Muffaletta is one sandwich recipe that is definitely a meal. Discover how to make Muffaletta from scratch, including a tender, chewy bread, briny olive salad, and savory meats and cheeses. Try this Muffaletta for Mardi Gras parties, picnics, or any time of year.

Someone holding a muffaletta sandwich half.

Whether you spell it muffuletta or muffaletta, these giant wheels of sandwich goodness are downright irresistible. The tradition of Mardi Gras, AKA Martedi Grasso or Carnival, is a big party that acts as a prelude to the more abstinent lenten season.

With that in mind, French and Italian religious revelers often celebrated this as a final farewell to rich, fatty foods before taking it easy for the following 40 days. Get this: The Latin term “Carne vale” actually means “farewell to meat.”

A Muffaletta recipe is the best farewell to meat I can think of, although after testing, sampling, and perfecting this homemade Muffaletta, I don’t think I’ll be able to swear it off ever again!

Besides Beignets, King Cake, Pecan Pralines, and Hurricane Cocktails, this New Orleans sandwich recipe is one of the city’s greatest culinary traditions. Featuring layer upon layer of salty, savory meats and cheeses, bright and zippy olive salad, and chewy bread, this is one sandwich that eats like a meal.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Muffaletta Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for muffaletta.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Pizza dough: Mix up a batch of my Homemade Pizza Dough if you’re feeling ambitious, or hit the easy button and snag some uncooked pizza crust dough from the supermarket or your favorite pizza parlor.
  • Giardiniera, pimento-stuffed green olives, Kalamata olives, and capers: This combo platter of briny delights lends so much flavor as the sandwich marinates. Drain off the vinegar solution before adding these to the sandwich so it doesn’t get too soggy.
  • Genoa salami, provolone cheese, mortadella, and hot capicola: I prefer this classic mix of Muffaletta meats and cheeses, although you could also mix and match any or all of the above with ham, salami, soppresatta, mozzarella, or Swiss.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the olive salad, in a food processor, add giardiniera, green olives, Kalamata olives, capers, vinegar, garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and thyme. Process until coarsely chopped, about 6 pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in olive oil and parsley. Allow to sit at room temperature for flavors to meld, about 30 minutes. Cover and chill while preparing the bread.
Muffaletta mixture in a clear bowl.
  1. To make the bread, oil a rimmed baking sheet. Form each ball of pizza dough into a tight ball, then set on oiled baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick spray. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Muffaletta bread on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from dough balls, then flatten each dough ball into a 7-inch round disk.
Muffaletta bread on a parchment lined baking sheet topped with sesame seeds.
  1. Brush tops of dough disks with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown and hollow when tapped, about 18 to 20 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.
Baked muffaletta bread on a cooling rack.
  1. To assemble the sandwiches, slice loaves in half horizontally. Spread ¼ of the olive salad on each half of bread, pressing firmly so the salad is tightly packed.
Muffaletta bread halves topped with muffaletta mixture.
  1. On the bottom half of each loaf, layer of 2 ounces salami, 1 ½ ounces provolone, 3 ounces mortadella, the remaining 1 ½ ounces provolone, and 2 ounces capicola. Top with top half of bread and tightly wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap.
An assembled muffaletta before being cooked.
  1. To press the sandwiches, place a baking sheet weighted down with cans or a heavy pot on top of the sandwiches. and press for 1 hour, flipping the sandwiches halfway through.
Muffaletta sandwiches being pressed down between a wooden cutting board and cast iron pan.
  1. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and cut each sandwich into quarters. Wrapped sandwiches can be stored under refrigeration up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Someone holding a muffaletta sandwich half.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This classic Muffaletta recipe makes eight generous wedges jam-packed with now-marinated meats and cheeses. Add a side of pasta salad, potato chips, fruit salad, or broccoli salad and lunch is all set.
  • Storage: Wrap thoroughly and tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • Make ahead: Baked loaves can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature up to 24 hours. After assembly, the completed Muffaletta is designed to be made one day in advance.
Muffaletta sandwich quarters on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe FAQs

What if I don’t want to bake dough from scratch?

Try the same filling stuffed inside a 10-inch round loaf of Italian bread.

What other elements could I add to this Muffaletta recipe?

I certainly wouldn’t be mad about a schmear of mayo on one side of the bread! Some cooks layer also add roasted red peppers or artichokes to their olive salad.

Hurricane Cocktail

This Hurricane Cocktail is a classic recipe from New Orleans. Made with two kinds of rum, three kinds of juice, and grenadine, it’s sweet, fruity, and refreshing. Fun fact: The hurricane glass is named for…

2 minutes
View Recipe

More scrumptious sandwiches

Muffaletta sandwiches on a wooden cutting board.

Muffaletta

Muffaletta is one sandwich recipe that is definitely a meal. Discover how to make Muffaletta from scratch, including a tender, chewy bread, briny olive spread, and savory meats and cheeses. Try this Muffaletta for Mardi Gras parties, picnics, or any time of year.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Proofing and Resting Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings 8 slices
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 575

Ingredients 

For the olive salad:

  • 2 cups giardiniera drained, from 1 (16-ounce) jar (see note 2)
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for spicer sandwich increase to ½ teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

For the bread:

  • 2 (1-pound) balls pizza dough homemade or store-bought (see note 1)
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 5 teaspoons sesame seeds

For the sandwiches:

  • 4 ounces Genoa salami thinly sliced (see note 3)
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces mortadella thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces hot capicola thinly sliced

Instructions 

To make the olive salad:

  • In a food processor, add giardiniera, green olives, Kalamata olives, capers, vinegar, garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and thyme. Process until coarsely chopped, about 6 pulses.
  • Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in olive oil and parsley. Allow to sit at room temperature for flavors to meld, about 30 minutes. Cover and chill while preparing the bread.

To make the bread:

  • Oil a rimmed baking sheet. Form each ball of pizza dough into a tight ball, then set on oiled baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick spray. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from dough balls, then flatten each dough ball into a 7-inch round disk.
  • Brush tops of dough disks with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown and hollow when tapped, about 18 to 20 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.

To assemble the sandwiches:

  • Slice loaves in half horizontally. Spread ¼ of the olive salad on each half of bread, pressing firmly so the salad is tightly packed.
  • On the bottom half of each loaf, layer of 2 ounces salami, 1 ½ ounces provolone, 3 ounces mortadella, the remaining 1 ½ ounces provolone, and 2 ounces capicola. Top with top half of bread and tightly wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap.
  • To press the sandwiches, place a baking sheet weighted down with cans or a heavy pot on top of the sandwiches. and press for 1 hour, flipping the sandwiches halfway through.
  • To serve, remove the plastic wrap and cut each sandwich into quarters. Wrapped sandwiches can be stored under refrigeration up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes

  1. Pizza dough: Mix up a batch of my Homemade Pizza Dough if you’re feeling ambitious, or hit the easy button and snag some uncooked pizza crust dough from the supermarket or your favorite pizza parlor.
  2. Giardiniera, pimento-stuffed green olives, Kalamata olives, and capers: This combo platter of briny delights lends so much flavor as the sandwich marinates. Drain off the vinegar solution before adding these to the sandwich so it doesn’t get too soggy.
  3. Genoa salami, provolone cheese, mortadella, and hot capicola: I prefer this classic mix of Muffaletta meats and cheeses, although you could also mix and match any or all of the above with ham, salami, soppresatta, mozzarella, or Swiss.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25sandwichCalories: 575kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 21gFat: 53gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 2943mgPotassium: 153mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 503IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 190mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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