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Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns Recipe

Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns Recipe

My next-door neighbor shared her version of this recipe with me. You can make it ahead and cook it quickly when company arrives. The combo of poppy seeds, ham and cheese, horseradish and brown sugar makes it simply delicious!—Iris Weihemuller, Baxter, Minnesota
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min. YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 package (12 ounces) Hawaiian sweet rolls, split
  • 1/2 cup horseradish sauce
  • 12 slices deli ham
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese, halved
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  • 1. Spread roll bottoms with horseradish sauce. Layer with ham and cheese; replace tops. Arrange in a single layer in a greased 9-in. square baking pan.
  • 2. In a small skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over rolls. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.
  • 3. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Yield: 1 dozen.

Recipe Note

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Turn this sandwich into a Reuben! Swap corned beef or pastrami for the ham, add a layer of sauerkraut and substitute caraway seeds for poppy.
  • Vegetarians coming for dinner? These buns can easily go meat-free by omitting the ham and doubling the cheese. We like Swiss and cheddar.
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 sandwich: 288 calories, 17g fat (9g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 447mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 1g fiber), 11g protein.

    Reviews for Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns

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    sphil User ID: 6592665 273058
    Reviewed Sep. 15, 2017

    "Love it just the way it is. My family is very happy when I tell them these are on the menu."

    George User ID: 9248765 272996
    Reviewed Sep. 13, 2017

    "This is a big hit at work and at my football tailgates. I substitute real ham or ham loaves (sliced thick) in place of the deli ham, and I use horseradish from the jar with regular mustard to spread on the bottom half of the buns.

    This has to be prepared the day before you serve it, but it's DEFINITELY worth the effort! :-)"

    Judat User ID: 8282854 267420
    Reviewed May. 29, 2017

    "I made these for the Food Bank volunteers and they loved them."

    dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 263852
    Reviewed Mar. 24, 2017

    "This was good, but would have been better without the horse radish. I would try mayo next time."

    tiffanykorn User ID: 6174400 260992
    Reviewed Feb. 8, 2017

    "Made this for the superbowl party. While the flavor is delicious, they were sort of messy to eat. They were't a huge hit, but they were tasty."

    dlyn9smith User ID: 1866642 259945
    Reviewed Jan. 19, 2017

    "This is an easy and delicious recipe. I did not have Hawaiian buns, so I used regular slider buns. I don't like spicy, so I used Honey Mustard instead of the horseradish sauce."

    Lisa User ID: 9015418 259149
    Reviewed Jan. 3, 2017

    "Every time I try a new recipe I make it exactly as shown. The next time I tweak. With this recipe there is nothing to tweak! It is delicious as is. I made it as a snack at Christmas and everyone loved it! I ate 3 as a snack! Love finding recipes I can keep forever."

    devinemily User ID: 1232707 257720
    Reviewed Dec. 5, 2016

    "My family loves these! I make up a batch and then freeze them in packages of two. That way we always have them on hand for a quick sandwich. Super good!!!!"

    mamakintyler69 User ID: 1818203 256682
    Reviewed Nov. 11, 2016

    "Been making these for YEARS !!! WE have always known them as OVEN SAMMIES !!! Family loves them and nice to have on hand when someone heads out the door so they can grab 1 or 2 ! Hubby likes when I make these and he is doing yard work or other chores comes in for a break and has a couple !"

    my4sweetys User ID: 3051527 254710
    Reviewed Sep. 27, 2016

    "These were ok. Couldn't really taste the main ingredients with all the highly flavored condiments and for some reason mine came out very soggy...ick."

    dynamo58 User ID: 7056010 252875
    Reviewed Aug. 18, 2016

    "Ugh! Black forest ham with a good aged swiss cheese should be left to enjoy on your favorite bread. Caramelized everything else over powered the ham and cheese. Too sweet and greasy. High in calories, time-consuming and costly. A very poor use of poppy seeds."

    zardwils User ID: 7633593 252713
    Reviewed Aug. 15, 2016

    "These are delicious and are often requested at my house."

    rebelwithoutaclue User ID: 4288906 252710
    Reviewed Aug. 15, 2016

    "These have been our go to weekend lunches for years. We use the 24 package of the brown n' serve rolls that come in their own aluminum pan. (it saves cleaning another pan) Make sure you use a sharp bread knife when cutting into individual sammies. These are best cut when they are cold coming out of the fridge. We only add the brown sugar about every 4th time we make them. It is a nice change of pace. So is changing up the mustards; wholegrain, Dijon and hot/sweet, for example. When we use hot/sweet we skip the brown sugar."

    daisywilken User ID: 2737979 252656
    Reviewed Aug. 14, 2016

    "I made this and it was good. I decided that the next time I would put a slice of bread and butter pickle inside on top of the cheese before putting the roll top on. I like that I can make aheadr and the leftovers, if any, are good cold."

    Judy Oldfield User ID: 5108179 252229
    Reviewed Aug. 4, 2016

    "Everyone loves this recipe and I never have any leftover. I've doubled the recipe for potlucks and picnics. I did use dijon mustard instead."

    tt2b123 User ID: 1638440 249532
    Reviewed Jun. 17, 2016

    "best for a party"

    SandiB75 User ID: 7628539 245481
    Reviewed Mar. 15, 2016

    "I have never been one to like horseradish or mustard. That said, I blended sour cream and added horseradish to taste. The zip of the horseradish is part of what makes these so good! The dressing made to pour over the sandwiches, even with the dijon, rounds these out perfectly. I was SO glad I tried this and the family devours them! The convenience of making them several hours in advance, going to run errands or work in the yard/house, then poppin them in the oven when we get hungry is great too. A keeper of a recipe!!"

    angcy User ID: 1160970 241429
    Reviewed Jan. 9, 2016

    "Since we have toddlers who are picky eaters, I omitted horseradish sauce but used butter instead. The whole family and parents in laws loved it. We have also made this when we have extended family over. The children and teenagers and adults all love this dish."

    Appy_Girl User ID: 1132413 241100
    Reviewed Jan. 5, 2016

    "Perfect little sliders for any event. Not a fan of the Hawaiian sweet rolls so I used Rhodes frozen small dinner rolls. For us they were perfect. I also cut back on the brown sugar. I also had no Horseradish sauce so used mayonnaise on both the top and bottom of the rolls. I also did not leave them over night in the fridge. Made up early in the morning worked out just fine. This is a wonderful recipe. One that I will frequently make.

    Taste Of Home Volunteer Field Editor"

    mgst51 User ID: 4211132 240318
    Reviewed Dec. 26, 2015

    "I made these for company & everyone loved them. Only problem was the grocery store sold horseradish but not horseradish sauce. I found a recipe online to make up my own horseradish sauce, since using just horseradish would be too strong."

    Corwin44 User ID: 7541400 239516
    Reviewed Dec. 15, 2015

    "I had leftover ham from Sunday dinner, so I decided to try these. Everyone really enjoyed these sandwiches. Make sure to use horseradish sauce, or the horseradish may be over powering. The grocery store near my home sells Hawaiian mini sub rolls (about the size of two regular rolls), so I used these. I didn't have poppyseed so I used deli mustard which had seeds. I also used one and half tablespoons of mustard and brown sugar. I stuck the sandwiches in the freezer for an hour before baking because I didn't realize they needed to be refrigerated for several hours until I started making dinner. Turned out wonderful."

    amurphy927 User ID: 780157 237877
    Reviewed Nov. 22, 2015

    "Awesome dish! These were a hit! Amazing flavor punch! My boyfriend and I almost ate the whole pan in one sitting! Will be added to the rotation!!!"

    spinardo User ID: 2339635 235413
    Reviewed Oct. 22, 2015

    "These are to-die-for! I make them all the time. Everyone loves them. What a great breakfast dish."

    kramerstacey15 User ID: 5709757 227237
    Reviewed May. 31, 2015

    "All I could taste was horseradish. I followed the directions to the letter. I might try again without the horseradish because they smelled so good otherwise and I think they could be without it."

    DonnaTomaszycki User ID: 4723160 226254
    Reviewed May. 12, 2015

    "I have made these several times and each time they turned out great! Everyone just loves them. These will become my go to recipe for any potluck!"

    leeart User ID: 2566328 225974
    Reviewed May. 6, 2015 Edited May. 26, 2015

    "These buns are absolutely the best, so easy to put together and a carefree oven dish. This would make a great potluck addition or appetizer or even lunch meal. I'll be pulling these out of the oven often."

    K.Wholaver User ID: 8145271 224734
    Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

    "These sandwiches were a hit at our family gathering. The buns ended up a bit soggy though. I will try again."

    LisaTighe User ID: 7779726 224446
    Reviewed Apr. 8, 2015

    "Delicious! I love that you can make these ahead and then just pop them in the oven when you're ready. I personally think, between the caramelized onions and the king bread, that adding the brown sugar makes it all too sweet and I will try it without the added sugar next time - perhaps with some sauteed onions and peppers, hmmm...."

    JGa2595176 User ID: 496732 220929
    Reviewed Feb. 19, 2015 Edited Feb. 18, 2016

    "I have made this a few times, each with excellent results. Husband really enjoys this recipe! The horseradish sauce gives it an extra zip. Fantastic dish for get togethers!"

    justmbeth User ID: 1196484 219945
    Reviewed Feb. 7, 2015 Edited Dec. 4, 2015

    "I made these twice over the past year and just love them. So easy to prep ahead. I don't seem to use a full 1/2 cup of horseradish sauce but they still have a kick."

    CookieBaker811 User ID: 7110701 184873
    Reviewed Aug. 8, 2014

    "Took this to two different get-togethers within one week and had a total of nine requests for the recipe. Moist and flavorful. It's so easy to prepare and Just love that it can be fixed one night and baked/served the next."

    anamai User ID: 7608896 122332
    Reviewed Jul. 17, 2014

    "Awesome recipe. I took these to a golf potluck and everyone raved about them. Several requests for the recipe."

    cast_iron_king User ID: 1236761 197178
    Reviewed Jun. 22, 2014

    "Amazingly easy recipe that tastes like you spent a lot of time on it! I was not sure of the combination of flavors, but they turned out to be surprisingly delicious! Easily adaptable to a wide range of fillings. A definite hit at the dinner table, I'd make them for breakfast as well. A real winner!"

    mbonner07 User ID: 7782827 198802
    Reviewed Apr. 29, 2014

    "absolutely delicious!! and you dobt have to chill in the fridge you can assemble and pop in the oven"

    bakewithlove User ID: 7003233 181546
    Reviewed Mar. 3, 2014

    "I haven't made this exact recipe but I'm still giving it a thumbs up......I got this recipe from a friend and it wasn't exactly the same ---no caramelized onions or horseradish or w'shire sauce, maybe she didn't like those things so left them out. I don't think you can mess up this recipe ! I used regular h'burger buns, mustard powder, no poppy seeds (didn't have any ) . I made them in a 9x13 pan. The men thought they were alittle sweet, but still devoured them ! my g'kids just loved them and keep asking me to make them again ! This recipe is really pretty forgiving and versatile, for me it's a keeper. Now I want to try this version......Oh also they freezer great....."

    ekarmst User ID: 6774167 115871
    Reviewed Feb. 18, 2014

    "Made these for Sunday breakfast and I was disappointed that they needed to chill once assembled, my fault, so we saved these for Monday morning. I like the fact that you take them from ther refrigerator and pop them into the oven.I thought the sauce was a bit too sweet, kinda like the sweet ketchup sauce one would would put on a meatloaf. All the flavors came through wonderfully. Next time I will cut the sugar to 1 Tablespoon and carmalize the onions prior to adding other ingredients. A keeper recipe for a quick, flavorful breakfast if you plan ahead,"

    ChrisBlair User ID: 6995611 197773
    Reviewed Feb. 9, 2014

    "I made these with turkey & American cheese and fed some hungry athletes while we were on the road. They were a big hit. Now I'm making them again for my family."

    Angel182009 User ID: 6228642 196665
    Reviewed Feb. 4, 2014

    "These were AMAZING!!!! This is going to be regular for sure. I loved how quick and easy this was to put together. I paired it with a whole wheat pasta salad for a complete dinner meal. I did not use the poppy seeds or mustard because I didn't have them on hand. But they still turned out great!"

    suzinh User ID: 255037 126281
    Reviewed Jan. 30, 2014

    "suuuuuuuuuper yummy!!!!!!!!!!"

    silversat User ID: 4403161 196656
    Reviewed Jan. 23, 2014

    "yes, I tried this recipe and served for Christmas morning. It was excellent and even made great leftovers, heated up in a low oven in aluminum foil"

    mnelson414 User ID: 1976015 213107
    Reviewed Jan. 16, 2014

    "Loved this recipe! We will be enjoying this one again! The horseradish added a nice little tang to the sweetness."

    BCampbell User ID: 1039849 198793
    Reviewed Jan. 15, 2014

    "I made these for my co-workers for our Christmas spread. So easy to assemble the night before & then bake at work in our mini kitchen. Everyone raved about how good they were. This recipe will be a keeper!"

    pprbypm User ID: 6170885 194343
    Reviewed Jan. 14, 2014

    "This were amazing ! Used for a Christmas brunch and should have made twice as much !! This will be a go-to recipe."

    Tammi Kassman User ID: 4161997 115870
    Reviewed Jan. 14, 2014

    "I made these for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving when we planned to travel early in the morning. Just pop them in the oven for a hot breakfast on the go! My family gave them rave reviews, even with the horseradish sauce! I've made them twice since then and used sesame seeds once instead of poppy seeds. They are lovely and versitile as many substitutions can be made with good results."

    dutchcook1949 User ID: 1986190 181545
    Reviewed Jan. 14, 2014

    "I made this for our Christmas get-together and there were none left! I have to admit that I was wondering how the sauce would taste, but I am a firm believer in trying a recipe as it's written before adding my own touches. I wouldn't change a thing - it's absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Iris!"

    rena 55 User ID: 1935799 184871
    Reviewed Jan. 9, 2014

    "These are so good and a great additon to any get together. My family doesn't care for horseradish sauce, so I usually make them without that ingredient. But whenever I make these, there are never any leftovers."

    AngelRQJ User ID: 5737140 138973
    Reviewed Jan. 6, 2014

    "Had to try this after seeing them in the magazine and floating around the net. My family was very hesitant to try it because of the mustard in the glaze. I've made it 3 times now, everywhere I go they are gone very quickly. I have been making them by using a 24 ct pack of rolls. I slice the top off, put the bottom half in the 9x13, layer on the toppings and put the top back on. We don't use the horseradish or butter or anything inside of the sandwiches. I use a large knife to cut through everything after they are done cooking. We use 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder because we don't like onions. I've let it sit over night and I've made them an hour after making them. They are best when left to sit over night but still good if made sooner than that as well. I haven't had so many people ask for my recipe in a long time, they are so unique and SO GOOD, YUM!"

    jsherburn User ID: 2241003 197177
    Reviewed Jan. 4, 2014

    "So, so yummy!! Used left-over turkey and Colby-jack cheese. Didn't have any seeds but it was still a delicious meal! Definitely a "keeper.""

    NH-rescue User ID: 4255840 198792
    Reviewed Dec. 28, 2013

    "Great recipe for using up leftover ham. We were in a hurry, so I didn't let them sit, plus I used regular large hamburger rolls and they still got (unsolicited!) compliments from my family. Next time I might try planning ahead and let them sit overnight."

    Jackiepash User ID: 1736336 115869
    Reviewed Dec. 25, 2013

    "I made these Christmas Day and they were a big hit. I reduced the horsehadish to 1/4 cup. There was no way I could fit 12 sandwiches into a 8x8 pan so I made 15 and put into a 9x13 pan and it worked out great. I only added a little additional ingredients for the marinade which turned out perfect!"

    JohnnaMcMartin User ID: 5244051 194338
    Reviewed Dec. 21, 2013

    "Made them this morning husband and I loved them, very feeling and good tasting. Will make again."

    kimkenney User ID: 2674505 151961
    Reviewed Dec. 20, 2013

    "THESE ARE AMAZING!! I made them for our Christmas party this year and our guests raved over them. They will definitely become a standard on our party menu! I doubled the recipe and mistakenly didn't double the sauce, but it made so much, it was a happy accident! I wouldn't have wanted double the amount of sauce. Thank you for a FABULOUS recipe!"

    ms11145 User ID: 1604521 194336
    Reviewed Dec. 17, 2013

    "These are so good. I have people over after evening church services a lot during the year, and these have always been a huge hit. My recipe; however, doesn't call for horseradish which is a good thing since I don't really care for it. ;-) Instead of Swiss cheese, I sometimes use gouda which melts so well."

    judywart User ID: 1787607 122328
    Reviewed Dec. 6, 2013

    "These are awesome! Everyone I have served them to loves them. I used Hot Sweet Mustard not the spicy brown mustard. I also, waited on the poppy seeds and sprinkled them on top!"

    txag1993 User ID: 6622010 197176
    Reviewed Dec. 1, 2013

    "These are amazing! My whole family loved them, even my kiddos! will definitely make these again"

    momoflandl User ID: 5566695 194335
    Reviewed Nov. 24, 2013

    "These were awesome! I took them to a pot luck and had to sweep in and grab the last one quickly so that I could try it. All the different flavors come together really well. I didn't use quite as much horseradish sauce as suggested and it still packed plenty of punch. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. The sandwiches were surprisingly not messy. This recipe is definitely a keeper."

    ccolor1 User ID: 3534054 115860
    Reviewed Nov. 23, 2013

    "Really good and fun to make. For a little neater eating, I added the onion mixture to the inside of the sandwiches, and wrapped them in foil to bake. I have some extras so I froze them before baking and can only assume they'll be just as good when thawed. Thanks for the recipe."

    popoaggie User ID: 2713833 197175
    Reviewed Nov. 20, 2013

    "I have been making a similar recipe for years. I like the idea of the Hawaiian rolls along with the horseradish sauce. It puts a nice kick on the recipe. I will make this recipe again."

    BossQueen User ID: 6363606 197174
    Reviewed Nov. 18, 2013

    "This is a delicious sandwich. Being pressed for time, I did not let the sandwiches sit with the onions on top. I used the large sandwich size Hawaiian buns. I made the caramelized onions (but omitted the poppy seeds) and put them ON the sandwich, on top of the cheese. I wrapped the sandwiches in foil and baked them for 30 minutes. My husband is not a big ham eater and he said these were great; he loved the flavors together. This will be a recipe I'll make again and again."

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