Ham and Cheese Pastries (Irish Jambon Recipe)

Many of you followed along via Instagram on a trip I took recently to Ireland.  My husband and I wanted to start a tradition of taking our kids on a trip all by themselves when they were about 12-13 and my oldest was the perfect age when we spotted a great deal on plane tickets to Ireland so we said, why not!  Let’s do this!  It was insanely beautiful and just as majestic as every movie portrays it to be.  I planned to have a blog post up on my personal blog, SaraMichelleWells.com today so I could link to lots of amazing photos for you, but alas I’m behind! I hope to have it up in the next day or two.  

A lot of people have asked if I have an email list for that blog because I only post occasionally over there (it’s focused on the non-food areas of my life like travel, home and design, gardening, family, fitness, etc.)  so I just started one!  You can sign up here and I’ll just shoot out an email when there’s new stuff over there, including posts about our trip to Ireland! 

Ireland Hillside

Pastries in Ireland

But back to what’s happening here because guys,  THE PASTRIES.  The food in Ireland was lots of meat and potato type things, which honestly we got a little tired of after a week, but the one thing I almost cried over leaving was the pastries.  Like so many countries in Europe, corner markets, bustling cafes, and friendly street carts are full of fresh pastries every morning.  The most common in Ireland, is the Jambon.  I quickly realized this was pretty much a national food, maybe like PB & J in the states??  Kids would buy them on their way to school, adults grabbed one with their coffee and I was obsessed.  It became a “thing” with my son as we constantly looked for Jambons!  There’s nothing surprisingly new about these- it’s simply ham and cheese wrapped up in a flaky soft pastry, but man they were good.  As soon as we got home, we re-created a jambon recipe to share with the little brothers.   These make a great snack, breakfast or brunch, appetizer, or game-day food.  They can be prepped and frozen, eaten warm or cold, and easily re-heated.  It’s a great (and EASY) recipe to have up your sleeve!

Jambon Pastry on platter

How to Make Jambons

The beauty of this recipe is in the simplicity.  3 ingredients, people!  A package of puff pastry- and if you’ve never used that before it’s found in the freezer section of the grocery store, cheese, and ham.

Irish Jambon Ingredients

Irish Cheese

Now obviously I went straight for Irish cheese.  Check the deli area and look for Kerrygold; Dubliner is a great option as it has a wonderful flavor and melts well.  You can definiltey just use any type of cheese you like, but I do love a good Irish cheese!

Irish Dubliner

I either buy a pack of ham steaks, or simply go to the deli counter and ask them to cut you a couple slices that are about 1/4″ thick, which you can cube up at home.  Definitely cut them tiny, that’s part of the beauty here. 

Assembling Jambons

I roll out my puff pastry just a bit larger than it naturally is.  You’ll want to cut square shapes so do that geometry in your head and make sure you’ll get even squares. I prefer 6 squares per sheet for breakfast/brunch/snack size, or you can do 9 squares if you’d like small, appetizer size ones. Be generous when you fill them, especially with the cheese.  That dough is going to puff up and increase and you want to have a nice creamy center to bite into.  I form little mounds on top so they can melt down.

Irish Jambon

Then you’ll just take the edges and pinch them shut like this (you might notice I’m showing a smaller size on this photo below).  Give them a quick brush of egg wash before they go into the oven.  They can also go into the freezer at this point!  You can freeze them pre or post bake if you’d like to prep ahead for something.

jambon ham and cheese pastry

When they puff up in the oven, the tops that you pinched together come apart, and that’s okay!   That’s actually what’s supposed to happen.  You want them puffed and golden brown- but don’t overcook because then they’ll be crispy instead of flaky and soft. 

cooked ham and cheese pastries on pan

I like the bottoms just a bit soft, so you crunch into those flaky layers and meet a pile of creamy gooey cheese and salty little bites of ham.  

ham and cheese pastry cut in half

These are great for a party or brunch because you can prep them and keep them in the fridge and then bake them right before serving.  You can also re-heat really easily in the oven, but they’re great at room temperature, too!

Jambons on serving platter

Try these out and let me know what you think.  It may not be the same as a trip to Ireland, but you can at least experience the pastries!

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Ham and Cheese Pastries (Irish Jambon Recipe)

  • Author: Sara Wells
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: 12-18 pastries 1x


This popular Irish cafe food is a cinch to prep and whip up at home with just a few ingredients.  Pastries can be made and frozen ahead of time, or eaten hot or at room temp.  Makes a great appetizer, game-day snack, or even light meal.  Ingredient measurements are approximate, feel free to substitute your favorite cheese. 



1 package frozen puff pastry
1 cup finely diced ham *see note
2 cups shredded Dubliner cheese
1 egg


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners.

Let pastry sheets thaw in fridge.  Lay out on lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll them out just a bit larger than their given size.  You’ll need to cut dough into even squares (can be larger or smaller depending on your preference) so you may want to grab a ruler to make sure you’ve got it at a good size to cut even squares.  I like to cut into 9 squares for small bites and just 6 for larger, more traditional size.

Place a good amount of cheese and a sprinkle of ham in the center of each square.  Be generous.  Then take the corners of each square and pull them up to the center and pinch to close.  (They will open back up during cooking and that’s okay!)

Whisk your egg with 2 tablespoons water in a small dish and then brush egg wash over the top of each sealed square. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. 


If you’d like to re-heat leftover pastries from room temperature or fridge, simply place on a baking sheet in a 375 degree oven for just a few minutes, until heated through again. 

You can also prepare these and freeze PRE or POST baking.  To cook, place frozen pastries directly on baking sheet and bake as directed. They’ll need a few extra minutes. 

Keywords: Jambon, Irish, Pastry


  1. I’ve been to Ireland three times and somehow never had these, probably because we always stayed in B&Bs and so they always fed us a traditional cooked breakfast. Bacon, beans, sausage, pan-fried tomatoes and the wonderful brown bread–mmm! (But stay away from the black sausage-blech.)
    I’m excited to try these!

  2. This looks delicious! I was wondering if the diced ham they sell in stores is too large? Is the ham supposed to be diced really fine? Thank you for sharing such delicious and fun recipes!

  3. This past June I hosted a reunion breakfast at my home and I really wanted to serve savory pastries—just like these—like I have had when out of town (in Hawaii of all places). I called all the bakeries around and asked if they sold something like this, or if they could create something like this and they all said no. I was sad. But not anymore. I’ll have these ready to serve after my daughter’s baptism Saturday morning!

  4. I lived 8 years in Dublin and love those I used to eat them all the time and recently Tesco (an Irish supermarket) started selling them before that you could only buy them ready at some shops and gas stations. I will start making them

  5. Finally made these for dinner last night! We loved them! We were in Ireland 3 years ago and never saw them! We plan to return next year… will definitely indulge at least once there! Thanks for this (and so many other) recipe(s)!!

  6. These do look delicious but I was wondering what you were referring to in the second paragraph in your post about the 2 foods you went crazy for in Ireland?

  7. My husband and I lived in Guatemala for four months, and they had something very similar to this in their bakeries. When we came back to the states we couldn’t find any, and I had completely forgotten about them until I read this post today. Looks like I’m going to have to make some.

  8. I made these for St. Patty’s Day lunch and my family devoured them – probably a new tradition for us! Thanks!

  9. So, how close are these to those ahhhmazing little snackies in Ireland? I was just there and became completely addicted to these. I was stunned by how good the breakfast was in the gas stations of all places! And yes! The brown bread and the treacle bread!! Sooo good! I even went to a Tesco and bought some treacle and brought it home! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to try it as I miss those tasty breakfast treats!!

    1. They’re actually quite close. I suspect the deli ones use a cheese sauce rather than grated cheese but this recipe is perfect. The reason these are so good here no matter where you buy them is because pretty much every deli gets them from the same wholeseller frozen. Since getting diagnosed coeliac I’ve been making these with gluten free puff pastry

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