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This Cuban Sandwich recipe is easy to make at home and has all the irresistible flavors of a traditional Cubano. Perfectly seasoned pork, smoky ham, gooey, melted Swiss cheese with a mustard spread and pickles.
If you’ve had the pleasure of eating a Cubano, I hope I have your attention. For those who have yet to experience this delicious flavor combination, you’ve just got to do it! And, this easy Cuban Sandwich recipe is a great place to start.
We get strong Cubano cravings on a regular basis so I had to come up with a way to satisfy this craving at home. This is my somewhat non-traditional but completely delicious Cuban Sandwich recipe.
It starts with my Southwestern Pork Tenderloin recipe, sliced thin and layered on sliced bread with deli ham, swiss cheese, a mustard spread, and dill pickles. Trust me when I say that this combination is seriously crave-worthy.
Ingredients in a Cuban Sandwich
Cuban Sandwiches must contain some sort of roasted pork. My Southwestern Pork Tenderloin recipe yields two tenderloins which, unless you are feeding a lot of people, can easily be stretched into two meals. This flavorful pork is delicious cold from the fridge in sandwiches and has just the right flavors to create these tasty Cuban Sandwiches. It also happens to be far leaner than the more traditional Boston butt or pork shoulder roast.
Any thinly sliced deli ham you love will work well. Black forest, honey, or smoked ham will all add great depth flavor.
Sliced Swiss cheese from the dairy or deli section of your store is perfect.
Cuban Sandwich Bread
Cuban bread is a white bread that is similar to Italian bread but contains a bit of fat (usually lard) and sometimes sugar. They are baked into long loaves that are somewhat crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Most of us are not lucky enough to have easy access to a Cuban or Latin bakery but I’ve found that sliced Italian or French bread is a great substitute.
Mustard and Pickles
Yellow mustard is a must but I stray from tradition with my sandwich spread made from equal parts of yellow mustard and mayonnaise. I have a couple of people in my house who have lukewarm feelings about yellow mustard but I’ve found that mixing it with a little mayo tempers it just enough to fool them into loving it. Baby steps! Go with plain yellow mustard for a more traditional Cuban Sandwich.
Dill pickles chips are the classic choice for true Cubano flavor.
How to Make a Cuban Sandwich
Cubanos are grilled and pressed sandwiches and a panini press is an easy and effective way to replicate this process at home.
Assemble the Sandwiches
- Place 2 slices of bread on a cutting board and spread with softened butter (about 1 tablespoon per two pieces of bread).
- Flip both slices of bread over, butter-side down, on the cutting board. Spread the top of each slice with about 1 tablespoon of the mayo/mustard mixture.
- Layer one piece of bread with the sliced roast pork.
- Layer a slice of deli ham over the pork.
- Cover the ham with dill pickle chips. We love pickles so I really load them up!
- Add two slices of Swiss cheese.
Grill and Press the Sandwiches
- Place the other slice of bread on top with butter side facing out so that the butter will make contact with the grill.
- Grill the Cuban Sandwiches on a panini press until well toasted and golden brown.
Alternate Stove Top Directions
If you don’t have a panini press, Cuban Sandwiches can be prepared in a skillet on the stove. Assemble the sandwiches as directed and cook in a hot skillet, weighing the sandwich down with a second skillet that is small enough to rest on top. Heavy cast iron skillets are an excellent choice for this method. Cook the sandwich until nicely browned and heated through.
Big Batch Oven Method
Have a group to feed? Follow this alternate oven method for cooking up a sheet pan full of sandwiches all at once. You should be able to fit about six sandwiches on a large rimmed baking sheet, depending on the size of your bread.
Assemble the sandwiches as directed and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place a second baking sheet on top. Transfer to a preheated 425 degree F oven and place an empty cast iron pan (or other heavy, oven-proof pan) on top of the top baking sheet, pressing down the sandwiches. Bake for 15 minutes or until toasted and the cheese has melted.
Cuban Sandwich (Cubano)
- ¼ cup yellow mustard
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 8 slices sliced Italian or French bread
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 8 slices Southwestern Pork Tenderloin (about 12 ounces)
- 4 slices deli ham black forest, honey, smoked or your favorite variety.
- 16 to 20 dill pickle chips 4 to 5 per sandwich
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- Combine mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place 2 slices of bread on a cutting board and spread with softened butter (about 1 tablespoon per two pieces of bread). Flip both slices of bread over, butter-side down, on the cutting board. Spread the top of each slice of bread with about 1 tablespoon of the mustard/mayo mixture. Layer with 2 slices of roast pork, 1 slice of ham, 4 to 5 pickles, and 2 slices of cheese (offset to fit). Place the other slice of bread on top with butter side facing out so that it will make contact with the panini press. Repeat with remaining bread, butter, and filling ingredients.
- Heat up your panini press according to the manufacturer directions. Working in batches, press the sandwiches until well toasted and the cheese has melted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half on the diagonal.
- To keep the sandwiches warm, place them on a foil lined baking sheet and transfer to a 200 degree F oven while you make the other sandwiches, adding each to the oven after they cook.