You may know these as ham and cheese sliders, but where I grew up, we knew and loved them as party 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. If you’re a vintage recipe fan as well, you may enjoy the best sauce to pour over a block of cream cheese or my port wine cheese ball too.
For ease of browsing, here are all of my appetizer recipes in one spot. Thanks for stopping by!
Watch my poppy seed ham biscuit web story here.
Poppy Seed Party Ham Biscuits
These little guys seem to be making a comeback, and I am here for it.
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 Is the Best Cheese to Use for Party Ham Biscuits?
Swiss cheese. Hands down. As far as I’m concerned, accept no substitutes.
If you really don’t like Swiss cheese, though, you could sub in a mild to medium cheddar or perhaps a Havarti cheese.
(But seriously. Stick with Swiss cheese.)
What Makes These the Best Ham and Cheese Sliders?
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.
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
Oh, and guess what?
This is also an 8 ingredient recipe (if you don’t include the salt, which you should not have to make a special trip to the store for)! Super easy to make. Super easy to eat.
Ham and Cheese Sliders without Poppy Seeds
Honestly, I love this ham biscuit appetizer just the way it is, seeds and all. But if for some reason you don’t like poppy seeds or cannot have them, you can leave them out.
The sliders will miss that slight crunch and subtle flavor of poppy seed, but you could potentially substitute in some sesame seeds or even some finely chopped toasted nuts. I think pecans would work especially well with the ham, Swiss and mustard.
If you’ve never had poppy seeds before and just think they sound weird in a sandwich, I ask you to please try the recipe as written at least once before opting to leave them out.
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.Reader “Married 62 Years and Loving Every Minute”
Making Party Ham Rolls in the Oven
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:
- 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.)
- Spread each cut side with half the butter/poppy seed mixture
- Layer on Swiss cheese, followed by ham and more cheese.
- Put the top of the package of rolls back on top.
- Place the whole shebang back in the original paper sleeve–yes, the paper tray can go in the oven!
- 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.
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.
Here are a couple of ideas for keeping them warm for serving.
- Invest in a bread warmer to tuck in a basket and then pile the party ham biscuits on top. This bread warmer comes with the warmer basket and a towel. Sweet!
- Serve them on a heated tray. This electric warming tray has a temperature control so the bottoms of the biscuits don’t get too crunchy.
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.
My Favorite Way to Heat Them Up
My favorite way to heat these up is to start them in the toaster oven on the toast setting until the tops brown just a bit and the cheese just starts to melt around the edges of the biscuit.
Then I put them in the microwave for maybe 10-12 seconds.
That way, I get the browned top and the little bit of crunch I want as well as the soft, squishy insides thanks to the microwave.
For me, they’re perfect heated this way. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
More Retro Appetizer Recipes
These are some of my all-time favorite appetizer recipes. I hope you’ll enjoy them too!
- Smoked Pimento Cheese (because: pimento cheese!)
- Spicy Queso Dip (this recipe makes a ton so it’s great for parties)
- Bread Pretzels with Beer Cheese (even if you don’t want to bake your own pretzels, make the beer cheese. Seriously.)
You ready to make these guys? And seriously, you don’t have to share if you don’t want to!
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- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 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.
- 18 slices (give or take) of good quality Swiss Cheese (Emmenthaler is great here--you want a pretty sharp Swiss)
- 18 slices (give or take) of boiled ham
- Mash together the first six ingredients very well. I start out with a potato masher and then use a spoon. You want a thick spread.
- Cut the flat of rolls in half horizontally, removing the top as one big slab.
- Spread each cut side of the flat with half the butter mixture.
- On the bottom flat, arrange one even layer of Swiss cheese, 2 even layers of ham and another even layer of Swiss. For me for the large size flat, I used 2 1/2 slices Swiss in each of three rows and the same for the ham.
- Carefully put the top of the flat back on the rolls and then use a bread knife to cut between each roll.
- Place the rolls back in their cardboard flat (it can go in the oven with no problem) or put them on a cookie sheet.
- At this point, you can refrigerate them for a week or freeze them, well wrapped, for several months. (Thaw before baking).
- Bake on the center of the oven at 350F for 10 minutes for small flats or 15 for large. You may have to cover the top with foil for the last 5 minutes or so.
- 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.
- I dare you to eat only one. Enjoy!
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Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1 roll
Amount Per Serving Calories 263Saturated Fat 9gCholesterol 56mgSodium 447mgCarbohydrates 16gSugar 4gProtein 11g
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