Simply Homemade: Italian Pressed Sandwiches

I know what you’re thinking..a sandwich recipe post? Really? Trust me, this one is worth stopping your scrolling for! This is a sandwich that I tried for the first time thanks to one of my sisters and I knew, instantaneously, it would be a forever-favorite. Yes, it’s that good.

Let’s break it down, shall we? It’s got everything I love in every bite..delicious bread, a little smooth, a little crunch, and a whole lotta Italian flavors exploding my (and soon-to-be your) taste buds! As with any sandwich, it’s completely customizable to your taste preferences or fridge content restrictions. But, I won’t lie, the pictures and description to follow are my absolute jam! Let’s get real, any carb-lover knows that the basis of any respectable sandwich is a bread. For this particular sandwich I don’t think it gets much better than a good quality ciabatta. Next up, the spread! My sister introduced this sandwich with a thin smear of cream cheese to add a creamy, light, and fresh element that cuts out some of the dryness. And it wouldn’t be an Italian sandwich if pesto wasn’t the main part of the spread, am I right? If you’re an olive lover like me, an olive tapenade spread completes the spread trifecta. Ok, bread and spread…check and check!

Now for the fun part! Hellooooooooo toppings! After some tried and true taste testing, the combination of proteins I like the best are a little smoked turkey lunchmeat, a little prosciutto, and a little peppered salami. Indulgent? You betcha. Little pricey for a strict meal plan? Ok, you got me there…you maybe need to repurpose those in additional meal plans to justify the extra grocery cost but totally worth it for the smoke, the salt, and the pepper. Next up, cheese please! My personal preference is sliced provolone but, again, feel free to deviate.

Finally, the fluff stuff! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean this is fluff as in unnecessary. I mean this adds some fluff to the sandwich; hence the pressed part of the recipe title where we smash this down to make it a manageable eating proportion. What self-respecting sandwich would be complete without some sort of greens for a crunch factor? Not this one! I love spinach but you could also go for peppery arugula or a simple spring mix. Roasted red peppers, cucumber slices, tomato slices, banana pepper rings, or red onion slices are phenomenal additions but, if not to your liking, no worries a’tall! Whatever choices you choose, don’t be afraid to stack up those layers.

Sandwiches, are you ready? Get wrapped, get set, then get devoured! If you can stand waiting a couple hours before consuming, it’s highly recommended to wrap this sandwich tightly in Saran Wrap and refrigerate with a little weight on top of it to press it down. Just a couple pounds is perfect (ex: cast iron skillet set on top). Doing this allows all the flavors to meld together and, bonus, makes this monstrously overstuffed sandwich now a manageable bite. You, by no means, have to do this step and you can certainly just tightly wrap without the weight on top if you’d rather. The convenience factor of having it wrapped is also that you can easily slice it into serving size! The refrigeration period really does enhance the flavors as it rests longer but it starts out pretty delicious already so can’t go wrong here if ye of little patience can’t wait to enjoy it later.

Whether you’re making single serving sammies or a party sub; this packs up extremely well for that picnic or hike or family road trip you have been meaning to go on. And they last a couple days after being wrapped and tossed in the fridge so they are an excellent make-ahead work lunch option. Remember that sandwiches don’t have to be boring, step outside your PB£J box and live a little with this recipe 😉 Big thank you, as always, for reading and sharing with all your food-loving friends too!!!

Italian Pressed Sandwiches

  • Servings: Approximately 1-4
  • Print

Deliciously satisfying sandwich sure to impress and quench any Italian cravings!


-Ciabatta roll or loaf, halved lengthwise -Cream cheese -Pesto -Olive tapenade -Roasted red peppers and/or banana pepper rings -Tomato slices -Spinach -Provolone sliced cheese -Smoked turkey lunchmeat -Prosciutto -Peppered salami slices


1) Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on half of the bread (making sure a large piece of Saran Wrap is underneath the bread for easy wrapping later) then top with a thin layer of pesto and olive tapenade.
2) Layer on each of your desired veggie toppings next.
3) Place the slices of cheese on top of the veggies.
4) Add the proteins in layers then top with the other half of the bread.
5) Wrap entire sandwich with the sides of the Saran Wrap so it’s tightly wrapped. Add more wrap as needed.
6) Refrigerate for at least 6 hours is possible and place weight of something kind (cast iron skillet works great) directly on top of the wrapped sandwich during refrigeration.
7) Remove when ready to eat, slice, and serve!

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