The Incredible Muffuletta Sandwich: From Louisiana With Love

Nothing says New Orleans more than a Muffuletta Sandwich- Italian cold cuts, cheese, and a flavor packed olive salad on a round loaf.


The sandwich known as the Muffuletta is a historical and flavorful dish that is synonymous with New Orleans. Either pronounced “muff-uh-LET-uh” or “muff-uh-LET-uh,” this legendary dish captures the spirit of New Orleans and the soul of Italian-American cooking, making it a must-try for both foodies and culture vultures.

Want to try delicious sandwiches from across the United States? Check out the Vermonter (that went viral), the Cleveland classic the Polish Boy, or Nebraska’s Runza.

What Kitchen Tools Are Needed For This Recipe:

To craft the perfect Muffuletta sandwich, you’ll need a few basic kitchen tools:


  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula or sandwich press
  • Oven (if toasting the sandwich)

What Ingredients Are Needed:

Gather these essential ingredients to assemble your Muffuletta masterpiece:

  • Italian bread loaf
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Mortadella
  • Salami
  • Ham
  • Provolone cheese
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Giardiniera (pickled vegetables)
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Green olives
  • Kalamata olives
  • Olive salad (mixture of olives, vegetables, and herbs)

How To Make It:

  1. To start, cut the Italian bread loaf in half lengthwise to form a solid sandwich bottom.
  2. For an extra crunch, sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the bread after drizzling it with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
  3. Put a layer of provolone cheese, ham, salami, and mortadella on the bottom half of the bread.
  4. To make the olive salad, chop the celery, cauliflower, carrot, giardiniera, oregano, garlic, and green and kalamata olives.
  5. To ensure that every bite of the deli meats and cheese is full of flavor, cover them with a generous layer of olive salad.
  6. Press down lightly to compact the ingredients after carefully placing the upper half of the bread loaf over the olive salad.
  7. If preferred, toast the assembled sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, either in the oven or with a sandwich press.
  8. After toasting, cut the bruschetta into wedges and serve it hot or cold.

Helpful Tips:

  • Before serving, let the sandwich sit for a few hours so the flavors can combine.
  • For optimal flavor and texture, use premium deli meats and cheeses.
  • You can tweak the amount of garlic, oregano, and olives in the olive salad to suit your own tastes.

History Behind This Recipe:

The Italian immigrants who arrived in New Orleans in the late 1800s are credited with creating the Muffuletta sandwich. These immigrants blended traditional Italian ingredients with locally sourced food, inspired by the flavors of their native country, to create a sandwich that would go on to become a treasured mainstay of N’awlins cuisine.

Substitutions And Variations:

  • If you’re going vegetarian, you can add grilled veggies or double up on the cheese in place of the deli meats.
  • Try experimenting with different breads, such ciabatta or focaccia, to create a distinctive take on the traditional Muffuletta.
  • Add extras to the olive salad, such as capers or roasted red peppers, to make it your own.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What is mortadella?

Made from finely powdered pork and seasoned with spices like peppercorns, mortadella is a type of Italian cured meat that is typically studded with cubes of swine fat.

What is a Muffuletta sandwich?

A classic Italian-American sandwich that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, is the Muffuletta. It usually comprises layers of cheeses, cured meats, and a zesty olive salad layered inside a round loaf of Italian bread.

How to pronounce Muffuletta?

Muffuletta has two pronunciations: “muff-uh-LET-uh” or “muff-uh-LET-uh.”

What does mortadella taste like?

The flavor of mortadella is distinctly savory, with undertones of spices and garlic. It is frequently described as having a rich, slightly sweet flavor that is creamy and smooth.

What is Muffuletta bread?

The round loaf of Italian bread is “muffuletta” and distinguished by its crusty outside and soft inside. It is the customary bread to create sandwiches known as Muffulettas.

What is the difference between mortadella vs bologna?

Although both bologna and mortadella are cured meats, there are some significant distinctions between the two. Pork and pork fat are among the premium components in mortadella, and includes spices like myrtle berries and peppercorns. In contrast, bologna is a more generalized form of cured meat that may include different flavors and additions, as well as a combination of pork, beef, or fowl.

Storage Instructions:

Store any leftover Muffuletta sandwiches in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. Savor it chilled or warm it up in the oven for a crispy texture.

Beyond simply being a delicious food, the Muffuletta sandwich is a representation of ethnic fusion and communal spirit that has captured the imagination and palates of people for generations. 

Enjoyed as a fast lunchtime treat or during Mardi Gras celebrations, the Muffuletta is sure to make a lasting impact on everyone who gets to indulge in its deliciousness.


Muffuletta Sandwich

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
Nothing says New Orleans more than a Muffuletta Sandwich- Italian cold cuts, cheese, and a flavor packed olive salad on a round loaf.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 12 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine American, Sicilian
Servings 8 people
Calories 319 kcal


For the Olive Salad

  • ¾ cup pitted green olives
  • ¾ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ¾ cup giardiniera
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 1 small shallot
  • small handful of fresh parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

For the Sandwich

  • 1 10 inch round thin Sicilian loaf* cut in half lengthwise
  • ¼ lb mortadella
  • ¼ lb soppressata 
  • ¼ lb capicola
  • ¼ lb provolone cheese

Recipe Instructions

For the Olive Salad

  • Place all the olive salad ingredients, except the oil and vinegar, in a food processor. Pulse until chopped up, combined, and there are no big pieces. Transfer to a container and mix in the oil and vinegar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. For best results, let it refrigerate overnight.

For the Sandwich

  • Spread half of the olive salad in the inside of one side of the roll (be sure to include the juices). Layer the meats and then provolone on top. Top with the remaining olive salad and juices.
  • Close the sandwich and press down firmly. Wrap in aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight and place a heavy object on top for the best results. (You want the oil and juices to soak into the bread).
  • When ready to eat, preheat oven to 350 ℉. Remove sandwich from the fridge and warm in oven (still wrapped) for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cut into triangle slices.


*loaf for muffuletta is difficult to find outside of New Orleans. If you can’t find it, focaccia is a good substitute. 


Calories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 15gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 1580mgPotassium: 106mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 132IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 1mg
Keyword muffuletta
Tried this recipe?Mention @thembitesrecipes or tag #thembites

Similar Posts

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating