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Hawaiian ham and cheese sandwiches (tailgate sandwiches)

My little boys and I arrived home at noon today from summer vacation #3. I am extremely excited about the idea of getting back into a routine. Even Elijah, who typically wants to be away from home socializing and playing and doing anything but being cooped up at home, excitedly said, "We're HOME! I love my home! I'm going to cuddle with my home!" I would relive our summer all over again in a heartbeat (and I plan to next year--in a westerly direction), but I am so. glad. to. be. home. 

This week's agenda? Laundry. Limited electronics. Fruits and veggies. Early bedtimes. Smoothies. Cleaning. School clothes shopping. Exercise. Sleep. Repeat. Repeat.

I have been wanting to try a version of these very popular sandwiches for a while now. They were so good that I got busy pigging out and forgot to put them in the fridge overnight. I sadly had to throw most of them away and I am still upset about it. Let that be a lesson. Or something like that. I'm not one to preach lessons, unless it's by accident.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with the bottom halves of 20 small Hawaiian sweet rolls, setting the top halves aside.

Top with 1 pound of black forest ham deli slices.

Top with 20 slices of provolone cheese. Yes, that is a lot of cheese, but you will thank me in about 30 minutes.

Generously spread cream cheese onto the bottoms of the sweet roll tops (one 8-oz. container will take care of them all). Place the tops over the cheese slices in the pan, lining them up with the bottoms of the rolls.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dried minced onions

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mix well and pour evenly over the tops of the sandwiches in the pan.

Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and sandwiches are warmed through. Cut at the seams with a sharp knife and serve warm! These are addicting, to-die-for snacks or appetizers and can even be a satisfying meal. 

(Refrigerate leftovers, if there are any.)

ENJOY! Have a great week, friends.

Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sandwiches (aka Tailgate Sandwiches)

Crowd-pleasing, delicious, gooey sandwiches that make bellies happy!

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Aug 12, 2013

Serves: 20

Total time: 45 min

Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sandwiches


  • 20 small Hawaiian sweet rolls, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 pound deli black forest ham, sliced
  • 20 slices provolone cheese
  • 8-oz. container spreadable cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with the bottom halves of the sweet rolls. Top with the ham, then the provolone cheese slices. Spread the cream cheese onto the bottoms of the sweet roll tops and place them in a layer on top of the cheese.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and pour evenly over tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle the poppy seeds over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until warmed through. Cut at the seams with a knife and serve warm!



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Reader Comments (60)

These look delicious, but I do have a question. In your 2nd paragraph you stated forgot to put them in the fridge overnight." I sadly had to throw most of them away" yet in the instructions there is no mention of refrigeration. Just was wondering.

Thank you

08.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Hi Diane! I'm just assuming there will not be leftovers, as in my situation. :) If you do have leftovers, definitely refrigerate, as there is meat and dairy involved. I hope this helps!

08.12.2013 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

These sandwiches look so yummy.

08.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis

Wow. 3 summer vacations?? Must be nice! These look great, can't wait to try out the recipe. Thanks!

08.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Just throwing in my two cents.... I make these with cheddar instead of provolone. I also make them to night before and let them marinate in the fridge overnight/all day before cooking. YUM!

08.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I've heard about these sandwiches but I've never tried them before, I'm so intrigued!

I am in a freezer exchange group- if I threw these together and froze them to you think they would still bake nice?

08.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

I don't like the taste of mustard. Do you think I could sub with something else? And I keep trying to think of something to sub but can't. Do you have any suggestions? LOL I think these look delicious. Maybe I could just skip the mustard?

08.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

Hi Michele! Honestly, you can even taste the mustard in the final product. If you're worried about it, just omit it and you won't be missing out on a thing! Hope this helps!

08.25.2013 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Hi I am going to make these this weekend and have a couple question since I do not like ham could I substitute an Italian style ham like capicola? Also most of the recipes for this use Dijon mustard does it make a difference which one I use?

08.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Hi Angela! I think any type of ham would be great with these. I am not a fan of the Dijon flavor, but if you don't mind it feel free to substitute! Let me know how they turn out!

08.28.2013 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

I made these last year for an Alabama football game at my house, they were gone before the game even got started! I have also made these as a meal, they are awesome, did not use the topping though, I just used butter. I have also used turkey & ham combined!

08.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Smith

Hi Leigh! I love the idea of using both turkey and ham and just butter on top. This will be my next version! Thanks!!

08.29.2013 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

I'm thinking about making these for a wine tasting I'm hosting at the end o the month. Do these get soggy? If I make them I'll have to let them set on the table as part I the buffet. Should I put the sauce on the side as a dip??

Thank you for any pointers!!

09.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

I made a version of this with Swiss recently. It called for onions sauteed in Worcestershire, 1 1/2 sticks of butter and dijon and spreading 1/2 on the bun bottoms and topping with the other half and poppy seeds. I am not a mustard fan but it was very good and the addition of the onions was brilliant without being too overpowering. I tried with 1 stick of butter and put it all inside but it was dry on top so I melted more. Next time I will divide the mixture and keep the fat content down.
They will set on a buffet nicely and are great reheated as well. Easy and delicious.

09.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHandful

Hi Jackie! If you serve them right after baking, they will not get soggy. Bake as directed and I think you'll be happy!

09.3.2013 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Hi! Have you (or anyone) thought of how these can be done at an actual tailgate outside? Maybe covering them and just placing them on the grill? I'd like to make them this weekend and we will be outside at a stadium. Thanks! -Rebecca

09.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Hi Rebecca! I'm probably too late in my reply (sorry!), but maybe you could bring a little tailgate grill along for warming (after fully cooking them at home beforehand)? Let me know how it went if you gave it a shot!

09.8.2013 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Any ideas how you could do these as a "breakfast version" with eggs? We have a late morning event I would love to take these to!

09.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

What a great recipe! It looks delicious!

09.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJustOneMoreBite

Made these today - a bit too rich for me, but the hubs loved them! I guess that says a lot since he doesn't really like ham LOL. I'm also not a big fan of mustard, but I didn't want to leave it out so I used dijon and there's not even a hint of 'mustard flavor' in the final product so if I make them again, i'll put on my big girl panties and use the yellow mustard LOL.

09.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

These sound amazing. I'd like to do them for Christmas Brunch. Can the "topping" be put on the inside instead of on top?

09.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKara

Does the topping get sticky on the top or does it kinda crust? I'm wondering how messy the fingers get holding these before biting into them. Looks great and must try.

09.15.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabelle

Hello, I've made these several times and each time they don't cook all the way through. The middle is left cold and unmelted. I've left them in the oven for an hour and I'm still having this problem. I thought about cutting back on the amount of ham and cheese. The one thing I do differently is wrap them in aluminum foil instead of putting them in a baking dish so maybe that is my problem? Any suggestions?

09.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

Hi Stephanie! Try using shredded cheese to avoid this problem. I don't think wrapping them in foil would matter. Maybe you could try splitting the recipe in two and using two dishes or foil pouches? Hope this helps!

09.18.2013 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

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