Muffaletta with Olive Tapenade

Muffaletta with Olive Tapenade is a popular sandwich that has Italian ingredients, but originated in New Orleans, the French Quarter in 1906. That’s thanks to the Italian immigrants in Louisiana. Interestingly enough, it’s also a type of round Sicilian sesame bread. The bread is a crusty loaf that is hollowed out to fill with salami, ham, cappicola, cheese, etc. but the key ingredient is an olive salad or tapenade.

Muffaletta with Olive Tapenade

Muffaletta with Olive Tapenade – What’s in a Name?

Question for you…

How do you spell this ↓

Muffaletta or Muffuletta?  

I’ve recently discovered that there are different ways to spell it. I literally didn’t know that there was confusion about this.

However you spell it, hands down this is the best sandwich I’ve ever had.

Ok, well, maybe I’m being a little bit dramatic but it is definitely phenomenal and I’m officially a fan.

Muffaletta with Olive Tapenade
The bread isn’t what is traditionally used. I made this Ciabatta and it was perfect.

I absolutely LOVE Ciabatta; it’s a little crunchy on the outside, but nice and soft on the inside.

And it has all those cute little holes that soak up flavor.

Muffalettas are usually made with a Sicilian or heavy Italian bread, but hey, I do what I want.

Keeping with tradition, I made an olive tapenade to slather on this beautiful thing. If you’ve ever wondered what is in Muffaletta olive spread, you’re about to find out. That’s really the hallmark of the sandwich, so if that isn’t good, your muffaletta (or muffalatta) isn’t going to be good.


After spreading the tapenade on, I layered the bread with salami, roast beef, prosciutto, pastrami, fresh Mozzarella, Provolone, stone ground mustard and red onions. In my opinion, white onion wouldn’t be as good as red, but that’s me. If white is all you have, it won’t be the end of the world.

I think one of the keys to making a good Muffaletta is the pressing. I pressed mine for about two hours, but one should work just fine. It “marries” the flavors – you want this.

I used a 6 pound can of tomatoes on top of a sheet pan, but that isn’t really necessary – a good sized cast iron skillet would work.

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Here’s your printable-


Muffaletta with Olive Tapenade

Yield: 4 servings


  • Ciabatta Recipe
  • 1/2 lb. mixed olives
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lb. salami
  • 1/2 lb. roast beef
  • 1/2 lb. prosciutto
  • 1/2 lb. pastrami
  • 1/2 lb. fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 lb. provolone, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • Stone ground mustard


  1. Make ciabatta and slice one loaf horizontally.
  2. Make olive tapenade by combining olives through parsley in a food processor and pulse a few times until finely chopped.
  3. Spread tapenade on both slices of bread.
  4. Layer the meats and cheeses, followed by onions, and spread with mustard; top with any remaining tapenade.
  5. Top with remaining bread slice and wrap sandwich tightly with plastic wrap.
  6. Place something large and heavy (like a cast iron skillet) on the sandwich for at least an hour in the fridge to press.
  7. Cut into squares or rectangles to serve.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 968Total Fat: 67gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 244mgSodium: 4961mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 77g

The provided nutrition calculated may not always be accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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Muffaletta Sandwich by The Spruce Eats 

Muffaletta by Martha Stewart 

Emeril’s Muffuletta by Food and Wine


  • Shea

    Shea Goldstein is a writer and the voice behind Dixie Chik Cooks. She's also a recipe developer and brand ambassador. She has been published in several media platforms such as Redbook, Parade, Food Blogger Magazine and more. She has been developing recipes and writing since 2009. Shea is a Southern Belle Who's Thinking About What's For Dinner While Eating Lunch

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Michele @ Bacon Fatte

    Wow… My mouth is watering just thinking about this muffaletta, Shea! Such a great combination of flavors! Pinned and looking forward to enjoying this recipe very soon!

  2. Christine

    Got to try this.

  3. Lynn Elliott Vining

    I am so drooling all over myself right now! This looks sooo delicious! I must try!!!

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