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Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns

My next-door neighbor shared this recipe with me, and I simply cannot improve it! 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 so delicious. —Iris Weihemuller, Baxter, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    1 dozen


  • 1 package (18 ounces) Hawaiian sweet rolls
  • 1/2 cup horseradish sauce
  • 3/4 pound sliced 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


  • Arrange bottom halves of rolls in a greased 9x9-in. baking pan. Spread cut side of roll bottoms with horseradish sauce. Layer with ham and cheese; replace tops.
  • 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.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Test Kitchen tips
  • This is a standout prep-ahead recipe. Make it the day before and then bake it off!
  • Turn this sandwich into a Reuben! Swap in 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.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 sandwich: 315 calories, 17g fat (9g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 555mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 2g fiber), 13g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Tomorrow
      Aug 19, 2020

      The horseradish was not a great compliment to these sandwiches. At all !! All the 5 star ratings fooled me. The horseradish taste like how it sound. It has a very strong taste and is spicy. I would make this again with all the other ingredients. I highly recommend finding an alternative to the horseradish.

    • Kimberly
      Jul 9, 2020

      YUM! I made these on a whim for my husband and myself. I like that you can't mess this up and soooo tasty. My husband preferred his hot and would nuke his for about 30 seconds on high. Good hot or cold. I used a large serrated knife to cut through and had no problems.

    • Michele
      Apr 13, 2020

      My girls rated this recipe the best! I have made many versions of these over the past year and my daughter said these were the best she's had yet. I followed Gail's suggestions (review from April 8, 2020) and broke the buns apart and topped each one with Ham and Cheese. It was a little more time consuming but well worth it. This one's going in the Recipe Box:)

    • Gail
      Apr 8, 2020

      My family loves these! I always make a double batch for parties and potlucks. One batch just as the recipe says. The other batch I skip the horseradish and put a tiny smear of apricot, peach or marmalade jam on the bottom bun. Leave out the onion in the butter sauce topper and use sesame seeds to differentiate between the two versions. Both are huge hits! Be sure to cut the ham and cheese to "roll size" before you put them together as it mskes them so much easier to cut for serving after they're baked. Some vidros on the internet call for jyst laying large whole slices of ham overlapping on the bottom buns. But then there's a huge mess when you try to cut them apart after baking. Avoid it by having the ham and cheese fit on the individual buns to start with!

    • Nicole
      Feb 25, 2020

      I made these for the 1st time a couple weeks ago. I didn’t have any poppyseeds so left those out and I couldn’t find any horseradish “spread” at my local grocery store so I used just the tiniest pinch of regular prepared horseradish on the bottom of each bun. I also could only let them sit in the fridge for about an hour before we needed to eat lunch that day. My teenage daughter who is THE pickiest eater on planet Earth loved them. Tomorrow night I am making a double batch of the sauce and pouring it over baked chicken breasts for a quick and easy dinner. I’m also planning on making the sauce and pouring it over plain Hawaiian rolls and baking them at Easter for a quick and easy and DIFFERENT side for Easter dinner! The sauce is the Boss lol! Soooooo tasty!

    • Gretchen
      Feb 13, 2020

      This are always a hit! I just skip the horseradish.

    • pburchell
      Feb 12, 2020

      I used Regular dinner rolls, as I do not like really sweet bread, and I only used 6 but left the rest of the recipe as is. It came out really well and we enjoyed it.

    • Linda
      Jan 15, 2020

      The recipe does not call for 18 rolls but 18 oz. The 12 roll package is 18 oz. I use 1 T. each of brown sugar, honey dijon mustard, and poppyseeds. 1 t. Worchestershire. No onion or horseradish sauce. Covered with foil 10 min., uncover, bake 12 min. more. Can make right away.

    • Sewing63
      Jan 11, 2020

      No comment left

    • bartheawashington
      Jan 11, 2020

      No comment left