Grilled Cuban Sandwich

Grilled Cuban Sandwich

The following recipe is from the July 6 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

[Photograph: Tara Donne]

On paper the ingredients for a Cuban sandwich are fairly run of the mill—ham, Swiss, roast pork, mustard, and pickles—but when pressed and grilled together within a loaf of Cuban bread, sandwich magic happens. Coming from Cuban roots, Lourdes Castro, author of Latin Grilling, knows a thing or two about this particular sandwich. She's adapted an authentic version for those of us who don't have the luxury of living in prime Cuban sandwich territory, i.e., South Florida.

The sandwich fixings are piled into a large loaf of buttered Cuban bread and wrapped tightly in foil. Placed on a hot grill and pressed down to really smush everything together, the cheese gets oozy, the tart pickles mingle with roast pork, and the buttered crust of the bread crisps. Once everything has gotten all good and melty, the sandwich is unwrapped and grilled for a few minutes longer. Once your giant Cuban is cool enough to handle, all that's left to do is slice, serve, and enjoy this epic variation of ham and cheese.

Reprinted with permission from Latin Grilling: Recipes to Share, from Argentine Asado to Yucatecan Barbecue and More by Lourdes Castro, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

  • Yield:serves 8
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 1 loaf Cuban bread, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds boiled ham, sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds roasted pork, sliced
  • 1 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
  • 1 cup dill pickle chips, or to taste


  1. 1.

    Assemble the sandwich: Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter on one half of the bread loaf and a thin layer of mustard on the other. Place 1 to 2 layers of ham, pork, cheese, and, finally, pickles on the buttered bread and top with the mustard-spread bread. 

  2. 2.

    Wrap the sandwich in foil: Smear the remaining butter all over the outside of the sandwich and wrap it completely in aluminum foil. 

  3. 3.

    Press and grill the sandwich: Heat your grill to high (550°F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450°F) and continuing. 

  4. 4.

    Before grilling the sandwich, press down on it with your hands to flatten it. Place the wrapped, flattened sandwich on the grill and top with a brick, grill press, or any other heavy, heat-resistant object. Close the lid and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side. 

  5. 5.

    Remove the wrapped sandwich from the grill and take off the foil. Return the sandwich to the grill and grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until both pieces of bread are crispy and golden brown. 

  6. 6.

    Slice and serve: Remove the sandwich from the grill and cut at an angle into small sandwich wedges (triangles). Place on a large platter and serve while still hot.