You may know these as ham and cheese sliders, but where I grew up, we knew and loved them as plain old ham biscuits or poppy seed party ham biscuits.

They are seriously the best little sliders in all the land. I am not even kidding about how great they are!

These are one of my favorite retro appetizers and one that my mom used to make pretty frequently for parties, along with her cheese olive puffs.

For ease of browsing, here are all of my appetizer recipes in one spot. Thanks for stopping by!

A white paper tray of 12 slider buns filled with poppy seed and butter filling, ham, and cheese.

Watch my poppy seed ham biscuit web story here.

Ham Biscuits, At a Glance

✔️Skill Level: Beginner
✔️Skills: mixing, slicing, heating
✔️Type: Appetizer sandwiches
✔️Number of Ingredients: 9
✔️Prep Time: 15 minutes
✔️Cook Time: 15 minutes
✔️Yield: 24 sliders

Jump Straight to the Recipe

All I can say, is if you haven’t made these yet then why the hell not?! They are awesome. Seriously awesome. Nothing more I can say about then expect make them. Really put the ingredients on your shopping list and go home and make them. Thanks Jenni.

Reader Deon

Poppy Seed Party Ham Biscuits

These little guys seem to be making a comeback, and I am here for it.

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And I say hooray, because while they might be new to many folks, I’ve been enjoying these little dudes for probably 45 years at our neighborhood Christmas Eve Party.

Yes, this is another retro recipe, and since it is exploding in popularity on social media, I wondered if it was even worthwhile to post this version. I asked my readers, and many of them had still not heard of these guys, so I figure it’s my duty to share.

I’ve had other people’s ham biscuits, but honestly nothing I’ve had so far has compared to what I (and probably my entire old neighborhood) consider the best poppy seed party ham biscuits.

What Makes These the Best?

A pile of ham biscuits with Swiss cheese melting down the sides on a white plate with a background of twinkly holiday lights.
We grew up referring to these little beauties as party ham biscuits. Whatever you call them, they are seriously delicious and seriously hard to stop eating!

I’m here to tell you that I’m not really sure. Here are some ideas.

  • It might be the ratio of mustard to butter
  • It could be the amount of Worcestershire sauce
  • It may even be the finely chopped onion<
  • It could also be the Very Very Lot of poppy seeds

Whatever it is, though, they really are the best. Please give them a try, and you’ll see.

Reader Rave

I had low expectations for these because I’m not a ham sandwich kind of person, but even I was won over by them (I personally think it’s the mustard/butter ratio), but OMG my eaters are absolutely bonkers for them. I’ve been making them ever since you first posted them, and at least once a month I MUST make a dinner of these with soup and a salad, or I never stop hearing the end of it. They’re a massive crowd pleaser!

Reader MaggieToo


Here’s what you’ll need to make these guys:

All the ingredients needed to make party ham biscuits: butter, minced onion, poppy seeds, yellow mustard, Worcstershire sauce, salt, deli ham, sliced Swiss cheese, and King's Hawaiian rolls.
  • butter: Use salted or unsalted. This is the main spread for the rolls that carries all the flavor and soaks into the bread
  • minced onion: You don’t need a ton. I usually just cut *some* onion and mince it finely
  • poppy seeds: If yours have been sitting around for a long time, buy fresh ones. Poppy seeds go rancid pretty quickly, and rancid poppy seeds will ruin your rolls. They should smell slightly sweet. You will know if they’re rancid, because they’ll smell like old, stale oil
  • yellow mustard: You can experiment with other mustards, but yellow is what I always use, because that’s how mom made them
  • Worcestershire sauce: Adds some salt and lovely umami flavor
  • salt: (omit if you use salted butter)
  • deli ham: (boiled ham, honey ham, or your favorite)
  • Swiss cheese:
  • Hawaiian rolls: My preference is for the Savory Butter variety, but the standard, sweeter rolls work just fine as well

Making Party Ham Biscuits in the Oven

Baked ham and poppy seed biscuits on a parchment-lined tray.

This is definitely my preferred way to make party ham biscuits, you guys. Follow the instructions in the recipe or in the video, but here they are in shortened form:

  1. Slice an entire tray of Hawaiian rolls horizontally. (We used to make these on Pepperidge Farms Petite Dinner Rolls, but I haven’t seen those in years. I prefer the King’s Hawaiian Savory Butter Rolls to the sweet rolls for this recipe.)
  2. Spread each cut side with half the butter/poppy seed mixture
  3. Layer on Swiss cheese, followed by ham and more cheese.
  4. Put the top of the package of rolls back on top.
  5. Place the whole shebang back in the original paper sleeve–yes, the paper tray can go in the oven!
  6. Cut between the individual rolls to separate them and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. If you need to leave them in longer for the cheese in the center to get melty, cover the rolls loosely with foil so the tops don’t get too brown.
  7. Enjoy!

Process Shots

If you’re ready to make these, please just jump straight to the recipe.

If you are a visual learner, read on to see some photo collages showing the process.

Making the Poppy Seed Spread

Cube your butter and make sure it is very soft. It’s okay to microwave it for a few seconds, but you don’t want it melted.

Mix everything together evenly with a spatula.

Spread each side of the cut rolls with the poppy seed mixture. Note how thoroughly it’s spread. You really want every square inch coated with the butter so it soaks evenly into the rolls.

A collage of four images: 1)cubed butter, poppy seeds, salt, and other ingredients in a glass bowl. 2)All the ingredients in the glass bowl mixed evenly with a silicone spatula. 3)A flat of 12 rolls but in half horizontally. 4)Both sides of the cut rolls spread thoroughly and completely with a thin layer of the butter-poppy seed mixture.

Building the Biscuits

My preferred way of building these biscuits is to add 1 layer of Swiss cheese on one side of the rolls and 2 layers on the other side.

Then pile on the ham. If you have rectangular or square slices, don’t bend them. Just lay them on in 2 layers. If you have “round ham,” just pile it on evenly. In this photo I used 8 oz of ham to fill the biscuits.

Carefully put the top half of the flat of rolls, along with its spread and cheese, back on top of the “ham side” and line up all the edges inside the paper tray the rolls came in.

Take a bread knife and slice between each roll for easier removal when it’s time to bake.

A collage of 4 images: 1)A flat of 12 rolls cut in half horizontally with Swiss cheese laid out evenly over each cut half. 2)Deli ham evenly piled onto one half of the flat of rolls. 3)The ham-and-cheese filled rolls with the tops put back on and back in their white paper box they cam in. 4)A hand holding a bread knife and slicing down between each ham biscuit.

Store the filled biscuits back in the wrapper the rolls came in. They’ll be fine in the fridge for up to a week.


Remove the number of rolls you want to bake and place them on a baking tray to bake either in your oven at 350F or in your toaster oven at 350F.

Space them about an inch apart so they will heat evenly.

Cover the tops with foil and bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

After 15 minutes, if the cheese doesn’t seem to be completely melted, remove them to a microwave-safe plate or tray and microwave for a few additional seconds.

A collage of 4 images: 1)An overhead shot of a tray of rolls that are all cut apart yet still in their paper container. 2)A small baking tray covered with parchment with unbaked ham and cheese sliders on it. The cut rolls show layers of poppy seed spread, Swiss cheese, and ham. 3)The tray of rolls on a rack in a toaster oven with a piece of foil over the tops. 4)A closeup shot of a ham biscuit with cheese melting down the sides.

How To Keep These Guys Warm for Serving

Generally, these fly off the table so quickly that we’ve never had to worry about keeping them warm. But if you are serving a Suspicious crowd, they may hang out on the buffet a bit longer.

My mom had a very cool, lidded, warming server back in the 1970s, and it was used almost exclusively for these guys or her cheese olive puffs.

I have found something similar that works well:

My Pick
Chefman Electric Warming Tray

Perfect for buffets or holiday parties, the Chefman has a thermostat so you can keep everything at the right temperature for serving. Great for keeping hot appetizers like ham and cheese sliders or mom's cheese olive puffs hot.

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03/01/2024 11:17 pm GMT

Reheating Ham Biscuits In the Microwave

The good news about heating your ham biscuits in the microwave is that it only takes a few seconds and the rolls stay nice and squishy.

If you like your rolls squishy, stick with the microwave for reheating.

If you prefer your sliders to have a bit of crunch to the rolls, then bake them in the oven.

I would not try to heat the entire tray of biscuits in the microwave at one time, so reserve the microwave for reheating individual servings of a roll or two and bake whole trays in a conventional oven or a good toaster oven.

More Retro Appetizer Recipes

These are some of my all-time favorite appetizer recipes. I hope you’ll enjoy them too!

You ready to make these guys? And seriously, you don’t have to share if you don’t want to!


If you have any questions about this post or recipe, I am happy to help.

Simply leave a comment here and I will get back to you soon. I also invite you to ask question in my Facebook group, Fearless Kitchen Fun.

If your question is more pressing, please feel free to email me. I should be back in touch ASAP, as long as I’m not asleep.

5 golden stars for rating recipes
A pile of ham biscuits with Swiss cheese melting down the sides on a white plate with a background of twinkly holiday lights.

The Best Ham Biscuits

Jennifer Field
This poppy seed ham biscuits recipe makes enough for a large flat of 24 King's Hawaiian Rolls. The original recipe makes enough for a flat of 12, and all I have done here is double it. Just go with the amount of butter–they're for parties, and you won't be making them every day!
Feel free to cut the recipe in half to make 1 flat of 12 rolls.
4.57 from 57 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Vintage American
Servings 24 rolls
Calories 263 kcal


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter 8 oz, softened, you can also use salted butter and leave out the salt
  • 5 Tablespoons prepared yellow mustard (you can get fancy with Dijon, but it won’t be the same)
  • 4 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced sweet onion (I use Vidalia when I can find them)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • heavy pinch of salt between 1/8 and 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 flat of 24 King’s Hawaiian Rolls or 2 flats of 12 (or similar small, soft rolls) They sell the 24-roll size at the warehouse club here. Or buy 2 packs of 12.
  • 18 slices give or take, of good quality Swiss Cheese
  • 1 pound give or take of boiled ham 16 oz or 450 grams


  • Mash sure your butter is very soft and then mix the butter, mustard, poppy seeds, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and salt together evenly.
  • Cut the flat/s of rolls in half horizontally, removing the top as one big slab.
  • Spread each cut side of the flat with the butter mixture. If you have a flat of 24 rolls, spread half on each. If making 2 flats of 12, use 1/4 of the mixture per cut side. Use all the butter mixture and spread it evenly and thoroughly so it covers every inch of the cut sides.
  • On the bottom flat, arrange one even layer of Swiss cheese, and top with the ham. On the top flat arrange 2 even layers of Swiss cheese.
  • Carefully put the top of the flat (and its cheese) back on the rolls and then use a bread knife to cut between each roll.
  • At this point, you can refrigerate them for a week or freeze them, well wrapped, for several months. (Thaw before baking).
  • When ready to bake, space the rolls about 1" apart and bake in a 350F oven or toaster oven, covered with foil, for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
  • You can also heat them in the microwave until the cheese is lovely and melty. Microwaved party ham biscuits will be softer than the baked ones. For optimal goodness, I like to start them in the oven and finish them in the microwave.
  • I dare you to eat only one. Enjoy!

Did You Make Any Changes?



Smaller Batch Recipe

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon finely minced onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • small pinch of salt
  • package of 12 King’s Hawaiian Rolls, or similar
  • 9 slices (give or take) Swiss cheese
  • 9 slices (about 1/2 pound) deli ham


Store in the fridge for up to a week. Heat in the oven, or start them in the oven and finish them in the microwave (or vice versa) to get the optimal smooshy-on-the-inside-crisp-on-the-outside texture.


Place the made-up ham biscuits back in the original packaging and then wrap well in heavy-duty foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake or microwave-then-bake to serve.


Serving: 1rollCalories: 263kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 11gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 447mgSugar: 4g
Keyword appetizers, ham and cheese, sliders
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Thanks so much for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day.

Watch my easy New Year’s Eve appetizers web story here. And watch the best poppy seed ham biscuits web story here.

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  1. I have made these for years and love them! I would like to “get ahead” on a Christmas Eve Brunch I am having. Can I prepare them early and freeze or will that make them less than delicious? Any tips on early prep would be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hey, Eddie Lynn! Yes, they are just the best! You can absolutely prepare early and freeze. You could make them up to a month in advance with no issue. To be sure they’re thawed, once you take them out of the freezer, give them a good 36-48 hours in the fridge. Then you can either heat them in the microwave as a head-start before finishing them in the oven or let them sit out on the counter for an hour or so before baking. I find that they bake more evenly if you separate them all by about an inch so the heat can get to all of them. If you prefer these soft and squishy as opposed to a bit crisp on the tops and bottoms, heat them exclusively in the microwave until the cheese is nice and melty. If you do heat them 100% in the oven, you can get them to soften up a bit by wrapping each roll in a square of aluminum foil, and they will steam and soften, much like a fast food burger. Enjoy every bite! 🙂

  2. Sorry Ansh, you seem like a nice person but I am horrified right now by what I’m finding for one of my almost life-long favorite hometown recipes. Ham delights came from a local caterer, here in Charleston, SC in the early 80’s, the remarkable Mrs. Hamby. The recipe was a big secret but a few of us got a hold of it long ago and passed it around. I lost my original recipe recently, much to my dismay, and what I’m finding on-line as the “original” or “authentic” is very upsetting. These would NEVER be made with Hawaiian rolls. They are made with tiny party rolls, originally made by Pepperidge Farm and now by Martins. The amount of ingredients is unquestionable, and now that I’ve been reading through all these fakes and farces, I can almost picture the recipe I’ve used since I was 13 years old (1981). 3 TBS poppy seeds is a must. The mustard is yellow mustard, period. “Country” ham or this or that ham is no matter and it is DICED, not grounded or slices. I am incredibly guilty of putting “Spin” on any recipe I read, sometimes even from the first time I make it, but this is a recipe NOT to be spun.

    1. Settle down, Page! lol We always made them on Pepperidge Farm petite dinner rolls back in the day, but alas, needs must, as they say. I won’t make you make these any way but the way you like them. Enjoy every bite, because they are the best, diced ham or sliced. But yeah, I agree with you on the yellow mustard!

  3. My mom made these back in the 70’s but I remember the meat and cheese being shredded ham all melted and she used the tiny dinner rolls you mentioned. She kept them warm in a crockpot….. at least this sounds like the same…..

  4. I had low expectations for these because I’m not a ham sandwich kind of person, but even I was won over by them (I personally think it’s the mustard/butter ratio), but OMG my eaters are absolutely bonkers for them. I’ve been making them ever since you first posted them, and at least once a month I MUST make a dinner of these with soup and a salad, or I never stop hearing the end of it. They’re a massive crowd pleaser!

    1. Maggie! This is the best! So good to hear from you, and I’m thrilled that even a non ham sandwich person likes them. I had one for a snack just a little while ago. I think I should institute a ham biscuit night as well–thank you for the inspiration! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    This is an old recipe that I used years ago and lost. Made the new version yesterday where the butter mix is on top and my husband said “No way.” Glad to find your recipe and I am making it for a Church luncheon tomorrow. Thanks for bringing back the old.

  6. 5 stars
    Jenni, I made these for my family over the Thanksgiving holiday and I wanted to let you know how delicious they were! A very big hit in my family and we’ll be making again this weekend with leftovers from the Christmas ham!

    1. Oh, this makes me so happy, Kelli! I’m thrilled you guys enjoyed them! I’m looking forward to some myself in just a couple of days. One of my favorite Christmas treats! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. 5 stars
    All I can say, is if you haven’t made these yet then why the hell not?! They are awesome. Seriously awesome. Nothing more I can say about then expect make them. Really put the ingredients on your shopping list and go home and make them. Thanks Jenni.

  8. Oh my gosh…. Slicing off the tops ALL AT THE SAME TIME! That is so simple but so genius. When I think of all the time I have spent slicing individual Hawaiian rolls (we love them around here) I want to keel over. Seriously. And I think it’s the Worcestershire that is the secret ingredient…

    1. That’s me: super genius! lol I think it’s the *amount* of everything that’s the secret to these. I’ve seen some recipes that call for 1/4 teaspoon each of mustard and Worcestershire. Hmmph.

    1. Thanks, Ansh! I need to do video much more regularly than I do. It’s fun, but the editing is a bit time consuming. And yes: make these for the Super Bowl or something. They are too good! =)

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