Hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole in an aluminum disposable baking dish.
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Baked Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich Casserole

Last updated on September 16, 2023 by Liza Hawkins

I first made this baked hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole in 2008, years after a coworker described a version she grew up with. She seemed astonished I’d never tried a bite, let alone heard of it. After trying my hand at baking a tray, and eating many of them, I can see why!

I’m not sure what took me so long to make the casserole, except that it’s hard to fathom how something just made with rolls, cheese, and ham could be that good.

But, ooohhhh … this hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole is that good!

Like, supremely that good.

Hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole is the perfect savory recipe to feed a crowd on game day, for a holiday, or just because!
Beyond the savory, ooey-gooey cheesy goodness, my love for this recipe is further compounded by the fact that it can be made ahead.

I love a good make-ahead meal, particularly when I’m hosting a crowd.

Let’s face it … there are only so many hours in the day, and I use up all twenty-four as it is.

So, make-ahead meals also allow time to interact with guests rather than having to prep and cook in the kitchen the whole time.

(Though, as an introvert, I don’t always mind a little time alone over the stove…)

One of the things I appreciate most about this hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole is that it can be quickly thrown together, left to sit overnight so the flavors can all dance around together, and then all that’s left do is pop it in the oven day-of.
Ham and Cheese Sandwich Casserole
AND, if that wasn’t easy enough, this dish is great served hot, but it’s also terrific at room temp, which means you don’t need to worry about keeping it warm if it’s meant to be a to-go potluck dish!

Weighing Your Ham Options

When it comes to making this yummy baked hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole, your choice of ham can make all the difference. Whether you’re perusing the grocery store deli counter, picking up prepackaged ham, or seeking out the expertise of a butcher, there’s a world of options to explore. From the thickness of the slices to various seasoned and flavored varieties, let’s dive into the ham choices that can elevate your casserole game.

The Deli Counter Delight

At the grocery store deli counter, you’ll find a smorgasbord of ham options. Deli ham is typically sliced thin, making it ideal for layering in your hot sandwich casserole. Thin slices of ham allow the flavors to meld together seamlessly, creating a harmonious bite in every forkful.

But wait — you might wonder, what types of ham can I find at the deli counter?

Well, your options can range from classic smoked ham to honey-glazed ham, and even spiced ham with a hint of pepper. These hams offer a variety of flavor profiles, from sweet to savory, allowing you to tailor your casserole to your taste preferences. And if you’re a fan of that smoky, slightly salty goodness, smoked ham is a timeless favorite that never disappoints.

Prepackaged Perks

If convenience is your game, prepackaged ham is there for you. Prepackaged ham comes in airtight containers, ensuring freshness and easy storage. These hams are pre-sliced and ready to go, making the assembly of your casserole a breeze. These days you even have options ranging from “shaved” to “carving station” thicknesses and everything in-between!

While prepackaged ham may not offer the same artisanal experience as a butcher or deli counter, it can be a reliable choice when you’re short on time. Look for options labeled “oven-roasted” or “smoked” for a boost of flavor that complements your casserole’s cheesy goodness.

Butcher’s Bounty

For those who crave the utmost quality and a personalized touch, a visit to the local butcher can be a game-changer. Butchers are known for their expertise in meat selection, and they can provide you with slices of ham that will take your casserole to the next level.

Like the deli counter, when you choose ham from a butcher, you have the advantage of requesting specific thicknesses that cater to your preferences. Thick-cut ham not only adds a hearty texture to your casserole but also allows the ham’s rich flavor to shine through, balancing the cheesiness of the dish.

Butchers may also offer house-made seasoned ham varieties, such as garlic-infused or herb-crusted ham. These specialty hams can add a unique twist to your casserole, elevating it from a simple dish to a gourmet delight.

Exploring Flavor Combinations

Now that we’ve covered the different sources of ham, let’s talk about flavor combinations. While a classic ham and cheese casserole is undeniably scrumptious, experimenting with diverse ingredients can lead to exciting culinary discoveries.

Imagine layering roast beef and provolone with caramelized onions for a savory, slightly sweet twist on your casserole. The caramelized onions add a touch of richness, balancing the flavors beautifully. This combination is sure to be a hit at any gathering.

On the other hand, picture turkey and brie with a drizzle of raspberry jam. This sweet and savory fusion creates a delightful contrast in your casserole. The creaminess of the brie melds perfectly with the fruity sweetness of the jam, making each bite an explosion of flavors.

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich Casserole

When it comes to crafting the perfect hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole, your ham selection plays a pivotal role. Whether you opt for deli counter finesse, the convenience of prepackaged ham, or the expertise of a butcher, there’s a ham for every occasion.

Thin slices of deli ham provide a seamless layering experience, while prepackaged ham offers convenience without compromising flavor. But if you seek the pinnacle of quality and customization, a butcher’s thick-cut ham can’t be beaten.

Don’t be afraid to explore flavor combinations beyond the classic ham and cheese duo to elevate your casserole game and delight your guests’ taste buds.

The next time you’re whipping up that hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole, remember that the ham you choose can make it not just good, but uniquely good. Enjoy the culinary journey, and happy cooking!

Hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole in an aluminum disposable baking dish.
Yield: 24 Rolls

Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes

This hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole is a favorite party food!


  • 2 12-packs King’s Hawaiian Rolls (party potato rolls are good substitute)
  • 1 pound shaved Virginia ham
  • 24 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onions
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds


  1. Slice the King’s Hawaiian rolls in half.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9X13" baking pan with the bottom halves of the rolls (they should just fit).
  3. Spread half the ham over the rolls, and then layer half the the swiss cheese on top.
  4. Repeat the ham and cheese layers once more. Place the other halves of the rolls on top, press them down gently. Set the baking pan aside.
  5. In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dried onions.
  6. Over medium heat, stir until the butter has melted to create the sauce.
  7. Pour the sauce over top of the rolls in the baking pan, and then sprinkle the tops with the poppy seeds.
  8. Cover the baking pan tightly with aluminum foil, and then refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight (better).

When you’re ready to bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the covered baking dish in the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese has finished melting.


Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 24 mini sandwiches.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 754mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 23g


Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

52 Comments on “Baked Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich Casserole

  1. I have made this before, but mine were so greasy, we couldn’t eat them. I don’t know what I did wrong, but I have seen this on the internet many times & haven’t seen any bad comments about it, so just wondering what I did wrong.

    1. Did you use real butter? Margarine is made from different kinds of oils. This causes that greasy/oily taste and texture.

    2. You do have to use real salted butter, these little sandwiches are so good. They just makes your taste buds do a dance with every bit.

    3. Well they are heavier than the regular sandwich. I even reduce the amount of “sauce” I use. I use enough to keep it from drying out during baking (I believe that is the point of all the butter) but if you don’t use all the butter it is still very good. The recipe incorporates itself just do need to use at less 1/3 of the butter or else you will just have toasted sandwiches.

  2. Did you make TWO pans, dividing the butter mixture among them both? I’ve seen several posts using 1/2 CUP of butter (1 stick) for one pan.

      1. Hi Eileen! I did correct a couple typos in the recipe card — they don’t appear to be the same as the question your asking. Basically, put the bottom half of the rolls down in the pan, then layer half the ham on top, followed by half the cheese. Repeat the meat/cheese layers. Top with the rolls and continue the steps. Hopefully that helps!

  3. Wondering, do you think a pizza version of this would work? Pepperoni, salami, mozzerella, squish of sauce..??? Kid party coming up….

    1. Hmmm… That’s not a bad idea! I’ve never tried it with another combo. What did you decide?

  4. I just made these sandwiches and our whole family loved them!!!! However, I made mine with 1/2 cup of butter ,brown sugar (2 T), some onion power (pinch), garlic and honey Dijon mustard. I just spooned over top and they were not greasy or soggy!


  5. My husband doesn’t eat pork and my four year old refuses to eat dijon. (I’m surrounded by picky eaters) so I’m thinking a lb of fresh deli turkey but what can I use in place of the dijon!? Please and thanks!

    1. Hmmm…. You could use any other mustard if it’s just Dijon he hates. Or, skip mustard altogether and use mayo. Turkey/Provolone would be good, so would roast beef/cheddar. Lots of workable combos!

  6. I just wanted to say I made these last Sunday for lunch after my daughters blessing, and they were a hit! They were gone so fast I didn’t even get to try one (the life of a mom). I’m so grateful I found this recipe just when I needed it! Although I couldn’t find Virginia ham at the last minute, I used Tavern ham instead (not really sure of the difference) but these were SO simple to make. I’ll have to make them again so I can actually taste them! Thanks!

  7. I have been making these wonderful little sammies for several years and they’ve always been a huge hit. I have used several different meat and cheese combinations, but one of the very favorites would be the Reubens. I haven’t found any small rye rolls, so I just use the wheat Hawaiian rolls, and substitute corned beef for the ham (still use swiss cheese). The other thing to make them Reubens, of course, is to add sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing (it’s very easy to make homemade and so good!) I bake them without the dressing then lift the lids and slather it on afterwards. Same butter/poppyseed sauce and same baking time. Hope you try them and love them as much as we do! 🙂

  8. I’ve made these for tailgating and everyone loves them!! I have used at times, Colonial dinner time rolls, which are very small rolls (rectangle shape). They are equally as good in taste, but smaller in size. I haven’t tried deli turkey and provolone, but will the next time I make them. Enjoy your comments. Kathy M.

  9. I make these all the time as well. I absolutely love the wrought iron pan holder in the photo. Do you remember where you bought it?

    1. Thanks! It was from one of those in-home party things. I bought it probably 8-10 years ago, and I can’t remember for the life of me what the name of the company is. “Home” something…

  10. How are these when they’ve cooled? I want to take them to work luncheon, but they’ll have to be baked ahead of time. Maybe using a crock pot (stacking the sandwiches) as a warmer?

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. They’re still good cooled, but definitely not as awesome as they are warmed. I like your idea of bringing a slow cooker to keep them warm! That would also probably keep them from drying out.

    1. I’m sure that would be delicious! The texture will be different since Christmas ham is a thicker cut than the thin deli ham, but still good! (And I’m a big fan of making use of leftovers, so I’d go for it!)

  11. Okay, the recipe calls for a total of 48 rolls, right? So is one pound of ham and 24 slices of cheese enough for 48 sandwiches? Do you cut the cheese in half or what?

    1. The recipe says 2 -12 roll package which equals 24. If you use potato rolls you would have to adjust the numbers ( because I have never seen the potato rolls in small sizes like the Hawaiian rolls. Some one may have them though)

      For the person using the 9 X 11 pan which is what the recipe calls for, I use the 9 X 13. It is a perfect fit. Joy of Baking says rectangle pans are 11 x 7 x 2 inches ,13 x 9 x 2 inches. So this might just be a typo.

      When I first saw this recipe and saw all the good reviews my first thought was “How could something this simple be that good?” Well, I found out. It is simple and it is good!!!

      When my daughter first tried mine the first thing she said “I be these would be good Rueben”. I am glad to see someone has already tried that and it will be my next.

  12. Do you grease the pan bottom? Done twice…first time soggy bottom due to mayo put on bottom bread, and the second time they burnt because I left out the mayo. Did not do anything to the bottom of the pan either time. I have made them and put a pickle on each roll as well. Gives them a little crunch to each bite!

    1. I don’t grease the pan bottom, though it wouldn’t hurt — I’d probably use a thin layer of butter or non-stick spray, as opposed to an oil of some kind. Love the idea of a pickle!

    2. I love the idea of pickle also.

      My first pan was a dark one and they too brown on the bottom My next attempt was not grease but put parchment paper in bottom and up side. Then after baked just lift them out. Kept them from browning. The photo shows the rolls all apart. I don’t they would look like that unless you pulled each one apart before filling. But if you do not pull apart individually you will need to cut them after you bake because they will “blend”, this make that easier.

  13. I have made other variations as well, Turkey ,cheddar, bacon and ranch and rotisserie chicken, cheddar, bacon and ranch. Both were loved by all as well as the original recipe !

  14. We made these for the first time last weekend – with 2 teenagers in the house, the first pan was gone in less than three hours. The recipe was easy to make and the flavor was good. The next time we prepare this dish, I think we’ll use thinly shaved ham (what we used was sliced slightly thicker than it should have been) and may try the potato rolls instead of the Hawaiian rolls (although I’m a huge fan of all sweet breads, I prefer regular bread in savory dishes). The flavor of the sauce was good. As others have mentioned above, we may also try different meats and cheeses – smoked chicken or turkey comes to mind!

  15. The recipe states that is makes 24 rolls. Some of the comments are that it makes 48. That is not correct, is it? The recipe clearly says 2, 12 packs of Kings Hawaiian rolls. If I make 48, I will need 2 pounds of ham and 48 cheese slices. I am making these this week and want to make sure. The comments did not add up to the amount listed on the recipe.

    1. Hi Kim! It makes one 9×13″ pan of 24 rolls. I think, if memory serves, some of the comments are from a very long time ago before I made some clarifying edits. If you follow the recipe, you should be good.

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