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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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  • Wow! my kids loved these. I had leftover hamburger buns to use up and this elevated our typical ham and cheese sandwiches. The sauce is the flavor bomb. Thanks so much ! I’ll be making this for parties more often.

  • Hello,

    I am planning to make these yummy sandwiches and tomato soup to deliver to a friend’s family. Should I prepare completely (day of) and then refridgerate and send the baking instructions? I’m wondering if the buns will get soggy with the sauce on them? Thanks!

    • Hi Ruth, That sounds like a good plan — they won’t be soggy once baked. 🙂

  • These look delicious. Any idea what the European equivalent of a Hawaiian roll is? Many thanks!

    • Hi Nessa, Hawaiian rolls are a bit sweet so I think a brioche-type roll would be a good substitute. Hope that helps!

  • These are the best! I make this at least twice a month during the winter.

  • Extremely addicting; the only thing I changed was to half the amount of poppy seeds because my kiddos don’t care for them.

  • I have made this recipe several times. I am not a fan of Hawaiian rolls, so I have used regular dinner rolls and slider buns. This is a great recipe to take to a gathering and just pop in the oven onsite or bake, wrap, and carry in a thermal container.

    • — Cherryl Gilker
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this recipe! I added sheet-cooked eggs and brought them for a breakfast potluck, they were gone in 10 minutes! The mustard-poppyseed brush on top really killed it (in the good way!) Even our uptight manager made a point to find me and compliment how yummy these were 🙂 I will be making these again for football Sunday 🙂 thankyou!

  • These are so good and easy to make but I cut the sliders into fours to make
    hors d’oeuvres. Just put a toothpick in them. It was perfect with all the other finger foods I had. Everyone loved them even my picky eater son.

  • These are excellent and so easy! I usually make 2 pans – one with poppy seeds and one without.

  • Hi Jen;
    I am from Canada and love all your recipes and also purchased your new Cookbook. Would it be okay to use Mini Brioche buns there are twelve in a pkg. as I can’t find the Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.

    Thanks, Karen

    • — Karen Sinclair
    • Reply
    • Sure, Karen; I think that will work well — and so happy you’re enjoying the recipes!

  • Hi Jenn! My husband doesn’t like Swiss cheese. What other cheeses do you think would work well for these?

    • — Elizabeth Dean
    • Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, I think Cheddar, Munster or Colby Jack cheese would work well here.

  • Hi Jenn, can I make your ham and cheese sliders ahead of time and freeze them?

    I’m having a house full of company over Labor Day and I’d like to get most of cooking done ahead of time.

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Pam, I have never tried freezing these, but they should freeze well (unbaked). Just keep in mind that you’ll need to allow a few extra minutes for baking if frozen.

  • Easy and delicious! Made these for a casino party and they were a big hit. I used King’s Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls and substituted dried minced onions for the poppy seeds. Your blog is my go-to for recipes because they are all so, so good. Many have become our family’s favorite.

  • These are fantastic! We made them just as you described with no alterations and they were great. Easy and delicious. I highly recommend!!
    We made them again later and used some leftover Brie which was delicious. My brother is a vegetarian, so for his we made cheeese-only, and those were also hit.

  • I have been making the ham and cheese tailgate sandwiches during football; basketball and golf program for my husband and his buddies. These sandwiches are their favorites and most requested snack.
    They give the sandwiches 6 stars !!!

  • these are delicious and a crowd pleaser. I have made with and without the poopy seeds – not necessary at all.

  • I made the Ham & Cheese Tailgate Sliders for our Super Bowl party. What a hit! They were the best ones I have ever made! Many people asked me for the recipe. Absolutely delicious!

    I have made several of Jenn’s recipes in the few weeks since I discovered this site. All have been wonderful! Due to that, I have pre-ordered Jenn’s cookbook. Can’t wait for it to be delivered! Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Colette Dryden
    • Reply
    • Thank you, Colette. 😊 So happy you’re enjoying the recipes!

  • Substituted peppered turkey for ham and yellow mustard and mayo in sandwiches. Substituted rice vinegar for worchestershire sauce in the butter sauce.

  • This recipe is so simple and DELICIOUS! i made it this past weekend as appetizers for my son’s birthday party it was a hit. I followed the directions, the sandwiches came out perfectly toasted, the poppy seeds give it a “pop” of flavor! I opted for smoked ham (cheaper) and light swiss cheese. EVERYONE LOVED IT! This recipe has simple, delicious and a crowd approved. I liked the fact that it could be done in a large batch to feed many!

  • I made this for a bunch of teenage boys yesterday….gone in less than five minutes!! Score!! Thanks again for another amazing recipe.

  • These sliders are AMAZING and so easy to make. I shared the recipe with my best friend and she made them for a party and everyone loved them. I made a batch last weekend and my daughter almost ate the entire plate herself! This is a keeper!!! Thank you!

    • — Cathy Chateauvert
    • Reply
  • I would like to add egg to these sliders to use for brunch. What would you do? Scrambled ?

    • Yes, I think scrambled eggs would work hear. I’d love to hear how they turn out with the addition of eggs!

  • I had this recipe saved for quite some time and finally made it this weekend after Thanksgiving, when my house was filled with college kids home for the holiday.
    It’s a quick and easy recipe to pull together and they loved them…not one left from a double batch!

  • A great tasting snack Very easy to make.
    Also make a quick dinner

  • These are always a hit and everyone wants the recipe!

  • Made these a couple of months ago for casual guests, and my husband has been requesting them ever since. Now that football season has arrived, I plan to keep these ingredients on hand for last minute get-togethers. These were so good my husband even asked about the leftovers.

  • I made 75 of these for my kids high school end of season band party – HUGE hit! Super easy, but extra special.
    Thanks Jenn!!! Hours later and they are still raving about them 🙂

    • I have about 13 adults and 12 kids to feed. Any idea on how many I should count on making?

      • Hi Leilani, a serving is 1 slider so I could count on at least one per person (or maybe more depending upon what else you’re serving). Hope everyone enjoys!

  • My family loves these as is. I am a pescetarian and have tried using apple instead of the ham. It was a bust. Remove the apple and it was a great grilled cheese. Do you have any suggestions to make these without meat?

    • Hi Jane, glad these have been a hit with your family! Hmmm….have you ever tried vegetarian deli slices (like the kind by Litelife?

  • These were amazing. I made two batches to feed to college age students. They snarled them down. Delicious and thanks for making their day. Also made your chocolate cupcakes and spicy pecans. All were a hit!

  • Like everyone else, I love these and so does my family. They always test better if someone else makes them though 😉

  • We love these little sandwiches at my house, great food for watching a game! I think the recommended amount of ham and swiss is too much, so I normally cut back.

  • This is the BEST! So easy, and you can improvise with the bread. I never have unsalted butter, so I just skip the salt.

  • you say bake for 22-25 minutes, but at what temperature?

    • It’s in the top paragraph of the instructions– 350°F. Enjoy!

  • This recipe is amazing. My daughter and husband, who are very picky eaters, actually loved these. I, of course, didn’t tell them what was in them since that usually freaks them out. I just love how much flavor these little sandwiches have. I made the recipe exactly as you have it except I didn’t have and unsalted butter. I definitely see why unsalted is better because they did turn out slightly salty but they were loved anyway. Next time I make them I will make sure I use unsalted butter.

    • You can also just skip adding the salt if you don’t have unsalted butter.

  • I made this as one of my finger foods when I had about 20 friends over not long ago. It was not a sit down dinner but all finger foods so my guests could mingle around the kitchen and talk. One of my guest summed it up so well, she said when she bit into it, it tasted like heaven in her mouth and it was one of the best things she had ever had. Super easy, I actually assembled it 10 minutes before my guests arrived having the poppy butter topping already mixed and ready. For something that taste so good, it was so easy to make. I just love recipes like this one. I would give it 6 stars if I could, just make sure you stick to the recipe and don’t skip any steps. It’s also very filling. It seems like you’re adding too much cheese and ham but believe me, the finished product is a perfect balance. And the poppy butter topping adds a lovely rich tasty crunch.

  • I love this recipe. it Is quick and easy. I was just wondering do I cover it while it’s cooking or do you cook it uncovered? I’ve seen similar recipes like this and they covered it with aluminum foil.

    • — Jerrika Grissette
    • Reply
    • Hi Jerrika, they get baked uncovered. (And glad you like them!)

  • These are so easy to make and yet give the impression they are extraordinary. Made them for a group and everyone wanted to know what the secret was. Total home run/touchdown with these.

  • Have made a similar recipe with the addition of brown sugar-is that advisable for this recipe? Also when sandwiches fully assembled, wouldn’t it b better to cut the sandwiches and spread them apart a little so the marinade drips down on all sides of the sandwiches and crisps them equally? Do u cover them while baking and uncover for last 10minutes?

    • Hi Betsey, I think you could get away with adding brown sugar here. And regarding cutting the sandwiches, I think you could do that, but don’t really think it’s necessary. I’d love to hear how they turn out with the brown sugar if you prepare them that way!

  • Made these for a party, and they were a huge hit! Thank you so much!

  • Could you make these with say, regular slider buns? I’ve had a difficult time finding the correct dinner rolls and I’ve bought Pepperidge Farm Soft and Sweet slider buns instead. Would they taste the same?

    • Yes, I think they would work Jill. It would help if they are square– it will definitely make the assembling of these easier. Please let me know how they turn out!

  • I made these for our Easter brunch yesterday and they were really good! And so easy, too. Next time I’ll make a double batch so there will be a few leftover!

    Jenn, every recipe that I’ve tried has been delicious!

    • I am planning on tripling the recipe so I would like to make all the sandwiches with the Dijon mustard and cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day I would make the sauce and drizzle, and than cook and serve. Should that work? Carol

      • Sure, Carol, that should work. Hope you enjoy!

  • May these be heated a couple of hours before serving. I need to serve them at a large informal afternoon reception.
    Thank you

    • Yes, Helen. They are delicious served room temperature.

  • What oven temp do you cook these sliders on and what rack in the oven?

    • They should be baked at 350 on the center rack of the oven. Enjoy!

  • Hi. Can I use regular sesame or black sesame seeds instead of poppy or will they burn? Thank you.

    • Hi Ria, I’m concerned they would burn, but you could just omit them or used minced onions (like McCormick’s) instead. Hope you enjoy!

  • I made these for our super bowl party yesterday – they turned out amazing and looked just like the photo on the website! As always, great job Jenn!!

    • — Tamera Gjesdal
    • Reply
  • I’ve made a very similar recipe before and they are a great addition to pot lucks and other large gatherings. At one point we were left with LOTS of leftovers from a meat and cheese tray that I made into sliders. We had turkey with colby jack, roast beef with cheddar and ham with swiss. All were delicious!

  • can you suggest something instead of poppy seeds? hubby is not allowed any seeds or nuts. or would it still be good without? seems like it would be missing a crunch factor…

    • Hi Karen, Minced dried onions would work — but you can also just leave them off. Enjoy!

  • Can you use another meat? Brisket?

    • Yes, you can use any deli meat you like, but I would think brisket would be too “wet” for these sandwiches and make the bread soggy.

  • Would these freeze well? And if so, would you cook them first and freeze?

    • David, unfortunately with the deli meat, I don’t think these will freeze well– sorry!

      • David, I have made a version of these for more than 30 years. My recipe calls for spreading the butter mixture on the inside of the rolls–both sides. The butter is at room temp, not melted, so it spreads. I then freeze them without cooking first. They work fine for me. Just remember that any bread product should not be frozen long term, so try to use them within a few weeks to a month. Also, protect them by wrapping in foil then store in a large freezer bag. Thaw in the fridge then heat covered with foil.

  • This is almost exactly how I’ve always made these, but my recipe adds a couple tablespoons of dried onions to the butter mix. Always a big hit at parties. Easy and tasty.

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