Origin: American, Italian, New Orleans
Method: Griddle, or Flattop, or GrillJump to Recipe
Anyone that travels to New Orleans needs to try the city's most famous deli sandwich, the muffaletta. We fell in love with this salami sandwich during a recent trip to the Big Easy, and have been making versions of the muffaletta at home ever since.
What is a Muffaletta Sandwich?
Also spelled Muffalata or Muffuletta, the Muffaletta sandwich is a famous deli style sandwich originating from New Orleans. This deli sandwich was made famous by the Central Grocery and Deli in the French Quarter, where a Sicilian immigrant began making the sandwich in the early 1900's. Their muffuletta consists of an assortment of salami and cured meats with an olive tapenade, with deli sliced cheese on fresh baked bread.
How to make a Grilled Muffaletta Sandwich
What Meats Go On a New Orleans Style Muffaletta Sandwich?
Typically this Sicilian sandwich consist on a variety of cured and smoked salamis, ham, and other meats. Typically both cured and smoked meats are used in the sandwich with Italian salami, mortadella, capicola, and speck being frequently used.
For our grilled muffaletta we chose to use mortadella, speck, capicola, and Italian salami. Feel free to add additional meats like coppa, pepperoni, or soppressata or substitute the deli meats.
What is the Best Bread for an Authentic Muffaletta Sandwich?
When it comes to making an authentic muffaletta, a Sicilian round sesame loaf is the most traditional bread to use for the sandwich. Unfortunately this bread can be quite difficult to find outside of New Orleans. For our grilled muffaletta we elected to use a soft ciabatta bread as it held up well to the grilling while still remaining soft on the inside.
Making a Muffaletta Tapenade
The next key to making the best muffuletta sandwich is to use a quality tapenade. This Italian olive salad was also made famous by Central Grocery. Thankfully, it is not difficult to make a great tapenade recipe at home. To make the tapenade recipe you will want to start with a high quality giardiniera. Look for a giardiniera that contains olives if possible. If the giardiniera does not contain olives, you will want to add about ¼ cup of chopped green olives to the tapenade.
The day before cooking, place the tapenade ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. For milder Italian olive salad use roasted red peppers, but if you want to make a spicier version try adding some chopped Calabrian peppers or Peppadew peppers.
Make your muffaletta deli sandwich
Halve the ciabatta rolls and butter the insides of the rolls. Place a generous portion of the tapenade on the bottom of each roll. Next place a slice of provolone, then 2 slices of mortadella, 2 slices of capicola, a couple slices of mozzarella, and 2-4 slices of Italian salami. Top with a slice of provolone and then place the top back on the sandwich.
Grilling a New Orleans Muffaletta
Traditionally, a muffaletta deli sandwich can be served either cold or hot. Our preference is a warm or hot deli sandwich. Our absolute favorite way to make a grilled muffaletta is to make a muffaletta panini by cooking the sandwich on a griddle. These panini style muffaletta sandwiches come out absolutely amazing when cooked on a griddle like a Blackstone. For this recipe we cooked the muffaletta on a grill with a Cooking Steel griddle.
To cook the grilled muffaletta heat your grill or griddle over medium high heat, (about 400 degrees). If desired brush the top of the sandwich with a little butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Oil or butter the flat top and cook the sandwiches for about 3-5 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.
Looking for more of the best sandwich recipes? Check out some of our favorite sandwiches:
- Uruguay's Chivito: The Ultimate Steak Sandwich
- Grilled Pork Banh Mi
- Louisville Hot Brown: Kentucky's Turkey Sandwich
- Caribbean Roast Pork Sandwich
- Wicked Good Grilled Tuna Fish Sandwich: Spicy Tuna Melt
- Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
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Grilled New Orleans Style Mufaletta Sandwich
- 4 Large Ciabatta Rolls
- 8 Slices Provolone
- 8 Slices Low Moisture Mozzarella
- 8 Slices Capicola or coppa
- 8 Slices Speck or prosciutto
- 8-16 Slices Italian Salami or pepperoni
- 8 Slices Mortadella
- Butter softened
- Sesame Seeds optional
- ¾ Cup Giardiniera see note
- ¼ Cup Roasted Bell Pepper finely diced
- 1 Garlic Clove minced
- 1 Celery stalk finely diced
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley finely diced
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- The day before cooking, place the tapenade ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- On the day of cooking, preheat your grill, griddle, or Blackstone over medium high heat, (about 400 degrees).
- Halve the ciabatta rolls and butter the insides of the rolls. Place a generous portion of the tapenade on the bottom of each roll. Next layer the sandwich with a slice of provolone, then 2 slices of mortadella, 2 slices of capicola, 2 slices of mozzarella, and 2 slices or speck, and 2-4 slices of Italian salami. Top with a slice of provolone and then place the top back on the sandwich.
- If desired brush the top of the sandwich with a little butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Oil or butter the griddle and cook the sandwiches for about 3-5 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.
- Enjoy warm.
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