This is the Best Cuban Sandwich Recipe, ever. Piled high with maple ham, Swiss cheese, slow-roasted pork carnitas, spicy jalapeños and zesty pickles. It’s the ultimate sandwich to enjoy for a hearty lunch or dinner!
In 12 days, I’ll be headed down to Ponte Vedra, Florida for THE PLAYERS Championship. Often dubbed the “fifth major” of the PGA TOUR, I’m super excited to escape the cold weather in Charlotte to a land of tee-off’s and palm trees. It’s one of the hottest bucket-list items for foodies, travelers and sports fans alike. I seriously can’t wait.
UPDATE: Read all about my trip! Here’s How To Spend 24 Hours in St. Augustine!
Originating from Cuban immigrants centered around the cigar industry, this beast of a sandwich can now be found all over The Sunshine State. There’s a large Italian population in Tampa, so they add salami to theirs (which sounds delicious!). South Florida cities, like Miami, stick to the traditional ham, roasted pork, Swiss and pickles with mustard.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CUBAN SANDWICH:
First, you’ll start with traditional Cuban bread. It’s a bit crispier than traditional white rolls and has a slightly different baking process. Next you’ll want to buy a high-quality ham. I chose to grab some slices of Maple Glazed Honey Coat Ham from Boar’s Head. Slightly sweet, deliciously savory. For condiments, plain yellow mustard and pickles are all you need. I’m a spicy fan at heart, so I decided to add Sweet & Spicy Jalapeños that I found at Trader Joe’s. To pull everything together, you’ll also need a few slices of Swiss cheese.
SO HERE’S MY GAME CHANGING INGREDIENT:
Typically, you’ll find shreds of roasted pork shoulder on Cuban sandwiches. It’s delicious, yes… but wouldn’t it be awesome to incorporate some sort of crunchy texture into this mammoth of meat, pickles and cheese? Say hello to my go-to pork ingredient: CARNITAS! I can’t express it enough, these crispy morsels elevated this masterpiece to the next level! I have a slow-roasted carnitas recipe here on the blog that utilizes fresh citrus juice to create a bright and flavorful meat. Or you can go easy-street and purchase carnitas from your favorite Mexican market or restaurant. Whichever you prefer is fine by me! Just make sure to crisp them up under the broiler before adding them here.
Now once assembled, you can enjoy it immediately. However, if you want to step-up your sandwich game… I suggest toasting it! Place your handheld beast on a panini press and heat up that bad boy until the exterior is crisp and the cheese has melted. Oh yeah… my heart just skipped a beat. Serve with your favorite potato chips and get ready to enter the best Cuban sandwich food-coma bliss.
- 1 Loaf Cuban Bread, cut in half
- Yellow Mustard, as needed
- Mayonnaise, as needed
- ½ lb. Maple Ham, sliced
- ½ lb. Carnitas, cooked & broiled
- 4 slices Swiss Cheese
- Sliced Dill Pickles, as needed
- Sweet & Spicy Sliced Jalapeños, optional
- Slice Cuban bread in half and then slice it horizontal for the sandwich. Slather the interior of each side with yellow mustard and mayonnaise.
- Pile high with ham, carnitas, Swiss cheese, pickles and optional jalapeños.
- Fold halves together and place the sandwich on a hot panini press that's been greased with butter or cooking spray. Toast until the exterior is crisp and the cheese has melted. Enjoy immediately.
NOTES ON THIS RECIPE:
- If you’d like to crank up the heat, you can substitute the yellow mustard for spicy dijon or even add a layer of prepared horseradish.
- I love Cuban bread, but if you can’t find it at the grocery store you can substitute with a French or Italian loaf.
- This makes a massive sandwich, so technically it could feel two people with a huge appetite. Alternatively, it could feed four with a moderate appetite. Serve with potato chips, French fries or a salad. My Spicy Chickpea Cucumber Salad would pair nicely.
This post is sponsored by The PGA Tour and THE PLAYERS Championship. Per the usual, all opinions here are mine alone and I would never recommend a destination or ingredient that I did not immensely enjoy myself. Thank you for supporting the brands that support SliceOfJess.com!
OTHER SANDWICHES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
PIN THIS FOR LATER: