Table of Contents
  1. These slider sandwiches are a sure-fire crowd pleaser.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. Other appetizer recipes you'll love.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Crowd Pleaser Ham & Cheese Sliders Recipe

When it comes to tailgate parties, there’s nothing better than these ham and cheese slider sandwiches. With a combination of fig jam, caramelized onions, smoked gouda, and ham, it’s both a salty and sweet treat. Plus, they’re super easy to make!

These slider sandwiches are a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

These slider sandwiches take the idea of a funeral sandwich and turn the flavor way up. Growing up, I always hated the name funeral sandwich, which seems to insinuate sadness. But the sandwiches are actually amazingly delicious. They’re quick to put together, feed lots of people, and are loved by pretty much everyone who eats them.

To update the flavors, this recipe has a sweet and savory fig jam that’s offset with Dijon mustard. And while the jam may sound like enough of a draw, caramelized onions are the star of the sandwich. The onion takes time to caramelize on the stove, but the result is a sweet flavor that’s unmatched. Black Forest ham adds a salty, smoky flavor, and smoked gouda cheese pulls everything together.

Can you guess the one thing this recipe doesn’t change? The sweet bread rolls. They’re everyone’s favorite, and I would never consider using anything different.

Top of sandwich buns topped with poppy seeds showing their brown color after baking in the oven.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

The reason these sandwiches work so well as an appetizer, whether it’s for a tailgating party or a funeral (let’s hope not the latter), is because the ingredients are so few. A few key components work so well together to create something magical. Here are some of the important ingredients:

  • Caramelized onions are a pivotal part of this recipe. As the onion slowly sautés in butter, its sugars darken and become sweet. The onion’s flavors pull together the sweet and savory components of the rest of the sandwich.
  • Black Forest ham is a cured smoked meat with a deep but not overpowering flavor profile. To save on time and work, purchase the thinly sliced lunch meat at your deli counter.
  • Fig jam has a definite sweetness to it, but it works so well in both sweet and savory applications. When layered into this sandwich, the sweetness from the jam simply highlights the other flavors and marries everything together.
Marble countertop with all the ingredients needed to make slider sandwiches including small sandwich buns, ham, mustard, gouda cheese, fig jam, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

Once the onions are caramelizing on the stove, these slider sandwiches go together so quickly, and that’s the best part about them! In four simple steps, you’ll have a whole host of sandwiches to serve. Here are the steps to make this recipe:

  1. Caramelize the onions. To a skillet on the stove, add butter and let it melt. Cut an onion into slices and add to the skillet. Let the onions brown and begin to caramelize. After about 20 minutes of sautéing, sprinkle the salt over the onions. Once fully caramelized, remove the onions from the heat and set them aside.
  1. Assemble the sandwiches. Slice the sandwich buns in half and lay the bottom halves in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Using a brush or a knife, spread on the Dijon mustard, and reserve two teaspoons for use later. To the top halves, spread on the prepared fig jam. On top of the Dijon mustard, layer the ham, caramelized onions, and shredded Gouda cheese. Then place the top part of each sandwich bun on top of the cheese.
  1. Brush the sandwiches with butter. To the melted butter, add the remaining Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce, and mix the three ingredients together. To the top of each sandwich bun, brush or spread the melted butter. With any remaining melted butter, simply pour it on top of the buns, allowing the butter to run down the sides. Then top each sandwich with poppy seeds.
  1. Bake the sandwiches. When ready to bake, place the baking pan in the oven set to 350°F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Wait to salt the onions until they are mostly caramelized. This will prevent too much liquid from being drawn out of the onions while they’re browning. Adding the salt earlier would cause them to caramelize much slower.
  • The sandwich buns that are used for this recipe usually come from the store as one perforated bundle. You can either slice the entire bundle in half and add the toppings or tear apart each bun and then slice it in half and add the toppings. Either way works. I prefer to tear them apart, assemble them, and fit them into the baking dish.
  • When brushing the tops of each sandwich bun, opt for salted butter. The salted butter will give a bit of additional saltiness and is a secret flavor bomb to make these even more addictive.
  • While baking, if the tops of the sandwiches seem like they are getting a bit too brown, you can place a sheet of tin foil on the top. This will preserve the golden brown color while allowing the rest of the sandwich to continue to bake.
Hand holding a ham and cheese slider above the rest of the sandwiches in a white baking dish below.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can this be made with different slices of meat such as turkey or traditional ham?

Yes, the meat can be substituted for any variety of lunch meat. But the Black Forest ham has a smoky flavor that works well in the recipe.

Is there a different type of jam that can be used on these sandwiches in place of the fig jam?

Fig jam has the ability to work easily with sweet or savory foods. I would not substitute the jam for another flavor. Many other jams are too sweet and have a fruit-forward flavor.

Can these sandwiches be baked ahead and reheated before serving?

Yes, sort of. The butter that is brushed over the sandwiches before baking soaks into the buns and browns the tops. After the sandwiches are stored in the refrigerator as leftovers, the bottoms can become soggy. Reheat on the bottom rack of the oven to crisp them up slightly before eating.

Watch how to make this recipe.

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your dessert table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they too can make, enjoy, and love!

White baking dish sitting on marble surface with baked ham and cheese slider sandwiches inside after coming out of the oven.

Crowd Pleaser Ham & Cheese Sliders

5 from 2 votes
When it comes to tailgate parties, there's nothing better than these ham and cheese slider sandwiches. With a combination of fig jam, caramelized onions, smoked gouda, and ham, it's both a salty and sweet treat. Plus, they're super easy to make!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ large onions sliced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 large sweet sandwich buns
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (reserve 2 tsp)
  • ½ cup fig jam
  • 12 oz (12 slices) Black Forest ham
  • 4 oz smoked Gouda cheese shredded
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds

Instructions
 

  • Melt 2 tbsp butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the sliced onions. Slowly sauté the onions, stirring occasionally. Once the onion begins to brown, after about 8-10 minutes, continue to sauté until they are reduced in size and deeply browned, an additional 8-10 minutes. Add salt to the onions and remove them from the heat to cool.
    1 ½ large onions, ½ tsp salt
  • Slice the buns in half and arrange the bottom halves of the buns in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Brush the bottoms of the buns with Dijon mustard, reserving 2 tsp. Fold one piece of ham to fit on each bun and top with about 1 tbsp of the caramelized onions, using up all the onion. Evenly distribute the shredded Gouda cheese. Spread the top half of each bun with fig jam and set it on the sandwich.
    12 large sweet sandwich buns, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (reserve 2 tsp), 12 oz (12 slices) Black Forest ham, 4 oz smoked Gouda cheese, ½ cup fig jam
  • Preheat the oven the 350°F.
  • Mix the reserved 2 tsp Dijon mustard and the Worcestershire sauce with the melted butter. Brush the tops of the sandwiches with the butter mixture and drizzle the remaining butter over the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds and place in the preheated oven. Bake until the tops are golden and the cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes.
    4 tbsp butter, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp poppy seeds

Notes

  • Wait to salt the onions until they are mostly caramelized. This will prevent too much liquid from being drawn out of the onions while they’re browning. Adding the salt earlier would cause them to caramelize much slower.
  • The sandwich buns that are used for this recipe usually come from the store as one perforated bundle. You can either slice the entire bundle in half and add the toppings or tear apart each bun and then slice it in half and add the toppings. Either way works. I prefer to tear them apart, assemble them, and fit them into the baking dish.
  • When brushing the tops of each sandwich bun, opt for salted butter. The salted butter will give a bit of additional saltiness and is a secret flavor bomb to make these even more addictive.
  • While baking, if the tops of the sandwiches seem like they are getting a bit too brown, you can place a sheet of tin foil on the top. This will preserve the golden brown color while allowing the rest of the sandwich to continue to bake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 334kcal
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Baking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Those look and sound delicious! I can’t tell by looking at the buns as you refer to them as sliders and/or sandwich buns. Are they the small slider buns or regular size sandwich buns? I’ve made many of your recipes and they’re always a hit with my family. Thanks for posting.

  2. 5 stars
    Salty cheese, sweet jam and carmalized onion I mean really how could these not be amazing! Made these this evening and they were delicious. I have made the traditional ones for our Super Bowl parties in the past. Can’t wait to serve this updated, sophisticated version to our guest this year.