Muffaletta with Olive Tapenade

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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. That’s the hallmark of the sandwich, so if that isn’t good, your muffaletta (or muffalatta) isn’t going to be good.


Then, I layered the bread with salami, roast beef, prosciutto, pastrami, fresh Mozzarella, Provolone, stone ground mustard and red onions.

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



  • 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


Make ciabatta and slice one loaf horizontally.

Make olive tapenade by combining olives through parsley in a food processor and pulse a few times until finely chopped.

Spread tapenade on both slices of bread.

Layer the meats and cheeses, followed by onions, and spread with mustard; top with any remaining tapenade.
Top with remaining bread slice and wrap sandwich tightly with plastic wrap.
Place something large and heavy (like a cast iron skillet) on the sandwich for an hour to press.
Cut into squares or rectangles to serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Muffaletta Sandwich by The Spruce Eats 

Muffaletta by Martha Stewart 

Emeril’s Muffuletta by Food and Wine


  • Michele @ Bacon Fatte
    April 28, 2017 at 6:58 PM

    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!

  • Abbe@This is How I Cook
    April 28, 2017 at 5:01 PM

    The olive salad sounds great. I wish I could eat this everyday!

  • Doreen Simpson
    April 28, 2017 at 3:12 AM

    The perfect lunch…it looks tremendous ♥

  • Christine
    April 27, 2017 at 6:31 PM

    Got to try this.

  • Caroline
    April 26, 2017 at 8:20 PM

    This looks SO good – pinning!

  • Lynn Elliott Vining
    April 26, 2017 at 3:25 PM

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

  • Mary Marshall
    April 25, 2017 at 12:01 PM

    Mmmm mmmmm good! Can not WAIT to try this!!!!

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