Monday, October 8, 2012

Funeral Sandwiches

I tried these for the first time yesterday for our semi-annual General Conference luncheon.  I had found several recipes online and read many rave reviews, so I figured I would give them a try.  They were a huge hit.  I combined, then modified two different recipes, so I guess the end-result would be MINE.

Funeral Sandwiches
(I might need to find another name)

Dinner rolls*
24+ slices Black Forest Ham (I used Castlewood brand from Sam's, deli ham would be great too)
24 slices Swiss Cheese (I used the pre-sliced Tillamook, and cut the slices into smaller squares, then also used the edge pieces, 2 edge slices per sandwich)

Slice rolls, if needed.  Squeeze 24 rolls on an 11x15 inch sheet pan (it's okay if they are touching).  Place one slice of ham (some of my slices were super thin, so I added another half slice with those) and one slice of cheese on the bottom half of each roll, then replace tops.

*Most recipes I found called for King's Hawaiian Rolls.  I am not a fan of their texture and sweetness, so I opted to go for the dinner rolls from Sam's Club.  They were perfectly chewy (not spongey) and perfectly sweet with the following sauce.

Sauce of yumminess:
1 cube butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. poppy seeds (I used slightly less - they are mostly for aesthetics, I think)
1 tsp. onion powder

Mix together with a small whisk.  Brush tops of ham and cheese rolls liberally with sauce, then pour remaining sauce over all.  Cover pan with foil and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake rolls, covered, for 10 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

Since I was making these for a crowd, here are the quantities I used:

3 bags of Sam's dinner rolls (I think there are 36 rolls per bag)
3 pkgs. of Castlewood thinly sliced Black Forest Ham (Sam's)
1-1/2 pkgs. of Tillamook pre-sliced Swiss cheese (Sam's)

That made 4 sheet pans of rolls (96 total), with a few plain rolls left over, which was perfect for guests who may not want/like ham and cheese (only my cute 4 yr. old neighbor friend preferred a pb&j).



  1. I love funeral sandwiches! My mom's parents lived in Tennessee my whole life, and when my grandfather passed away, his Baptist church brought in all variations of funeral sandwiches for the family luncheon following. I never knew they were actually called "Funeral Sandwiches" until years later, when the recipes started floating around pinterest.

    I grew up in Indiana, alongside my Dad's Amish family. The Amish call things "church ______", when it's for a big crowd like at their weddings. Church Cookies, Church Salad, etc. To me, that made sense. Then, I moved here to Utah and I was introduced to "Funeral Potatoes", which I quickly learned is served most often around holidays. Why "Funeral" potatoes? I asked. I was told it just means it feeds a "crowd". I guess I've gotten used to it by now. I tried telling someone I was going to make cheesy potato casserole, and when I described what it was, she said, "Oh -- you mean Funeral Potatoes!" Haha. So, I gave up trying to change the name! :)

  2. Did you multiply the sauce recipe? How much is a cube of butter?

    1. Linda - Yes, each recipe of the sauce will cover 1 pan of sandwiches, and I have found it best when making multiple trays to make each batch of sauce separately so each tray gets the same amount. A cube of butter = 1/2 cup.

  3. Thanks for getting back to me! I am absolutely going to make this for a congregational lunch that is coming up! Looks great!