New Orleans-style muffaletta sandwiches are loaded sandwiches made on crusty Italian bread filled with cheese, Italian deli meats like salami and mortadella, topped off with a tangy homemade olive spread. The entire sandwich gets wrapped up tightly in plastic wrap and weighted down overnight in the fridge to let all the ingredients meld together into the absolute most flavorful sandwich you've ever eaten! Unlike other sandwiches that usually need to be made and eaten right away, muffalettas are actually better after a day or two in the fridge, which makes them ideal for entertaining or taking them on the go. These are perfect for football parties, picnics, packed lunches and potlucks.
Technique tips: Use the pulse button on the food processor to coarsely chop the spread, as you don't want it pureed; it should be chunky. You can also coarsely chop it on a cutting board with a knife. The spread can be prepared up to 5 days in advance. Sandwiches can be made 48 hours in advance. Pressing the sandwich with heavy objects helps all the ingredients meld together and absorb into the bread. The longer they sit (up to 48 hours) the better the flavor and texture! No need for fancy panini press or equipment — a stack of heavy cookbooks works perfectly.
Swap option: Use whatever deli meats/charcuterie you prefer.
- 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 cup giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables)
- 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini or banana peppers
- 1/3 cup capers
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 large crusty ciabatta or panini rolls (about 6-8 inches long)
- 1 pound sliced provolone or mozzarella cheese
- 1 pound genoa salami
- 1/2 pound mortadella
- 1/2 pound soppressata
- 1/2 pound pepperoni
- toothpicks and olives, to garnish
For the olive salad spread:
Combine all the olive spread ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but still chunky.
For the sandwiches:
Cut the rolls open and spread both halves generously with the olive spread. Layer in the cheese and meat, evenly distributing it among the sandwiches. Close the sandwiches and wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap.
Place on a baking sheet and top with a heavy cast-iron pan, a stack of cookbooks or other heavy objects to press the sandwiches. Place in the refrigerator with the weight on top and chill at least 3 hours and up to 48.
Unwrap the sandwiches and use a sharp knife to cut into triangles. Garnish each triangle with a toothpick and an olive (optional) and serve.