Ham roll ups are filled with dill pickle, cream cheese, and sharp cheddar. You can have this dead-simple party appetizer ready to go in minutes.
I'd like to think I have decent natural motivation, but that doesn't mean I always want to craft a seven-course meal. This ham roll recipe was born after a horrible night of sleep, leaving me without the energy to even cook instant rice, yet still realizing I need to get a recipe prepared for today. If you have ever wondered what stupidly simple appetizer I would turn to in a pinch, this recipe packs maximum flavor for minimal effort!
Ham Roll Ups
Ham roll ups is a classic appetizer featuring deli ham, painted with cream cheese, rolled around a dill pickle. I also prefer to add shredded sharp cheddar to this recipe, similar to my dill pickle pasta salad. I have also previously repurposed this recipe to craft a pickle wrap dip, which I also recommend checking out if you want to enjoy these same flavors in an enticing dip!
Ham Roll Ups Ingredients
The ham, pickle, and cheese you purchase for this recipe will all make a difference. Let me quickly touch on what works best.
Deli Ham: The best deli ham for this recipe is the packaged ham sold in squares, roughly 4"x4". These perfectly fit an average-sized pickle spear. The larger rectangle slices leave too much waste that needs to be trimmed off. Higher-end deli ham would also taste great, but its rounder shape makes it less ideal for rolling, feel free to use it but make sure you get sufficiently large slices so you can trim it down properly.
Dill Pickles: I tested this recipe using pickle spears and baby dill pickles. Pickle spears are the clear winner because of their longer size. Baby pickles have a better crunch, but are a little too short to fit the length of a typical slice of ham. I did find some pickle spears are a bit wider than what is ideal, so I trimed the edges a bit to square them up.
Cheddar cheese: I like using sharp cheddar in this recipe, as the flavor stands out more. I also prefer to use finely cheddar cheese, as it rolls easier. You can mix the cheddar with the cream cheese prior to painting it on the ham slices, but sprinkling it on the ham also works well.
How to Make Ham Roll Ups
The most important tip I can share with you when making ham and pickle roll ups is to soften the cream cheese. Cold cream cheese is really firm, and won't paint onto the ham very easily, likely clumping or tearing the ham. Instead, microwave the cream cheese briefly which will soften it into an easily spreadable paste.
Ham Roll Ups
- 8 ounces deli ham (approximately 9 slices 4"x4" in size)
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 5 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar
- 9 dill pickle spears (or as needed)
- Place cream cheese packet in hot water for 10 minutes to soften, or remove from foil and microwave for 45 seconds to soften.
- Assemble the roll ups by laying flat a slice of ham and painting approximately 1 ½ tablespoons of cream cheese on the ham, then sprinkle with ½ tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese. Place a pickle spear along one edge of the ham and then roll the ham over it to form the roll up.
- Cut each roll up into one-inch pieces.
- This can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator until needed.