Chipped Ham BBQ Sandwiches

This is my notion of comfort food at its finest: an old family recipe, not-so-good-for-you ingredients, and something that I crave approximately once a year, usually always during the winter. This past weekend the craving set in, after not having these since last January. The recipe for these sandwiches comes from a family member on my mom’s side, Sara, although I am unsure of how we are related. My mom just always referred to these as “Sara’s Ham BBQ Sandwiches”; she made them fairly frequently when we were kids, but then they disappeared out of her rotation. Last winter they suddenly popped into my head and I immediately had to have them, so I had my mom dig out the recipe. The craving was instantly satisfied and I was taken back to my childhood. They’re great for a Saturday or Sunday lunch, and especially good when you’re sitting down to watch sports, which might be why I’m always craving them smack dab in the middle of hockey season, right near the Super Bowl. My inner foodie/sports intuition at work, for sure ;-)

Now, “chipped ham” is a very Pittsburgh thing, but I have found that in other areas of the country it is known as “chopped ham” or “chip-chop ham”. Basically, it’s deli ham meat that is almost shaved it’s so thin and in pieces. I usually always give it another coarse chop when I get it home since this sandwich is best when all of the pieces (ham, egg, and cheese) are cut into smaller, uniform pieces.

These are easy to throw together, which makes them perfect for serving a hungry crowd. Just mix together the sandwich ingredients, assemble them on the buns, wrap each one in foil and pop in the oven for 30 minutes. They come out warm, gooey thanks to the melted cheese, and with the buns having just a touch of crunch. They would be great for the Super Bowl, or any time you’re having some friends over and want something warm, but easy and casual.

Do you have any old favorite family recipes like this one? Maybe not the best for you, but one you crave every once and a great while?

Four years ago: Perfection Pound Cake

Chipped Ham BBQ Sandwiches

Yield: 12 sandwiches

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 pounds chipped ham, chopped
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped small
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, diced small
1 (12-ounce) bottle chili sauce
12 sandwich buns

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl mix together the chipped ham, eggs, cheese, and chili sauce, ensuring that the sauce evenly coats all of the other ingredients.

3. Divide the chipped ham mixture evenly between all of the buns. Wrap each one in foil, place on a tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until hot in the middle and the cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite chips.

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60 Responses to “Chipped Ham BBQ Sandwiches”

  1. CouponClippingCook on January 23, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I can see why you crave this every once in awhile…that Velveeta cheese can sometimes really hit the spot. I have to admit that sometimes I crave the grilled cheese sandwiches that my grandmother used to make…she made them with Velveeta cheese too.

    Reply

  2. Ellie on January 23, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Not exactly sure where the BBQ comes from. Sound interesting but would have to do a name change since they don’t even get close to a BBQ pit.

    Reply

    • Rodzilla on January 23rd, 2012 at 6:10 am

      it’s because the ham is mixed with BBQ sauce (chili sauce in this recipe)

      Reply

    • Michelle W on January 23rd, 2012 at 6:57 am

      It’s a ‘Burgh thing. We know it’s not true BBQ, but you’d have to change every church cookbook in western PA.

      Reply

    • Michelle on January 23rd, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Definitely a ‘Burgh thing. It’s because of the sauce that gets mixed with the ham. In this particular recipe, it happens to be a chili sauce.

      Reply

      • Susan on January 23rd, 2012 at 11:06 am

        My mom would heat it with a jar of some no name BBQ sauce! No cheese or egg…yummy!

        Reply

  3. Penny Wolf on January 23, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I go to a local WALMART here in central OHIO for Isalay’s chipped ham. We mixed it with ketchup and then heated it up. Mercy! I tend to forget about it since I normally
    do not shop WALMART. This is a good reminder. Then CLARK bars for dessert which I can only find at a CRACKER BARREL!

    Reply

  4. Michelle W on January 23, 2012 at 6:54 am

    My mom used to make a sauce with ketchup (Heinz of course!), mustard & butter. I made it that way for years. I remember the first time I asked for chipped ham out of state. I know I don’t have a third eye, but they sure looked at me like I did.

    Reply

  5. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on January 23, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I agree, probably not the best for you, but what dish with ham is? :) It looks amazing!

    Reply

  6. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on January 23, 2012 at 8:27 am

    YUM. Sandwiches like this are my ultimate comfort food.

    Reply

  7. Barbara on January 23, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I bet my teenage boys would love these! You use Isaly’s ham?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  8. brandi on January 23, 2012 at 9:18 am

    These sound SO good and different! this might be a good option for when my family is here this weekend.

    Reply

  9. Cookbook Queen on January 23, 2012 at 9:20 am

    These look so yummy and comforting!! I have never heard of Chipped Ham, but I am definitely trying it now!!

    Reply

  10. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on January 23, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I love food that brings back so many memories. I have never heard of Chipped Ham, but you know I am looking for it when I go grocery shopping today!

    Reply

  11. Nicole on January 23, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I like the idea of cheese w/chipped ham bbq. We’ve never done it that way. My grandma made chipped ham bbq with beer, chopped pickle, worchestershire, ketchup, brown sugar, and soy sauce in the sauce. That’s how dad did it, too, and how I do it. Served on a squishy white bun. But I think I need to add the cheese!

    Reply

  12. Jennifer on January 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I love that everyone is referring to Isaly’s chipped ham – it’s my absolute favorite. I love being from Pittsburgh :) This sounds simple and delicious, I’m definitely going to make this one afternoon before I head to class!

    Reply

  13. Paula on January 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

    The second I saw the title of this post, I knew where you were from. It’s been soooo long since I’ve had a chipped ham sandwich:( Nothing like it!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 23rd, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Yay! Love that a certain food can totally give away your birthplace! :)

      Reply

  14. Lainey on January 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

    My parents and extended family are from Pittsburgh, but I was born and raised in the South. It’s so funny to read this, because my dad LOVES these sandwiches. It IS a completely regional thing, though. We don’t have them here in VA. So whenever Dad is having a “chipped ham” or “jumbo” sandwich, I figure it’s his inner yinzer coming out.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 23rd, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Yessss jumbo! My personal favorite is a fried jumbo sandwich :)

      Reply

  15. Sharlene Simon on January 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Wow! Did this bring a rush of memories from childhood!!??!! I love chipped ham and haven’t had it since I moved from the northern panhandle of West Virginia, about 50 miles from Pittsburgh. We made chipped ham sandwiches on white bread with butter and ketchup! Was the best with a big glass of cold milk. Yum…..haven’t seen this on the west coast, the Pacific Northwest or the South….all places I’ve lived since moving from WV. Thanks for the memories!!

    Reply

  16. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 23, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Oh my, this sounds delish! I think my Husband would love this! I think I am going to make these, but mini size, because I know I will want more then one! :)

    Reply

  17. Michelle on January 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    My husband often talks about his mom making fried balonga, aka jumbo, sandwiches. We didn’t have those at our house, but we did have ham bbq’s just about every Sunday after church while watching the Steelers play. My mom’s sauce was so incredibly simple: equal parts of Heinz ketchup & Pepsi with a little pickle relish thrown in. To this day (20+years later) my close friend from college still makes my mom’s recipe for her kids. If you’re diabetic like she is, it’s easy to use Diet Pepsi. But always you must use Heinz ketchup & Isaly’s chipped ham for an authentic chipped ham bbq :)

    Reply

  18. stacy on January 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    As a HARRISBURG, PA native I’ve got to chime in and state that chipped ham is NOT exclusive to Pittsburgh. Harrisburg has it, too. That said, this looks yummy!

    Reply

  19. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes on January 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Never heard of chipped ham but it looks great!!

    Reply

  20. Edie on January 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Oh my gosh!! Great minds and all that. I was craving these this weekend. Pulled out my Mom’s recipe (Pittsburgh born and bred) and made her chipped ham BBQ sauce, starting with ketchup (Heinz, of course), brown sugar, worchestershire sauce, cinnamon and pepper. They were great!

    Reply

  21. Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen on January 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    These reminded me of a bunch of (unhealthy) family food traditions. One sandwich my mom used to always make for us was cheese whiz and potato chip sandwiches on rye bread. Is that even food?!

    Reply

  22. Deborah on January 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I love the sound of these – comfort food at it’s finest!!

    Reply

  23. Jill on January 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Just found your blog a week or so ago… love it… I am a Western PA girl now living in Central PA.. grew up with chipped ham cooked on the stove with butter. Yum. I cant really say that I crave that but I have fond memories of that and the white bread. We always had ham BBQ at family get togethers. In central PA, its all Pork BBQ. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  24. leslie on January 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Chipped Ham….ahhh yes. I’m from Pittsburgh..I have fine memories of the stuff. My Mom used to make a Chipped Ham kinda salad stuff. Ahhhh memories!

    Reply

  25. Brittney on January 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Michelle, I was just curious as to what bread and type of sauce you use?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 24th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Hi Brittney, I use Heinz Chili Sauce, and I think I bought Brownberry kaiser sandwich buns this time around. Usually I just grab a bag of buns that look good near the deli.

      Reply

  26. Ann on January 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    YUM! I’m not a huge fan of Velveeta – but sometimes it’s just right in certain things. I LOVE chipped ham! It’s my favorite way to have it. When I get meat at the deli here in Florida I ask for chipped EVERY TIME and have to explain it to them EVERY TIME!

    Reply

  27. Adrienne on January 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Wow! That is Pgh. in a nutshell right there! I remember when my Mom used to make these on Saturdays for lunch (no cheese, though). Tasty sandwiches back then. I really miss our trips to Isaly’s too!

    Reply

  28. Kaitlyn on January 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    As soon as I saw your title for the post I thought “What a Burgh thing!”. Makes me miss home so much – I am dreaming of those chipped ham flavors now :) (And some primantis & pierogies, too)

    Reply

  29. Suzi on January 24, 2012 at 8:49 am

    This is cool. My husband is from Pittsburgh and he makes the chipped ham bbq. He is always complaining though that here in Florida they don’t know how to chip the ham. I had never heard of this before I met him.

    Reply

  30. Chandra@the plaid and paisley kitchen on January 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

    These do look like great game day sandwiches!!! Soccer is starting back up in Feb and we may need to have some of these!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  31. Lacy on January 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    OMG this looks and sounds delicious! I’ve never had chipped ham, chipped beef but they aren’t very similar in recipe. This sounds delicious, I’m going to have to look out for chipped ham, I could totally fall in love with this sandwich.

    Reply

  32. Jenny E on January 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    My aunt from Ohio always mades these “chip-chop ham” sandwiches for our big family reunion (about 50 ppl) that we have on the Chesapeake Bay every other year. There is no egg or cheese, but the chipped ham and homemade bbq sauce (ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar) ingredients are mixed in a couple crock pots and simmered. Then we make our own sandwiches as we go thru the line. Your recipe reminded me vividly of my dear aunt who is now fighting a hard battle with cancer.

    Reply

  33. Tina From Pa on January 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Nothing like a chipped ham bbq or a fried jumbo sandwich along with a nice cold can of pop!! Thanks for the memories.

    Reply

  34. Moonlight on January 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    This looks yummy! We will definitely try this dish!

    Reply

  35. Gwen on January 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Never had these, but we made the same recipe using hot dogs (chopped), cheddar instead of Velveeta, and added a chopped onion. Put in hot dog rolls, wrap in foil and freeze/bake. They were called “Joan’s Hot Dogs,” since the recipe came from Joan. This was in Binghamton, NY

    Reply

  36. Kate on January 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Our ‘burg recipe was ketchup, mustard, onion flakes, vinegar, brown sugar and water. We used to get the ham at Isley’s and of course, use Heinz ketchup! Still a favorite for my mother — she’ll eat these for days!

    Reply

  37. Kimberly :) on January 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Just made these for lunch and they were very good. I particularly liked how the rolls crusted slightly when they were baked in the foil. When I make it again, I will only use about half the cheese and add some pickled jalapenos to the mixture. Tasty lunch option, thanks!

    Reply

  38. Tiffany on January 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    These sounds amazing! I’m in California and have never heard of chipped ham or seen it (but I’ve never looked for it). Would it be sort of the same as thin sliced ham lunch meat? I’d love to make this for lunch :D

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 27th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Hi Tiffany, Definitely not the same as just thin-sliced ham lunch meat. I would ask the deli person for “chip chop ham” and I *think* that should work, although I can’t vouch for other areas of the country since it’s so common around here!

      Reply

  39. G Sheehan on January 28, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Don’t know where you got this receipt but my mom used Hinze sauce with onion and chipped ham…..no cheese or egg…..most Saturdays this was on the stove……

    Reply

  40. Kevin (Closet Cooking) on January 29, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Now that is one nice looking sandwich!

    Reply

  41. Nancy on January 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I was visiting in Georgia and stopped at the deli in one of the supermarkets and asked for chipped ham, rather than admit she did’t know what I wanted, she replied ” We got some in, but it was bad , so we had to send it back” I told her to
    shave the ham so you could see through it. She asked what I was going to do with it, so I gave her a quick explanation. She just shook her head and tried to slice the ham. I just kept saying thinner…thinner ! They also have no idea what jumbo is !

    Reply

  42. Debbie Driggs on February 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Made these sandwiches! We loved them. I will for sure make them again. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  43. colleen on February 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    holy way back machine, batman! These take me back to grade school! I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a ham BBQ sandwich, but I think I’m going to need to make these up this weekend. thanks for the reminder of my Pittsburgh roots!

    Reply

  44. Kimberly on May 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I was so stoked to see this recipe on your page! My husband is from Pittsburgh and when he first asked me if I knew how to make a chipped ham sandwich I looked at him like he was from outer space. I’m born and raised Socal girl, no one here even knows what chipped ham is (I did learn I could get shaved ham which is the closest thing I’ve found out here). I will be making him this recipe within the week, can’t wait! Thank you so much!

    Reply

  45. Kara on February 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I am going to first make the DIY American cheese tonight and then make this recipe!!

    Reply

  46. Aileen on March 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    wooow thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made them yesterday night and invited my friends over. know what? they loved them :D
    btw I’m from Argentina and last week found out about your blog! since then I canĀ“t stop cooking haha

    Reply

  47. Melanie on August 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    This is definitely a burg thing as you cannot find chipped ham out side of western Pa. I’ve lived in several states now after growing up in western Pa and if you ask for it in the grocery store they think you are crazy.

    Reply

  48. Mabel on September 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I make these but I have the Deli shave the ham and I add Heinz ketchup, sweet relish, brown sugar to taste and if desired a little mustard. Heat all till hot serve on buns. Very fast cheap meal. I also use deli boiled ham because of the high fat in the chopped ham! Not bad!

    Reply

  49. Margie on September 14, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Native Pittsburgher here! I’m really impressed that this is the most tweeted article for this last week. I’ve always stayed with the classic Isaly’s version but yours looks very tasty.

    Reply

  50. Mary Beth Hurrell on October 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I knew you had to be from Pittsburgh when I saw the chipped ham bbq sandwiches. I now live in Virginia and my friends are always amazed at our cookie tables for weddings and graduation parties. Lady locks..who doesn’t love those!!!!

    Reply

  51. Cassie on May 26, 2014 at 7:33 am

    I’m from Canton, OH and we grew up on Isaly’s chip chopped ham sandwiches. My Aunt or Grandma would throw it in the crockpot with a jar of Isaly’s barbeque sauce on Sundays and we would have it for lunch or dinner while watching football. They were served on soft white hamburger buns with candied dill pickle slices. Also nothing better than chip chopped ham on a bagel with cream cheese!

    Reply

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