Christmas Sandwich cut in half on a round white plate with a bamboo tray of sandwiches and a glass of milk behind all on a white and grey marble surface (with logo overlay)

Christmas Sandwiches: A Family Holiday Tradition

Christmas Sandwiches are a holiday staple in my family. Find out our secret family recipe for a delicious hot ham and cheese sandwich.

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!

Christmas Sandwiches.
Christmas Eve, 2012. Grandpa, Justin, Aunt Tricia, Me, Mom, and Sarah making 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.


Christmas Sandwich cut in half on a round white plate with a bamboo tray of sandwiches and a glass of milk behind all on a white and grey marble surface

Christmas Sandwiches

Christmas Sandwiches are a holiday staple in my family. Find out our secret family recipe for a delicious hot ham and cheese sandwich.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese, ham, sandwich
Servings: 8 sandwiches
5 from 4 votes


  • 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


  1. Uncooked sandwiches can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and cooked as needed.
  2. Expert tip: As soon as they come out of the oven open the foil. Otherwise the buns get soggy from the steam trapped inside.
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Nutrition Facts
Christmas Sandwiches
Amount Per Serving (1 sandwich)
Calories 347 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 1008mg42%
Potassium 255mg7%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 265IU5%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 103mg10%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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13 thoughts on “Christmas Sandwiches: A Family Holiday Tradition”

  1. Ann F. Snook-Moreau

    Oh my gosh, these sound so yummy! I think the seasoned butter is probably what makes your family’s sandwiches so special 🙂

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

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