Jan 18, 2020
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What would living in New Orleans be without a good muffuletta? I’m not sure, but I do not want to find out.
This New Orleans Muffuletta is one I love to make for parties and entertaining. It’s always a crowd-pleaser!
Ready to dive in? Jump to the part of this post you are looking for by clicking one of the links below.
🥪 What is a Muffuletta Sandwich?
What exactly is a muffuletta? A muffuletta is a deli sandwich topped with fresh olive salad. It’s also made on a 9″ round italian bread. The “locals” are very particular about where they buy their muffulettas. Personally, I love the ones from Central Grocery by the French Market.
Since I live in suburbia, going to Central Grocery to pick up one of these is not an option -a ninety mile round trip would make it a very expensive sandwich!
The key to a good muffuletta is the quality of the ingredients in it. Most importantly, where your olive salad is made being the biggest factor.
A funny story: I went to the store to purchase olive salad and they were out of “my” brand. I purchased one that said Muffuletta Olive Salad (warning! warning!) and brought it home. When I opened the glass jar, it tasted funny… I looked at where it was made… and it said made in Chicago. What?! (nothing against Chicago).
Off I went again to my local Winn-Dixie and purchased a New Orleans brand. Whew! Seriously, it’s not the same.
Let’s go through some of the key ingredients so you too, can make your own at home. Shall we?
- Round Loaf Italian Bread
- Olive Salad
- Capicola or Deli Ham
- Genoa Salami
- Sliced Mozzarella
- Provolone Cheese
See the entire process, step-by-step in this quick video.
The Bread: 9-10″ round Italian bread.
Olive Oil: I like to moisten my halves with some good Spanish extra virgin olive oil.
Then you have the Capicola ham and salami. Ask the person behind the counter to slice them thin.
Thinly sliced mozzarella and smoked provolone…
Start placing the olive salad in the middle and then work your way out.
This is the most beautiful pie I’ve seen in a long time…
Oh.my.goodness. The combination of the salty meats, the smoked cheese, the strong olive oil flavor and the crunch of the olive salad… Please. refrain from licking or biting your screen. Your device will not like it.
We like to quarter our muffulettas and eat them for lunch (ok, anytime is good too). If you want, you can toast the whole muffuletta, prior to cutting, in your oven for a few minutes to give the bread a little crunch and melt the cheese.
Oh lordy. Yes, I am finished. You may proceed to print the recipe and make your own. Me? off to lick my fingers.
You can purchase the Olive Salad on Amazon here.
How to Freeze and Reheat Muffulettas
You can freeze muffulettas once fully assembled by wrapping the entire stuffed bread round in plastic wrap, then place it in a zip bag and freeze it for up to 30 days.
To enjoy it, remove the plastic wrap and thaw it overnight or on the counter for an hour. Wrap it in foil and warm it up in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes until heated through.
New Orleans Muffuletta Recipe
- 1 10-inch round Italian bread
- 1 cup Olive Salad
- ¼ lb Capicola or deli ham 4-6 slices
- ¼ lb Genoa Salami 6-8 slices
- ¼ lb Mortadella 4-6 slices
- ⅛ lb Sliced Mozzarella 3-4 thin slices
- ⅛ lb Provolone 3-4 thin slices
- Slice the round bread in half horizontally and open it on a flat surface.
- Brush both inner sides of the bread with oil from the Olive Salad or extra virgin olive oil, go a little heavier on the bottom.
- Begin layering thre ham, salami, and mortadella on the bottom half of the bread. Top with cheeses.
- Next, add the olive salad from the center out and spread it, leaving about a half-inch around the edge. Place the top half of the bread over the olive mixture, and press down to let the bread absorb the olive salad juices.
- Using a bread knife, slice the round sandwich into 4 to 6 wedges.
- Optional: place the whole sandwich, before slicing, on a large baking sheet, and toast/warm-up in a 350F preheated oven for about 5 minutes.
I keep coming back to this recipe. Most authentic one out there.
I’ve been craving a muffaletta ever since my last visit to new orleans, love that i can make it at home now.
Must-make. My husband is from New Orleans and he was so excited when I made this
…..go a little heavier on the bottom.
Your recipe is wonderful. Brings back Central Grocery (one of my favorite things about New Orleans). I looked at the Boscoli olive salad and saw that it was mostly canola oil with a small amount of olive oil. Apparently there is another version that is 100% olive oil – however the person who mentioned it said it was 128 oz. size. I love olive salad, but not that much. Maybe you haven’t bought it since they changed. Since the Central Grocery brand has soybean oil it doesn’t seem much better. Would it work if I drain all the oil out of the jar and replace it with good olive oil? Thanks for your help.
Thank you for trying my recipe. You are correct that the bostoli olive salad is not 100% olive oil; but unfortunately, I have not been able to find an olive salad sold online (since my audience is from all-over the world) in a smaller jar. A 128oz size is huge!! lol
Making muffulettas now ham , mortadella, salami, provolone, swiss. I use central grocery ouve salad I found at Rouses grocery. I’m in New Orleans. I think you can find the olive salad on line. It’s the best.
That’s why I linked it in the post! For the non-locals… Amazon.
Central Grocery sells jars of their Olive Salad on Amazon
That’s where I get my olive salad from! Amazon, right to my door.
I plan to make this at home. I got the salad and bun from Rouses. My question is is there a good soup I can make to go with it?
You can make gumbo or any of my soup recipes here.
Instead of step 6, I heat the olive salad and both bread halves in a frying pan so that everything gets warm to the touch. The bread soaks up a lot of the olive oil so have extra on hand. The warm bread & meat adds a nice contrast to the still cold ham, salami, & cheese!
Also, this recipe calls for a single layer of olive salad. I add warm olive salad directly on the bottom bread half, top that with all the meat, another warm olive salad layer, top that with all the cheese, then a third warm olive salad layer. Yes, it’s super-sloppy & just the way I like it!
In my younger days I could eat a whole muffuletta in one sitting: those days are long gone!
The extra layers of olive salad sound like a dream!!
Wow. I had to substitute good ol’ bologna for the mortadella as there was no mortadella at our local deli. The deli manager told me there is a shortage of mortadella because of the pandemic. It is one of the most complex Italian meat coldcuts to make. Hope it makes a reappearance soon. This is a wonderful sandwich nonetheless. Excellent.
Wow, these were huge! We really enjoyed and there are lots of leftovers for tomorrow.
It’s a great recipe for New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich. Easy to follow to make for my son. he loves it much. thank you for sharing!
I agree! I’m glad you both enjoy it.
Thank you, Margie!
thanks for sharing this with us…i will try to make this wonderful Recipe…
I hope you enjoy it!
Where do you find the bread?
At the grocery store by the bakery.
Great recipe! Made it yesterday a couple hours before dinner, wrapped it in saran wrap and weighted it down to flatten it, then cooked in my George Foreman grill, all of I know takes it from a true muffaletta to a muffaletta/panini hybrid, but it was GOOD! To finish up my New Orleans (I’m in Chicago) menu. I also made oyster stew and had some leftover corn salad which I realized was kinda like maque choux.
Now, THAT is a genius idea. The press!
I’m 8 I made this for my family, It was great!!!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!
I have been wanting a great New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich. I just saw your recipe and I was so excited. I have to go buy all the ingredients and make it. I will let you know how it turns out. Thank you for sharing your recipe with the public. Have a Blessed Day! God Bless!!!
I tried this last year. My family loved it. My son said “ mom it can’t get better then this” this is really Good!” So I thank you very much for sharing and now I share your recipes to my niece. Love it.
I have used several different olive salads for use on salads & sandwiches, I noticed a new olive salad at Rouses Grocery I hadn’t seen before & decided to try it. Actually it is Central Grocery Olive
Salad, made by them & it’s TERRIFIC.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe!
Can you freeze muffulettas
Yes, you can freeze muffulettas once fully assembled by wrapping the entire stuffed bread round in plastic wrap, then place it in a zip bag, and freeze it for up to 30 days. To enjoy it, remove the plastic wrap and thaw it overnight or on the counter for an hour. Wrap it in foil and warm it up in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes until heated through.
Just want to say, the olive salad sold at Trader Joe’s is great for this sandwich or just by itself on bread.
I buy my olive salad at George’s on Perkins in Baton Rouge. I tote it up to Illinois in the summer to make my muffaletta salads. It doesn’t go bad either and it’s SPICY since they add some cherry peppers to it. Super delicious!! I have kept it up to 6 months and it’s just fine and they pack it up at the restaurant to travel. The BEST!!
Do you make your own olive salad? If so, can you share that recipe?
LuAnn D Williams
Hi Laura..never had a muffuletta from Central Grocery in NOLA, but had one at Cochon Butcher! Loved it!
I LOVE Cochon Butcher!!
How do I get a printer friendly copy of your recipe? I don’t need 32 pages. Your recipe looks amazing and I would like to make it. Thank you so much.
Hi Judi! I’m currently updating my website so the “print” only button for the recipe isn’t showing up. I am going to personally email it to you. Laura
Nicely timed for Halloween! The fat, sodium and calories read like a horror story!
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. There was an error in the recipe calculator. Some nutritional data will vary by the brand of deli meats purchased.
Laura, I live in the New Orleans area. Which muffuletta bread maker do you use with all the sesame seeds on top that is in your photo?…….in other words, which bakery is the best tasting to use for these since United is no longer in business? Thanks.
Just made my first trip to New Orleans and was told by a friend I had to eat a Muffuetta while there. I did and fell in love with them. I purchased the Olive Salad (fortunately) from Central Grocery. Then on my way home realized I had not asked any one exactly what was in it….just took for granted I knew. Then I decided to try online for a receipe and there you were. I was so glad to see you had it and even suggested the same Olive Salad. I have used some of your recipes before and loved them. I receive you e-mails all the time and really looking forward to making my own Muffulettas for my friends.
So glad you were able to re-create this at home!
I make them same way except I use the oil from the olive mix on both the top and bottom of the bread. I wrap it in foil overnight and then heat it up for about 15-20 at 325 degrees. So very good
In my career i have worked all over the world had have always missed my native food. While working in the US and away from NOLA I have been able to come close to a muffuletta built at Subways. The only problem with Subways is the lack of olive salad and you have to use black olives close your eyes and it’s close to tasting like a muffuletta.
I love the “you have to close your eyes… and it’s close to tasting like a muffuletta.” Glad you found my recipe 🙂
I ,ale these and I live in NH. I worked for years in Milford, MA that had a terrrific Italian market that made these by the score, you didn’t have order them. They were in a big cooler wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Anzd they were cheap. They were lunch for 4 guys but we usually split them 3 ways. Up here in New England I can get everything that does in it but I’ve had to look around for bread and found them.. I have an old buddy that grew up in NOLA and he was surprised I was making them. Very obscure way up north!!! Though my friends have loved these, I bring one to a party and cut it into 8 pieces. I never take anything home.
I’m so glad these are a hit among your friends.
We’re can I find that olive salad, live in Florida can not find any muffuletta olive Salad anywhere.
You can find the olive salad here: http://amzn.to/2osMRQ4 Enjoy!
I want to make this for a Mardi Gras potluck we are having at work. Can it be made a day in advance?
I make these every year for my Mardi Gras party and could not agree more, Boscoli Olive Salad is the best on the planet, nothing else will do for this sandwich! I have tried others out of desperation but I don’t like the Italian spin on them. Will be using your recipe this Mardi Gras as I usually do not used the smoked provolone……
You can, of course, use regular provolone. I just prefer the smoked. 🙂 Enjoy!
OMG…..how I miss Central Grocery Muffulettas!!! Yum!
restaurant Fort Lauderdale
Indeed, I totally agree with being particular with the ingredients especially the olive salad. It is really funny that I had the same experience as yours. I also tried making my own olive salad but to no success. It just did not taste right, so I always go find something made from New Orleans. Thank you for this post. This reminds me to make muffulettas one of these days.
That’s actually authentic – good job. So many recipes don’t use mortadella or specify capicola or even Genoa salami. A lot of New Orleanians will use Chisesi ham instead of capicola, but it’s similar. One tip, though. The top half of the bread should be scooped out to allow for more olive salad. If you look at the ones from Central Grocery (which are the original recipe), the top is hollowed out to hold a mound of olive salad.
Also, try the toasted muff at Napoleon House. That’s the only one that comes close to topping the original, and it’s probably been around nearly as long.
Thank you! I love love toasted muff! Thanks for mentioning the hollowing the top if the muff, I do that but it doesn’t picture as nicely 😉
Saw you on Pinterest and just HAD to stop by! This looks delicious! New follower 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
let me know how your family enjoys them Michelle!
Nothing quite like being in NOLA at Central Grocery munching on the utmost very best Muffuletta!!! Thank you so much for bringing back precious memories!
thank you Margie!
I have had a lot of muffulattas from Central Market but I have found theIRS lacking on the meat. I had one of the best Muffulattas ever at Mo’s Pizza on the Best Bank in Westwego yesterday. Fresh bread lots of meat and moist. Great sandwitch and reasonable price.
I’ll have to try it out!
Well this brings back memories I went to beauty school in Slidell in the 80s and the girls brought a muffalatta from a restaurant to school instantly fell in love ! Never forgot it . Where can I get that olive salad? I’m in California -thank you
Hi Bernadette! Here are a couple olive salad jars you can order on Amazon. Enjoy!
Whole Foods sells an Olive Salad at their Olive Bar and they even specify that it’s for the Muffeletta!
Tiffany's Toy Box
I have never heard of a Muffuletta before now! It looks beyond dlish and savory. Thanks for the recipe! Now I have to try and see if I can make it look and taste as good as your pics look!
Kelly @ The Nourishing Home
Oh my goodness – that looks SO GOOD! I love olives and crusty bread! Mmm! Love that you shared a little bit of you with us too! eHugs, Kelly
e hugs!! 🙂
Thank you for this recipe. We went to NO last week for the 1st time. May I add it was just for this sandwich. We saw it on the food network. My question is what brand of olives do you use?
Hi Kim! Here are a couple olive salad jars you can order on Amazon. I buy Boscoli at my local supermarket. Enjoy!