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This traditional New Orleans Muffuletta recipe is a favorite of ours. Layers of meats, cheese and a special olive salad piled high onto sturdy Italian bread.
I can vividly remember my first taste of a traditional New Orleans Muffuletta. It was at a place called Central Grocery in the French Quarter and I was probably between 12 and 13 years old. Our Sunday afternoon tradition was to stop at Central Grocery before going home after church so my mother could pick up her olive salad. This one particular time, she picked up a Muffuletta for us to share at home.
A Muffuletta is a Sicilian sandwich filled with Italian salami, ham and cheese and the key ingredient in a Muffuletta is the olive salad which is the sandwich’s signature trait.
Although Italian, the Muffulatta didn’t originate in Italy. It is the creation of Sicilian immigrant, Salvatore Lupo who arrived in New Orleans in the early 1900’s and opened Central Grocery. He developed this sandwich for his customers, many of whom were farmers who would order bread, sliced cold cuts, olives and cheese. Since they would eat standing, Mr. Lupo decided to put all of those ingredients together in a sandwich to make it easier for his customers to enjoy.
My sister-in-law sent me this recipe for a Muffuletta and I wrote about it over a year ago. The post, Isabel’s Famous Muffuletta Recipe first appeared in June 2013 on this site. It was one of my first recipe posts and the pictures aren’t great so I thought I’d make the Muffuletta again and share my updated results and pictures.
A Muffuletta would make a perfect dish to serve at any large gathering or even at a Super Bowl party. For my college meal readers, I think a Muffuletta would be a wonderful sandwich to make and since it’s so large, you would be able to enjoy the leftovers for days.
This Muffuletta recipe is certainly a winner and we loved the Muffuletta as much as the first time we tried it. Every bite was spectacular and the flavors perfect.
Layers of ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni and provolone cheese are piled high on a loaf of french or italian bread. But the key ingredient, in my opinion, is the olive and carrot spread. Green olives and carrots are put in a food processor and finely chopped. Then, mix in a little Italian salad dressing, chopped black olives and grated parmesan cheese to pull it all together.
Here’s how to make a Muffuletta…
Combine green olives and carrots in a food processor and finely chop them.
Here’s a tip, make sure you buy pitted green olives. I wasn’t paying attention and picked up a jar of olives with seeds in them. Green olives are a key ingredient in this recipe so my wonderful husband painstakingly cut around every seed of every olive. He’s such a great guy…
Transfer the olive and carrot mixture into a large bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of Italian salad dressing, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and crushed black olives.
Slice your loaves of french or Italian bread horizontally and on one half, layer the meats and the provolone.
Spoon the olive/carrot mixture over the cheese.
Place the other half of the bread on top and brush the top of the bread with melted butter.
Wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil and bake it for 50 minutes. The aroma from the Muffuletta baking in the oven will make your mouth water for sure. When you unwrap the warmed Muffuletta, you’ll notice the melted cheese oozing from the middle. I just wanted to take a spoon and scoop up all the wonderful melted cheese – but I resisted (only just a little)…
Slice the Muffuletta into wedges and enjoy!
Isabel’s Muffuletta recipe is one that I’ll be using very often. I’ve never personally met Isabel, but feel as if I’ve known her forever. These Muffulettas are the real deal. They’re perfect for tailgating, to bring to a pot-luck or even to serve for dinner. Slice them into wedges and you’re good to go.
How To Make A Muffuletta
- 16 oz Jar green olives
- 12 oz Baby carrots
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese , grated
- 2 loaves of French (or Italian bread)
- 1/2 pound Ham
- 1/2 pound Pastrami
- 1/4 pound Sliced Pepperoni
- 1/2 pound Provolone
- 4 tablespoons butter , melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the green olives and the carrots in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
- Stir in the salad dressing and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- Slice the bread horizontally and on one half, layer the meats, then the provolone and finish with the olive salad.
- Place the other half of the bread on top.
- Brush melted butter on top of the bread.
- Wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil and bake about 50 minutes.
- Remove the sandwich from the oven and before unwrapping, gently push down on the sandwich.
- Unwrap, slice and serve.
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