Muffuletta Grilled Cheese Recipe

Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Note: Giardiniera is a pickled vegetable mix that can be found in Italian delis or jarred in supermarkets. If unavailable, it can be omitted. Substitute 2 to 3 seeded and stemmed pepperoncini in its place. This recipe will produce far more olive salad than you need for one sandwich. Extra salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Use it in more sandwiches, classic muffulettas, to top pizzas or burgers, or to stir into pasta sauces.

Recipe Details

Muffuletta Grilled Cheese Recipe

Active 15 mins
Total 15 mins
Makes 1 sandwich


  • For the Olive Salad:
  • 3/4 cup pitted mixed oil-packed olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup giardiniera (Italian-style pickled vegetable salad, see note)
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the Sandwich:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into three even pieces
  • 2 slices hearty white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm or Arnold, or 2 slices hearty French or Italian bread
  • 2 slices mild Provolone cheese
  • 3 slices sweet soppressata
  • 3 slices mortadella
  • 3 slices hot capicola
  • Kosher salt


  1. For the Olive Salad: Combine olives, capers, peppers, parsley, giardiniera, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop until no pieces larger than 1/2-inch remain. Transfer to a bowl. Add vineger and olive oil and stir to combine. For best results, let olive salad rest overnight before continuing to step 2.

  2. For the Sandwich: Melt one third of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until foaming subsides. Add both bread slices and cook, swirling occasionally, until pale golden brown on bottom side, about 2 minutes.

  3. Transfer to a cutting board toasted-side-up. Place one cheese slice on top of one slice of bread. Spread a layer of olive salad across bread with a spoon, then top with soppressata, mortadella, and capicola, followed by second cheese slice. Close sandwich, with both toasted sides facing inwards.

  4. Melt one more piece of butter in the skillet and reduce heat to medium low. Add sandwich and cook, swirling occasionally, until deep, even golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove sandwich using a flexible metal spatula. Add the remaining butter. Return sandwich to skillet cooked-side up. Season with salt. Cook, swirling occasionally, until second side is deep, even golden brown and cheese is thoroughly melted, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.