I first made this hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole in 2008, years after it was originally mentioned to me by a friend at work.
I’m not sure what took me so long, except that—until I tried it—it was hard to fathom how a casserole made with rolls, cheese and ham could be that good.
But, ooohhhh … is this hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole good!
Like, supremely good.
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…)
I appreciate that this hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole can be thrown together quickly, 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 the day you plan to devour it.
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!
I’ve been meaning to try other flavor combos, too, like roast beef and provolone with caramelized onions or turkey and brie with raspberry jam.
Here are some of the kitchen tools I use to make hot ham and cheese sandwich casserole:
- Disposable metal baking dishes
- Baking dish
- Chef’s knife
- Convection oven (for smaller batches)
- 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
- Slice the King’s Hawaiian rolls in half. Line the bottom of a 9X13" baking pan with the bottom halves of the rolls (they should just fit). Spread the half the ham over the rolls, and then layer half the the Swiss cheese on top. Repeat the ham and cheese layers. Place the other halves of the rolls on top, press them down gently. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and dried onions. Over medium heat, stir until the butter has melted to create the sauce. Pour the sauce over top of the rolls, and then sprinkle the tops with the poppy seeds. Cover the pans tightly with aluminum foil, and then refrigerate for at least three hours – or overnight (better).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the covered baking dishes in the oven for 20 minutes. 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.
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