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Recipe | Grilled Portabella Muffuletta Sandwich

Grilled Portabella Muffuletta Recipe

Grilled Portabella Muffuletta
Full disclosure: I have never had an actual muffuletta before, only vegetarian versions. So I can’t say, “Hey guys, this tastes just like a real muffuletta!” I really have no idea if it does. But it does taste just like a vegetarian muffuletta.

I decided to try to make this after I had a portabella muffuletta at Sandwhich in Chapel Hill. You know how sometimes you get something at a restaurant and it’s so good that you’re still thinking about it days later? Yeah, that happened. I figured that it would be easy enough to whip up at home–the grilled portabella was a no-brainer so all I really had to figure out was the olive salad. (If you’re a mushroom hater, grilled zucchini or eggplant can be used in this recipe instead of portabellas!)

Olive Salad
Although muffulettas are named after the bread they’re made on, to me, it’s the olive salad that makes the muffuletta. So this is my version. As my husband helped me chop things for this (oh, and there’s a lot of chopping!), he wondered how something made with so many nasty jarred ingredients could taste so good. Well, it just does! (And for the record, I love olives and marinated artichoke hearts and capers–Chris thinks they’re gross, though.) The longer you let the salad sit in the fridge, the better it tastes, so don’t hesitate to make this a day or two in advance.

Finding authentic muffuletta bread in Raleigh was a little bit difficult. The first time I made this, I used a round loaf of bread, but muffuletta bread is fairly flat and this bread was tall and fluffy so it just didn’t work. So then I switched to ciabatta. It doesn’t have the nice round shape of real muffuletta bread, but it’s flat and not too bready. Although anyone from New Orleans is probably giving me the side-eye right now, you could also put this on sourdough bread, Kaiser rolls, whatever. If you use slices of bread or rolls, instead of making one big sandwich, just make four individual sandwiches with a mushroom on each.

These vegetarian muffulettas are very picnic friendly. You can cut them up, wrap ’em, and let them sit in the fridge for up to a day. (I store mine upside down so the bread on the bottom doesn’t get soggy.)


Grilled Portabella Muffuletta Sandwich

Grilled Portabella Muffuletta Recipe

A vegetarian version of the classic muffuletta sandwich, made with grilled portabella mushrooms.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches


Olive Salad

  • 1/2 c. sliced green olives + 1 tbsp. liquid from jar
  • 1/4 c. sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/4 c. cauliflower florets, broken into very small pieces
  • 1/4 c. sliced jarred artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 c. diced roasted red peppers
  • 2 tbsp. diced celery
  • 5 pepperoncini, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • freshly ground pepper


  • 1 large loaf ciabatta bread, halved lengthwise
  • olive salad
  • 4 large portabella mushrooms, gills removed
  • olive oil mister or cooking spray
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 4 slices provolone cheese


Olive Salad

  1. Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (24 hours is best).


  1. Preheat grill to high. Spray with olive oil and place mushrooms on grill. Season with salt and pepper. Cook mushrooms 5-10 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to plate and cool.
  2. To assemble sandwiches, spread olive salad onto bottom of ciabatta bread. Top with mushrooms and cheese. Press the other half of the ciabatta loaf onto the top and use a sharp knife to cut into 4 equal segments. Serve immediately or wrap and refrigerate upside down for up to a day.


Prep time doesn’t include time that salad marinates in the refrigerator.

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  • Reply
    Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ
    May 13, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Muffuletta bread sounds new to me. Love to learn new things ๐Ÿ™‚ Great sandwich!

  • Reply
    shelly (cookies and cups)
    May 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I’ve never had a muffuletta sandwich either! But this one I can get behind ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    May 13, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Admit it – you just made this so that you could use the word “muffuletta” a whole bunch of times in a row. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Best food word ever!

    This sandwich looks phenomenal. I have no clue what would even go into a non-vegetarian version of one of these, but clearly I don’t need to know. This one looks perfect.

    • Reply
      May 13, 2013 at 9:11 am

      Actually, I’m not totally sure either–ha! It’s a whole mess of sliced cured meats, I think, but I forgot which ones.

  • Reply
    Ronnie Fein
    May 13, 2013 at 8:32 am

    who cares as long as it tastes good?

  • Reply
    Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    May 13, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I’ve never tried muffuletta before like you. It looks delicious and if you say it’s good, it’s worth trying.

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    May 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I certainly wouldn’t be mad at you for choosing ciabatta bread and you know I’m gonna have to do the substitutions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    May 13, 2013 at 10:23 am

    girl, you had me at olive salad. and i’m with you, i never had a muffuletta, and honestly don’t know what it is! i only know portobello versions ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      I know, right? OLIVES! They are just so good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama
    May 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Oh my goodness you have me drooling. I want it for lunch!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    May 13, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I loved grilled portabella mushrooms, this is my kind of sandwich!

  • Reply
    Joy // For the Love of Leaves
    May 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Wow, this looks so good! Everyone once in a while I get a craving hardcore for these savory type flavors. I’ll have to keep this recipe in mind the next time it hits!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Bakerita
    May 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    This looks so delicious, and so flavorful! I love that you used portabellas, so yummy!

  • Reply
    polly kohler
    May 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Oh this looks JUST fabulous!!! If only it were gluten free. Somebody just has to invent gluten free bread that looks like this!

  • Reply
    Chris (Saphera Tea & Body)
    May 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Portabella mushrooms in a sandwich bring back memories of when I was a kid. My mom used to grill portabella with garlic and a bit of salt then melt Swiss cheese on it. I haven’t had it for years and your post reminded me of how good these sandwiches used to be. Thanks for the post!

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      That sounds like the perfect sandwich! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking
    May 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    How scrumptious does this look! Regretting my lunch now… I wish I had this instead!

  • Reply
    Sylvia @ reelflavor.com
    May 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    This sandwich looks amazing! I’m going to have to pick me up some portabella soon and I have always loved muffuletta!

  • Reply
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
    May 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Freaking amazing. Can you come over and make me lunch?

  • Reply
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective
    May 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Great twist on the muffuletta!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks for the tip about using eggplant instead of mushroom ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I might love this. Funny, because when we were in New Orleans years ago, I tried to order a vegetarian muffuletta sandwich at a cafe, and it was decidedly *un*palatable. I can’t even remember if there was a main vegetable in place of the meat.

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Whenever I post a recipe with mushrooms, people ask me what they can substitute, so I figured I’d add that part. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    May 13, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    This sounds absolutely amazing!! Thank you for sharing :). My mushrooms cravings love you for it!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    May 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I’ve never had a muffalletta (can’t believe I spelled that right), meatless or not–but this looks unreal! I just die for olives, so this is totally up my alley. I ate half a huge package of mushrooms tonight with dinner by myself, so I’m kind of in a mushroom coma…but when I get out of it I’ll be trying this recipe fo sho!

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      I am the same way about mushrooms. I can never have enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    dishing up the dirt
    May 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I’ve never had the real deal either. I trust you though! This sounds fantastic!

  • Reply
    Puja @ Indiaphile.info
    May 14, 2013 at 1:16 am

    This looks fantastic!! I’ve also only had veggie muffallettas…and I LOVE them! Can’t wait to try your version. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    May 14, 2013 at 1:22 am

    These look so good! Do you have any tips for keeping the portabella from getting tough? Whenever I had ordered a portabella cap sandwich they are always so tough! But I’ve never made one at home…

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Maybe they’re either under- or over-cooked? I’ve had a few like that, so I know what you mean, but I haven’t had that issue when I make them at home. I use the grill setting on a Griddler to cook mine.

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.
    May 14, 2013 at 1:51 am

    I had the best muffuletta sandwiches in New Orleans and I say, this is close enough! They look so good!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 14, 2013 at 5:23 am

    I have never had a muffuletta either…your sandwich looks SUPER!

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