PRESSED ITALIAN SANDWICHES — Italian meats and cheeses are layered with pesto and fresh basil, then wrapped and pressed in these flavorful sandwiches that are perfect for picnics and parties.
It’s picnic weather somewhere, right? Because I have been anxiously waiting to share these Pressed Italian Sandwiches with you.
Not that you should wait for a picnic to make them, because they are pretty much my favorite sandwich ever.
They just happen to be the perfect picnic sandwich, since they’re loaded with meat and cheese, and everything is squeezed into a neat, compact package. And there’s no mayonnaise, so you don’t have to worry if you’re sandwiches is out of the refrigerator for a little while.
I’ve also served these sandwiches at parties and buffets and they’re always a huge hit. The best part is, they need to be made the ahead, which leaves you free for other things when you’re hosting guests.
These sandwiches keep well for 3-5 days in the refrigerator, maybe even longer, and the leftovers are great for packing in lunches. My boys love it when there are extra sandwich servings to pack in their school lunches.
In fact, my boys love these sandwiches so much, we served them for my oldest son’s graduation party. They were a huge hit, and I loved that I could get them ready a few days ahead of time.
You can use any kind of Italian cold cuts and sliced cheeses you like in the recipe. Our favorites are salami, pepperoni, soppressata and provolone cheese.
If I’m serving a crowd, I usually make two slightly different versions. The possibilities are endless, so have fun with it!
Be sure to save this Pressed Italian Sandwiches recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Pressed Italian Sandwiches
- Italian deli meats (salami, pepperoni, etc.)
- Provolone cheese
- Spinach, basil or other greens
- Optional toppings
- 1 ciabatta loaf
- 1/4-1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
- 1/2 pound sliced Italian cold cuts (salami, pepperoni, sopressata, mortadella, capocolla, prosciutto, etc.)
- 1/2 pound sliced Provolone cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach, arugula or basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Finely chopped olives (black or green)
- Roasted red peppers
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Roasted garlic
- Slice ciabatta loaf in half horizontally.
- Spread desired amount of pesto over the bottom half of the bread. Don' t over-saturate the bread.
- Layer the Italian meats over the pesto. Top with the sliced cheese. Layer the spinach, basil or other greens over the cheese.
- Optional toppings can be added to either the top or the bottom of the sandwich.
- Place the top half of the loaf over the sandwich fillings.
- Wrap the sandwich thoroughly with plastic wrap. Place a heavy cutting board or other flat object on top of sandwich and weight it down with a 2- to 4-lb. weight (such as a cast iron skillet or six-pack of soda).
- Let the sandwich sit for at least 6 hours, but preferably over night. Unwrap, cut into 8 pieces and serve.
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Sunset Magazine.