If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating a New Orleans muffuletta sandwich, then you are in for a treat.  It’s a large round loaf of Italian or French bread that’s split horizontally and spread with a tangy, homemade olive salad.  Then you’ll enjoy layers of different Italian meats and cheeses and more olive salad on top.  It is similar to an Italian hoagie or sub, but even better.

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A wedge of New Orleans Muffaletta sandwich with homemade olive salad and layers of Italian meats and cheeses. It's a staple for Mardi Gras, tailgating parties, or a weekend picnic.

Serve this sandwich with a side of Southern-Fried Okra or Easy Dirty Rice.

A muffaletta is a NOLA staple for Mardi Gras, game day tailgates, or any time you need to feed a crowd.  Because these sandwiches can be made in advance (and get better the longer they sit), they’re a perfect party ‘go-to’.  


  • Get the best round (or boule) bread that you can find.  In a pinch, focaccia or submarine/hoagie rolls would also work.  You want to find a bread that has a soft, tender inside with a crispy, thin outer crust.
  • When you slice the round loaf horizontally, pull some of the bread out of each half to make a depression to layer the olive salad into.  You still want enough of the soft, white interior to absorb all of the delicious juice from the salad without getting soggy.  Don’t pull too much of the bread out.
  • Make the olive salad for the best flavor.  You can make this up to two days in advance.  Be sure to mince the vegetables small and try to get them all the same size.  
  • You should be able to find the pickled vegetables, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers in the same aisle as the pickles in your grocery store.
  • Use good quality olive oil for this recipe.
  • Order the meats from your local deli and have them sliced thin…but not shaved.  You want to see the even layers of the meats and cheeses.
  • Get the cheese at the deli also, but don’t have it sliced too thin or it will stick together.  
  • Be sure to use a heavy object to weigh down the sandwich.  You want to compress it as much as possible – almost like a panini.  

A wedge of New Orleans Muffaletta sandwich with homemade olive salad and layers of Italian meats and cheeses. It's a staple for Mardi Gras, tailgating parties, or a weekend picnic.


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A wedge of New Orleans Muffaletta sandwich with homemade olive salad and layers of Italian meats and cheeses. It's a staple for Mardi Gras, tailgating parties, or a weekend picnic.



This New Orleans muffaletta sandwich is packed with flavor – from the homemade olive salad to the layers of Italian meats and cheeses.  It’s perfect for parties, Mardi Gras, or tailgating.



For the olive salad:

For the sandwich:

  • One (10-inch) round loaf boule bread (Italian, French)
  • ½ pound thinly sliced deli salami
  • ½ pound sliced deli provolone (not smoked)
  • ½ pound thinly sliced capicola ham
  • ½ pound sliced mozzarella cheese
  • ½ pound thinly sliced mortadella


Make the olive salad.  In a medium bowl, stir together the chopped olives, pickled vegetables, red peppers, parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and Italian seasoning.  Stir well to combine.  

Make the sandwich.  Use a serrated knife to slice the bread in half horizontally. 

Use your fingers to scoop a bit of the bread out to make a shallow depression in the bread.

Spread half of the olive salad on the bottom half of the bread.

Layer all of the salami over the olive salad.

Next, layer the provolone cheese, then the capicola, mozzarella, and mortadella.

Top with the remaining olive salad.

Place the other half of the bread over the olive salad.

Tightly wrap the entire sandwich in plastic wrap.

Place the wrapped sandwich on a flat plate and place a heavy object on top of the plastic-wrapped sandwich to weigh it down.  I like to use a cast-iron skillet to do this.

Place the weighted sandwich in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

When ready to cut the sandwich into wedges, skewer the muffaletta with 4 kabob skewers or long toothpicks.  Cut the sandwich into 8 wedges.

Serve cold.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes + time for marinating
  • Category: Main Dish - Sandwiches
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: New Orleans Muffaletta sandwich, New Orleans food, sandwich recipes, Italian sandwiches, tailgating recipes, party recipes, Mardi gras recipes

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