Classic Muffuletta Sandwich
Feed a crowd with this Classic Muffuletta Sandwich recipe! This easy to make pressed sandwich starts a sturdy roll, a bowl of zesty olive salad and layers of thin sliced Italian cold cuts. The BEST make ahead sandwich for so many occasions!
Mardi Gras fans….or just people who like to travel to New Orleans, THIS SANDWICH IS FOR YOU! I’ve never been to Mardi Gras but I HAVE been to New Orleans. Funny enough it was on my very first business trip with the last company I worked for and….seriously….no other business trip ever measured up after that. I mean, seriously, have you been to New Orleans? On a Tuesday? In the middle of the summer?
We went to Bourbon Street on a Tuesday night and I couldn’t believe my eyes…..to me, that would be Mardi Gras! So much partying everywhere you turned and it didn’t end until daybreak. It was insane….so insane I don’t think I ever need to visit during Mardi Gras at all. But it was definitely fun and I want to go back….because the food was just as insane as the party!
My favorite food item, besides the Po’Boy, was the New Orleans Classic Muffuletta Sandwich. It’s like the Philadelphia hoagie’s southern, more rounder cousin. So much flavor packed into that roll and the best part is you can make it the day before….in fact, it’s even better the next day.
What is Muffuletta?
Muffaletta, or Muffuletta, is both a type of Sicilian seeded roll and a stuffed sandwich that originated among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s, typically filled with Italian means and cheeses but it’s most notable accoutrement is the olive salad that’s used as a sandwich spread giving the sandwich a ton of flavor.
The name was derived from the actual bread that was used and is pronounced “muffuLETta”. History states that the bread was named after the baker who created it in 1906.
This is one of those occasions where your patience will be rewarded ten fold! But let’s talk about the roll…unless you live in the New Orleans area you won’t really find the classic muffuletta roll. It’s like a round French bread topped with sesame seeds…it’s light inside with a crisp exterior.
I just found a bread that’s as similar in texture as I could because you need something sturdy so that the flavors can absorb into it without making it soggy. A round Italian loaf tends to work well here.
Muffuletta Olive Salad
The olive salad used in a New Orleans Classic Muffuletta Sandwich is an intense flavor bomb. It starts with an Italian giardiniera which you can make yourself using my favorite recipe here or you can find it in the condiment section of your local grocery store.
It’s a pickled vegetable mixture that, if you’re not already familiar with, you may become hopelessly addicted to. It’s a staple in Chicago and used in many different sandwiches….as a hot dog topper….and on this pizza recipe I made years ago.
You.Will.Love.It. I just chopped the giardiniera up in the food processor along with some green pitted olives and then mixed it with a bit of olive oil. This, my friends, is the ultimate sandwich spread.
How To Make a Muffaletta
A Muffaletta is easy to make and is just a pressed sandwich that will last in the fridge for 5 days. For best results, make the sandwich the day before and allow the flavors to meld overnight. You won’t regret the wait after the first bite, I promise.
- To start your sandwich, find a large round, sturdy roll about 10 inches across. That’s the average size of a Muffuletta but if you can’t find one that large a smaller roll will do just fine.
- Cut the roll in half horizontally and place on a flat surface with the cut sides up.
- Make the olive salad by pulsing the ingredients in a food processor or a blender.
- Mix the olive salad and allow to rest (up to 24 hours in advance.)
- Spread the olive salad on both sided of the roll.
- Layer the sandwich ingredients on the bottom half of the roll and place the top half of the roll on top.
- Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator.
- Chill the sandwich for 1 hour or overnight. (and up to 5 days!)
- Unwrap the sandwich and cut into quarters.
- For the filling of the New Orleans Classic Muffaletta sandwich, I used a mix of Italian meats with a few slices of provolone cheese. You can use your own favorite deli meats and cheeses.
- I topped it all off with a handful or five of baby arugula and some sweet peppadew peppers for added pep….not traditional but so very tasty!
- Lid it up and wrap that thing as tightly as humanly possible with plastic wrap to help the flavors blend together in perfect harmony.
I really think that this sandwich was created as a last hurrah before lent because the meat lovers are trying to get it all in with one last meal.
More Easy Sandwich Recipes
And if you’re looking for other easy sandwich recipes to feed a crowd….check out this Italian Pressed Picnic Sandwich (a hit on Fox 29!), this Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich (a hit with me, always) or these Philly Style Italian Roast Pork Sandwiches.
Or do it Philly style and make this easy Philly cheesesteak.….it’s the real deal!
Get the Recipe: New Orleans Classic Muffuletta Recipe
- 3/4 cup pitted green olives, I used canned California Ripe Olives
- 1 cup giardiniera
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large muffuletta style roll
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced soppressata, sweet or hot, your choice
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced capicola
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced salami
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced mortadella
- 1/3 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet peppadew peppers, or sweet cherry peppers, seeded
- 1 kitchen knife
- 1 cutting board
- plastic wrap
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the olives and giardiniera. Pulse until pieces are approximately 1/4 inch in size.
- Transfer the olive mixture to a bowl. Stir in the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Set aside. (Olive salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance.)
- Split the bread in half lengthwise and spread the cut sides with the olive mixture.
- Layer the soppressata on the bottom half of the roll followed by the capicola, then salami, the mortadella and provolone. Arrange the arugula and the peppers on top of the provolone. Place the top of the roll on the sandwich and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
- Transfer the sandwich to the refrigerator and allow to rest for 1 hour or overnight.
- To serve, cut the sandwich into 4 equal wedges.