The Cuban sandwich is a ham and cheese sandwich recipe that is very popular in Florida.
My family is originally from Florida, so this sandwich makes me happy. It reminds me of the tropical lifestyle, the brightly colored houses and buildings, all the palm trees, and the beautiful white sandy beaches of Florida. Ok, now I really want to go there again for a visit! But I suppose I can make this sandwich recipe for now to help me wait until I can save for plane tickets. 🙂
It’s hard to say whether this sandwich originated in Cuba, or in Florida. But, either way, it’s an incredibly delicious, and popular, sandwich recipe.
If you enjoy melts, then you should definitely give this one a try! I know, it may sound a little strange to add pickles to a melt sandwich, but trust me, it works. There are so many flavors - from the savory butter and roasted pork to the hint of sweetness from the ham, and yes, the pickles.
Traditionally there is no mayo or mustard on a Cuban Sandwich because there is plenty of moisture and flavor provided by the meat, butter, and the pickles. But you will find different variations in restaurants that include condiments, or even lettuce or tomato.
Below you’ll find my favorite version of this traditional recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
This recipe is for 2 sandwiches.
- 1 roll of Cuban bread halved, or similar bread like hoagies or French bread
- 1-2 Tbsp butter
- 2 oz slow roasted pork*, shredded or thinly sliced; see hint below
- 2 oz ham, about 6 slices thinly sliced
- 2 oz mild swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- 4 dill pickles, sliced lengthwise; or many round slices
Slice your bread lengthwise open-faced. Lightly spread some butter on the inside of each sandwich. (See Hint #2 below for lower calorie versions.)
Layer on your cheese, pickles, roasted pork and ham for each sandwich. Close them up.
Lightly spread butter* on the outsides of each sandwich and get ready to cook them!
In a Sandwich Maker:
Preheat your panini press or sandwich maker. Place the buttered bundles inside and press down on them to compress their size and flatten them. Grill until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden browned. It takes about 10 minutes.
In a Skillet:
If you don’t have a sandwich maker, you can make your own using two skillets.
Preheat a skillet on medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the skillet.
Take another skillet and press the sandwiches down to flatten them out. (Cast iron works best because it is heavy.) Don’t hold back! We want them to really compress.
Grill both sides until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.
When they’re done cooking, slice them diagonally into 2 triangles. That’s it!
I hope you'll leave a comment below if you enjoyed this Cuban sandwich recipe. 🙂
*Hint: If your roasted pork is cold from the refrigerator, it helps to warm it up prior to making the sandwiches. You can either let it come to room temperature first, or you can warm it in a skillet or microwave. But the microwave might change the texture and dry it out.
*Hint #2: For a lower fat option: instead of butter, you can use mustard or butter spray to line the insides of the sandwiches. You can also use cooking spray to grill the outsides, instead of butter.