Des

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Italian Pressed Sandwich

This Italian pressed sandwich is a hearty sandwich loaded with Italian cold cuts, cheese and seasonings. Perfect for picnics, game day parties, or any day ending with “y”.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches are one of my absolute *favorite* sandwiches. They are loaded with all kinds of goodies, then pressed together so that everything melds together.

You guys, they are perfect. They are my go-to sandwiches when we are planning a picnic or game day celebrations. They are easy to make and can even be made in advance to make taking them on camping trips even easier!

What is a pressed sandwich?

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.

What ingredients do you need to make a Pressed Italian Sandwich?

THE BREAD: It starts with the bread. It HAS to be crusty. Because you are pressing it overnight you don’t want something too soft or it will get soggy.  Think cibatta or pugliese.

THE MEAT: An Italian sandwich is all about the cold cuts. 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 variety.

THE CHEESE: I love provolone on an Italian sandwich but you also can’t go wrong with mozzarella. Like ever.

THE FINISHINGS: Finally you get all the finishing toppings like the roasted red peppers, arugula, dressing and my favorite part, the olive tapenade. 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.

How do you make Italian Pressed Sandwiches?

It is pretty easy! The hardest part is waiting for the sandwich to press.

STEP #1: 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.

STEP #2: In a bowl, mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and dijon mustard. Set aside while you prepare the sandwich.

STEP #3: 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.

STEP #4: 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.

These Italian Pressed Sandwiches are just begging to be made for your next picnic. You can even make them a day in advance!

Looking for more sandwich ideas? Try these!

Note: This post was originally published 2014. It was updated with new step by step photos, nutrition information and a video in 2021.


Italian Pressed Sandwich

Italian pressed sandwiches are hearty sandwiches loaded with Italian ingredients and seasonings. Perfect for picnics and game day parties.The recipe's here!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 465 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

You can use jarred roasted red pepper instead of roasting it yourself.
If you refrigerate the sandwich overnight, take it out of the refrigerator 20-ish minutes before. This will help soften the bread a little bit.
You can substitute any variety of meat you like! 3 different kinds is usually the perfect variety.
Nutrition information for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcalCarbohydrates: 20.4gProtein: 29.6gFat: 22.7gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 2012mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 1.9g
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: entree, pressed sandwich, salami, sandwich, super bowl recipe

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




  • 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

    5 stars
    This couldn’t look any more perfect!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    January 25, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    These are so perfect for game day parties!

  • Reply
    Catalina
    January 25, 2019 at 5:41 am

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

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    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
    Amanda
    January 24, 2019 at 7:30 pm

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

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    January 24, 2019 at 5:57 pm

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

  • Reply
    Anita
    October 19, 2018 at 8:53 am

    5 stars
    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
      Deseree
      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
    Carolyn
    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

    5 stars
    Look so tasty! Definitely a must try!

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    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

    5 stars
    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
    Delaney
    July 10, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    I want to have this for lunch!

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

    5 stars
    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.