New Orleans, LA

The Muffuletta, A New Orleans Original

Tina Howell

So, I am sure you are asking what in the world is a muffuletta???

A muffuletta is sandwich that is made on a round, Sicilian sesame bread that originated among immigrants in New Orleans. It is stuffed with ham, salami, mortadella, Swiss, provolone cheese and olive salad.
Photo byCentral Grocery

According to Wikipedia, the Muffuletta sandwich is said to have been created in 1906 at Central Grocery on Decatur Street in New Orleans by owner Salvatore Lupo, who was a Sicilian immigrant.
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Central Grocery is so well known that it is one of the most popular places that visitors go to eat when coming New Orleans. You can also order their sandwiches online to be shipped. I have been fortunate enough to have eaten a muffuletta from Central Grocery many times as well as from many other local restaurants in the area. I have also made my own from time to time. To me, a good muffuletta is all about the olive salad. You have to have a good olive salad and it must be plentiful on the sandwich. The signature olive salad consists of green and black olives, capers, giardiniera (pickled vegetables), a blend of herbs and spices in olive oil.
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Here is a delicious recipe for a New Orleans style muffuletta for you to make at home. As an Italian born and raised in NOLA, it has always been one of my favorite sandwiches. One bite and you will love it too!


  • 1 9″ round muffuletta sesame seed loaf
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup of olive salad (NOTE: I like a lot on my sandwich)
  • 1/4 pound of deli ham, sliced thin
  • 1/4 pound of salami, sliced thin
  • 1/4 pound of mortadella, sliced thin
  • 1/4 pound of Swiss cheese, sliced thin
  • 1/4 pound of provolone cheese, sliced thin


  1. Slice the bread in half and opening both sides on a flat surface.
  2. Brush the inner sides of the bread with the oil from the olive salad and let it soak into the bread.
  3. Layer the meats (ham, salami and mortadella) on the bottom half of the bread. Top the meats with the cheeses (Swiss and provolone) then top the cheeses with a layer of the meats again.
  4. Then add the layer of olive salad. (NOTE: This layer should be thick, but you can add less, if desired) Place the top half of the bread over the olive salad and press down.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  6. Place the sandwich on baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 or 10 minutes, till warmed 

This sandwich is big enough to share with family or friends. Slice into 4 wedges, serve and enjoy! 

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Host of Fleurs Truly Podcast, Editor-in-Chief and Writer covering the Saints and all things New Orleans... sports, food, music, festivals and more.

New Orleans, LA

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