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Tailgate Recipe: 3 Ways to Honey Baked Ham It Up at Your Tailgate

When you’re throwing a tailgate party, you don’t want to be chained to the kitchen — or the grill — all day and miss hanging out and celebrating with your guests.

The best way to give yourself some downtime while making sure everyone has plenty of yummy food on hand to eat is to let the food work for you.

What? How can the food work for you? Pretty simple, when you use a delicious, pre-cooked item like a honey baked ham to complement your tailgate spread.

Honey baked hams are fully-cooked hams that have been gently infused with the sweetness of honey, so the meat is uniformly delicious.

The meat can be eaten cold or warmed up, depending on your preferences and what your recipe calls for.

Best of all, honey baked ham can be a meal on its own served with side dishes or be put right into any recipe that calls for ham.

We’ve provided some of the most mouthwatering recipes that feature this easy-to-find ham, so you can spend more time with friends and family next tailgate season.

And just so we don’t leave anyone out, we’ve even provided a recipe to appeal to the from-scratch cooks among you.

Honey Baked Ham to the Rescue

This time, sit back and relax with these simple recipes centered around the sweet goodness of honey baked ham.

From simple sandwiches to an entrée-worthy centerpiece, honey baked ham can take your tailgate party to the next level with ease.

Best of all, extra — if there are any — keep well in the fridge and can be frozen for later use.

A ham is so versatile, you’ll appreciate being able to toss leftovers in your lunchbox, your scrambled eggs, a from-scratch casserole or in any of the many ham-based entrée recipes out there.

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Football Sandwiches

These classic sandwiches come to you straight from the pages of just about every Junior League cookbook ever published, but this one was vetted by foodie magazine Saveur, so you know it’s got to be good.

Super easy to make and serve, these delightful morsels will have your guests coming back for more — so be sure to make extra.

It’s easy to double — or triple — this recipe, as the sandwiches are the right size to fit on several trays that you can just pop into any average-sized oven.

You can even make an assemble the night before and cook immediately before serving.


8 individual white dinner rolls, like Kings Hawaiian

12 oz. sliced Swiss cheese

9 oz. thinly sliced honey baked ham

4 oz. (1 stick) butter, melted

2 tbsp. prepared mustard, preferably spicy brown or Dijon

2 tbsp. poppy seeds

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce


  • Slice the rolls in half using a serrated knife and arrange bottom halves of rolls in a large casserole dish. Arrange a layer of cheese on top, followed by a layer of ham. Cover with the tops of the rolls.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, mustard, poppy seeds, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined. Drizzle the sauce evenly over the tops of the sandwiches, cover the pan with aluminum foil and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  • Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and the sandwiches are warmed through.
  • Slice between the rolls and serve warm or at room temperature.

These might seem mighty easy — and they are — but the flavor is just out of this world. The simple pairing of honey baked ham with slightly nutty swiss cheese is a winner.

Add the mustard/butter/Worcestershire mix and you take these small sammies to a whole new level — and give your guests something to rave about.

Mini Muffulettas

There’s nothing better than being able to create a really special make-ahead dish that can help you enjoy your time with your party guests.

These flavorful sandwiches are easy to make and keep beautifully overnight in your fridge.

The original recipe calls for deli ham, but honey baked ham adds another layer of complexity that’s a big improvement.

The addition of the olives and pickled vegetables is what really packs the flavor into these popular New Orleans-based sandwiches.

The salty, tangy flavor pairs so well with mellow cheese and sweet ham and are set off perfectly by crusty dinner rolls.


2 (16-oz.) jars mixed pickled vegetables

3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, chopped

2 tablespoons bottled olive oil-and-vinegar dressing

12 small dinner rolls, cut in half

6 Swiss cheese slices, cut in half

12 honey baked ham slices

12 Genoa salami slices

6 provolone cheese slices, cut in half


  • Pulse pickled vegetables in a food processor 8 to 10 times or until finely chopped. Stir in olives and dressing.
  • Spread 1 heaping tablespoonful pickled vegetable mixture over cut side of each roll bottom. Top each with 1 Swiss cheese slice half, 1 ham slice, 1 salami slice, 1 provolone cheese slice half, and roll tops. Cover with plastic wrap. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.

Note: We tested with Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera pickled vegetables and Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar dressing.

It takes under a half-hour to create 12 of these masterpieces for your guests. If you purchase bagged dinner rolls, bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes to add crunch.

For an extra special touch, wrap the finished sandwiches in plain or decorative wax paper before serving.

Honey Baked Ham on the Grill

We know that some of you just love to start from scratch for authentic, home-crafted taste. That’s why we’ve included this recipe for a honey baked ham you create yourself.

You can cook this ham on the grill at your tailgate, or even in your oven at home. The recipe yields enough meat for up to 16 servings of ham as an entrée, so there will be plenty to share.

If you plan on using the ham to make sandwiches or other appetizers, the yield will be even more.


1 (12 to 14-pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham, preferably shank-end

Dry Rub Ingredients:

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Glaze Ingredients:

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

3/4 cup honey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  • Trim the ham of any excess fat, leaving 1/4-inch of fat on the ham. With a sharp knife, score the fat on the top of the ham. Place the ham on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Whisk together the brown sugar, salt, black pepper, cumin, ginger, mustard powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Reserve 1 tablespoon of the dry rub mixture for the glaze. Season the ham with the remaining dry rub.
  • Place plastic wrap over the ham and put it in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. Allowing the seasoning to penetrate the ham overnight will give it a fuller flavor.
  • Preheat your charcoal grill to 300 degrees F for indirect heat.
  • Place the baking sheet with the ham on the grill grates, with the ham flat side down. Cover the grill and let the ham cook for 2 hours.
  • Heat the butter, thyme, honey, vinegar, and reserved dry rub together in a medium saucepan until the butter melts. Stir together until smooth.
  • Brush the ham with the glaze, cover with grill lid, and grill for 30 minutes more, basting the ham every 10 minutes with the glaze.
  • Remove to a platter, let rest for 30 minutes, then carve and serve.

You can make carving and serve easier by purchasing a ham that’s already been spiral-sliced, although it may produce an end product that’s a bit drier, as some moisture will escape the meat during cooking.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge and can even be frozen to save you prep time at another tailgate party later in the season.

Let Honey Baked Ham Elevate Your Tailgate — And Free Up Your Time

Serving honey baked ham is a delicious way to elevate your tailgate with rib-sticking meat that can serve as a meal or an appetizer.

Our recipes make it easy to do it your way — from scratch, on-the-go, or even by making it ahead.

Versatile in the kitchen and on your plate, honey baked ham recipes can allow the cook to also be a part of the festivities by freeing up the time to socialize.

Feed your guests a meal that will satisfy — and give yourself a break in the process. Choose honey baked ham when planning your next tailgate menu.


Last update on 2021-08-29 at 06:10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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