These party-sized Mini Muffulettas are the ultimate Mardis Gras snack! With layers of olive salad, sliced meats, cheese, and fresh bread, this is the sandwich you need when you’re looking to throw the best party ever.
The party sandwich from New Orleans
Have you been lucky enough to visit New Orleans? Then you’ve probably tried a muffuletta sandwich! These massive sandwiches are bursting with delicious Italian meats, cheeses, and of course, olive salad.
The next best thing to an authentic New Orleans muffuletta are these Mini Muffulettas. Bite-sized and just as briny and savory as the classic, these mini party sandwiches are total crowd-pleasers. They pair perfectly with Hot Artichoke Dip and Pigs in a Blanket on game day, at the tailgating party, or when you feel like celebrating Mardis Gras all year long!
What is a muffuletta?
Muffuletta sandwiches are originally from New Orleans. They’re made with layers of olive spread, sliced Italian meats, and cheese on a large round loaf of muffuletta bread. If you’re lucky enough to travel to New Orleans, head to Central Grocery for an authentic muffuletta sandwich!
Ingredients you’ll need
Muffulettas are flexible; keep things simple with storebought ingredients or go all out with the fresh, homemade stuff! There are 4 key ingredients in every muffuletta recipe:
The olive salad
Every bite of a muffuletta sandwich is tangy and briny thanks to the olive salad. I’ll even go as far as to say it’s the star of this sandwich recipe!
The homemade olive salad in this mini muffuletta recipe is really easy to make using bright green Castelvetrano olives, jarred giardiniera mix, black olives, capers, and olive oil. If you can’t find Castelvetranos, just use black olives or a mix of your other favorite olives. Play around with different ingredients, brands, or marinades to find your favorite salad combination!
Would you rather just buy pre-made olive salad from the store? Go right ahead! You can find jarred olive salad in most grocery stores or buy Central Grocery’s authentic muffuletta salad online.
Head to your local Italian deli and pick up Genoa, Mortadella, and Capicola. These three Italian deli meats all have their own distinct flavor and work really well together in these party sandwiches.
If you can’t find these three or want to try something new, any of these thinly sliced Italian meats will be delicious:
There are a number of cheeses you could use in a muffuletta but mozzarella and provolone are two of the best. They’re both fairly mild and great with all of the other flavors going on in this sandwich.
These sandwiches usually come in huge portions thanks to the big round loaf of sesame-crusted muffuletta bread. If you can’t find muffuletta bread you can try baking it yourself or swapping it for ciabatta.
For small party sandwiches, ciabatta bread is the best option because it has a large surface area, isn’t too thick or too thin, and is easy to find. The loaf I used was about 6 x 14 inches.
If you can’t a ciabatta loaf, look for another large, soft loaf. Crusty bread, a French loaf, or regular sandwich bread won’t work as well.
How to make mini muffuletta party sandwiches
This recipe makes around 24 mini muffulettas. Once they’re done, pack ‘em up and bring them along for the big game or the Mardis Gras party. They’re ready to eat after a few simple steps:
Step 1: Make the muffuletta olive salad by chopping up all of the olives, giardiniera, and capers. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil and pickling liquid.
Either set it aside or let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours.
Step 2: Layer the meat and cheese on one half of the ciabatta bread.
There’s no specific order you need to go in, so rotate between the meats and cheeses as you go.
Step 3: Top the meat with your olive salad. Spread it out into an even layer so you don’t miss out on the olive goodness.
Place the other half of the ciabatta on top.
Step 4: Use a serrated knife to cut the muffuletta into 24 small sandwiches (this number will depend on the size of the bread you used).
Stick each one with a toothpick and serve!
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.
Tips and variations
For a little extra help, check out these available variations and recipe tips:
Help! I can’t find the right bread!
When all else fails, know that muffuletta sandwiches should be made on large soft loaves. Ciabatta and focaccia are best but you could make individual portions using dinner rolls or ciabatta buns.
Making the best olive salad
Feel free to add more or make a few substitutions in your olive salad to find the right flavor. Add pepperoncini peppers, red wine vinegar, fresh Italian herbs, more pickled vegetables, or roasted red peppers when you feel like experimenting.
Use a good knife
A good serrated knife will help you slice the assembled sandwich into party portions easily and without everything falling apart.
Frequently asked questions
The olive salad can be made and kept covered in the fridge up to 5 days ahead of assembling the sandwiches. If anything, it benefits from a few hours or days in the fridge so all of the flavors have time to come together.
The muffuletta sandwich can be put together up to 2 days before assembling. Leave it whole and don’t cut it until you’re ready to serve the party sandwiches.
Absolutely! Using storebought olive salad from New Orleans is a great way to save time when you want to serve the mini muffulettas right away.
- 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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