Hey! I'm Des!

Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

Read more »

Have new recipes emailed to you.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches

Italian pressed sandwiches are hearty sandwiches loaded with great Italian ingredients and seasonings. Perfect for picnics, game day parties, or any day ending with “y”.

You’d think that now that it is fall, picnic days would be over. In my mind though, there are still plenty of days left for picnics because fall picnics are the best. The cooler weather. The changing leaves against the bright blue skies. I think it makes for perfect picnic weather. What else makes the perfect picnic? The perfect picnic sandwich. And by perfect picnic sandwich, I mean Italian Pressed Sandwiches.

I must admit that I am not a huge sub sandwich fan. Those sandwich places that you see commercials for all over the TV? Yeah, they are the last place I want to go when we are looking for somewhere to eat. I don’t know what it is, I’ve just never really been a fan.

Italian sandwiches, on the other hand, I am all about those.

It starts with the bread. It HAS to be crusty. Think cibatta or pugliese. The second most important thing is the meats. An Italian sandwich is all about the meats. This sandwich has capicola, calabrese and proscuitto. You can easily substitute hard salami, ham, sopressata or even pepperoni. Whatever suits your fancy. Whatever you do, do a combo, 3 is usually a good number.

Next up is the cheese. I love provolone on an Italian sandwich but you also can’t go wrong with mozzarella. Like ever.

Finally you get all the finishing toppings like the herbs, dressing and my favorite part, the olive tapenade.

Mmmm…olive tapenade. Briney, salty goodness right there. You can usually find it in the deli section of your grocery store. Some store-bought versions can be a little on the bitter side so you might have to shop around until you find one that you love.

Everything, I’ve mentioned above makes a delicious Italian sandwich, but Italian pressed sandwiches are even better.

What are Italian pressed sandwiches you ask? First, you take all of that goodness, the bread, the meats, the cheese, the veggies, the herbs and tapenade and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Then you place it in the fridge with a heavy pan, think cast iron skillet, on top. This makes all of those delicious flavors come together and make even more scrumptious flavor babies, resulting in one of the best picnic sandwiches ever to grace a picnic table.

Or a game day table. Which is where these Italian pressed sandwiches have been for the last two Sundays in a row. Now, it’s time for them to be on yours.

Italian pressed sandwiches are hearty sandwiches loaded with Italian ingredients and seasonings. Perfect for picnics and game day parties.The recipe's here! #muffuletta

Italian Pressed Sandwiches Recipe

Serves 4 - 6 Prep Time: Cook Time:
5 based on 8 reviews


  • 1 red bell pepper, halved, seeds and veins removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 loaf crusty Italian bread (ie cibatta) cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup olive tapenade
  • 4 - 5 slices provolone cheese
  • 8 slices capicola or hard salami
  • 8 slices calabrese or sopressata
  • 4 slices proscuitto
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup baby arugula



Roast the red pepper. Turn on oven broiler and broil red pepper until the skin starts to blacken. About 5 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and slice.


In a bowl, mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and dijon mustard. Set aside while you prepare the sandwich.


Spread the olive tapenade on the bottom half bread. Place the rest of the toppings, in the following order, on top: provolone cheese, roasted red pepper, capicola, calabrese, proscuitto, parsley and arugula. Drizzle the olive oil/balsamic dressing over the top. Place the top half of the loaf on top. Wrap entire sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and place a heavy bottom skillet, such as cast iron, on top of the sandwich. Allow to set for at least 1 hour.


Slice sandwich into 8 - 10 pieces and serve.



Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Jessica | The Novice Chef
    January 31, 2019 at 8:16 am

    This would really hit the spot for lunch today!

  • Reply
    Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    January 26, 2019 at 6:46 am

    This couldn’t look any more perfect!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    These are so perfect for game day parties!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2019 at 5:41 am

    This sandwich looks so inviting! Would be perfect for my lunch box!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    YES, these are absolutely scrumptious! It’s way too late at night to eat but boy, do I want one!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    These look so tasty! I’ll be making this for lunch tomorrow !

  • Reply
    January 24, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    These are so good and I love them for weekend lunches. The sauce just makes the sandwich!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2018 at 8:53 am

    I made this sandwich when you first posted it years ago and have made it for every get together where a big sandwich is appropriate since! I love it and it can be modified to fit what I have on hand or on sale! The sauce is the BEST part!! Thank you for sharing, you make me look like a wiz in the kitchen!

    • Reply
      October 19, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      Anita- I am so happy to hear that!! This is one of our favorite sandwiches too! :)

  • Reply
    Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet
    July 14, 2018 at 8:31 am

    That is totally and completely my kind of sandwich!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    This looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Megan @ MegUnprocessed
    July 13, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I love that olive tapenade. I never thought about putting it on a sandwich!

  • Reply
    Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    July 12, 2018 at 2:12 am

    Look so tasty! Definitely a must try!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Sounds like a good excuse to plan a picnic! Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    July 11, 2018 at 12:14 am

    This will be a huge hit in my house! Looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    I Heart Naptime
    July 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Such a delicious lunch recipe!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    I want to have this for lunch!

  • Reply
    Marie Czarnecki
    February 20, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Love Italian Food.

  • Reply
    cathy- Noble Pig
    September 24, 2014 at 8:05 am

    These are my favorite types of sandwiches, especially with the right kind of bread. Swoon.

  • Reply
    Janelle Dangerfield Shank
    September 24, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Great looking sandwich, hearty and filling for both lunch and dinner

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    September 24, 2014 at 5:03 am

    Now his looks like my kind of sandwich girlfriend! Especially with all that crust bread goodness going on! Pinned!

  • Reply
    Beth B
    September 24, 2014 at 4:53 am

    So funny, my husband is named Ryan too – and he would LOVE this sandwich. He talks about guest posting on my blog and what he wants to post is a large sandwich!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.