New Orleans Classic Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe
Feed a crowd with this New Orleans Classic Muffuletta Sandwich recipe! This easy to make 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!
Happy Monday, friends! We’re starting off this week with a Mardi Gras celebration in it’s mildest form. There’s a ton going on this week with Fat Tuesday….and Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day….and then a three day weekend for most. And the Winter Olympics kicked off last Friday so there’s no shortage of entertainment…a little something for everyone. But let’s start off the week with Mardi Gras….and who’s going? Anyone? 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 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. 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.
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.
For the filling of the New Orleans Classic Muffuletta sandwich, I used a mix of Italian meats with a few slices of provolone cheese. Then, I topped it all off with a handful or five of baby arugula and some sweet peppadew peppers. Lid it up and wrap that thing as tightly as humanly possible with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight and then invite your friends over to earn their beads. 🙂 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. 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.
- 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
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.
For best results, allow the sandwich to rest overnight.