These Mini Muffulettas are fantastic party-sized sandwiches that will easily feed a crowd! Don’t be surprised when they are gone in a snap at your next get-together.
THE SANDWICH FROM NEW ORLEANS
The muffuletta. Have you ever had one? If you have, you know it’s an amazingly simple and flavor-packed sandwich with its origins in New Orleans.
It has layers upon layers of deli meat and cheese sandwiched with some brine-y olive salad between a muffuletta roll, which is a big round loaf of bread from Italy. It’s a glorious sandwich.
The first time I had one was with my brother Steven. I was working in New Orleans and he came out for a weekend to visit. We headed to Central Grocery and ordered half a muffuletta, split it (because it is huge!), and practically died from how good it was. It’s like I had never had a sandwich as good as it. The muffuletta at Central Grocery is absolutely a must for anyone visiting New Orleans.
If you’re looking to try making a muffuletta at home, it’s a really great sandwich to make for a party. My recipe below makes about 24 mini muffulettas, and they can be made ahead of time!
That makes them a fantastic option when you need to feed a crowd, like if you’re having a Mardi Gras party or heading to a friend’s place to watch the big game.
MINI MUFFULETTA INGREDIENTS...WHAT TO BUY
The making these party-sized sandwiches is super easy. The hardest part is figuring out the specific ingredients to use. I’ve got some tips below to help you out!
WHICH BREAD SHOULD I USE
Finding the best bread option for this recipe was hard. Muffuletta bread isn’t easy to find, a French loaf is too thick, and sandwich bread just wasn’t going to cut it.
In the end, I found that using a large ciabatta loaf was the best option. It has a lot of surface area (great for making a boatload of party sandwiches), it’s a decent thickness, and it’s fairly easy to find.
The ciabatta loaf I used was from the Whole Foods bakery. It’s about 6 by 14-inches big. If you’re having a hard time finding a loaf of ciabatta, the most important thing is to find a bread that is soft. You don’t want a crusty crunchy loaf of bread for this sandwich.
Lastly, if the bread you find is much smaller than the ciabatta I used, feel free to grab a few loaves and cut those up into party-sized sandwiches!
THE MEAT AND CHEESE
Is there an Italian deli near you? You’ll definitely want to go to it for the meat and cheese needed to make these mini muffulettas.
At the deli, they’ll have a ton of options for the deli meat and they will be able to slice it nice and thin.
You’ll need to pick up Genoa, Mortadella, and Capicola. These three Italian deli meats all have their own distinct flavor and work really well together in these sandwiches.
If you don’t have a local Italian deli, you’ll be just fine at your grocery store deli! Luckily Boar’s Head makes a version of all three types of deli meat, and they can be found at most grocery store deli counters.
As for the cheese, I’ve seen recipes with a few different types. I landed on using half mozzarella and half provolone. They are both fairly mild and are great with all of the other flavors going on in this sandwich.
OLIVE SALAD, IT’S A MUST
The olive salad is what makes the muffuletta a killer sandwich. Without it, it would just be any other deli sandwich.
For this olive salad, I wanted to keep it fairly simple. It has two types of olives, some giardiniera (and a little of the pickling liquid), parsley, and capers. Other recipes use some vinegar and garlic, and if you like your olive salad with those ingredients, go for it and add them in!
My favorite part of this olive salad is the olives, obviously. The bright green castelvetranos have great texture and add some gorgeous color to the sandwich. If you can’t find castelvetranos, you can absolutely just use black olives or a mix of your favorites. Definitely feel free to try out different combos.
HOW TO MAKE MINI MUFFULETTAS STEP-BY-STEP
Are you ready to make this killer party sandwich? When you are, here are some step-by-step pictures to help you assemble it!
Step 1: Make the olive salad!
Basically you’re just chopping up the olives, giardiniera, parsley, and capers and then mixing them together.
Step 2: Layer the meat and cheese on the bread!
Obviously you’ll need to slice the ciabatta in half lengthwise first.
Then layer on the Capicola, Mozarella, Mortadella, Provolone, and Genoa.
Step 3: Top the meat with that olive salad.
Make sure to spread it around evenly so every mini sandwich gets a little olive goodness.
Step 4: Cut your sandwich up!
If you use a ciabatta similar in size as the one I used (6x14"), you’ll be able to get at least 24 mini sandwiches from the big guy.
Make sure to use a serrated knife when cutting it up. It will definitely make it easier than using a chef’s knife.
I also found that sticking the sandwich with wooden picks before slicing helped keep the pieces together while cutting it up.
MINI MUFFULETTAS RECIPE TIPS
You’re so ready to make this party sandwich! To help you out a little more, here are some tips for making it ahead of time, the best way to store it before serving at your party, and my favorite knife to use for cutting it up.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS
The one part of this recipe you should absolutely make-ahead, at least overnight, is the olive salad. You can make it up to five days before assembling your sandwich, which gives all the flavors to come together. It’s really worth it to make it ahead of time.
Plus, it is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. If you plan ahead and make the olive salad a few days before assembling the muffuletta, you’re definitely saving yourself a little time.
Now you can also make the entire sandwich up to two days before serving! This will help so much when you’re scrambling the day of your party doing all the other little things to get ready, like cleaning.
When making the sandwich ahead of time, you’ll want to leave it whole. Don’t cut it until you’re ready to serve it.
So we know that this muffuletta can be made ahead of time, but what’s the best way to store it? Well, I suggest that it gets tightly wrapped up. Plastic wrap is a good option for a tight wrap, but I’m working on using more environmentally friendly options.
So if you’re like me and also looking for more eco-friendly options you could definitely try to fit the sandwich into a large storage container with a lid. The biggest concern is that you don’t want the sandwich to dry out! Another good idea is to cut the assembled sandwich in half and place in two separate containers.
USE A GOOD KNIFE
Slicing this sandwich up into party-sized portions is kind of a project on its own. The thing that really helped me was using a good serrated knife.
A serrated knife, like this one from Wushtoff, will help you slice through all of those layers of bread, cheese, and meat without everything falling apart.
YOUR PARTY NEEDS THESE MINI MUFFULETTAS
It is time to make these mini muffulettas for your friends! When you do make them, please share a pic and tag me (@cupofzest) on Instagram so I can see your version!
Truly, I love hearing when you make any of my recipes. So a quick share on IG or leaving a comment below really makes my day!
- 1 cup pitted castelvetrano olives, chopped
- 1 cup pickled vegetables from jarred giardiniera mix, finely chopped
- ½ cup pitted black olives, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pickling liquid from giardiniera
- 1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped
- 1 (6 by 14-inch long) loaf of ciabatta, sliced in half lengthwise
- ½ pound thinly sliced Capicola
- ½ pound thinly sliced Mortadella
- ½ pound thinly sliced Genoa
- ⅓ pound thinly sliced Mozzarella
- ⅓ pound thinly sliced Provolone
To make the olive salad
- Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and chill until ready to assemble the sandwich.
To assemble the sandwich
- Layer the meat and cheese onto the bottom half of the bread. I like to layer in this order: capicola, mozzarella, mortadella, provolone, genoa.
- Evenly top with olive salad and place the top half of bread on it to form your sandwich.
- Tightly wrap up and chill sandwich until serving.
- To serve, using a serrated knife, cut the sandwich into 24 pieces, securing each piece with a wooden pick.
- * The olive salad can be made up to five days before serving.
- **The sandwich can be assembled, wrapped tightly, and chilled up to two days before serving.
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