eat just one!

Servings: 12 sliders
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes, plus 15-20 minutes to cool


For the Butter Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Sandwiches

  • One 12-count pack square soft white dinner rolls, such as Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ⅔ pound sliced Swiss cheese
  • ½ pound sliced Black Forest ham


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the butter sauce. Set aside.
  3. Using a serrated bread knife, slice the rolls in half horizontally, keeping the top and bottom halves separately intact. Spread the Dijon mustard evenly over the cut sides of the roll tops and bottoms.
  4. Place the bottom half of the bread, cut side up, in a 9-inch square baking pan. Place half of the cheese in an even layer over the bread. Top with all of the ham, followed by the remaining cheese. Cover with the roll tops.
  5. Evenly spoon the butter sauce over the top of the rolls, letting it drip down the sides.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and toasted. Let cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan. Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the sandwich block to a cutting board. Slice into sandwiches and transfer to a paper towel-lined serving plate. Serve warm or room temperature.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 slider
  • Calories: 338
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Sodium: 648g
  • Cholesterol: 45mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • I made this Christmas afternoon using the spiral cut ham we had for breakfast. It was fast to put together, and bake. It was devoured with rave reviews! I used the sweet rolls, and was so glad I did. The combination of sweet and savory was perfect. I made 24, for 5 people, and that was a good amount (no way would one or two apiece been enough). Will definitely make again, and will make sure to have something, like pickles, to go with them for a good counterpoint. Great recipe!

    • — Katherine on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are delicious! I had to improvise because I was missing the buns and the swiss cheese. It worked really well with regular sliced bread and cheddar! I love that Jenn’s recipes are so versatile! That sauce is absolutely delicious! Jenn, I’m looking for a ham sauce, do you think this one would work? I find ham kind of dry or bland so a nice sauce (not gravy!) would be nice to have. Thanks for all that you do/share!

    • — Frenchiecookingmama on November 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked these even with the tweaks! Unfortunately, I don’t think the sauce will work as a sauce for ham as I think it will be too greasy — sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hello,

    I just had a party and people loved them. One of my guest asked me if you could leave off the mustard? Can you recommend a different ingredient for the mustard? Thanks

    • — Marla on November 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Marla, glad your guests enjoyed them! Other options that come to mind are mayo, ranch dressing (or really any condiment she really likes)!

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made these for a college tailgate party. The guys LOVED them. Since we were new to this group, it really helped break the ice. They are aways happy when I bring the sliders to the pre-game fun.

    • — Jane Mar on November 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made a quadruple recipe for a group of teen boys before their Homecoming dance last night. Huge hit! I had a teen tell me I make the best sandwiches… thanks Jen!

    • — Jenny on October 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I want to make these to take to the beach. If I bake them the night before would they be good the next day? Thanks!

    • — Mo on August 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Mo, You can assemble them a day ahead of time, but I wouldn’t bake them until shortly before serving.

      • — Jenn on August 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • These may not necessarily sound like much, but they are a super-tasty, inexpensive crowd-pleaser which can be thrown together at the last minute. I ended up making these at the last minute for our pre-Shakespeare in the Park picnic to balance out all the salads and fruit which were already on the menu. They ended up being easy to transport and a fun, delicious finger food and made for a nice alternative to quiche or pasta salad for once!

    • — Lisa on July 10, 2022
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  • Hello Jen,

    I’ve made these before, and they are fabulous! I am having a large party and I would like to prep them the day before. Do you think it would be okay to prepare them the day before and bake them right before the party?

    Thank you,

    • — Kim on June 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like them! Yes, it’s fine to assemble them a day ahead. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • My high school and college boys and their friends devoured my first attempt at these over Christmas break (I followed the recipe exactly). I overheard one say to another: “no way mom made these, where are they from?” This is a wonderful and inexpensive crowd pleaser! Thank you!

    • — Margaret Spencer on March 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, Love these little yummy sandwiches. Can these be made ahead and frozen prior to baking them?

    • — Judy on March 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like them! I’ve never tried freezing them, but they should freeze well prior to baking. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to allow a few extra minutes for baking if they’re frozen.

      • — Jenn on March 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • These were delicious. I thought the addition of a pickle slice might be good as I just love Cubano sandwiches, so I took a couple of dill sandwich slices, set them down on a papertowel to dry them some and added it to a few. Those were really good too. This will definitely be one of my go to appetizers for a crowd. So easy to make and so good.

    • — Ann Shoemaker on March 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn, these are AMAZING!! And so incredibly easy to make!! They will be my new game day staples.
    Thanks for another super recipe

    • — Lyne on February 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve been making and serving these delicious sliders for years! I’m curious, though..Any particular reason why the ratio of Swiss and Ham has changed over the years? I have prints of the recipe over time where you’ve noted 1 pound each, then 2/3 pound each, and more recently I see 2/3 pound Swiss and 1/2 pound ham. What’s up with the ever shrinking amounts of cheese and ham?

    • — jodie on February 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jodie, I think I must be losing my mind (!) because I don’t recall changing the recipe, but if I did, it was likely because of feedback I received from people about the ratios of meat and cheese. That said, if you’d prefer to use the original amounts, feel free!

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Delicious as is! We are snowed in today, so had to roll with what is available in my kitchen. Made the sauce as directed but subbed out poppy seeds for sesame seeds. We made the sandwiches with deli turkey meat and grated cheddar cheese, still yummy! Thanks Jenn, your recipes are always A+ 🙂

    • — Chef Mommie on February 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad to hear that. I have sesame seeds, not poppy. Thank you for posting. Planning on making this, this weekend, with sesame seeds! Jenn’s recipes never fail.

      • — Karen A. Riccio on October 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made these twice now. A huge hit with the whole family and so simple.

    • — Leah on January 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made these sliders for the hockey game last night. I substituted Gruyere for the Swiss cheese, and used a grainy version of Dijon mustard. They were delicious, and so easy to make. Served them with my favorite baked bean recipe. Slicing the entire package of Hawaiian King rolls without breaking them apart was a little tricky, but once the cheese starts to melt in the oven, they kind of all come together. Will definitely make again!

    • — PaulainVA on October 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • It’s is rare that I have to alter any of Jenns recipes. But with this recipe I made some changes. Eliminate the mustard spread on the bread and only include the mustard in the butter sauce. With this adjustment, the mustard is not so dominating. Second, reduce bake time to 15-18 minutes. At the very least I watched until Cheese had a good melt. Finally, I sprinkled the poppy seeds AFTER I applied the sauce over the top of rolls. It gave it a more even, presentation look. Theses subtle changes make it a 5 star recipe!

    • — Rosemary Cressy on October 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • I was going to make the same adjustments! And I agree – I NEVER adjust any of Jenn’s recipes because they are truly tested and perfected! But with this recipe, there’s room for personal adaptation since there’s no science involved and it’s just a matter of preference.

      • — Sharon on February 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • I might have a hot oven but I cooked these for 23 mins and they came out very dark. I would cook for 15-20 minutes next time. But otherwise they were good and luckily even a little burned they still tasted good.

    • — Michelle on September 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was oh so delicious! I was a little worried that the bottoms would be soggy from all the sauce you pour on top. Definitely not soggy and definitely super tasty! I love the bite that the Worcestershire sauce gives to the topping. Everyone raved and I will be making this again and again.

    • — Tera Killip on September 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made these so many times for different social events and every time, EVERYONE wants the recipe. They are so easy and delicious.

    • — M Domery on August 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • These were delicious! Quick, easy, and loved by the whole family. I paired it with fresh cut cucumber on the side. I will definitely make them again.

    • — Leah on July 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wow!!! These were a huge hit! Absolutely delicious and super easy to put together. We made them with honey roasted turkey instead of ham and they were delicious. Perfect for a picnic! They traveled well. I kept them in the pan and served them at room temperature. Perfect texture and taste! My husband asked if I could make them again tomorrow! I will make these again for sure!!

    • — Jennifer M. on June 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe is an absolute winner! Ham is not my favorite deli meat, but still I loved these sliders. I first made them for a Superbowl snack but have since served them as part of a buffet lunch when company comes. Easy to make and so tasty.

    • — Andrea L on June 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    I LOVE your recipes! I’ve tried so many and look forward to getting your new cookbook (already pre-ordered!)…. question on this one: I’d like to double this recipe right off the bat, would you recommend baking in a large lasagna style casserole pan? temperature / time recommendation? I’ve never tried your recipe “as is” but look forward to it!

    Thanks for sharing your talents with our families!!!

    • — Stephanie on May 31, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! Yes, I think you could double this and use a larger pan. The bake temperature and time should be the same if not a minute or two longer. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • So simple! I’ve used gruyere cheese instead. You can’t go wrong. I reduced the poppy seeds for the kids.

    • — Sami on February 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m dying to make these for the Super Bowl this Sunday!! I don’t have a metal pan, though. Could I use a glass (Pyrex) instead? Thanks for all the recipes, Jenn!! My entire Super Bowl menu comes from your awesome site 😉

    • — Alex S. on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Alex, A glass pan should be fine for these. (And I’m so flattered that my recipes are making up your Super Bowl menu!!) 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 4, 2021
      • Reply
    • Same! I’m more excited about the food than I am the game! 😂 Curious what you are serving with the sandwiches?

      • — Kristie on February 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • I wanted to plan a fun and yummy New Year’s Eve menu because we decided to go “casual” this year, pajamas and all, as we rang in 2021. “Finger foods” was my idea for an easy ( but delicious!) meal, and I made these sliders the main course, which were perfect! They were delicious, filling, and easy to prepare, but they tasted like they weren’t the easiest thing to prepare! I can’t wait to make them again for Superbowl Sunday.

  • This recipe is a family favorite. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have made this recipe for various family events. Not only is it easy, but it is delicious. It is convenient as nothing has to be done at the last minute. The ingredients make this recipe super tasty. I make this one and have salads done in advance as well. Bake and serve. Perfect for a party buffet or for lunch with friends. Everyone loves these small sized sandwiches. I have changed up the recipe from time to time and used turkey or chicken, as well as different types of cheese. Mozzarella, provolone, or cheddar also work well with other lunch meats.

  • I made these last year for a friend’s super bowl party and they were great! everyone loved them and they “kept” really well from my oven to my friend’s house and for the short time they lasted at the party! I will definitely be making these again this year for my husband and myself (no party this year). thanks for the great recipe!!

  • These were great fun, both to prepare and to serve to my family get-together. Easy, tasty. I loved the butter mixture for the top but only put the poppy seeds on half of the rolls. I only had deli sliced ham and that worked fine.

  • I am no longer invited to go boating with friends unless I promise to bring these sliders. They are a delicious crowd favorite and perfect for a make ahead occasion indoors or out. I’ve made them for game nights, informal get together and picnics. Never any leftovers and truly easy to make

  • This was pretty good with interesting flavors. I’ve not made anything like this before. I did everything exactly as written. Personally, it’s very rich and heavy to me. Next time, I would omit the mustard on the top and bottom halves inside the layers, use only 1T of poppy seeds, and maybe find a healthier alternative to butter. The variations I’ve seen in the comments look like they would work well too! I’m excited to try. Thanks for sharing!

  • Wonderful recipe. I have made this at least 3 times. It is also good with turkey. I have used several different cheeses and have used left over spiral cut ham. Always a crowd pleaser and a favorite of my Husband. Thank you!!

  • These are excellent! We substituted provolone for swiss, and I will definitely make these again!

  • Jenn,
    I don’t have any poppy seeds. Can I substitute it with something else? Thank you

    • Sure — sesame seeds would also work well here. Hope you enjoy!

      • I’ve made this at least twice now and it’s so yummy. I’ve made it in two different ovens ( once at my sisters lake house). Both times I’ve noticed that the top browned too early. Next time I will cover with foil halfway through. Definitely a keeper!

        • Kathy I bake mine in the oven with foil sealing the pan. We don’t like the toasted bun top. I also think this gives the sandwiches more moisture and the cheese melts better. I also decrease the poppy seeds to 1/2 tsp and I mix them into the butter/onion/mustard mixture. I don’t put mustard inside my sliders either. And I add 1tsp stone ground mustard to the mix that goes on top!

          • — April on February 9, 2022
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, can I use chia seeds instead of poppy seeds?

    • Sure, Kelly, that should be fine. Hope you enjoy!

  • We enjoyed these sliders- they are delicious and very quick and easy to prepare. I’ve made them with H&F dinner rolls ( found at Whole Foods) and also Potato Rolls ( Rouses) and like both. Next time I may try tenting the sandwiches with foil towards of the end of the baking time as I prefer a softer roll.

  • Excellent recipe. Made this for the Superbowl. It was quick and easy and everyone loved them. Thank you so much.

    • — Shari Giarraputo
    • Reply
  • These are sooo good and so easy!! We don’t have the Hawaiian rolls here so I used tray dinner rolls. My husband loves these and eats them cold😂. Thanks for this recipe!!!

  • So yummy! Even the kids loved them…and they’re always picky! We did reduce some of the cheese and it was still really good!

  • I (with my husband’s manual labor) made a triple batch of these for a New Year’s Eve party last night and they were delicious!! We received numerous compliments on them. The only change I would make would be to cut the poppy seeds down to about 1/3 of the amount in the recipe.

  • Made these easy ham sammies for the family and they were a big hit. Will make again. Yummy!

  • We made these last year for a party and they were a huge hit. We’re hosting another party this year with most of the same people and would like to use the same concept but with different filling. Maybe from a roasted chicken or turkey. Can you suggest what else to include? Type of cheese? Anything else? Apple slices? Cranberry sauce sounds good to me but not everyone likes it. Those ingredients might not heat well. Melted cheese (and all of the butter!) held the sandwiches together.

    • Hi Renee, This is pretty flexible. I think turkey, sharp cheddar and apple slices (sliced very thin) would be glorious. Another option that comes to mind is corned beef, swiss and a bit of coleslaw and a little Russian dressing. Hope you enjoy whatever you come up with!

      • Thank you for another amazing recipe!! I made the sliders with the recommendation you gave above of turkey, apple, and cheddar—Delicious!!!
        I‘m making them for Superbowl, but this time need to make them without the apple. Is there anything else you would recommend using instead with the turkey and cheddar? Would cranberry work?

        • Glad you enjoyed that variation on the recipe! I think a cranberry or fig spread would be a great option. Please LMK how they turn out!

        • I have made them with roast beef and horseradish cheese. Very yummy!

          • — Csrol on October 20, 2022
          • Reply
      • You’re right Jen, I should off made extra! ended up making another batch because it was delicious!! Great recipe! Thank you

        • — Loanne Ly on February 7, 2021
        • Reply
        • 🙂

          • — Jenn on February 8, 2021
          • Reply
  • If I prepare these the day before, should I put the sauce on the day before or not until I’m ready to bake it?
    I’ve made this once and loved them! But, this time I really need to prepare ahead and then bake next day-how best to do?

    Thank you!

    • You really can go either way, Margaret. If you do put the sauce on ahead of time, they won’t be soggy once baked. 🙂

  • These are delicious, I’ll be making them again real soon! My only change was using shaved Black Forest Ham, a favorite of ours, and leaving the seeds off. Plus, I basted mine a few times with the butter sauce while they baked. Sooo yummy!

  • Tried the turkey, sundried tomato pesto and provolone, and wasn’t thrilled with the result. I think it might work with a milder cheese–all I had was smoked provolone and it pretty much took over the sandwich. Now thinking about sliced meatballs, BBQ sauce and cheddar…

    • Made these tonight and my husband and 4 yr old twin boys LOVED them. They were devoured in nothing flat. My one son kept saying, ‘mommy these are so good’ and he’s a picky one! Will definitely make them for Sunday football

  • These are great! Would love to hear some more suggested variations. Maybe sun dried tomato pesto with turkey and provolone? And how about breakfast–would pre-cooked scrambled eggs end up over cooked?

    • I love the sound of the turkey combo you mentioned! I also think eggs would work here; you could make them in a sheet pan like in this recipe as it would make it easier to lay them on the rolls. I don’t think overcooking would be a big problem. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

  • Hi Jenn,

    I would love to make these sliders, but I don’t eat mustard or even mayonnaise. What would be another good spread so that they are still flavorful and maybe not so dry? I will making these with turkey and cheddar because I’m also not a fan of ham or swiss.

    I’m am definately a fan. Thanks!

    • Hi Tiffany, I think pesto would work nicely as an alternative to mayo and mustard. Hope that helps!

      • Recently tried these with 1/4 c red pepper jelly instead of mustard to appease one finicky guest. Turned out fabulous!

  • Would love to make these for a super bowl party! I’m allergic to shellfish and seafood-is there an acceptable substitute for Worcestershire sauce since it contains anchovies?

    • Hi, you could swap out the Worcestershire sauce for soy sauce. Hope you enjoy the sliders!

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