Whether you're attending a wake or sending a sympathy meal, these funeral sandwiches are a good recipe to have in times of need.
There's nothing mournful about this delicious sandwich recipe. Funeral Sandwiches are ham and cheese baked sandwiches that are perfect as an appetizer or lunchtime meal. It will take you just five minutes to assemble the sandwiches, and they only bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the buns are perfectly browned. You'll never want to make a boring deli sandwich again after trying this delicious ham sandwich recipe.
And, the best part about these Funeral Sandwiches is that you can make them for any potluck occasion. While they're comforting enough to make as a sympathy meal, they're also tasty enough to serve at a holiday party. This might just be the ultimate potluck recipe.
Why are these popular party sandwiches?
We're always interested in how certain recipes become so popular. What is it about funeral sandwiches, or Hawaiian roll sandwiches, that make them great at a party?
To begin with, they are super easy and quick to make. Whether you have unexpected guests or a last-minute event, you can find the time to make a batch of funeral sandwiches. You might have the ingredients on hand, and if not that can be easily solved with a quick trip to the grocery store. No fancy ingredients needed!
These sandwiches also cook quickly and travel well. You make them in a casserole dish, so transporting them from the oven to your destination is a snap. These sandwiches reheat well, and some people even enjoy them cold! Just be sure to practice good food safety and don't let them sit out for too long on a buffet. The same goes for all party or sympathy foods.
The final reason why these sandwiches make such a good party recipe? They taste delicious! Everyone will love the gooey, cheesy, comforting flavor of these sandwiches. It doesn't hurt that they're made with quite a bit of butter, so they taste rich and indulgent. They're definitely a crowd pleaser.
Funeral Sandwiches Recipe
Preparation Time5 min
Cooking Time15 min
Cooking Vessel Size7 x 10 x 3-inch deep bake dish
Type of DishSandwich
- 1 package Hawaiian sweet rolls
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced deli ham
- 1/2 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Pinch of onion powder
Spray a 7 x 10 x 3-inch deep bake dish with cooking spray.
Remove rolls from the packaging and slice them horizontally in half. Place the bottom half into the prepared bake dish. Layer ham and cheese evenly over the base, then re-position tops.
Combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, brown sugar and onion powder. Mix well and pour over the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight (or a minimum of 4 hours).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, uncovered, and serve while warm.
Variation: Funeral Sandwiches with a Tropical Twist
Try adding a little sweetness to these sandwiches!
Make Tropical King's Hawaiian Roll Sandwiches by adding half a slice of pineapple to each sandwich. Do this at the same time that you add the ham and cheese, and then bake everything together as usual. The pineapple will be delicious with the ham and Swiss cheese!
You will need about 1 20-ounce can of sliced pineapple in order to adapt this entire recipe.
Why Are They Called Funeral Sandwiches?
The story behind funeral sandwiches is relatively self-explanatory: they are really just a potluck recipe that ended up named after the occasion it was most often served at.
The tradition even dates back to the late 1700's! It was customary to bring food gifts to the family of the deceased. These gifts often included simple ingredients and were served warm or included reheating instructions.
This tradition has appeared to have continued, as my mom and I would bake casseroles if we had friends or neighbors that were going through a rough time. It was just one less thing for them to worry about during this time in their life. We almost always made stuffed shells because it was a dish that could be fully cooked beforehand and easily reheated with more marinara sauce so they didn't dry out. Whether it be a death in the family or another type of unfortunate circumstance, food gifts and casseroles seem to be one of the easiest ways to show that you care.
Find even more funeral food ideas in our collection of:The Best Funeral Foods: 21 Easy Potluck Recipes for a Crowd