Super Bowl(TM) Panini: Muffuletta

While New Orleans Saints fans are overjoyed that their team is finally headed to the Super Bowl for the first time I’m just excited that the occasion has given me the kick in the pants to finally try a muffuletta. If you don’t already know, the muffuletta sandwich is a robust, flavorful New Orleans specialty, filled with Italian meats and cheeses and a zesty olive salad. It’s not traditionally a grilled sandwich but based on what I tasted coming off the panini grill, wow, maybe it should be.

Flavor, flavor and more flavor – that’s what this sandwich is all about. People talk about the importance of the olive salad in the muffuletta. They are so right! It’s a sandwich filling and condiment in one, soaking into the bread and creating a flavor explosion with each bite. The recipe below makes a lot of it, but once you’re done using it for the panini it also makes a great dip for some crusty bread.

In case you missed it…I made Breaded Pork Tenderloin Panini in honor of the Indianapolis Colts earlier this week.


Muffuletta Panini
Adapted from the Real N’awlins Muffuletta recipe on AllRecipes

Serves 4


1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, crushed
1/2 cup drained kalamata olives, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup roughly chopped pickled cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped carrot
1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained
1/4 cup marinated cocktail onions
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
8 slices Italian bread (I used one similar to a focaccia)
4 slices Genoa salami
4 slices cooked ham
4 slices mortadella
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese


To Make Olive Salad: In a medium bowl, combine the green olives, kalamata olives, garlic, cauliflower, capers, celery, carrot, pepperoncini, cocktail onions, celery seed, oregano, basil, black pepper, vinegar, olive oil and canola oil. Mix together and transfer mixture into a glass jar (or other nonreactive container). If needed, pour in more oil to cover. Cover jar or container and refrigerate at least overnight.

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

For each sandwich: Hollow out some of the excess bread in two slices to make room for filling. Spread each piece of bread with equal amounts olive salad, including oil. Layer one slice with 1 slice each of Provolone, salami, ham, mortadella and mozzarella. Place the other slice of bread on top to form the sandwich.

Grill for 7-8 minutes until the cheeses are melted and the bread is toasted. Cut in half, serve immediately and enjoy!



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Natashya wrote:

    This is a sammie I have always wanted to try – great idea to make it into a panini!
    .-= Natashya´s last blog ..Armchair Traveler – The Spice Necklace =-.

    Posted 2.5.10 Reply
  2. I’m planning to make something similar for the Super bowl
    .-= The Food Hunter´s last blog ..World Nutella Day =-.

    Posted 2.5.10 Reply
  3. Being from Texas, muffulettas make their way west occasionally to our own delis and they are a taste I already LOVE! This panini looks super delicious–I think I’ll be making a trip to the store to get the ingredients for this one. Way to go Kathy!

    Posted 2.5.10 Reply
  4. amy wrote:

    i need this for lunch! maybe everyday:) yummm

    Posted 2.6.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      I’ll admit I had it for lunch most days this week! 🙂

      Posted 2.6.10 Reply
  5. Great idea! I’m definitely going for the Muffaletta over the Breaded Pork Sandwich, but it’s nice to see you’re giving them equal billing.
    .-= Kalynskitchen´s last blog ..Friday Night Photos: Shrimp for the Superbowl (and Not Just for Saints Fans) =-.

    Posted 2.6.10 Reply
  6. sharon wrote:

    Perfect recipe for this year’s superbowl and darling team 🙂 Looks delicious.

    Posted 2.6.10 Reply
  7. The flavors in your sandwich sound mouth watering to say the least. I love the combo of the cheeses, deli meats, olives, and pickled veggies. Yum!

    Posted 2.6.10 Reply
  8. Hey Kathy,
    This is awesome. I’m going to the store today to make these!
    Thanks for the great recipe!
    – Drew
    .-= Andrew Davis´s last blog ..Here’s the Beef =-.

    Posted 2.7.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Awesome, hope you enjoy it – definitely make the olive salad early so the flavors have time to blend!

      Posted 2.7.10 Reply
  9. Hopefully I can prepare it a couple of hours prior. Enjoy the game. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    Posted 2.7.10 Reply
  10. Just wanted to let you know that we made this tonight in honor of the Saints (we’re fans!). My daughter helped me (easy to assemble) and my husband said he thought it tasted very authentic!

    Posted 2.7.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Excellent! So glad to hear. And congrats on the win 🙂

      Posted 2.7.10 Reply
  11. Gaby wrote:

    This looks like my kind of panini, well pretty much every panini is my kind of panini but this one sounds especially perfect!

    Posted 2.9.10 Reply
  12. Mindy wrote:

    This looks delicious! My husband loves muffaletta, but we don’t have anywhere near that makes a good one. We’ll have to try this!
    .-= Mindy´s last blog ..A New Year’s Resolution…and a Chicken Tagine =-.

    Posted 2.17.10 Reply