Football Sandwiches

These tailgate-friendly ham and cheese sliders are baked in a tangy poppy-seed-butter sauce.

  • Serves

    Makes 12 sandwiches

  • Cook

    35 minutes


By Nealey Dozier Thompson

Updated on February 6, 2024

A staple of Junior League cookbooks, these miniature ham and Swiss sandwiches are doused in a tangy butter-poppy-seed sauce and then baked in the oven. This recipe is adapted from blogger Nealey Dozier Thompson, the winner of SAVEUR’s September 2011 Home Cook Challenge Recipe Contest. She writes that the recipe “was passed down to me from my boyfriend's mother. She is famous for them and makes hundreds each and every SEC football season. The beauty of these is that they can be served fresh from the oven, or they can be served at room temperature. Trust me, they may not seem like much, but they can move a grown man to his knees!” Make a batch for Super Bowl Sunday or your next party, and watch the crowd go wild.


  • One 12-pack pull-apart dinner rolls, such as King’s Hawaiian
  • 14 oz. sliced Swiss cheese
  • 12 oz. thinly sliced honey ham
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard, preferably spicy brown or Dijon
  • 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce


Step 1

Using a serrated knife, slice the rolls in half horizontally. Transfer the bottom halves, cut-side up, to a large baking dish. Top evenly with the cheese, followed by the ham. Cover with the tops of the rolls.

Step 2

In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, mustard, poppy seeds, and Worcestershire sauce. Drizzle the sauce evenly over the tops of the sandwiches, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and set aside for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours. 

Step 3

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are warmed through, 20–25 minutes. Slice between the rolls, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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