Caramelized Meat & Swiss Sambo

I was having a couple friends over for lunch. Truth be told, I have a hundred recipes to make for dinner and about two recipes to make for a nice, formal lunch. Plot twist, they were coming over with their almost 3-year-old, so I wanted a menu that everyone could eat. These fancy caramelized meat & Swiss sandwiches were such a crowd pleaser for young and old, I will definitely make these again.


  • 1 pkg. Hawaiian sweet rolls (You could also substitute a bigger, nicer bun)
  • 1/2 lb. sliced deli ham
  • 1/2 lb. sliced deli turkey
  • 1/2 lb. sliced salami
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese, halved
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion (I used yellow, not red, to tame down the flavor)
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder


  1. Arrange bottom halves of rolls in a greased 9×13-in. baking pan. (If you’re using bigger buns, you may need another pan.) Spread the cut side of the roll bottoms with butter and layer with ham, turkey, cheese and salami. (Really you can use any meat that you like. I left salami off of a few in case my little toddler friend didn’t like that meat.) Replace tops.
  2. In a small skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, 1-2 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over rolls, ensuring that each roll is properly coated in the butter/mustard concoction. Refrigerate, covered, for a couple hours. (To note: I have skipped the refrigeration part and find that the bread gets a little soggy, but I think using a larger, heartier bun would help this.)
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, 5-10 minutes longer. (Keep an eye on the time when baking uncovered. A couple of my tops got a little more brown that I would have liked.)

Like I mentioned, you can use any meat you like. You could add a little horseradish or Worcestershire sauce if you like that. Play around with it because it is a fun recipe. I might have used a little extra butter when I make these. You can also save the poppy seeds for the very end (before baking) but strategically place them on top of the rolls so they look pretty. Enjoy!


Published by KPatt

An outgoing Enneagram 7 who loves to travel, journal, blog, laugh until I cry, take risks, love hard, and live simple. Originally from a small town in Minnesota, I graduated from the University of Minnesota's School of Professional Journalism -- Go Gophers! My husband and I got married and soon after moved to Reno, NV and have enjoyed every moment being out here. In the last 5 years, between getting married, moving halfway across the United States, getting licensed to do foster care, buying a house, and navigating everything in between, I have wanted a forum to tell our story, share Truth, and encourage others with tough lessons we have learned along the way. Thank you for sticking around to read a post or two. If you are encouraged, please share the post, leave feedback, and send me a message! God bless and thanks for being here.

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