These Ham and Turkey Sliders turn deli lunchmeat into something special with the addition of caramelized onions and arugula. Watch them disappear on game day!

Pretzel bun sliders made with turkey, ham, arugula, mustard and caramelized onions on a slate platter.

I think it’s funny how sliders have become one of the most popular tailgating and game day foods. Nothing like watching huge men tackle each other while eating tiny little sandwiches, right?

I guess it makes sense, though, because you can be eating a slider in one hand while you have a foam finger on the other hand?

But I think the best thing about sliders is that you can enjoy a few bites of a delicious sandwich, but it doesn’t have to be your entire meal. You won’t be so full that you can’t also enjoy some of the football charcuterie board and healthy buffalo chicken dip.

These Ham and Turkey Sliders with honey caramelized onions are perfect for game day or when you have leftover maple bourbon turkey or pineapple ham that you want to use up! I also love them served alongside soup, like my Irish colcannon soup.

Turkey and ham sliders dressed with arugula and caramelized onions on a slate platter.

What’ll you need for ham and turkey sliders:

  • ham – I used thinly sliced black forest ham from the deli counter for these pretzel bun sliders. But if I have leftover ham from a bigger dinner (and I didn’t use it all to make old fashioned ham and beans), I’ll use that!
  • turkey – again, the deli counter is your friend. Thinly sliced oven roasted turkey is great.
  • onions – you’ll need 2 large white onions for these turkey and ham sliders. I know it sounds like a lot for six sliders, but they cook down SO much when they caramelize!
  • honey – I add a touch of honey to my caramelized onions to bring out their natural sweetness even more. It’s so good on my roasted glazed carrots, too.
  • Dijon mustard – this is my condiment of choice for these ham and turkey sliders, but I discuss other options below!
  • arugula – I think all sandwiches need a little something green on them, and arugula is just prettier and tastier than lettuce. Use the rest of the box to top crusted almond chicken later in the week.
  • slider buns or rolls – just about any small bun or roll will work for these, but my personal preference is pretzel slider rolls.

Don’t rush the caramelized onions for these pretzel bun sliders!

A lot of recipes on the internet will tell you that you can caramelize onions over medium-high heat in 15 or 20 minutes. This is a lie! They’ll end up unevenly cooked – burnt in spots and undercooked in others.

For truly golden brown and delicious caramelized onions for your ham and turkey sliders, take your time. Instead of cranking the heat up to get it done faster, let your onions slowly saute over medium-low heat.

Stir them every once in awhile, but most of this time will be hands-off. They’ll ever so gently fry and almost melt in a pile of golden brown goodness for your turkey and ham sliders.

A ham and turkey slider made on a pretzel roll, dressed with arugula, caramelized onions and mustard.

I serve these turkey and ham sliders cold, but you could serve them warm!

I love a cold lunchmeat sandwich, and it’s a little bit easier than having to warm them up, too. But if you’d rather serve warm ham and turkey sliders, you can!

Place the assembled turkey and ham sliders on a rimmed baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are warmed through.

The only change I would make is that I would skip the arugula as I’m assembling the lunchmeat sliders, because warmed arugula is wilty and loses the fresh kick that raw arugula has (and that makes it so good in Christmas salad).

You can either add the arugula to the pretzel bun sliders once they come out of the oven, or just omit it altogether.

Dijon adds a spicy kick, but there are other condiment options:

I love using spicy Dijon mustard to balance out the sweetness of the caramelized onions in these lunchmeat sliders (it also gives a nice kick to shrimp deviled eggs and potato salad with bacon). But, Dijon isn’t for everyone. Don’t worry, there are other options for these ham and turkey sliders:

A ham and turkey slider made on a pretzel roll, dressed with arugula, caramelized onions and mustard.

Ham and Turkey Sliders

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

These Ham and Turkey Sliders turn deli lunchmeat into something special with the addition of caramelized onions and arugula. Watch them disappear on game day!


For the Honey Caramelized Onions:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey

For the Sliders:

  • 6 pretzel slider rolls
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 6 ounces sliced black forest ham
  • 6 ounces sliced roasted turkey
  • 1-1/2 cups arugula


  1. Make the Honey Caramelized Onions: Heat butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions; cook 45 to 60 minutes or until onions are deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper and honey.
  2. Make the Sliders: If necessary, slice the rolls in half crosswise. Divide and spread the mustard among the 6 bottom rolls. Top each with ham and turkey, and finish with Honey Caramelized Onions and arugula. Cover with tops of rolls and serve immediately. 

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    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 3566mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 19g

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