Keef Cooks logo
British food-lover Keef shows you how to cook amazing food with easy to follow recipes and videos. So stop wasting your time and money on takeaways or supermarket ready meals, and Get Cooking!

Mufaletta Sandwich

Introduction & method

Mufaletta refers to both the sandwich and the style of bread that originated in Sicily. The sandwich itself comprises several deli meats, cheeses and an olive salad/spread and was created at a deli/café in New Orleans in 1906 to feed Italian immigrants.

Mufaletta Sandwich Recipe

The Bits

A mufaletta contains deli meats, cheeses and an olive salad in a big round loaf. I'm not crazily trying to mimic the exact components used at the Central Grocery in New Orleans because they are simply not (easily) available to me. But I'll do my best. If you are making your own giardiniera and olive salad, do them the day before making the sandwich so the flavours can develop.


Giardiniera is an Italian pickled vegetable relish and it's an important ingredient in the olive salad. It's fairly commonly available in the US, but practically unknown in the UK - not even Amazon can get you some (well, they can, but it'll cost £20+ and take 3 weeks). All is not lost - you can make your own. Before you start, sterilize enough jars to contain your pickle - the quantity of veg given here will only need one 500ml (about a pint) jar. To sterilize it place it in a pan full of boiling water along with its lid and simmer for 10  minutes. Remove, drain and cool the jar before using.

Top and tail any of your veggies that need it. Dice the veggies - you want 1cm (just under half an inch) pieces. Keep the different types of veggies separate as you cut them because they may need to be cooked for different lengths of time. Bring the water and vinegar to the boil. Add the salt, sugar, bay leaves and the mustard, coriander and fennel seeds. Cook the carrots, green beans and cauliflower for 2 minutes, then add the celery, onion and peppers and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Place the veggies in a jar and top up with strained cooking liquid.

Olive Salad

Mince the garlic and add to a food processor along with all other ingredients. Whizz finely. Store in an airtight container until needed, but ideally overnight minimum.

Mufaletta Bread

This style of Sicilian bread is what gave the sandwich its name. You might struggle to find it if you don't live in Sicily or New Orleans but you can substitute a big ciabatta, or focaccia or even an English bloomer loaf. However, it is quite easy to make so why not have a go?

Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast together. Gradually mix in the water. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured worktop or in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Transfer to a clean bowl, coat the dough with olive oil, cover the bowl with plastic film or a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for the dough to double in volume, about 1½-2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and sprinkle with polenta or coarse semolina. Remove the dough from the bowl and punch all the air out of it. Form it into a ball and place it in the centre of the baking sheet. Splash with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover the sheet with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove again.

To bake the loaf, use a fan/convection oven or airfryer set to 200°C (392°F), 220°C (425°F) conventional or gas 7 for the first 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven or airfryer, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6 and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Make the Mufaletta Sandwich

Carefully slice the loaf in half horizontally. Paint both cut faces with olive oil. Cover the bottom half with olive spread, quite thick and right up to the edge. Layer mortadella, salami and ham, then the two types of cheese. Place the lid on and wrap the whole sandwich in plastic film. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the flavour to soak in.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Mufaletta Sandwich on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 250 ml white vinegar
 250 ml water
 1 carrot
 2 spring onions
 1 stick celery
 75 grams cauliflower
 75 grams green beans
 half a red bell pepper
 1 tbsp sugar
 1 tbsp sea salt
 1 tsp black peppercorns
 1 tsp mustard seeds
 1 tsp coriander seeds
 1 tsp fennel seeds
 2 bay leaves
 115 grams pimiento-stuffed green olives
 75 grams kalamata or halkidiki olives
 100 ml giardiniera
 4 small pickled onionss
 1 tbsp capers
 2 cloves garlic
 1 tsp dried oregano
 half a tsp ground black pepper
 2 tsp lemon juice
 1 tbsp olive oil
 400 grams strong white bread flour
 300 ml lukewarm water
 1 tsp active dried yeast
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp sugar
 2 tbsp olive oil
 1 tbsp sesame seeds
 115 grams cooked ham or prosciutto
 150 grams mortadella
 100 grams salami
 200 grams provolone or mature cheddar
 200 grams emmental or gruyère
 lots of olive salad


Polenta or coarse semolina for dusting

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Proving time: 4 hours.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Total time: 5 hours 15 minutes.