Hawaiian Roll Sliders

hawaiian roll sliders sitting on a tan tile surface
Photographer: Joel Goldberg ; Food Styling: Micah Morton

Hawaiian rolls are a guilty pleasure of ours: buttery and so addictive. And these sliders, layered with ham, Swiss, and caramelized onions, will quickly become a MUST at any party you throw.

Besides being a sure hit with guests, these slider rolls are great party food because they are so easy to put together. Split the rolls, layer them, bake them, and in just a few minutes you have a dozen hot, mind-blowing sandwiches.

Read on for more tips on this super simple party classic or, for more party food inspiration, check out our best bite-sized party apps. And if you’re looking for more recipes that use Hawaiian rolls, check out these Hawaiian Chicken Sliders.

Where do Hawaiian rolls come from?

Hawaiian rolls were invented by Robert Tairo, the Hawaiian-born son of Japanese immigrants who opened a bakery in Hilo in the mid-1950’s. Soft, fluffy, and just slightly sweet, the rolls quickly became so popular that Tairo expanded his business to Honolulu, and then to California. Today you can find them all over the country and in the hearts of each Delish test kitchen editor (check out these killer Hawaiian roll s'mores and you'll understand our obsession!)

I can’t find Hawaiian rolls! What else can I use?

If your grocery store is out of Hawaiian rolls, we recommend buying the softest, squishiest white dinner rolls or slider buns you can find. Potato rolls are also an amazing substitution if you can find the mini slider size!

Can I change up the fillings?

Absolutely! We love the combo of ham, Swiss, and caramelized onions, but you can definitely switch it up. Sub out the ham for sliced turkey, roast beef, or other sliced lunch meat. Try another good melting cheese, such as Cheddar, Provolone, or Gruyere. Just do yourself a favor and keep the caramelized onions — they might take a little extra time to make, but their jammy goodness is worth every second.

Can I make these ahead of time?

Yes! You can fully assemble the leftovers and cover with plastic wrap a few hours or even the night before your event. Simply wait to bake until you're about to serve and you are golden (just like these sliders)!

How do I store the leftovers?

If you have leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, we recommend warming them in the oven at 350° in their own little foil packet.

Tried making these? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

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Yields: 1 dozen
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 55 mins
For caramelized onions
2 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil


large onion, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt

For poppy-butter topping
4 tbsp.

melted butter

1 tbsp.

poppy seeds


cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp.

Worcestershire sauce

For sliders

mini Hawaiian rolls

1/4 c.


1/4 c.

honey mustard

2 lb.

deli sliced ham

1 lb.

sliced Swiss cheese

  1. Make caramelized onions: In a large skillet over medium, heat oil. Add onions and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized and jammy, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Make poppy butter topping: In a medium bowl, combine butter, poppy seeds, garlic, and Worcestershire.
  3. Make sliders: Split slider buns in half horizontally and place bottom halves on baking sheet. Spread mayo in an even layer on bottom layer of slider buns, then top with half the ham. Top with Swiss, then remaining ham. Spread ham with honey mustard and onions and close sandwiches. Brush poppyseed dressing on tops of buns until all buns are coated. 
  4. Bake until cheese is melty and buns are golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Photographer: Joel Goldberg ; Food Styling: Micah Morton

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