From Minnesota with love, Ham Roll Ups are a delicious party appetizer made deli ham, cream cheese, and pickle spears. They are salty, addictive, and the perfect tasty bite!

Ham roll ups on a light blue plate.

There’s just something about ham and pickle roll ups that only makes you want another after your first taste. And yes, they are one of my favorite appetizers in the world, perfect for snacking solo or with a group.

These little piggy pinwheels are definitely more common in the Midwest (especially Minnesota) than in other states, but if everyone knew how good they are and how easy they are to make, all that could change in a heartbeat.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled ingredients for ham roll ups on a countertop.

Ingredient notes:

  • Deli ham: My favorite ham in the world is Badger Baked Ham. Beyond a good brand (Boar’s Head is also excellent), choose a ham that has uniform slices rather than unevenly shaved ham. Or substitute corned beef, roast beef, turkey, or any deli meat you love.
  • Cream cheese: You can use regular block cream cheese, but I usually buy the whipped variety because it’s easier to handle and it spreads well. If you buy the block, just be sure to soften it up a bit.
  • Pickle spears: Clausen’s refrigerated pickles are my favorite, but there are lots of good brands out there, and everyone has their favorites. Buy the spears and slice them in half, or buy the halves and slice them into quarters or more.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Working one at a time, place a slice of ham on a clean work surface. Carefully spread the cream cheese in a thick layer edge-to-edge over the meat.
    Ham roll ups being assembled on a cutting board.
  2. Position a pickle spear along the short end of the ham and roll it up tightly in the ham and cream cheese blanket. Repeat with remaining ingredients. When ready to serve, cut into bite-sized pieces and devour.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: One batch of this recipe makes 16 whole pickle roll ups,  more depending on how many pieces you cut out of each.
  • Make ahead: Make the roll ups the day before you need them (without cutting into pieces) and keep them chilled in the refrigerator in an airtight container so they can firm up. When you’re ready to eat, cut them into slices with a sharp knife.
  • Storage: Keep cold in the refrigerator until it’s time to eat.
  • Serve them whole: It just saves you the trouble of eating 16 or 20 slices. A decent compromise is to cut each roll up in half.
  • Toothpicks: You can skewer the pieces with toothpicks, which make them easy to pick up and keeps the deli ham firmly attached to the pickle.
  • Improvise: If the pickles you have are small, use the whole thing rolled up in the cheese. Or make smaller roll-ups if you have smaller slices of meat. Once you make one, you’ll get the hang of it, I promise.
  • Pickle roll-up dip: Mix 1 (8-ounce) block softened cream cheese with 6 finely chopped pickle spears and 2 ounces finely chopped deli ham. Chill to blend flavors and serve with pretzels and crackers.
  • Herbs: Fancy it up with herbed cream cheese or another flavor (chive and onion, jalapeño, or garden vegetable) and make it even more delicious. Some diehard fans mix a packet of ranch seasoning into the cream cheese before spreading.

Ham roll ups on a light blue plate.

More delicious snacks:

Ham roll ups on a light blue plate.

Ham Roll Ups

From Minnesota with love, Ham Roll Ups are a delicious party appetizer made deli ham, cream cheese, and pickle spears. They are salty, addictive, and the perfect tasty bite!
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Calories 216

Ingredients 

  • 16 slices (About 1 pound) sliced deli ham (see note 1)
  • 8 ounces whipped cream cheese (see note 2)
  • 8 dill pickle spears halved lengthwise and drained on paper towels (see note 3)

Instructions 

  • Working with one slice of ham at a time, lay ham on a flat surface. Spread evenly with cream cheese, going all the way to the edges.
  • Place one pickle spear half on the short edge of the ham slice and roll tightly. Repeat with remaining ham, cream cheese, and pickles. Slice or serve whole.

Notes

  1. Deli ham: My favorite ham in the world is Badger Baked Ham. Beyond a good brand (Boar's Head is also excellent), choose a ham that has uniform slices rather than unevenly shaved ham. Or substitute corned beef, roast beef, turkey, or any deli meat you love.
  2. Cream cheese: You can use regular block cream cheese, but I usually buy the whipped variety because it's easier to handle and it spreads well. If you buy the block, just be sure to soften it up a bit.
  3. Pickle spears: Clausen's refrigerated pickles are my favorite, but there are lots of good brands out there, and everyone has their favorites. Buy the spears and slice them in half, or buy the halves and slice them into quarters or more.
  4. Yield: One batch of this recipe makes 16 whole pickle roll ups,  more depending on how many pieces you cut out of each.
  5. Make ahead: Make the roll ups the day before you need them (without cutting into pieces) and keep them chilled in the refrigerator in an airtight container so they can firm up. When you're ready to eat, cut them into slices with a sharp knife.
  6. Storage: Keep cold in the refrigerator until it's time to eat.
  7. Serve them whole: It just saves you the trouble of eating 16 or 20 slices. A decent compromise is to cut each roll up in half.
  8. Toothpicks: You can skewer the pieces with toothpicks, which make them easy to pick up and keeps the deli ham firmly attached to the pickle.
  9. Improvise: If the pickles you have are small, use the whole thing rolled up in the cheese. Or make smaller roll-ups if you have smaller slices of meat. Once you make one, you'll get the hang of it, I promise.
  10. Pickle roll-up dip: Mix 1 (8-ounce) block softened cream cheese with 6 finely chopped pickle spears and 2 ounces finely chopped deli ham. Chill to blend flavors and serve with pretzels and crackers. 
  11. Herbs: Fancy it up with herbed cream cheese or another flavor (chive and onion, jalapeño, or garden vegetable) and make it even more delicious. Some diehard fans mix a packet of ranch seasoning into the cream cheese before spreading.

Nutrition

Serving: 2whole roll upsCalories: 216kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 14gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1373mgPotassium: 222mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 388IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. These are great for on-the-go as well! I use the entire slice of ham and add in a sliver of celery, lettuce and cheddar. Don’t forget the mustard.5 stars

  2. Looks nummy! You said it was make ahead, but didn’t mention they can be frozen too. Pickles, ham and cream cheese will freeze well. Freezing and then slicing after thawing is great when you’re having a large get-together. So glad to find an add-in to the regular ham and cheese roll ups. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Felicia! Thanks for the great idea of freezing them! I never thought about that. Hope you love them! -Meggan

  3. Just the other day a friend of mine referred to these as “Lutheran Sushi”! It cracked me up! I think that the best thing about midwestern cuisine is how everything has about a thousand different names, depending on where you’re located.5 stars

  4. My sister-in-law (from Michigan) calls them goat peckers and serves them unsliced!  A favorite of her family!5 stars

    1. GOAT PECKERS!!!! Hilarious. Serving them unsliced is the sign of a hostess with the mostest. The first time I saw them presented unsliced, I felt like the world finally made sense. :D Thanks for your comment Nanette!

    2. Maybe that’s a Michigan thing calling them goat peckers I live in Michigan and that’s how we have always referred to them also.5 stars