Ham and Cranberry Sliders: A Delightful Fusion of Sweet and Savory


Everyday Culinary Delights

These Ham and Cranberry Sliders are the perfect party pleaser! They’re a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors, ideal for using up leftover Thanksgiving ham or turkey, or as a standout appetizer for any gathering. Made with readily available ingredients and ready in just 15 minutes, this recipe is a lifesaver for busy cooks who want to impress their guests.

So ditch the boring appetizers and give these sliders a try! We guarantee they’ll be a hit at your next potluck, game day gathering, or even a casual weeknight dinner.

A Brief History of Sliders

Sliders, also known as mini burgers or slider buns, are small sandwiches typically made with a soft bread roll and a savory filling. Their origins can be traced back to the early 1900s in the United States, where they were initially served in roadside diners and at fairs.

The exact origin of the name “slider” is unclear, but some theories suggest it comes from the ease with which they can slide down in one bite. Over time, sliders have evolved to incorporate a wide variety of fillings and toppings, making them a versatile and delicious appetizer option.

Gather Your Supplies and Get Ready to Slide into Flavor!

This recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd, yielding around 12 sliders. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tools:
    • Baking sheet
    • Parchment paper or aluminum foil
    • Knife
    • Bowl
    • Spoon
  • Ingredients: (with Substitutions)
    • The Base:
      • 1 (12 count) package King Hawaiian Sweet Rolls: These sweet and fluffy rolls are the quintessential base for sliders. However, if you can’t find them, any soft dinner roll will work as a substitute.
    • The Tangy Layer:
      • 1 cup canned cranberry sauce: This adds a burst of sweet and tart flavor to the sliders. You can use leftover homemade cranberry sauce for an extra special touch.
    • The Savory Star:
      • 8-10 slices Black Forest ham: Black forest ham offers a smoky flavor that pairs beautifully with the cranberry sauce. You can substitute leftover ham, turkey, or even shredded cooked chicken for a different twist.
    • The Cheesy Goodness:
      • 6 slices pepper jack cheese or Swiss cheese: The melty cheese adds a creamy and savory element to the sliders. Feel free to experiment with different cheeses to find your favorite flavor combination. Mozzarella cheese or provolone cheese would also work well.
    • The Buttery Glaze:
      • 4 ounces (1 stick) salted butter: Salted butter adds richness and a touch of saltiness to the glaze. Unsalted butter can be used with a pinch of salt added to taste.
      • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty depth of flavor to the glaze. You can substitute with any other grated hard cheese you like, such as Romano or Asiago.
      • 1 tablespoon dried parsley: Dried parsley adds a touch of freshness and herbaceousness to the glaze. You can substitute with fresh parsley, using about 2 tablespoons chopped.
      • 1 tablespoon dried dill: Dried dill complements the sweet and savory flavors of the sliders. You can omit it if you don’t have it on hand.

Step-by-Step Guide to Slider Perfection:

  1. Preheat and Prep: Get your oven preheated to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  2. Slice and Spread: Carefully cut the package of Hawaiian rolls in half horizontally, maintaining the rolls’ structure. This will create the top and bottom buns for your sliders. Spread the cranberry sauce evenly over the bottom half of the rolls.
  3. Layer Up the Flavor: Arrange the ham or turkey slices over the cranberry sauce, ensuring they cover the entire surface. Top the ham with cheese slices.
  4. Assemble the Sliders: Gently place the top half of the Hawaiian rolls over the bottom layer, creating a complete sandwich.
  5. Glaze to Impress: In a small bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese, dried parsley, and dried dill until well combined. Pour this flavorful glaze evenly over the assembled sliders.
  6. Bake to Golden Perfection: Bake the sliders in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the tops are golden brown.
  7. Slice and Serve: Remove the sliders from the oven and let them cool slightly before slicing them into individual portions using a serrated knife.

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Ham and Cranberry Sliders:

  1. Soggy Sliders:
  • Culprit: Overly wet cranberry sauce can make the bottom buns soggy.
  • Solution: Use a thicker cranberry sauce, or strain any excess liquid from canned cranberry sauce before spreading it on the rolls.
  1. Unevenly Melted Cheese:
  • Culprit: Not preheating the oven to the correct temperature or using thick slices of cheese can lead to uneven melting.
  • Solution: Ensure your oven is fully preheated before baking. You can also use shredded cheese, which melts more evenly than thick slices.
  1. Bland Glaze:
  • Culprit: Forgetting to add salt if using unsalted butter or skimping on the Parmesan cheese can result in a bland glaze.
  • Solution: Use salted butter or add a pinch of salt to taste when using unsalted butter. Don’t be shy with the Parmesan cheese – it adds a burst of flavor to the glaze.
  1. Overcooked Sliders:
  • Culprit: Leaving the sliders in the oven for too long can dry out the bread and make the cheese tough.
  • Solution: Keep an eye on the sliders while they bake. Once the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the tops are golden brown, they’re done!
  1. Forgetting the Extras:
  • Culprit: Sliders are all about the experience! Don’t forget the finishing touches.
  • Solution: Serve the sliders with extra cranberry sauce for dipping. You can also add a sprinkle of fresh herbs like chives or parsley for a touch of green.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Ham and Cranberry Sliders:

  1. Can I make these sliders ahead of time?

Absolutely! Assemble the sliders completely (without baking) and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake them according to the recipe instructions.

  1. Are these sliders suitable for freezing?

While technically possible, freezing isn’t recommended. The freezing process can alter the texture of the bread and fillings, making the sliders soggy upon thawing.

  1. Can I use fresh cranberry sauce instead of canned?

Yes, fresh cranberry sauce adds a delightful homemade touch. Use your favorite recipe or a store-bought option.

  1. What alternatives can I use for Hawaiian rolls?

Any soft, sweet rolls can be used as a substitute. Dinner rolls, brioche buns, or King’s Hawaiian hamburger buns would all work well.

  1. Is it necessary to use salted butter for the glaze?

Salted butter enhances the flavor, but unsalted butter can also be used with a pinch of salt added to taste.

A Delicious Conclusion:

Ham and Cranberry Sliders are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, perfect for any occasion. With their delightful combination of sweet, savory, and creamy flavors, they’re sure to be a hit! So next time you’re looking for an easy and delicious appetizer recipe, give these sliders a try. With a little preparation, you can have a gourmet-tasting dish ready in just 15 minutes.

We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide to making Ham and Cranberry Sliders. Now get out there and start creating delicious memories with this crowd-pleasing recipe!

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