suggested video
suggested video

Cuban Sandwich: the tasty Cubano recipe for a satisfying, hearty sandwich 

Total time: 25 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

The Cuban sandwich, aka the Cubano, is undoubtedly one of the best sandwiches you'll ever encounter. Made with soft, subtly sweet bread slathered with garlic butter and mustard, and topped with layers of roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and tangy pickles, the Cubano is one sandwich that has it all.

As its name suggests, this tasty sandwich has origins in Cuba, but it's famous in Florida, where there's a large, vibrant Cuban community. Whether you're in the mood to sit down to a fantastic lunch or want to make a fabulous feast for friends, the Cuban sandwich is perfect. Serve it hot or cold, and don't forget a side of potato chips and pickles!

Is the Cuban Sandwich from Miami or Tampa?

Even though Miami and Tampa are both incredibly famous for their Cubanos, the sandwich is thought to be from Cuba, brought over by Cuban immigrants. There's a slight difference between the Miami version and the Tampa version of the Cuban sandwich – the latter contains salami.

Cuban Sandwich Origins

The Cubano is believed to be the product of Cuban immigrants. The first versions appeared in Cuban cafes in Florida which were frequented by Cuban workers. The delicious sandwich was easy to transport and ideal for keeping hunger at bay while at work.

What is Cuban Bread?

Cuban bread is a wonderful type of soft on the inside, crusty on the outside bread. It has a slightly sweet taste, which goes beautifully with the other flavors in the Cuban sandwich. If you can't find Cuban bread, Italian is a solid substitute.

Cubano Ingredients

There are a few essential ingredients to making the perfect Cuban sandwich.

You'll need Cuban bread, a soft, slightly sweet type of bread that helps take this sandwich to the next level.

You'll also need roast pork. Mojo or pernil are great options.

Smoked ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles round out the sandwich.

Garlic butter and mustard help give it an extra dimension of flavor and keep the bread from drying out.

How to Make a Cuban Sandwich

To make the best-ever Cubano, start by heating your panini press. Place the bread cut side down on the panini press and toast the bread. Mix the garlic into the butter, then slather the garlic butter onto one-half of the toasted bread.

Spread mustard on the other half. Starting with the mustard half, layer the cheese, then by a large helping of roast pork. Add another layer of Swiss, then pickles, ham, and cheese. Place the other half of the toasted bread on top, then put the sandwich into your panini press.

Grill the Cubano for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Serve with potato chips, pickles, or some sweet potato fries.


Can You Make Cuban Sandwiches Ahead?

Cubanos taste best when they've been freshly made. However, you can make the roasted pork up to a few days in advance, then assemble the sandwiches when you're ready to go.

Tips for the Best Traditional Cuban Sandwich

If you don't eat pork, substitute it for chicken. It won't be a traditional Cubano, but it will still be delicious!

The best ham for Cubanos is Black Forest or smoked ham.

To make a Tampa-style Cuban sandwich, add salami.

Don't fret if you don't have a panini press. You can use two heavy heated skillets to sandwich the Cubano between the two and act as a makeshift panini press. If you're using this method, wrap the sandwich in foil to help melt the cheese.

You can make Cubanos in bulk and cut them into smaller servings for potlucks, picnics, and other parties.

What to Serve with a Cubano

Serve your Cuban sandwich with a side of potato chips and dill pickles.

Other great-tasting sides include Cuban-style yuca, sweet potatoes, a salad, soup, and beans.

How to Store Cuban Sandwiches

Keep your Cubanos fresh by wrapping them in foil and storing them in the fridge for up to one day.

cuban bread, sliced horizontally
1 1-pound loaf
butter at room temperature
2 tbsp
small garlic clove, crushed
Yellow Mustard
2 tbsp
swiss cheese, thinly sliced
8 ounces
pork roast, shredded and heated
1 pound
dill pickles, sliced
black forest or smoked ham
10 slices


Heat your panini press.

Toast the bread in the press, cut side down.

Beat the garlic into the butter. Spread the garlic butter onto one-half of the toasted bread.

Spread mustard on the other half.

Layer cheese on the mustard, then by a generous helping of pork.

Layer with more cheese, then pickles, ham, and cheese. Close the sandwich.

Grill the Cubano for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Serve.


If you can't find Cuban bread, a classic Italian loaf will work perfectly for your Cubanos.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks
api url views