Italian sliders are the perfect combination of spicy deli meats, gooey cheeses, and tangy Italian dressing, making them an ideal choice for game day or a hassle-free weekday dinner. With layers of pepperoni, salami, capicola, provolone, and mozzarella cheese, our sliders are full of robust flavor and comforting goodness. And they’re so easy to make!
This Italian sliders recipe was inspired by a memorable meal at Mr. Dunderbak’s, a pub in Jacksonville, Florida, back in the 80s. They served an Italian sub sandwich that was out of this world. Though this recipe might remind you of the famous baked ham and Swiss sliders, these easy Italian sliders offer a unique, flavorful twist with their combination of ingredients.
The result is a delicious, spicy, and cheesy sandwich that will have you craving more. This recipe is a perfect appetizer or an easy dinner idea with fun sides like Oven Roasted French Fries or Pineapple Jalapeno Coleslaw.
Are you looking for more slider recipes? Try our Country Fried Steak Sliders, perfect for your next tailgating or game-day party!
Ingredients for Italian sliders
Scroll down for printable recipe with full ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
To make these tasty Italian sliders, you’ll need a variety of deli meats and cheeses.
- Pepperoni – the Italian deli meats are the star of this show
- Capicola – get the meat sliced at the deli
- Genoa Salami – use high quality meats
- Provolone cheese slices – provolone will melt perfectly
- Mozzarella cheese slices – this will get gooey and add that perfect pull
- Creamy Italian dressing – not vinaigrette!
- Poppy seeds – these are optional
- Dijon mustard – gives the butter sauce a little kick
- Melted butter – use unsalted butter
- Garlic powder – a must-have with Italian anything!
- Worcestershire sauce – a umami flavor boost
- King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls – these are the best
- Baking dish – a kitchen workhorse
- Basting brush – best for brushing on sauces
- Serrated bread knife – another kitchen workhorse that you’ll use on repeat
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Substitutions and variations
We like to keep the Italian sliders simple but always set out some additional toppings. You can even bake the sliders with extra toppings inside if you like.
- Banana peppers
- Roasted red peppers
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Pickled jalapenos
- Sprinkle on some Italian seasoning
- Use different Italian meats and cheeses
- Regular rolls instead of sweet rolls
How to make Italian sliders
You can make the sliders ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
- Preheat your oven and prepare your casserole dish.
- Cut the rolls in half and place the bottom halves in the baking dish.
- Layer the deli meats and cheeses on the bottom halves.
- Drizzle the creamy Italian dressing over the layers.
Preparing to bake
- Replace the top halves of the rolls and push them together tightly.
- In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients and pour the butter mixture over the rolls.
- Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake until cheese is melted, then remove foil and cook until tops are golden brown.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the slider sandwiches and serve warm.
Yes, you can use any roll that you prefer. However, sweet dinner rolls like King’s Hawaiian rolls contrast the spicy meats and tangy dressing.
You can assemble the sliders ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container, but it’s best to bake them just before serving to ensure optimal freshness and melty cheese.
Yes, you can! Here’s how: assemble the mini sandwiches but omit the Italian dressing and the butter sauce. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with aluminum foil and place in the freezer. When ready to serve, take them out of the freezer a couple of hours ahead of time to thaw. Remove the plastic wrap and foil. Place the rolls in a buttered dish, lift the tops to add the creamy Italian dressing, replace the tops, and brush on the butter mixture. Bake as directed.
Tips for the best Italian sliders
- Make sure to push the rolls together tightly in the baking dish to ensure the sandwich layers stay together.
- To achieve a crispy, golden-brown top, turn on the broiler for a minute or two at the end of the cooking time, but keep a close eye on the sliders to prevent burning.
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- 12 slices deli pepperoni
- 12 slices salami
- 12 slices capicola
- 12 slices provolone cheese
- 12 slices mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup creamy Italian dressing
- ½ tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 packages sweet dinner rolls, 12 count, King’s Hawaiian
- Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or pan with cooking spray. Cut rolls in half and place bottom halves in prepared dish. Layer meats and cheese over the bottom half.
- Drizzle the creamy Italian dressing over the meat and cheese. Replace top half of rolls and push the rolls together tightly. Whisk together the poppy seeds, mustard, melted butter, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour sauce over the tops of rolls and use pastry brush to spread evenly.
- Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. Bake at 400 until cheese is melted, 7-8 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 2 minutes until tops are lightly browned. You can also turn on the broiler just long enough to brown lightly. Serve warm.
UPDATE NOTES: This post was originally published March 3, 2015, and on April 19, 2023, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.