Looking for some easy appetizers for your next social gathering? These ham and cream cheese roll ups will be the first empty platter at the party! This simple appetizer is easy to make and take only minutes to assemble.
Whether you’re hosting a baby shower, an adult game night or ringing in the New Year, these ham roll ups will definitely be a hit.
The Easiest Appetizer
Ham and cream cheese roll ups are a super easy appetizer and one of our family’s go-to recipes when we are entertaining or when we are asked to bring an appetizer to share. They are delicious and easy to make and they only use 3 ingredients: olives, cream cheese & sliced ham. Here is how to put them together.
What You’ll Need
- My favorite kitchen knife
- Festive toothpicks for the occasion
- A white serving tray
How To Make Ham and Cheese Roll Ups
Make It Soft – Before you get started making these delicious appetizers, you’ll want to soften your cream cheese so it’s easier to spread.
Spread – Lay out the slices of ham on a cutting board and spread the cream cheese over the top until they’re mostly covered.
Roll It Up – Be sure to roll the slices of ham lengthwise. This will help yield the highest number of roll ups and they won’t be too thick.
Slice & Serve – First, place toothpicks into the cream cheese filled roll of ham. Make sure separate the toothpicks so they’ll be cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut the roll and then serve them to your guests.
Other Additions For Cream Cheese Roll Ups
My family loves these ham and cream cheese roll ups as-is but sometimes I like to mix things up a bit. Here are a couple of other ideas of things you can add to this easy recipe to give it a little variety.
- Small pickle slices
- Strawberry jelly
- Green onions
Tips For Making Ham Roll Ups
The Softer The Better – Take your cream cheese out of the refrigerator WAY in advance to soften it up so it is easier to spread on the ham.
Use Your Hands – Usually if I spread the cream cheese with a knife, the ham has a tendency to tear. I prefer to use my hands (after I have thoroughly washed them of course:)) to spread the cream cheese.
Thicker Is Better – The thicker the ham, the better. Not only does it taste great, the thick slices are less likely to tear when you spread the cream cheese.
More Ham and Cream Cheese Appetizers
If you’re a fan of ham and cream cheese like me, here are a few more appetizers that use these delicious ingredients.
Other Easy Appetizers
Are you looking for other easy appetizers to make for your party? Here are a few of our most popular recipes.
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Ham and Cream Cheese Roll Ups Recipe
- 1 can olives, black, green or both
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 package ham, I use a sliced lunch meat
- Lay out the slices of ham and then spread the softened cream cheese over the top.
- I usually have to resort to using my hands for this, as a knife usually tears up the ham while trying to get an even layer of cream cheese.
- Roll the ham up lengthwise so you have a nice, long roll.
- Stick an olive in every toothpick, then stick the toothpick/olives into the ham roll about an inch apart from each other.
- Lastly, take a sharp knife and cut the ham roll in between the toothpicks so they are now individual bites.
Serve and enjoy!
This post originally published on Somewhat Simple in December 2012. It was updated in April 2017.
I’ve been making these for several years. I dry the ham slice with paper towels first then spread whipped cream cheese spread with green onion & chives on the ham slice. Roll up, refrigerate overnight, slice & serve. I also do deli Roast beef slices with cream cheese mixed with horseradish. These also go quickly at a party
I need to try the Roast Beed variation – that sounds amazing!!!
I make these, but I place a pickled asparagus spear in the middle. The olive is a fun variety! I’ll have to give it a try Thanks for sharing with SYC.
Easy Appetizers and easy to make.
I’ve been making these for years, but I sprinkle garlic salt on before rolling up. I also place the ham on paper towel to dry before spreading with cream cheese. Makes the cream cheese easier to spread. Roll up and wrap in plastic wrap to hold shape, cut the following day, garnish with parsley. Oh and the olives can then be placed inside the roll up too! I cut each slice of ham into 6 equal sized pieces. Enjoy!!
Yes! They are perfect to make in advance, you are right! Aren’t they delish?!?!
absolutely love these. Can be made in advance and your guest will love them.