Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

In my humble opinion, the Central Grocery’s Muffuletta is the best. It’s the standard that all other Muffulettas should strive to emulate! There are a lot of bad ones in the city. The one at Napoleon House is pretty good, it’s a heated version with a more finely chopped olive salad. They use Pastrami on their version, I’m not crazy about that part, but it’s pretty good. Pretty good, but like all others, it’s no Central Grocery.
I watched Emeril Live the other night, Mario Batali was a guest, and Emeril made a Muffuletta. Now, the meats and cheeses he used looked phenomenal, his olive salad looked great, but then he came to the bread. He used a nice looking loaf of bread, but it was obviously too much of a rustic loaf for a Muffuletta, I like something a little lighter for the Muffuletta (with sesame seeds of course), but I guess I can live with that part. But then… he cuts the bread, right, and out of nowhere (dramatic pause) he plunges his meat hooks into it and digs out all of the wonderful center of the bread on both sides and discards it! I almost fell out of my chair! My skin is crawling just thinking about it. The moral of the story is this:

Don’t do that. It makes my skin crawl. Unless of course you like it that way, then to hell with me.

Back to the recipe, I make a pretty good Muffuletta, but I’ll be honest, it’s no Central Grocery, but it’s pretty darned good. The quality bread, as I just emphasized is important, you need about a 10 inch round loaf with a good coarse texture, and a nice crust (not too hard) and sesame seeds. Here is my recipe, with a deep, humble bow to Central Grocery:

My Muffuletta

1 10″ round loaf Italian bread with Sesame seeds My Recipe
1 Recipe Olive Salad
1/4 lb Genoa Salami (Oldani is the best, and I’m relatively certain it’s what CG uses)
1/4 lb Hot Capicola (this is my spin, you can use regular Ham.)
1/4 lb Mortadella (I use San Danielle)
1/8 lb Sliced Mozzarella
1/8 lb Provolone

Cut the bread in half length wise.
Brush both sides with the oil from your 1 week old Olive Salad, go a little heavier on the bottom.
Layer half of the Oldani on the bottom half of the bread. Then the Mortadella. Then the Mozzarella, then the Capicola, Provolone, and the remainder of Oldani. Top this with the olive salad. Put the lid on and press it down without smashing the bread. Quarter it. You’ve just created pure heaven.

Serves: 4 light eaters, 2 hungry hangovers or one bad to the bone eating machine!

From Nola Cuisine

My Other New Orleans Sandwich Recipes:

Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

Related Posts:

Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe
Parkway Bakery & Tavern Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe
Central Grocery

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52 thoughts on “Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe”

  1. now ya went and did it. . . muffs are my fave sandwich, (next to a sloppy roast beast po-boy, of course). and you are dead on about central’s sammies, they are still the best in town. they do ’em all great.
    we’re gonna have to try this out next week while s.a. is laid up and off of work, a muff is too much for her to handle and make work the next day.
    oh, and the new site looks very clean, sorta like a very good resturant’s kitchen.

  2. Thanks M.A., Still working out some bugs and the facelift. The sloppy roast beef Po’ Boys are great, with pan debris, I like the one at Mother’s.

  3. I had my first experience with the muffuletta this weekend when I visited my Friend in New Orleans. One of our firsts stops was to Central’s Grocery to try a muff. Man, I mean what can I say?? It was amazing. We were going to stop back by on monday before we left to grab some for the road, but they were closed. They did tell us that they are very short-handed and that may have been why they were closed, but yeah…. CG is hiring if anyone needs a job… haha…. and thanks for the recipe bc i’m dying for another and it broke my heart that they were closed.

  4. Danno,
    Absolutely love your website, my new one is under construction right now, should be done shortly. Drop me an address and I’ll send you a copy of one of my cookbooks. Who should I sign it for? Keep up the great work. Thanks – Chef Joe!

  5. I saw Rachel Ray eating a muffuletta from central grocery on $40 a Day last week. Came across your blog and made your recipe this weekend. Fabulous! The bread turned out perfect and the olive salad was incredible. Thanks.

  6. I’m from New Orlean’s and have eaten many Muffs. Central Grocery’s Muffuletta may be the original, but by far it is NOT the best. The bread is very good, that is always important to a great sandwich, but their olive salad is very weak in taste. I’m sure the meats and cheeses are good, but Central’s stinginess will leave you tasting mostly bread.

    On a scale from 1 to 10, I give Central’s Muff a low 5.

  7. I grew up in Slidell and I will have to admit that the Central grocery was first with the muff, but (in my opinion) not the best. I have lived in Atlanta since I was 18 and have not been back to Central since I was 12 years old. Our local pizza place in Slidell delivered quality muffs to your front door. Imagine if Domino’s Pizza did that? It would probably suck, but imagine if it was as good as Central’s muff.
    Pre-Katrina I would always go to Frank’s place next door. This has been my wife’s, friends’ and my destination on every trip. I usually eat a muff there twice in every visit.
    I really need to figure out the bread. That is the real key to this sandwich (also the PoBoy). It is the one thing I have yet to get correct.

    BTW: This site awesome! PLEASE, keep up the good work!

  8. Your Muffuletta Look’s great!
    I’m going to have a look around on you site.
    See what dish is going to make my table in the near future.

  9. Wow, Danno. What can I say? I expected your recipe to be good, but I was floored by how well it tasted like Central Grocery’s. The olive salad tastes like I picked it up in the French Quarter this morning. Here’s my success with your recipe — I still can’t believe how well it came out. Thank you, thank you!

  10. w/out question my all-time favorite sammich, it sits alone atop all others
    and the Central Grocery is the only place I long to head back to every year for a sammich…the sights, sounds of New Orleans are a second thought to that sammich

  11. Two Questions
    1. When marinating olive salad for a week, in the fridge or out?
    2. How long does the olive salad last after it marinates for 1 week?

  12. Wow! I’m currently living in Japan and the thought of Central Grocery brings tears to my eyes. I beg stole and borrowed for a jar of olive relish from Central Grocery and with your bread recipe and suggested meats, I am on cloud nine. Thanks!

  13. I actually went to central grocery and ate that EXACT sandwich four years ago, before i went vegetarian. and to this day it remains the BEST sandwich i have EVER had.

    thumbs up!!

  14. I like mine made with a focaccia type bread rather than something more rustic, and fo sho don’t dig out the soft middles.

  15. Found your recipe and brought the awesomeness to my Water Melon Festival party in Carytown, Richmond Virginia. I have been missing these so. I do, however, have a great time saving tip. If you’re lucky enough to have a Jason’s Deli in your part of the world Jason’s will sell you the bread, for pretty cheap too. Jason’s has the bread brought in from New Orleans and it’s the real deal. Pick up some Boscoli olive mix on your next trip down south to keep on hand and you’re good to go.

  16. I have tried to find a muffaloto recipe and till now have not found one. This is complete with the bread. Thank you so much. It is hard to be away from Louisiana and the good food I love so much. You say some of the names and the people look at you like you’ve lost your mind.with these recipes I can make my own , and if others want to partake great, if not there loss. Thank again now I found this web sight I know where to look. myrna

  17. I was born and raised in Louisiana. One of my favorite childhood memories is of sharing a Muff with my family after Sunday service at least once a month.
    Alas, I have unfortunate news to pass along – the Muffuletta has become extinct in SWLA!
    THANK GAWD for your recipe!!
    I do prefer to have my bread slightly toasted on the inside so the olive mixture doesn’t make the bread soggy. I also much prefer pastrami, but BOTH pastrami and salami make it DELICIOUS. I also put the completed sandwich (only a quarter of the sandwich will fit…LOL!) in a sandwich press just for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese and heat the olive salad a bit. For those of you that prefer the nuke machine – microwave for about 10-15 seconds.
    Merci beaucoup pour la recette! Bon appétit!

  18. I lived in New Orleans for eight years in the eighties. My mouth has been watering for a Napolean House Muffuletta for years. I wish there was some way to have them just ship it to me here in Minnesota. If not, I will pursue making it as close as I can with the help of your fabulous recipe. Thanks!

  19. I worked at USCG Base New Orleans on the Industrial Canal from 1969 until 1972. I used to get my muffuletta at a place right across Decatur from the Market (i.e. Cafe Dumont & Morning Call). I could see the huge cooking vat for the olive sauce in the window. It was very good, and I could only eat about a half a sandwich. Anyway, I went back to NOLA before Katrina, and it was still there.

    Where St. Claude Ave. becomes Rampart, there is (or was) a place where you could get some delicious po boys. They made the best Roast Beef & Gravy PoBoy. It was called “The Hole In The Wall.” And that is exactly what it was, very small, but they knew what they were doing.

  20. All this nonsense about the Central Grocery; Was there last week. First place was not busy. Second, trying to get a sandwich was a chore. Third, the bread was dryed out, if there was 25% of the meat and cheese on my sandiwich that is shown in the picture, I might have been happy, but there wasn’t. The only good thing I can say about CG is it smelled pretty good.
    PS: Want a great Mufalletta? GO TO JOHNNY’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Umm.. I’m kinda sad.. I spent all week looking forward to making this sandwich on the weekend.. and.. it’s not that great! 🙁 i followed the recipe exactly, but.. I don’t know why it was a disappointment.

  22. I loved this sandwich – but I ran into a problem. I made the olive salad (which was heaven!) but I had trouble baking the bread. I’ve made bread and rolls before so I didn’t think I’d have a problem. Trouble is I couldn’t get the bread to rise enough. The finished product was flaky and tasty but not high enough to slice open for a sandwich. What am I doing wrong?

  23. Made this last year for an outdoor party…along with a gigantic pot of gumbo, etc…it went over so well, friends demanded a repeat this year. I did cheat by using store-bought baguettes and sliced them into 2-bite sandwiches, but the olive salad would make cardboard taste great. Thank you for posting this recipe.
    If anyone has a suggestion for doing a vegetarian version, please share.

  24. I was raised in New Orleans, grew up in Algiers, sang at the Bayou Room on Bourbon St. during the 70’s. I am
    FAMISHED reading all this!! Question: When I lived in the Quarter (during the 70’s) I thought I remembered getting my Muffuleta sandwiches from the Progress Grocery. Was/is there a Progress grocery, or is my memory failing me? As I recall it was in the Quarter, not far from Central Grocery.

  25. OH MY GOODNESS. We just got back from NOLA 2 weeks ago from visiting my elderly uncle. While there I figured out I’d never REALLY been eating all of my life.

    I heard from all my family “You simply must eat a Muffuletta”. So I did. And came back with this intense CRAVING for it.

    So I did a search on the internet and knew yours was the one recipe that would give me the proper muffuletta taste. And I was right.

    Fabulous recipe, just fabulous. Thank you so much.

  26. I was born and raised on New Orleans. The secret to a Muffuletta is the olive dressing. Do not chop the ingredients too fine or you will lose the flavor, especially the olives. The Central Grocery makes the best by far. If you are away from New Orleans, go to Jason’s Deli and have their ham Muffuletta. It is pretty good. The turkey is, forget it.
    Emeril Lagasse is from Fall River, MA and is no more Cajun than and is giving Cajun food a bad name. His “kicking it up a notch” has people thinking Cajun food is HOT. Ain’t so. Some Indian curries, Mexican and Thai are hot, Cajun ain’t. Cajun food should be delicately seasoned with a few drops of Tabasco, not Bam, Bam, Bam.

  27. I can’t get muffaletta sandwiches anywhere where I live, but I love them! Thanks for this recipe… I might just be able to get my fill now.

  28. I’ve made this three or four times since I was in NOLA in November and each time I like it more and more. The key for me is the olive salad. I could eat that on ANYTHING!!! I’ve used on on this sandwich, but also to dress up a plain turkey or roast beef sandwich…hell! I’ve eaten the olive salad over rice or just as is with a spoon!!!

  29. Some years ago we sat on a stool in Central Grocery and had a Muffeletta and a Jack’s beer…it was about 11:30 AM. The memory is etched in my mind forever. Nothing compared to this experience of heightened senses…it was like a dream. I’ve never tried to make one, only because I knew I’d be disappointed, being the picky person that I am. Thanks for sharing these recipes…when my life slows down to cooking again…it’s on the list!

  30. I made this and the taste was awesome! But the big problem I am having is with the bread. Mine rises nicely but when I put it on the cookie sheet, I end up with one big flat mess. I can’t figure out why this is happening? Maybe not enough flour? Please help if you can! Thanks, Zema

  31. My goodness this sandwich looks amazing, Im coming to NOLA in a few weeks and I definitely going to get one of these. Do you have any other suggestions for legendary New Orleans noms?

  32. The only muffuletta I have ever eaten was at the Central Grocery. I wanted to make a unique sandwich (at least in Maryland) for a football party and my search for a muffuletta recipe led me here. Honestly, I would have to put them side-by-side to pick my favorite.Your directions are so easy to follow. I am no baker, but the homemade bread was so easy and delicious that I am already planning all sorts of things to stuff in it! The only difference I can recognize is that the Central Grocer’s olive salad seemed to have more of a vinegar tang to it, but it has been so long that I may not be remembering it correctly. Thanks so much for the great recipes.

  33. Top half of the Italian loaf gets less olive salad than the bottom half. So, I prefer to remove most of the white bread from the top half before spreading the olive salad. Leave just enough white bread on the top to absorb the oil from the olive salad. When the rest of the sandwich is assembled traditionally, heat it in the oven on broil to crisp up the top bread. This way you don’t eat bread that you don’t really need. Believe me, you won’t miss it.

  34. I came across you blog while doing a search for Muffuletta recipes and loved yours…as well as your site.

    I’d like to feature your recipe in my upcoming Friday Football Fix article on, which links my readers to particular food/drink recipes for the NFL teams being highlighted in the piece. This week is San Diego vs. New Orleans.

    With your permission I’d use only one image for my article, through which a link will be placed to the recipe on your website.

    Please let me know if this is agreeable to you.
    Many thanks.

    Jed Gray

    Sports, Food, Libations, & More

  35. Omg – amazing! I did use ciabatta to make it quicker and used muenster, havarti, provolone, and mozzarella.

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