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Ready to enjoy a Mini New Orleans Muffuletta? This recipe scales down the traditional large Muffuletta, known for its hearty layers of meats, melted cheese, and a unique olive salad, all stacked between slices of robust Italian bread. Perfect for those times when you’re craving something deliciously filling but don’t want to deal with leftovers. Whether for lunch or dinner, this mini Muffuletta makes for a deliciously fulfilling meal.

Discover the charm of authentic New Orleans cuisine with this mini Muffuletta recipe, a perfect single serving adaptation of the larger version I often prepare for parties and gatherings. This Muffuletta, brimming with an assortment of meats and a homemade olive salad, mirrors the classic recipe famously served at Central Grocery in New Orleans. It’s a delightful way to enjoy the traditional flavors of this iconic sandwich in a more personal portion.

For a taste of authentic New Orleans cuisine, explore our array of single serving recipes. Delight in the spicy and hearty flavors of our Jambalaya, the rich and savory Shrimp Creole, or the deep and complex Seafood Gumbo. Don’t miss out on our sweet and festive King Cake, and the irresistibly crunchy and sweet Pecan Pralines for a complete New Orleans culinary experience.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  1. Authentic Flavor: Enjoy the genuine taste of a New Orleans classic right at home.
  2. Perfect Portion: Ideal for a single serving or for serving two, ensuring no leftovers.
  3. Easy to Assemble: Simple to put together, just like making any sandwich.
  4. Versatile Bread Options: The choice of bread is crucial in a Muffuletta. For a large one, a loaf of French or Italian bread is perfect, but for a single serving, a ciabatta roll is ideal (or two if they’re small). The key is to select a bread that’s robust enough to hold the generous fillings without falling apart. This flexibility allows you to enjoy the authentic Muffuletta experience, no matter the size.
  5. Customizable: Easily adjust meat and cheese varieties to suit your taste.

What Is A Muffuletta?

A Muffuletta is a renowned deli sandwich, a staple in New Orleans cuisine, loaded with layers of ham, pastrami, pepperoni or salami, and creamy provolone cheese. The hallmark of this sandwich is its olive salad, a unique blend that defines its distinctive taste and sets it apart from other deli sandwiches.

The term ‘muffuletta’ refers to the soft and spongy bread that is the foundation of this sandwich. Originating from Sicily, the spelling of ‘muffuletta’ varies across different Sicilian regions and can be found as ‘muffuletta’, ‘muffeletta’, or ‘muffaletta’. Each variation points back to the same beloved bread, an integral part of the Muffuletta’s identity.

The Origin Of The Muffuletta

Contrary to what one might assume, the Muffuletta sandwich is not a native of Italy, but a product of Sicilian innovation in the heart of New Orleans. Created by Sicilian immigrant Salvatore Lupo, who made his way to New Orleans in the early 1900s, this sandwich was born in the bustling Central Grocery store, which Lupo opened. The Muffuletta was a solution for farmers who frequented his store, often purchasing bread, cold cuts, olives, and cheese. To simplify their meals, Lupo ingeniously combined all these ingredients into one convenient sandwich.

As a native of New Orleans, I hold dear memories of visiting Central Market with my family and enjoying the Muffuletta. Inspired by these experiences, this single-serving recipe is my personal take on the legendary Muffuletta, bringing a piece of New Orleans tradition to your table.

a muffuletta sliced in half next to 3 carrots and a bowl of olives.

Ingredients

ingredients in a muffuletta on a kitchen counter.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this muffuletta recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

Muffuletta Bread

In creating the perfect Muffuletta, the choice of bread is key, and while the ideal choice is a Sicilian sesame loaf – a large, wide bread covered in sesame seeds – it’s a rarity outside of New Orleans. In its absence, Italian or French bread makes a great substitute, especially for those who don’t live in New Orleans. When it comes to making smaller Muffulettas, soft ciabatta rolls, focaccia, or sourdough are excellent alternatives, providing the necessary sturdiness and flavor. For this particular mini Muffuletta recipe, I’ve used two small ciabatta rolls. At times, you might find larger ones which are perfect for a single serving, but if they are on the smaller side, like the ones I have, simply split the ingredients between two rolls. This approach ensures you can still enjoy an authentic Muffuletta experience, no matter where you are.

two images with one image of Schar brand Ciabatta packaging and second image with two rolls cut in half.

The Olive Salad

Our olive salad is inspired by the iconic mix used at Central Grocery, a key component of an authentic Muffuletta sandwich. This scaled-down version for a single serving includes a blend of pitted green and black olives, one medium carrot, grated Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. It’s effortlessly prepared in a food processor for a quick and easy assembly. If you’re looking to have some extra for future use, simply increase the ingredient quantities by doubling or tripling them. This homemade olive salad adds the essential, distinctive flavor that defines a true Muffuletta.

muffuletta olive salad spread on a sandwich.

The Cold Cuts

The classic Muffuletta sandwich typically features a trio of deli meats paired with cheese. In this recipe, we’ve chosen ham, pastrami, pepperoni, and provolone cheese for their rich flavors and perfect compatibility. However, this sandwich is all about versatility. You can easily swap in other deli favorites like salami, mortadella, prosciutto, capicola, or coppa to suit your taste preferences. Additionally, if provolone isn’t your choice of cheese, mozzarella or Swiss cheese make excellent substitutes, ensuring your Muffuletta is both delicious and tailored to your liking.

Heated or Unheated

The beauty of this individual Muffuletta recipe is that it caters to your preference – enjoy it either heated or at room temperature. If you prefer your Muffuletta warm, simply brush some melted butter over the top of the bread and wrap the sandwich tightly in aluminum foil. Then, bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes. This step adds a delightful warmth and slightly toasty flavor to the sandwich, making it an even more comforting meal. Whether you choose to heat it or enjoy it as is, this Muffuletta is sure to be delicious.

Recipe Variations

  • Meat Lovers: Load up on extra slices of your favorite meats.
  • Cheese Variety: Experiment with different cheeses like cheddar or gouda.
  • Vegetarian Twist: Replace meats with grilled veggies or extra cheese.
  • Spicy Kick: Add spicy salami or pepperoncini for a bit of heat.
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How To Make A Muffuletta

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a single Muffuletta. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preparation: Start by gathering all your ingredients. Read through the recipe and the detailed notes on each ingredient for better understanding. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) to get it ready for baking.
  2. Making the Olive Salad: In a food processor, combine the green olives, black olives, and a chopped carrot. Pulse until they are finely chopped for a consistent texture. Transfer this mixture to a bowl, and blend in the olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Set this olive salad aside for later.
olives and carrots in a food processor.
  1. Assembling the Sandwich: Cut your bread horizontally. Begin layering on one half of the bread – first with the assorted meats, followed by the cheese, and finally, top it all with your freshly made olive salad. Cover with the other bread half to complete your sandwich.

Pro Tip: In this recipe, I used two small ciabatta rolls, each measuring about 4 inches by 2 inches. If your ciabatta roll is larger, say around 4 inches by 4 inches, you might need to add more filling to ensure every bite is as flavorful and satisfying as intended. This simple adjustment helps maintain the perfect balance between the bread and the delicious Muffuletta fillings, regardless of the roll size you have on hand.

a small muffuletta on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Preparing for Baking: Place your Muffuletta sandwich on a sheet of aluminum foil. Lightly brush the top of the bread with melted butter for added flavor.
brushing melted butter on the top piece of bread for a sandwich.
  1. Heating the Sandwich: Wrap the entire Muffuletta tightly in the aluminum foil. Set it on a rimmed baking sheet – this helps in catching any drips during the baking process.

Note: As indicated earlier, I’m using smaller-sized rolls for this recipe, which is why I’m making two mini muffulettas instead of one.

two mini muffulettas wrapped in aluminum foil on a baking sheet.
  1. Baking: Place the sandwich in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. It’s done when the cheese inside has melted, infusing the sandwich with creamy goodness.
  2. Finishing Touches: After baking, remove the sandwich from the oven. Before unwrapping, press down gently on the top of the sandwich. This helps in evenly distributing the fillings.
  3. Serve and Enjoy: Carefully unwrap your hot Muffuletta and it’s ready to be enjoyed.
a heated muffuletta on a rimmed baking sheet.

Expert Tips

  • Prepare Olive Salad in Advance: The olive salad, a crucial component, can be prepared beforehand and refrigerated for up to 5 days. This makes the assembly process quicker and more convenient.
  • Sandwich Assembly Ahead of Time: Feel free to assemble the Muffuletta up to two days before you plan to eat it. Store it in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
  • Pressing the Heated Sandwich: After heating, gently press down on the sandwich. This helps distribute the olive salad’s flavors throughout the bread, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Doubling the Recipe: This recipe easily doubles if you’re making more than one Muffuletta. Considering the versatility of the olive salad, you might want to make extra. It works great as a spread or dip with pita chips.
  • Adjusting for Roll Size: For this recipe, I used two small ciabatta rolls, about 4 inches by 2 inches each. If you’re using a larger roll, more than 4 inches by 4 inches, increase the filling amounts to keep the sandwich well-balanced and flavorful.
a heated mini muffuletta next to a mardi gras mask.

What To Serve With A Muffuletta

Complement your Mini Muffuletta with a selection of delightful sides:

  • Sweet Potato Fries: The sweetness of the fries contrasts beautifully with the savory flavors of the Muffuletta, adding a delightful balance to your meal.
  • Parmesan Crisps: These crispy, cheesy delights are a great crunchy accompaniment to the soft and flavorful sandwich.
  • Macaroni Salad: A classic side, macaroni salad offers a creamy and comforting addition to the Muffuletta.
  • Ambrosia: For a sweet and fruity contrast, pair your sandwich with a refreshing bowl of ambrosia, adding a light and fresh element to your dining experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to prepare a Muffuletta for a group?

For group events like parties or tailgating, I recommend using Isabel’s Famous New Orleans Muffuletta Recipe. This authentic recipe is perfectly suited for larger gatherings, ensuring everyone gets a taste of this classic New Orleans sandwich.

Can the olive salad be stored?

Yes, it can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Can I make a vegetarian muffuletta?

Absolutely, just skip the meats and add more cheese or grilled vegetables.

a single muffuletta sandwich with cheese melted and dripping down the sides.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this easy muffuletta recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

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Because you’re worth it

Mini Muffuletta

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Classic New Orleans muffuletta recipe scaled down to serve one person. Layers of meats, melted cheese, and olive salad piled high onto sturdy Italian bread.

Ingredients 
 

For the olive salad

  • 8 pitted green olives
  • 6 pitted black olives
  • 1 medium carrot , peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin olive oil is recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

For the muffuletta

  • 1 (4×4-inch) ciabatta roll (or use 2 rolls if your roll is small)
  • 2 slices ham (2-ounces/48 grams)
  • 2 slices pastrami (2-ounces/48 grams)
  • 5 slices pepperoni (.5-ounce/15 grams)
  • 2 slices provolone cheese (1.5-ounce/40 grams)
  • ½ tablespoon butter , melted

Instructions 

  • Preparation: Start by gathering all your ingredients. Read through the recipe and the detailed notes on each ingredient for better understanding. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) to get it ready for baking.
  • Making the Olive Salad: In a food processor, combine the green olives, black olives, and a chopped carrot. Pulse until they are finely chopped for a consistent texture. Transfer this mixture to a bowl, and blend in the olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Set this olive salad aside for later.
  • Assembling the Sandwich: Cut your bread horizontally. Begin layering on one half of the bread – first with the assorted meats, followed by the cheese, and finally, top it all with your freshly made olive salad. Cover with the other bread half to complete your sandwich.
  • Preparing for Baking: Place your Muffuletta sandwich on a sheet of aluminum foil. Lightly brush the top of the bread with melted butter for added flavor.
  • Heating the Sandwich: Wrap the entire Muffuletta tightly in the aluminum foil. Set it on a rimmed baking sheet – this helps in catching any drips during the baking process.
  • Baking: Place the sandwich in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. It’s done when the cheese inside has melted, infusing the sandwich with creamy goodness.
  • Finishing Touches: After baking, remove the sandwich from the oven. Before unwrapping, press down gently on the top of the sandwich. This helps in evenly distributing the fillings.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Carefully unwrap your hot Muffuletta and it's ready to be enjoyed.

Notes

Prepare Olive Salad in Advance: The olive salad, a crucial component, can be prepared beforehand and refrigerated for up to 5 days. This makes the assembly process quicker and more convenient.
Sandwich Assembly Ahead of Time: Feel free to assemble the Muffuletta up to two days before you plan to eat it. Store it in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
Pressing the Heated Sandwich: After heating, gently press down on the sandwich. This helps distribute the olive salad’s flavors throughout the bread, enhancing the overall taste.
Doubling the Recipe: This recipe easily doubles if you’re making more than one Muffuletta. Considering the versatility of the olive salad, you might want to make extra. It works great as a spread or dip with pita chips.
Adjusting for Roll Size: For this recipe, I used two small ciabatta rolls, about 4 inches by 2 inches each. If you’re using a larger roll, more than 4 inches by 4 inches, increase the filling amounts to keep the sandwich well-balanced and flavorful.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich, Calories: 860kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 57g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 27g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 101mg, Sodium: 2197mg, Potassium: 499mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 10842IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 416mg, Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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4 Comments

    1. I don’t use olives with pimento in this recipe but you can definitely use them if those are the ones you have on hand.

  1. I have always loved and made this. I get the genuine New Orleans bottled spread on Amazon. I have only made it cold which I prefer. I weight the sandwich down on a tray in the fridge with heavy cans. Nice to read your version.