Cuban Sandwich Recipe

The Cuban sandwich, also known as a Cubano, is a delicious and hearty sandwich that originated in Cuba. It is a popular street food in Miami and other parts of Florida, and has gained popularity in other parts of the United States in recent years. The sandwich is made with Cuban bread, roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, and is typically pressed to give it a crispy exterior and melted cheese.

Making a Cuban sandwich recipe at home is easy and requires only a few ingredients. The key to a great Cubano is the bread, which should be light and crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. The traditional bread used for a Cuban sandwich recipe is a long, narrow loaf that is similar to French bread, but with a slightly sweeter taste. If you can’t find Cuban bread, you can use French bread or another type of bread that is similar in texture and flavor.

To make a Cuban sandwich recipe, start by spreading mustard on one side of the bread. Top the mustard side with Swiss cheese, followed by a layer of warmed roast pork. Add a layer of pickles and ham, and top with any remaining cheese. Cover the sandwich with the other piece of bread, and press it down with a heavy skillet or a sandwich press. Toast the sandwich until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted, and enjoy!

Cuban Sandwich Recipe: Key Ingredients

To make an authentic Cuban sandwich, there are a few key ingredients that are essential to include. These ingredients are what give the sandwich its unique and delicious flavor. Here are the key ingredients for a Cuban sandwich recipe:

1. Cuban Bread

Cuban bread is the foundation of the Cuban sandwich. It is a soft, slightly sweet bread that is perfect for holding all of the sandwich’s fillings. It is typically made with flour, water, yeast, and sugar.

2. Roast Pork

Roast pork is the main protein in a Cuban sandwich. It is typically seasoned with garlic, cumin, and oregano, which gives it a delicious and savory flavor. The pork is usually roasted until it is tender and juicy.

3. Ham

Sliced ham is another important ingredient in a Cuban sandwich recipe. It is usually layered on top of the roast pork and adds a salty, smoky flavor to the sandwich.

4. Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese is the cheese of choice for a Cuban sandwich. It is a mild, nutty cheese that melts beautifully and helps to hold the sandwich together.

5. Pickles

Dill pickles are an essential ingredient in a Cuban sandwich recipe. They add a tangy, crunchy element that balances out the richness of the pork and cheese.

6. Mustard

Yellow mustard is the traditional condiment for a Cuban sandwich recipe. It adds a tangy, slightly spicy flavor that complements the other ingredients in the sandwich.

7. Butter

Butter is used to toast the bread and give it a crispy exterior. It also adds a rich, buttery flavor to the sandwich.

By using these key ingredients, you can create a delicious and authentic Cuban sandwich that will transport you to the streets of Havana.

Choosing the Right Bread

When it comes to making a Cuban sandwich recipe, choosing the right bread is essential to achieving the perfect flavor and texture. Here are some things to consider when selecting the bread for your Cuban sandwich.

Types of Bread

Traditionally, Cuban sandwiches are made with Cuban bread, a type of bread that is similar to French bread. It is long and thin with a crispy crust and a soft, airy interior. However, if Cuban bread is not available in your area, there are other types of bread that can be used as a substitute.

Some of the best breads to use for Cuban sandwiches include:

  • French bread
  • Italian bread
  • Baguette
  • Ciabatta
  • Hoagie roll

When choosing a substitute bread, it is important to look for a bread that has a crispy crust and a soft, airy interior. This will help to create the same texture and flavor as traditional Cuban bread.

Bread Preparation

Once you have selected the bread for your Cuban sandwich, it is important to prepare it properly. Here are some tips for preparing the bread:

  • Slice the bread lengthwise: This will make it easier to add the ingredients to the sandwich and will help to ensure that the sandwich is evenly balanced.
  • Toast the bread: Toasting the bread will help to create a crispy crust and will also help to keep the sandwich from becoming soggy.
  • Press the sandwich: After the sandwich has been assembled, it should be pressed to help meld the flavors together and to create a crispy exterior.

By following these tips for choosing and preparing the bread for your Cuban sandwich, you can create a delicious sandwich that is sure to please.

Preparation of the Meats

To make a delicious Cuban sandwich, the preparation of the meats is crucial. The two main meats used in a Cuban sandwich are ham and roast pork.


Traditionally, a Cuban sandwich is made with sweet ham, also known as jamón dulce. This type of ham is usually found in the deli section of most grocery stores. It is important to choose a high-quality ham that is not too salty. The ham should be sliced thinly and evenly to ensure that it cooks evenly and doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the sandwich.

Roast Pork

Roast pork is the star of the show in a Cuban sandwich. The pork is typically marinated in a mixture of citrus juices, garlic, and spices before being roasted. This gives the meat a tangy and flavorful taste. Pork shoulder or pork butt are the best cuts of meat to use for a Cuban sandwich. They are both tender and juicy when cooked properly.

To prepare the pork, first, remove any excess fat and silver skin from the meat. Then, mix together orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, and oregano to create the marinade. Rub the marinade all over the pork and let it sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350°F and roast the pork for 2-3 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

Once the ham and roast pork are prepared, they can be layered onto the sandwich with Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. The sandwich is then pressed and grilled until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy.

Assembling the Cuban Sandwich

To assemble the perfect Cuban sandwich, you need to follow certain steps to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to assemble a classic Cuban sandwich:

  1. Start by slicing the Cuban bread lengthwise. Then, spread mustard on both sides of the bread. Be sure to use enough mustard to add flavor to the sandwich.
  2. Next, add the Swiss cheese to one side of the bread. Then, add the ham and roasted pork on top of the cheese. Make sure to distribute the meat evenly across the bread.
  3. Add the sliced pickles on top of the meat. Make sure to distribute them evenly, so that every bite of the sandwich has a bit of pickle.
  4. Finally, close the sandwich with the other half of the bread. You can use a sandwich press to flatten the sandwich and melt the cheese, or you can use a panini press or a heavy skillet to press the sandwich.
  5. Cut the sandwich into halves or quarters and serve it immediately.

It is important to note that the order in which the ingredients are added to the sandwich is crucial. The mustard should be added first to add flavor to the bread. The Swiss cheese should be added next, so that it melts and binds the ingredients together. The ham and pork should be added next, followed by the pickles. Finally, the other half of the bread should be added to close the sandwich.

By following these steps, you can create a perfect Cuban sandwich that is packed with flavor and texture.

Cooking Methods

Traditional Method

The traditional method of making a Cuban sandwich involves pressing the sandwich in a sandwich press or grill. The ingredients are layered in a specific order: bread, mustard, pickles, Swiss cheese, ham, roasted pork, and bread. The sandwich is then pressed until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted. The traditional method results in a warm, crispy, and delicious sandwich.

Modern Variations

In recent years, chefs have experimented with modern variations of the Cuban sandwich. Some variations include using different types of bread, such as ciabatta or sourdough, or adding additional ingredients like avocado or bacon. Another modern variation involves baking the sandwich in the oven instead of pressing it in a grill. This method allows for a larger quantity of sandwiches to be made at once and results in a crispy crust and melted cheese.

Additionally, some chefs have even created a deconstructed version of the Cuban sandwich, where the ingredients are served separately on a plate. This allows for more creativity and presentation options, but may not satisfy those looking for a traditional Cuban sandwich experience.

Regardless of the cooking method used, the key to a delicious Cuban sandwich is using high-quality ingredients and layering them in the correct order.

Serving Suggestions

The Cuban sandwich is a classic dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of sides. Here are a few serving suggestions to enhance your Cuban sandwich experience:

1. Plantain Chips

Plantain chips are a popular snack in many Latin American countries, and they pair perfectly with a Cuban sandwich. These crispy, salty chips add a nice crunch to the meal and complement the flavors of the sandwich.

2. Black Beans and Rice

Black beans and rice are a staple in Cuban cuisine and make a great side dish for a Cuban sandwich. The combination of the beans and rice provides a hearty and filling accompaniment to the sandwich.

3. Tostones

Tostones are another popular Latin American snack that go well with a Cuban sandwich. These fried plantains are sliced and then fried again, creating a crispy exterior and a soft interior. They make a great alternative to traditional French fries.

4. Yuca Fries

Yuca fries are another great side dish for a Cuban sandwich. These fries are made from cassava root and have a slightly sweet flavor. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making them a perfect complement to the sandwich.

5. Salad

For those looking for a lighter option, a simple side salad is a great choice. A mix of greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers with a light dressing can balance out the richness of the sandwich and provide some much-needed freshness.

Overall, the Cuban sandwich is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of sides. Whether you choose to go with a classic side like black beans and rice or something a little more unique like yuca fries, there are plenty of options to choose from to enhance your Cuban sandwich experience.

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Storage and Leftovers

Cuban sandwiches are best served fresh and hot, but if you have leftovers, you can store them properly to enjoy later. Here are some tips for storing and reheating Cuban sandwiches:

  • Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
  • Store the wrapped sandwich in an airtight container or a plastic bag.
  • Place the container or bag in the refrigerator and consume within 2-3 days.
  • To reheat the sandwich, remove the plastic wrap or foil and wrap it in a damp paper towel.
  • Place the sandwich in the microwave and heat for 30-60 seconds on high power until hot.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the sandwich in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes until hot.

It’s important to note that reheating the sandwich may result in the bread becoming slightly soggy. To prevent this, you can toast the bread before reheating the sandwich.

If you have leftover pork or other ingredients, you can use them in other dishes. Shredded pork can be used in tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. Ham can be used in omelets, quiches, or salads. Pickles can be used as a condiment or in potato salad. Swiss cheese can be used in grilled cheese sandwiches or on top of burgers.

Overall, storing and reheating Cuban sandwiches is easy and convenient. Just make sure to wrap them tightly and consume them within a few days for the best flavor and texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a traditional Cuban sandwich made of?

A traditional Cuban sandwich, also known as a Cubano, is made of Cuban bread, roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. The bread is typically pressed and toasted until it is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

What is the difference between a Cubano and a Cuban sandwich?

A Cubano and a Cuban sandwich are the same thing. The terms are used interchangeably to refer to the traditional sandwich made with Cuban bread, roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.

What is the difference between a Reuben and a Cuban sandwich?

A Reuben sandwich is made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. In contrast, a Cuban sandwich is made with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread. The two sandwiches have different ingredients and flavors.

How can I make a Cuban sandwich without pork?

To make a Cuban sandwich without pork, you can substitute the roasted pork with roasted chicken or turkey. You can also use vegetarian or vegan alternatives, such as marinated tofu or tempeh.

What are some variations of the Cuban sandwich?

Some variations of the Cuban sandwich include adding additional ingredients such as avocado, bacon, or salami. Another variation is the Media Noche sandwich, which is made with the same ingredients as a Cuban sandwich but with sweet, soft egg bread instead of Cuban bread.

What type of cheese is best for a Cuban sandwich?

The traditional cheese used in a Cuban sandwich is Swiss cheese. However, some variations use other types of cheese such as provolone or cheddar. Ultimately, the choice of cheese comes down to personal preference.