Make Ahead

Muffalettas for a Crowd

September  8, 2014
Author Notes

Whether you're tailgating, hosting a football-watching party, or just having the gang over for dinner, these hearty muffalettas, filled with spicy olives, deli meats, and melted cheese make the perfect festive fare.

Inspired by Susan Spicer's Crescent City Cooking. —Kees To The Kitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

I quartered this recipe and spread everything over two 10-inch ciabatta rolls/loafs. The muffaletta is partly defined by its bread, so when you swap out this element, it becomes more of a hybrid muffaletta/Italian sub. The peperoncini and raw garlic give a nice piquancy, and with three meats and two cheeses, this certainly would be a crowd pleaser. —Allison Bruns Buford

  • Makes 12 large sandwiches
  • For the spicy olive spread:
  • 2 cups kalamata olives, pitted (fresh or jarred)
  • 2 cups pimento-filled green olives (fresh or jarred)
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers (fresh or jarred)
  • 2 cups pickled Italian giardiniera vegetables
  • 16 pepperoncini, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 tablespoons capers
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 pinches crushed red peppers (or more or less, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • To assemble the muffalettas:
  • 1 pound provolone, thinly sliced (you may use any combination of mild cheeses)
  • 1 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Italian salami, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound mortadella or good bologna, sliced
  • 1 pound prosciutto or similar cured meat, sliced
  • 12 ciabatta rolls or 2 loaves hearty country bread, sliced (enough for 12 large sandwiches)
In This Recipe
  1. For the spicy olive spread:
  2. (Note that the olive spread will be prepared in two batches to fit in the bowl of processor.) In the large bowl of a food processor, put in half the garlic cloves and process until minced. Add half the remaining vegetables (olives, pickled vegetables, pepperoncini, capers, and celery) to bowl and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add half the oregano, pepper, vinegar and olive oil and pulse until just mixed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl or container with a tight lid.
  3. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Refrigerate the spread for at least one hour or up to 3 days before using.
  1. To assemble the muffalettas:
  2. If using rolls, cut them horizontally. Place the bread on a flat surface. (To save time, assemble sandwiches directly on a baking sheet.)
  3. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the olive mixture on each slice of bread and spread evenly. Place provolone on the bottom slice of bread, then cover with slices of salami, mortadella, and prosciutto. On the top slice of bread, cover the olive mixture with slices of mozzarella. Carefully close the sandwich.
  4. Wrap the sandwiches or the entire baking sheet in plastic wrap until ready to heat, at least 3 hours at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 1 day.
  5. Bring sandwiches to room temperature, if necessary. Heat in 350° F oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the meats warmed. Serve immediately. (The muffalettas may also be served without heating.)
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