How To Make an Authentic New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich

Dec 05, 2023 / MIN READ


For a culinary journey to the heart of New Orleans, consider our Hatfield® recipe for an authentic homemade Muffuletta sandwich. This iconic, flavor-packed delight is great for the whole family, with a  layer of Italian meats and cheeses and its infamous olive salad between a hearty loaf of bread.

Unravel the secrets behind perfecting this sandwich’s assembly and explore helpful tips and tricks to ensure delectable results every time. Read on to learn how you can create a memorable dining experience for your loved ones with this mouthwatering New Orleans treat.

Looking at the muffuletta: A New Orleans culinary classic

The Muffuletta sandwich, sometimes referred to as a Muffaletta sandwich, has become a culinary emblem of New Orleans. Why? This dish perfectly embodies a flavorful fusion of Italian and Creole influences. Born in the heart of the French Quarter, it’s an ideal balance of flavors and textures — comprising layers of Italian salami, Hatfield® ham, mortadella, provolone, and a zesty olive salad, all held within a Sicilian bread or round loaf.

Plus, the versatility of Muffuletta sandwiches makes them a perfect choice for the entire family. Whether you need to adjust meat quantities, cheese types or the olive mixture to fit your household preferences, the Muffuletta embraces customization; not to mention simplicity for a quick and easy cooking process. You can also get the whole family involved by having kids choose their favorite ingredients to include, so everyone can savor this NOLA treasure.

Step-by-step instructions to bring a muffuletta sandwich recipe to life

Serves: 4-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes


  • 1 Hatfield® Hot and Spicy Ham Steak, cut in half.
  • 1 loaf of Italian Bread.
  • 4 oz. genoa salami, sliced thin.
  • 4 oz. mortadella, sliced thin.
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella.
  • 4 oz. sharp or regular provolone, sliced thin.
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 1 cup olive salad, recipe below:
    • 1 jar sliced Kalamata olives.
    • 1 jar sliced pimiento-stuffed olives.
    • ½ cup olive oil.
    • 2 Tbsp. minced shallot or red onion.
    • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped celery.
    • 2 Tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley.
    • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic.
    • 1 ½ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper.
    • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper.
  • Pepperoncini, for garnish.

Directions for creating this New Orleans sandwich

  • Step 1: Start by preheating your oven to 350.
  • Step 2: Then, combine all of the ingredients for your olive tapenade and set this aside.
  • Step 3: Now, slice your Italian bread or round loaf in half. Drizzle the olive oil on the bottom, sprinkle salt and pepper to your preference then begin to layer the cheeses and meats; adding your Hatfield® Hot and Spicy Ham Steak on top.
  • Step 4: Next, coat a sheet pan with cooking spray and lay out your New Orleans sandwich with its layers open-faced.
  • Step 5: At this point, move the baking sheet to the preheated oven and heat until the mozzarella and provolone cheese are melted and the meat is warmed through (about 25 minutes).
  • Step 6: Finally, take out your masterpiece from the oven and add the olive spread. Cut the bread into four, six or eight portions before serving alongside pickled Pepperoncini and your preferred side dishes.
a Muffuletta sandwich is cut into sqauresCreating a classic New Orleans Muffuletta sandwich

Ready to get started? Head to your local grocery store to pick up your favorite Hatfield® pork products today!

Answering FAQs for making Muffuletta sandwiches

Before you dive into this recipe at home, consider the following frequently asked questions to elevate your family’s mealtime experience.

Can I adjust the spiciness of the sandwich?

If the kids or someone in your household isn’t the biggest fan of spice, it’s no problem! You can easily tweak the spice level of a classic Muffuletta sandwich by adjusting the ingredients as needed. For a milder taste, you might consider using a different variety of Italian salami or leave out the crushed red pepper from the olive salad. You can also consider switching out the hot and spicy ham steak for a unique flavor profile, like Hatfield® Hardwood Smoked Ham Steak or Hatfield® Honey Ham Steak.

On the other hand, you might also kick up the heat for a family of spice lovers by adding crushed red pepper or opting for a hotter type of salami. Moreover, you can add pepperoncini or select a spicier version to influence the sandwich’s overall spice level. Regardless of the direction you choose to take, be sure to tailor the recipe’s spiciness to the preferences of your family and guests for the best results.

How do I make sure the bread doesn’t get too soggy from the olive tapenade?

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure your Muffuletta bread doesn’t get too soggy after you add your olive spread. First, you want to make sure that the olive salad you create isn’t excessively wet. It’s helpful to avoid using too much olive oil and remove any extra liquid before spreading it on the bread. Or, you can create a barrier between the bread and the tapenade by adding a layer of cheese or cured meat directly onto the loaf. This effectively reduces direct contact between the moisture from the salad and the bread.

Is there a way to make the olive spread in advance?

The short answer is, absolutely! Making the olive spread for this sandwich in advance is a great way to not only save time but also enhance its flavors. If you plan to prepare the olive spread early, combine all of the ingredients a day or two before its intended use and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This gives the flavors of the olives, spices and other ingredients just enough time to marinate and meld together — intensifying the overall taste of your final dish. If prepared in advance, be sure your olive spread is well-sealed and refrigerated to maintain freshness and taste until you’re ready to bring this recipe to life.

Can I substitute any of the meats and cheeses?

The beauty of this Muffuletta recipe lies in its adaptability. Feel free to swap out any of the meats or cheeses to suit your family’s preferences or dietary needs. This means you might consider experimenting with different types of salami, ham and cheeses, whether you’re looking for a milder or more intense flavor, to find the combination that’s just right for your household.

Some of the most popular recipe variations for a classic New Orleans Muffuletta sandwich include smoked turkey, pepper jack cheese, coppa or even grilled eggplant for a vegetarian twist. Whatever ingredients you choose, ensure you maintain a balance of flavors and textures to preserve the essence of the sandwich while customizing it to your liking.

Does it matter if I use a different type of olive for the salad?

While a traditional Muffuletta olive salad recipe calls for a combination of pimiento-stuffed and Kalamata olives, you can experiment with a range of olives that suit your individual taste. Consider options like green olives, Castelvetrano or even black olives for a diverse flavor and texture profile. Keep in mind that, while seemingly simple, each type of olive you use will bring a unique tanginess or brininess that contributes to the overall character of the salad. With that said, feel free to mix and match or solely use one type to craft a tapenade that aligns perfectly with your preferences.

What’s the best way to slice Muffuletta bread for serving?

For optimal serving, you’ll want to slice the Muffuletta bread into portions — typically four, six or eight wedges or squares — using a serrated knife. Make sure the cuts make it through every delicious layer of meat, cheese and olive salad, so each portion showcases a mouthwatering medley of flavors and textures. Uniform servings promote easy enjoyment of this New Orleans classic, revealing its intricate layers and maintaining structural integrity.

Expert tips for sensational sandwiches

Let’s explore the top tips and tricks to keep in mind throughout the cooking process:

  • Layer ingredients evenly: For the most delectable results, distribute the meats, cheeses and olive salad evenly across your bread layers. This is the best way to get a balanced bite in every portion. You might also want to start with a cheese or meat base so the bread doesn’t get too soggy from the olive spread.
  • Serve the sandwich at room temperature: Give the diverse flavors of this recipe time to meld by letting your creation rest after baking and serving at room temperature. That way, your family enjoys a more harmonious and balanced taste. This also allows your bread a chance to soften slightly, which may make it even easier to bite into.
  • Consider dietary preferences and restrictions: A Muffuletta recipe is the perfect excuse to take advantage of flexibility. Modify the ingredients to accommodate the dietary preferences or personal tastes in your household. This might include opting for gluten-free bread, exploring vegetarian options or adjusting spice levels as needed.
  • Prioritize high-quality ingredients: The best way to elevate your sandwich is by using premium ingredients. Artisanal cheese and fresh olive varieties for the salad are the cornerstones of intense flavors that can take your sandwich to gourmet levels. Additionally, selecting pork products from reliable sources such as Hatfield enhances not only flavor but also ensures food safety for your loved ones.

Pairing this dish with complementary sides

Once you have this main dish sliced and ready to serve, don’t forget to pair it with the perfect sides for an even more delectable result. Some of the most popular options that complement a Muffuletta sandwich include:

  • Sweet potato fries.
  • Italian potato salad with green beans.
  • Red beans and rice.
  • Homemade zesty coleslaw.
  • Fried okra.
  • Cornbread.
  • Honey-glazed vegetable stir fry.
  • Gumbo or roasted tomato basil soup.
  • Blacked-eyed pea salad.

Elevating your muffuletta recipe with high-quality ingredients

Quality ingredients are key for an unparalleled Muffuletta experience, ensuring each layer of this iconic sandwich contributes to the symphony of New Orleans flavors. When you’re looking for top-tier pork products to enhance this recipe, Hatfield® can help. Hatfield® stands as a trusted pork provider guaranteeing not just exceptional taste but also the safety of every member of your household. Explore a range of products, from our Hatfield® Hickory Ham Steak to the Hatfield® Sweet Brown Sugar Ham Steak, to transform your sandwich into a culinary masterpiece that will have everyone asking for more.

If you’re ready to start your authentic Muffuletta adventure with premium ingredients, you can head to your local grocery store to pick up your favorite Hatfield® pork products today!