Muffaletta Recipe

5 from 8 votes
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This Italian-inspired Muffaletta Recipe spreads soft bread with a homemade olive salad then piles up layers of cheese, salami, ham, and prosciutto to create a thick sandwich. Hearty and packed with briny, salty flavors, this muffaletta sandwich is meant to be shared.

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Muffaletta sandwich are shown on their sides with meat and cheese visible.

This filling muffaletta sandwich packs so many flavors into every bite! The savory olive salad is so easy to whip up and perfectly offsets the mellow Provolone and Swiss cheeses. The layers of salty ham and salty salami take it over the top!

Why You’ll Love This Muffaletta Recipe

  • Enough for a Crowd: If you’re planning on lunch for a crowd, why not make a couple of muffuletta sandwiches? You’ll have more than enough to feed everyone, and they’ll all be satisfied.
  • Flavor-Forward: There are a lot of flavors in this muffaletta recipe and they all manage to complement each other! You’ll have salty, vinegary, spicy, and a little sweet, making this sandwich stand out.
  • Easy. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients list – this is an easy sandwich to stack up. You can even save time by using purchased olive salad, though I do recommend making it from scratch.

What Is A Muffaletta Sandwich?

A muffaletta sandwich gets its name from muffuletta bread, which is a large, round, soft loaf. The bread is split in half and spread with a homemade olive salad that features giardiniera (pickled vegetables including carrots and cauliflower), then topped with salami, ham, Mortadella, and Swiss and Provolone cheeses. In my muffaletta recipe, I’ve added a bit more ham and prosciutto. This recipe makes enough for six servings.

Recipe Ingredients

There are quite a few ingredients that go into this recipe, but the results are beyond worth it. I’ve included some substitution options lower down if needed. Don’t forget to check the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.

The ingredients for olive salad are shown: olives, peppers, pickled cauliflower, vinegar, parsley, capers, pickled baby onions, garlic, olive oil.

For the Olive Salad

  • Castelvetrano Olives – Otherwise known as green olives, some popular brands include Mezzetta or Divina.
  • Kalamata Olives – Pick up a jar of pitted Kalamata olives.
  • Capers – For a hint of briny crunch.
  • Piri Piri Peppers – These are red peppers that add a spicy sweetness to the salad.
  • Shallot – Or substitute a yellow onion.
  • Garlic – For a hint of spiciness.
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Giardiniera or Crunchy Pickled Cauliflower – Giardiniera is a mix of peppers, jalapeños, cauliflower, and olives pickled in vinegar and oil.
  • Pickled Baby Onions – Or use pickled pearl onions.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – Substitute sherry vinegar if needed.
  • Olive Oil – I always use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and Pepper
Muffaletta sandwich ingredients are shown: mortadella, salami, ham, proscitto, Swiss cheese, Provolone cheese, olive salad.

For the Sandwich

  • Muffaletta Bread – This is a soft, round bread topped with sesame seeds. You can use another soft Italian bread if needed.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted butter is fine.
  • Mortadella – This is a type of Italian sausage.
  • Capicola Ham A very thinly sliced ham.
  • Genoa Salami – Or use your preferred salami.
  • Sliced Deli Ham Ask for your ham to be very thinly sliced.
  • Provolone Cheese
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Prosciutto

How to Make A Muffaletta

Make the pickled olive salad a day in advance if you can, so that the flavors have time to meld and deepen. Then proceed with the recipe outlined below. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Make the olive salad. Place the olives, capers, Piri Piri peppers, diced shallot, minced garlic, fresh parsley, crunchy pickled cauliflower, and pickled baby onions in a food processor.
  • Combine. Pulse a few times.
  • Season. Whisk together red wine vinegar and olive oil, pour over the salad, and season wtih salt and pepper.
  • Toast. Cut the muffuletta bread in half, hollow out the top half, and toast both halves.
  • Add salad. Place some of the salad on one sliced half of the bread.
  • Add meat. Layer on some Mortadella, Capicola, salami, and ham.
    • Add cheese. Layer on the Provolone cheese and the Swiss cheese. Then, add the Prosciutto di Parma and top with the remaining Capicola ham and Mortadella.
    • Finish. Add more olive salad to the other piece of bread and top the sandwich with it. Press on the sandwich gently and let rest for a few minutes before cutting.
    Two pieces of tall muffaletta sandwich on cutting board.

    Tips & Variations

    • Use purchased olive salad. If you don’t have time to make the olive salad, you could pick up a jar. Mezzetta brand makes an olive salad that would work nicely.
    • Or try tapenade. In a pinch, swap in a homemade or purchased olive tapenade for the olive salad.
    • Change the cheese. Try Gouda cheese in place of the Swiss cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese in place of the Provolone.
    • Different meat. This muffaletta sandwich features a lot of Italian meat for authentic flavor! You can swap in other deli meats if you wish, and even go off-book with roast beef or turkey. Make sure you use thinly sliced meat.
    • Homemade bread. Soft bread is wonderful in this sandwich, however, you could also use homemade bread. Make a loaf of my No Knead Dutch Oven Bread and use it in place of the muffaletta bread.

    What To Serve With Sandwiches

    A muffaletta sandwich is so hearty and flavorful just on its own – you could add a side of potato chips and a glass of Italian red wine and call it a day! But I often like to make a batch of Garlic Fries to go with the sandwich, Air Fryer Zucchini Fries, or cheesy Parmesan Asparagus Fries. My Roasted Tomato Basil Soup would pair nicely with the flavors in this sandwich. You could also make Mexican Street Corn Salad or Avocado Tomato Salad for a bit of vegetables to balance the hearty sandwich. Follow this Italian-inspired sandwich with an Italian dessert, like my creamy, homemade Tiramisu.

    Pieces of muffaletta sandwich are shown on their sides with meat and cheese visible.

    More Easy Sandwich Recipes

    5 from 8 votes

    Muffaletta Recipe

    This Italian-inspired Muffaletta Recipe spreads soft bread with a homemade olive salad then piles up layers of cheese, salami, and ham.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Servings: 8 servings


    For the Olive Salad

    • ½ cup Castelvetrano olives
    • ½ cup Kalamata black olives
    • 2 tablespoons drained capers,, chopped
    • 3 to 4 Piri Piri peppers
    • 1 shallot,, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic,, grated or minced
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 handfuls giardiniera,, or use or crunchy pickled cauliflower
    • cup pickled pearl onions
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
    • cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,, to taste

    For the Sandwich

    • 1 large Muffuletta bread,, or any other soft Italian bread
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • ½ pound Mortadella,, thinly sliced; divided
    • ½ pound Capicola ham,, thinly sliced; divided
    • ¼ pound Genoa salami,, thinly sliced
    • ¼ pound Sliced Deli ham,, thinly sliced
    • pound Provolone cheese slices
    • pound Swiss cheese slices
    • ¼ pound Prosciutto di Parma,, thinly sliced
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    For the Olive Salad

    • In a food processor, combine Castelvetrano olives, Kalamata black olives, capers, Piri Piri peppers, diced shallot, minced garlic, fresh parsley, giardiniera, and pickled pearl onions.
    • Pulse the ingredients a few times in the food processor, ensuring that they are chopped to a coarse consistency, maintaining uneven pieces.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil until well combined. Pour the dressing over the pulsed olive mixture. Season the salad with salt and pepper according to your taste.
    • Gently toss the salad to evenly coat with the dressing.
    • Place the olive salad in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. If time allows, let the flavors meld by refrigerating the salad for at least a day. This step is ideal for marinating and enhancing the flavors. For optimal results, make the salad a day in advance, allowing it to chill and absorb the flavors.
    • Before serving, let the salad come to room temperature for a few minutes.

    To Assemble

    • Cut the muffaletta bread horizontally to create a top and bottom half.
    • Hollow out the center of the top half, creating a well. This will allow more space for the olive salad.
    • In a skillet or on a griddle, melt the butter. Toast both inner halves of the muffuletta in butter until they achieve a golden brown color. Set aside the upper half of the muffaletta.
    • Place the toasted bottom half on a serving platter and layer the components in the following order: 4 tablespoons Olive Salad, Mortadella, Capicola ham, Genoa salami, deli ham, Provolone cheese, Swiss cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, remaining Capicola ham, and remaining Mortadella.
    • Spread a generous amount of olive salad into the hollowed-out center of the toasted upper half. Afterward, arrange the olive salad-filled top half over the layers of meat and cheese on the lower half to finish assembling the sandwich.
    • Press down gently to press the layers and ensure the sandwich holds together.
    • Allow the muffaletta to rest for a few minutes to set.
    • Use a sharp knife to cut the muffaletta into individual portions.


    • Meat Choices: This muffaletta is packed with Italian meats for that authentic taste. Feel free to substitute with your favorite deli meats, including options like roast beef or turkey. Remember, the key is thinly sliced meats for the best texture and flavor.
    • Olive Salad Prep: For the olive salad, letting it sit overnight enhances the flavors, but if you’re short on time, a quick 20-minute rest will still work.


    Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 1817mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 340mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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    Recipe Rating


    1. Beth says:

      5 stars
      These are so, so good. I don’t think I’ve ever made a sandwich with this much flavor packed between two slices of bread!

      1. Katerina says:

        Thrilled to hear the sandwiches were a flavor-packed success! It’s great when a recipe exceeds expectations. Thank YOU! 🙂

    2. Gina says:

      5 stars
      This was so packed with flavor and I love how easy it was to make too!

    3. Melissa says:

      5 stars
      My favorite sandwich – so delicious and I love the olive spread.

      1. Katerina says:

        I’m happy to hear it’s your favorite sandwich and that you love the olive spread! Thank YOU! 🙂

    4. Sandra says:

      5 stars
      This was a good lunch! I love all the flavors in my mouth as I bite into it! Really really good!

      1. Katerina says:

        I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your lunch and loved the flavors! Thank YOU! 🙂

    5. Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert says:

      5 stars
      My family would love this! It looks incredibly delicious!

      1. Katerina says:

        That’s wonderful to hear! I hope your family enjoys it as much as it looks delicious. Thank YOU! 🙂

    6. Catalina says:

      5 stars
      Made your Muffaletta for a picnic, and it was the star of the show! The balance of flavors and textures was spot on, and it was surprisingly easy to assemble.

      1. Katerina says:

        I’m thrilled to hear the Muffaletta was a hit at your picnic! It’s great that you found the balance of flavors and textures to be spot on and easy to assemble. Thank YOU! 🙂

    7. Janelle says:

      5 stars
      This was such a great sandwich. Thanks for the recipe!

      1. Katerina says:

        You’re welcome! So happy to hear you enjoyed the sandwich. Thanks for trying out the recipe! 😊

    8. April says:

      5 stars
      Now THIS is a sandwich. Holy cow, so delish.

      1. Katerina says:

        Thrilled to hear you loved the sandwich that much! Thank YOU! 🙂