Ultimate New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich: A Taste of The Big Easy

Authentic New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe - The Perfect Combo of Meat and Cheese

Discover the mouthwatering magic of a classic New Orleans Muffuletta – a flavor-packed sandwich bursting with zesty olive salad and savory Italian meats.

Transport your taste buds to the heart of New Orleans with this iconic Muffuletta sandwich. Layers of premium Italian cold cuts nestled between slices of sesame-crusted bread, all brought together by a tangy, homemade olive salad. It’s a culinary adventure in every bite!

The Muffuletta isn’t just a sandwich; it’s a piece of New Orleans history. Born at the Central Grocery in the French Quarter, this Italian-American creation has become a staple of New Orleans cuisine. What sets it apart? The genius combination of flavors that actually improve as the sandwich sits, making it perfect for picnics, parties, or a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Ready to bring a taste of The Big Easy to your kitchen? Let’s dive into the key components that make this sandwich a true New Orleans legend.

The Foundation: Choosing the Perfect Bread

The bread is the canvas for our Muffuletta masterpiece. Authentic Muffuletta bread is a round, flat loaf with a soft crust and sesame-studded exterior. Its texture is a delightful cross between focaccia and ciabatta. If you’re not in New Orleans, don’t worry! Here are some great alternatives:

  • Soft ciabatta
  • Focaccia
  • Sesame-crusted semolina rolls
  • A good quality hoagie or submarine roll

The ideal bread should have enough structure to hold up to the olive salad without being too tough. It’s all about finding that perfect balance!

The Star of the Show: Olive Salad

The olive salad is what transforms this sandwich from good to unforgettable. It’s a symphony of Mediterranean flavors that pays homage to the Muffuletta’s Sicilian roots. Our version includes:

  • A mix of briny olives
  • Crunchy giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables)
  • Sweet roasted red peppers
  • Fresh parsley
  • Tangy capers
  • Aromatic garlic
  • High-quality olive oil
  • A splash of red wine vinegar

Pro tip: Make a big batch of olive salad and keep it in the fridge. It’ll stay fresh for months under a layer of olive oil, ready for your next Muffuletta craving!

The Meaty Middle: Selecting Your Cold Cuts

A true Muffuletta is a celebration of Italian cured meats. We’re using a trinity of flavors:

  1. Soppressata: A coarse-ground, dry-cured salami that adds a rich, slightly spicy kick.
  2. Mortadella: This emulsified sausage brings a creamy texture and subtle flavor to the mix.
  3. Capicola: A whole muscle cut that contributes a delicate, slightly smoky taste.

Don’t forget the cheese! Slices of provolone add a mild, creamy element that ties all the flavors together.

The Secret Ingredient: Patience

Here’s where the Muffuletta truly shines. After assembling your sandwich, resist the urge to dive in immediately. Wrap it tightly and let it sit for at least an hour. During this time, magic happens:

  • The bread absorbs the flavorful olive oil
  • The meats and cheese meld together
  • All the components become a cohesive, flavor-packed whole

Trust us, your patience will be rewarded with an explosion of perfectly balanced flavors!

Ready to Create Your Muffuletta Masterpiece?


  • 3/4 cup pitted mixed oil-packed olives

  • 1/2 cup giardiniera (Italian-style pickled vegetable salad, see notes)

  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers

  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves

  • 1 tablespoon capers

  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 large muffuletta-style roll (see notes)

  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced sweet soppressata (5 1/3 ounces; 151g)

  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced mortadella (5 1/3 ounces; 151g)

  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced capicola (5 1/3 ounces; 151g)

  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese (5 1/3 ounces; 151g)

Let’s Make Magic: Muffuletta Assembly Instructions

  1. Create your olive salad: In a food processor, combine olives, giardiniera, roasted peppers, parsley, capers, and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in olive oil and vinegar. For best results, let this flavor bomb rest overnight in the fridge.

  2. Assemble your Muffuletta: Split your bread and generously spread both halves with the olive salad. Now, it’s time to layer! Start with soppressata, followed by mortadella, capicola, and provolone. Repeat these layers for maximum flavor distribution. Close your sandwich and gently press down to compact the layers. Wrap tightly and let it rest for at least an hour – this is where the magic happens! When you’re ready to serve, cut into wedges and prepare for a flavor explosion.

Special Equipment

Food processor


Can’t find giardiniera? No worries! You can substitute with 2-3 seeded and stemmed pepperoncini. If authentic Muffuletta bread is unavailable, ciabatta or focaccia make excellent alternatives. The key is to choose a bread with a relatively soft crust that can stand up to the olive salad without overpowering the other flavors.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
828 Calories
57g Fat
39g Carbs
39g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 828
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 57g 73%
Saturated Fat 20g 98%
Cholesterol 114mg 38%
Sodium 2625mg 114%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 18mg 92%
Calcium 420mg 32%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 498mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


You may also like: