The Cubano Sandwich

Wednesday 12 January 2022

The Cubano Sandwich 
I had a quantity of leftover roast pork that I wanted to use up the other day and so I was looking for ways to use it. I wanted to make something different that my usual hash or pot pie.

One thing which I have made in the past has been this fabulous Amish Savory Pork Pie. I had enough that day to send a casserole to a family in need as well as make a small one for myself.  Pork, gravy, dumplings . . .  never a bad thing!! 

The Cubano Sandwich 

Another time I used the leftovers to make this wonderful Pork and Apple Pie.   It was really delicious too.

Sliced roast pork and gravy, combined with apples, underneath a savory short crust lid.  There is nothing about that which doesn't taste good!  Pork and apples are such beautiful partners. 

The Cubano Sandwich 

I have always wanted to try the Cuban Sandwich however.  The Cuban Sandwich or Cubano Sandwich is a delicious pressed panini type of sandwich. 

It is basically layers of cheese, roast pork, ham, pickles, garlic butter, and mustard, pressed between the softness of a  sweet Cuban bread. 

The Cubano Sandwich 

Any photos I have ever seen of them have sent my taste buds into tingling in overtime!  I have never visited Cuba but I know plenty of people who have and they have all loved the food there. 

Apparently this Cubano sandwich comes in quite a few varieties, all dependent on regional differences.  Some places use ham in it, some salami.   I am not sure if any of the versions I saw online were actually true Cubano's, but all looked very tasty. 

The Cubano Sandwich 

I will say up front that I did not have any Cuban bread in my house.  Nor have I ever seen Cuban bread in any of our shops.  

Apparently it is a soft white bread with a sort of crisp crust like a French loaf, but it is supposed to be slightly sweet.   

The Cubano Sandwich

No, I did not have anything even remotely resembling Cuban Bread, but I did have Ciabatta flat rolls and I had  some soft white dinner rolls that I had bought thinking to make sliders with them. 

Necessity being the mother of invention I decided to make a version of the sandwich using both breads and then taste test them against each other to see which one worked the best.

The Cubano Sandwich 

The first up was the ciabatta flat roll.  I layered up everything on it, schmearing the outside with a bit more butter and pressing it in my Cuisinart griddler.

I got the outside all toasty brown and crisp, making sure that the insides were well heated through and the cheese was melted. 

The Cubano Sandwich 

The dinner rolls were fairly small and four of them grouped together were about the size of a  Kaiser type of roll.  I decided to use four of them and keep them attached. 

I layered  up everything on the inside as with the other roll, buttered the outside and then also pressed/toasted that in my Cuisinart Griddler, again until everything was toasty golden brown and the insides were heated through and the cheese melted. 

Authentic or not, I was in it come hell or high water!   I had nothing to lose!

The Cubano Sandwich

As you can see I got a nice press from both kinds of bread.   Both toasted well to a golden brown, creating sandwiches that were easily edible.

I hate it when a sandwich is so thick that I cannot get my mouth around it.  I like to be able to eat them easily and without too much mess involved.  That's why I am not overly fond of wrap sandwiches.

Its not easy to keep their fillings intact.

The Cubano Sandwich


The one with the dinner rolls was nice. The bread not too hard to bite into or too chewy.  Once pressed there was a perfect ratio of bread to filling.   But having said that I also enjoyed the one in the ciabatta roll, although it was definitely chewy and a bit harder to bite into.

I had cut my roast pork as thin as possible for both sandwiches and I used sliced black forest ham.  The only sour pickles I had were garlic dills and so I cut them very thinly as well. 

I didn't have any regular American mustard and so I used Dijon.  It was not as vinegary as  American mustard.  For my garlic butter I used a homemade version, simply mixing softened butter, garlic and some dried parsley.

The Cubano Sandwich 

The rebel in me had wanted to use some pickled hot peppers I had in the refrigerator, but I wasn't sure that would be totally authentic and I wanted to try to be as true to the original as possible.

I think I got pretty darned close. 

The Cubano Sandwich

Of the two, I have to say, I enjoyed the one done on the soft dinner rolls the most. It was the easiest to eat and not as difficult to chew. I think ciabatta bread is definitely too chew for this type of a sandwich.

So, what exactly do you need to make a Cubano Sandwich?

  •  a softish kind of French style bread/rolls (Cuban bread if you can find it.
  • thinly sliced roast pork, or shredded roast pork
  • thinly sliced roast ham, I used black forest
  • thinly sliced sour pickles, I used dill
  • American or Dijon mustard
  • garlic butter, homemade or store bought
  • sliced swiss cheese
  • softened butter for spreading on the outside

 Cut your rolls/bread in the middle horizontally.  Schmear each cut side with garlic butter and then toast the cut sides on the panini grill until golden brown.  

Layer as follows:  Bottom of the loaf, mustard, sliced cheese, sliced pork,  more cheese, pickles, ham, and more cheese, then the top of the loaf.  Brush the outsides with some softened butter.

Cook in  panini press until golden brown and heated through, the cheese melted nicely. cut into serving sized sandwiches and serve immediately.  

Not a recipe per se, but very easy to follow and to do!!  I really enjoyed this easy and yet hearty sandwich!

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1 comment

  1. This sounds tasty! Thanks for the recommendation. Yum!


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