How to make sliders
Many of us have just rounded up a season of grad parties. Now we’re in the throes of summer gatherings. Soon enough, weekends will be filled with game days and tailgate parties.
As always, my favorite part about all the parties is The Food. I’m for sure not alone in this. Right?
I mean, I know most people don’t read about national food holidays for fun like I do, but at least tell me y’all relate with the party food thing. [If you do read about national food holidays for fun, we need to have coffee.]
My favorite party food recipes involve 3 things: they’ve got to be crowd-pleasing, preferably a finger food, and they must be make-ahead easy. Some of you know my obsession with prep-ahead recipes. I’m all about being part of the party; I’d rather not be on kitchen duty when I could be mingling and munching.
So. Say hello to sliders. They may be the easiest, most satisfying party food yet. We’re dishing up party ham and cheese sliders, which are a favorite combination. This party food recipe has all the bases covered: it can be prepped ahead, it’s supremely flavorful, and no forks needed. Napkins optional, but somewhat recommended.
Recommended Ingredients for Party Sliders
- The quality of ham is key, as it provides much of the flavor in these sliders. I really like deli style ham that’s sliced ultra-thin. It provides the most intense flavor per bite.
- That said, feel free to use whatever ham you like; if you have leftover baked ham, definitely slice it up thin and make good use of it.
- Sharp white cheddar is usually my cheese of choice, as it melts really well and provides delicious flavor. Feel free to use your favorite cheese.
- We like the mild sweetness of Hawaiian style dinner rolls in this slider recipe. Feel free to use your favorite dinner rolls as well.
- The rolls are generously smeared with onion chive cream cheese, with a sprinkle of garlic powder. So so good. Regular cream cheese with a dash of onion powder can work in a pinch.
- The garlicky, butter sauce that’s brushed over these ham and cheese sliders makes them finger-licking great. In the sauce: onion, mustard, garlic, and real butter. A combo like that is guaranteed to taste irresistible.
Techniques for making the best baked sliders
After plenty of party slider practice, I have some helpful tips:
- Be sure your cream cheese is very soft. I microwave mine 20-30 seconds to be sure it’s extra spreadable. Nobody wants to wrestle with unsoftened cream cheese.
- It’s easier to spread the cream cheese over the rolls while they’re still attached; then you can separate them for the filling layers.
- It’s definitely easier for guests to pick up their sandwiches if they’re separated prior to baking, or sliced after baking.
- An easy option for making a larger batch of ham and cheese sliders is to use a large sheet pan. You can make more in one shot, and it’s easier to serve that way.
- If you’re prepping the sandwiches ahead of time, do everything up until the the point of brushing sauce on top. Don’t brush any sauce on top until you’re ready to bake and serve. That helps to prevent the bottoms from getting too soggy.
- Ham and cheese sliders are best served soon after baking; they’ll be melty, hot, and delish! You may want to slice/separate sandwiches so they’re easy to grab.
- Leftover sliders can be reheated in a toaster oven or regular oven, but watch closely so they don’t burn on top.
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Did you make this?
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Party Ham and Cheese Sliders Recipe
For the Sliders:
- - 12 count package Hawaiian style dinner rolls, or rolls of your choice
- - 5 oz onion chive cream cheese, very soft
- - 1 tsp garlic powder
- - 10 oz thinly sliced ham, cut to bite size (I use Bayonne ham)
- - 6oz thinly sliced sharp white cheddar
For the Topping Sauce:
- - 4 TB real butter
- - 1/4 cup minced onion
- - 1 TB minced garlic
- - 1 TB chopped parsley
- - 1 tsp mustard
- Prepare Sandwiches: Slice dinner rolls in half horizontally. Stir softened cream cheese with 1 tsp garlic powder until well combined and spreadable (I microwave cream cheese 20 sec or so, to get it extra soft.) Evenly spread cream cheese mixture onto the top/bottom centers of split rolls. Place bottom halves onto baking sheet. Evenly layer each bottom roll with ham and cheese. Place top halves of dinner rolls over the filling. If not baking right away, cover airtight (I often use another sheet pan of the same size, or just cover tightly with foil) and chill until ready to bake.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Make the Topping Sauce: In a saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients over low heat. Stir until melted and incorporated. When ready to bake sliders, Brush butter mixture evenly over the tops and edges of sliders. Try to get most of the butter mixture to sit on top of rolls.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melty. Remove foil and bake 8-10 minutes more or until tops are nicely golden; watch closely towards end of bake time so that tops don't burn. If your sliders are still connected, carefully cut into individual sliders so they're easy for people to grab and go. Be careful, they'll be very hot!
- Ham and cheese sliders are best served soon after baking; they'll be melty, hot, and delish! You may want to slice/separate sandwiches so they're easy to grab.
- Leftover sliders can be reheated in a toaster oven or regular oven, but watch closely so they don't burn on top.
- Recipe can be doubled, following same instructions.