Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze

Who doesn’t love a good ham and cheese sandwich? Especially when it is upgraded with Canadian Bacon, Havarti cheese, a buttery pesto glaze, and baked to hot cheesy perfection? These are my new favorite appetizer!…or lunch. Or dinner!

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan

The other day my mom came over to visit (she drives 2 hours every Thursday just to hang out with me, isn’t she the best?)

She saw two copies of the same book on the table in my entryway. “Why do you have two of the same book, are they gifts?” she said.

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan

“Yes, one of them is for you for Mother’s Day this Sunday.” <– that’s what I didn’t say, but I couldn’t think of a clever cover up, so I think I said something like, “uh huh, I gotta go to the bathroom” and left the room.

Later that day she was talking about what she should get her own mom for Mother’s Day. “I was going to get her a book, but then I thought, well that’s kind of a lame Mother’s Day present. I can do better than that.” And that’s when I knew I was in serious jeopardy of losing my favorite child status.

(There is a 5-way battle going for favorite child status in my family, but I know I’ve got it in the bag. I’m pretty sure all of my siblings think they’ve got it too, though. Which means my mom is pretty freakin amazing.) Here’s the mug my sister Nikki just got my mom:

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan

I feel like I should also add some Karen n’ Eric classic to this story. We bought the two books at Target last week, one for his mom, one for mine. (We haven’t even read it yet. But we saw the movie and it was so great! And my book club read it and said it was great! Yes, we are those annoying people that recommend things before actually trying it. <–“these people don’t eat gluten because someone in their yoga class told them not to.”)

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan

But THEN, being the responsible people that we are, we forgot to send the book to his mom who lives in Montana. So Eric bought it on Kindle and sent that to her on Mother’s Day so that we wouldn’t be late. Books bought: 3. Book read: 0. At least we have our own copy now!

Well, Happy Mother’s Day anyway, Mom! Next year I’m getting you something WAY COOLER. I will redeem myself! (Read the disclaimer comment from Janice/Mom below that I’m sure will show up soon. “I love books! This looks like a really good one! I love all my children equally!”)

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan


Who loves sliders?? (Who knows why they are called sliders??) I love mini hot sandwiches of any kind, but these Canadian Bacon and Havarti ones take the cake for me. They are just so cheesy and so flavorful! There is an entire stick of butter (mixed with pesto) drizzled on top, then it’s baked to crispy-cheesy perfection. Who needs a balanced diet when there’s cheese and butter to be eaten, right.

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze from The Food Charlatan

^^Do you see that crispy cheese skirt on the bottom? YUM.

These would be a really fun appetizer or side dish to bring for summer BBQs this year. They are super easy to make, which is always a plus. Split rolls, add mayo and ham and cheese, throw together a 5 ingredient sauce and you’re done!

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One year ago: Easy Blackberry Cobbler with Oat Crunch Topping
Two years ago: Rhubarb Meringue Layers < This is a Top 5 dessert for me. Try it!
Three years ago: Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini Bake

Canadian Bacon and Havarti Cheese Sliders with Pesto Glaze

Yield: Serves 12

Recipe by The Food Charlatan


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1-3 teaspoon Dijon mustard, to taste (I used 1)
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion (or fresh minced onion)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 package Hawaiian rolls (12 rolls)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 12-14 ounces (about 24 small slices) Canadian Bacon (or your favorite ham)
  • 8 ounces sliced Havarti cheese


  1. In a small bowl, melt the butter halfway in the microwave. It should be mostly melted and the un-melted parts should be soft. It shouldn't take more than 40-60 seconds.
  2. Stir in the pesto, Dijon, minced onion, and red pepper flakes. Let this mixture sit at room temperature to thicken up (or stick it in the fridge) for a few minutes while you assemble the sandwiches.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Use a sharp serrated knife to split the rolls in half (do no separate into individual rolls.) See photos. Place the bottom half of the rolls on a rimmed baking sheet. (Or you could also do it in a 9x13 inch pan.)
  5. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sugar. You can skip this step and just spread the mayo on if you want. I like it a little sweeter.
  6. Layer the Canadian Bacon on the bottom half of the buns. Layer the cheese on top.
  7. Top with the top half of the rolls.
  8. Spoon the butter-pesto mixture over the tops of the rolls and spread it all over.
  9. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with nonstick spray (so the cheese doesn’t stick to it).
  10. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
  11. Remove the foil. Continue baking for another 2-5 minutes, until the tops are browned. Keep an eye on the bottoms of the rolls so they don’t burn. I like them to be nice and crispy.
  12. Use a sharp knife to cut each sandwich and serve hot!


More cheesy appetizers to love!

Cuban Sandwiches (Cubanos) << These are always soooo popular!! That pork in the middle is amazing.

Cuban Sandwiches from The Food Charlatan


Ham and Cheese Dip << this is so easy and everybody loves it.

Ham and Cheese Dip from The Food Charlatan


Mozzarella Stuffed Soft Pretzels << these are just like Pretzel dogs but stuffed with mozzarella instead!

Mozzarella-Stuffed Soft Pretzels from The Food Charlatan


Pimiento Cheese, Tomato, and Biscuit Sandwiches << ugly old photo, delicious sandwich.

Pimiento Cheese, Tomato, and Biscuit Sandwiches


More sliders from friends!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders from A Family Feast
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage Sliders from The Cookie Rookie
Ham and Havarti Sliders with Parmesan-Butter Topped Pretzel Buns from Noble Pig

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