Christmas Sandwiches are a holiday staple in my family. Find out our secret family recipe for a delicious hot ham and cheese sandwich.Jump to Recipe
Ok, so I may totally get in trouble for posting this recipe, but it is too good not to share! For anyone who has ever been to my grandma’s house for her usual Christmas Eve get-together, you know the Christmas Sandwiches I am talking about.
They are sort of a hot ham and cheese, but different. My family has been making them at Christmas time for as long as I can remember. And typically, that is the only time we prepare them. That is what makes them so special and gives them the name Christmas Sandwiches.
I do cheat and make them a couple of times throughout the year. Of course, at Christmas time my family makes around 72 of the sandwiches because so many people are there for Christmas Eve and Day.
We eat them for lunch while we are making them on Christmas Eve. Then sometimes again for dinner that evening. After dinner, we usually have a few friends and family over to Grandma’s house and warm some up there.
A few of our friends and family who have been coming over for years say they always look forward to the wonderful Christmas Eve spread my family puts out. Of course, at the center of it all is the Christmas Sandwiches!
Then, on Christmas morning, we make a huge batch to eat while we open gifts. We finish them up throughout the next day or two, depending on how many are left.
The uncooked sandwiches can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 20 minutes.
Other family recipes: Chicken a la Gurnham, Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf
Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 350F if you plan to have some of the sandwiches right away. Cut 8 pieces of aluminum foil into a square, about 12″x12″. It needs to be big enough to wrap around the completed sandwich.
Slice the cheese into thin pieces, about 1/4″ thick. This is easiest to do with a cheese slicer to get straight, even pieces. But, my grandpa is always the “cheese man” and usually uses a regular steak knife.
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the butter, onion, mustard, and poppy seeds. It helps if the butter is slightly softened, but will soften as you stir. Spread some of the butter mixture onto the top and bottom of each side of the bun.
Place 3-4 slices of ham on the bottom bun. Set a piece of the sliced cheese on the ham.
Close up the sandwich and wrap it in aluminum foil. I am trying to find a better way to do this without the aluminum waste but haven’t yet. If you have an idea, please let me know in the comments.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted. You can put the sandwiches directly on the oven rack, or use a pan to make it easier to grab multiple from the oven at once.
Expert tip: As soon as the sandwiches come out of the oven, open the foil to let them vent. Otherwise, the steam gets trapped and the buns get soggy.
Originally Published On: January 12, 2016
Last Updated On: December 10, 2019
- 6 tbsp butter (softened)
- 2 1/2 tbsp minced onion
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 8 hamburger buns
- 1 lb sliced ham
- 1 block cheddar cheese (extra sharp)
- Aluminum foil
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cut the pieces of aluminum foil into squares about 12"x12", enough to wrap around the completed sandwich
- Slice the cheese into thin pieces, about 1/4″ thick
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, minced onion, mustard, and poppy seeds
- Spread a small amount of the butter mixture on the top and bottom buns
- Put 3-4 slices ham on bottom bun
- Add 1 slice of cheese on top of the ham
- Put the top bun on and wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil
- Bake about 20 minutes or until warm and cheese is melted
- Uncooked sandwiches can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and cooked as needed.
- Expert tip: As soon as they come out of the oven open the foil. Otherwise the buns get soggy from the steam trapped inside.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
36 thoughts on “Christmas Sandwiches: A Family Holiday Tradition”
Oh my gosh, these sound so yummy! I think the seasoned butter is probably what makes your family’s sandwiches so special 🙂
Yes, I think so. It’s definitely what adds so much flavor to everything.
See now I want a sandwich! These sound and look so good!
I make these year-round, even though they are supposed to be a holiday thing. They are such a great sandwich to have on hand and pop in the oven when you need a quick meal.
Yum, these look so delicious! I love the combo of poppy seeds and mustard that you put on it!!
The butter sauce is what makes these have so much flavor!
Thank you for sharing this! I may add something else to my list of 2 things I can make. These sound Great!
These are so easy to put together! And you can make quite a few ahead of time then keep them in the refrigerator for a quick meal when you need it.
I would eat that christmas sandwich right now! I bet when its fresh out of the oven it tastes really delicious! yum!
Oh my gosh, yes, fresh out of the oven is the best!
Wow this is perfect sandwich for Christmas! I’m so excited to make this on Christmas YUMM!!
We’ve been making these for Christmas for as long as I can remember. I’ve never had a Christmas without the sandwiches.
My mom makes these but with King’s Hawaiian bread rolls! We always have this for brunch on Christmas!
I’ve never tried it with Hawaiian rolls! I love those so I’ll have to try it. My family may have always used regular buns since they are much cheaper when making as many as we do.
Oh yum, these look delicious! I love a good ham and cheese sandwich, but these are a serious upgrade!
They are definitely a bit more than a regular ham and cheese sandwich!
Love recipes with a story behind them! Just started eating meat again, will have to try!
Me too. Food can bring up so many memories, so it’s fun to share the ones I have attached to some of the recipes.
It not only looks delicious, it also looks quick and easy to make… perfect for a fall gathering.
These don’t take long. Especially if you are making a few batches and can recruit a few helpers and make an assembly line like we do.
Ooh, yum! These make me think of croque monsieur, which is a kind of grilled- cheese sandwich (only with mustard as well as ham) that you can get for lunch in (say) a deli in Paris. When I make croque monsieur for my girls,. I make it like a grilled cheese sandwich in the toaster oven, on a baking tray (though you could also pan-cook it if that is how you cook your grilled cheese) – either way, that would eliminate the tinfoil!
Interesting, I’ll have to give it a try! The main reason we do the foil is that we make them in batches and need a way to keep each one together when they are tossed in the fridge. But for only a few that could work!
One of the many reasons I love the holiday season is to participate in family traditions. Thank you for sharing one of your traditions with us!
I agree, it’s so much fun to carry on traditions, learn about others, and make new ones!
That looks so delicious. Ham and cheese is my favorite, i don’t like salty foods but ham and cheese just had the right saltiness that I prefer and tolerate to eat.
The mustard adds a bit of tang to the sandwich, but I don’t think it adds too much more salty flavor. I hope you enjoy the sandwiches!
Theses are great tasting and great year round!
I agree. My family sometimes scoffs at the idea, but I like to make them a few times throughout the year. But not too much so they are still special for Christmas.
These sound delicious… I’m sure my family would love them! Family Christmas traditions are the best aren’t they!
I love sharing and learning other family traditions. Sometimes it gives a great idea for new ones to start.
We have a similar Christmas tradition! It’s Christmas ham + edam or cheddar cheese + mayo in a pandesal (which is a kind of Filipino bread). We can make this sandwich any kind of year but it’s just so much better making and eating it at Christmas eh?
I’ve never talked to someone else who has a sandwich like this for their tradition! And yes, if we made it all the time, they wouldn’t be so special!
I really love this sandwich, it looks sooo delicious and very easy to make. Thanks a lot for the idea.
It’s so easy. The hardest part is waiting 20 minutes for it to finish baking so you can eat it! 🙂
My family loves sandwiches and these sound amazing. Have you tried putting several of these between 2 silicone baking sheets to save from having to wrap each individually in aluminum? Do you think that would work as well? TIA
I haven’t tried that. Mostly because I only have one silicone baking sheet since I almost always use my stone. It might work, they just may also take a few minutes longer to warm since the foil holds the heat in while they are baking to melt the cheese.