Pressed Italian Sandwiches

If you are looking for a delicious make-ahead lunch idea that is perfect for work, picnics or a fast + easy meal, these Pressed Italian Sandwiches are for you. Made on toasted ciabatta bread with layers of thinly sliced deli meats and cheese, these tasty little sammies are delish. Keep reading to learn how easy it is to make these deli-style eats.

close up shot of an Italian sandwich on ciabatta bread, with layers of deli meat

Pressed Italian Sandwiches

This sandwich recipe was inspired by this yummy poppy seed and onion ciabatta bread that I found at my local bakery. Any ciabatta bread will do. The dense and chewy bread holds up well to the toppings and pressing and doesn’t fall apart like a normal white bread would do.

a close up shot of ciabatta rolls

First, I lightly brushed both sides of the split ciabatta bread with olive oil and toasted them until they were slightly brown and soft.

ciabatta bread brushed with extra virgin olive oil

The next step is to layer your sandwiches high with your favorite deli items. For our Italian Pressed Sandwiches, we used salty salami, ham, provolone, sliced red onions and roasted red peppers. I love the flavor of roasted red peppers, don’t you? They are a great way to add color, texture and flavor to any sandwich.

roasted red peppers on top of sliced deli sandwich meat

But I’ve got to admit, what really makes this pressed sandwich recipe pop is our super fast and super easy olive mix. Just chop up some green olives and mix with your favorite Italian salad dressing. Let it rest for several minutes so the flavors can meld. Then add a generous amount to the top of each sammie. YUM!

a close up shot of an Italian Sandwich with marinated olive topping

These sandwiches are edible as is, right? But I love the flavor of a pressed sandwich. They sit for a few hours or overnight and the taste is incredible. So how do we press our cold cut sandwiches?

An assembled Pressed Italian Sandwich

Wrap each sandwich in wax paper or parchment paper. Nothing fancy, just fold and tuck.

individually wrapped sandwiches on a tray

Looking for more delicious sandwich recipes?

Ham Reubens with Killer Russian Horseradish Sauce

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Fried Green Tomato BLT Sandwiches

Pimento Cheese BLT’s

Classic Italian Sliders

Italian sandwiches with a heavy cast iron skillet pressing them down.

Then we weight them down to “press” them with a heavy object. In our case, our trust cast iron skillet does the trick. Anything that will press them down and will fit in your fridge for a few hours or over night.

Close up shot of Pressed Italian Sandwiches

The result is a picnic-worthy sandwich that is savory and tangy and delicious! These sandwiches are great to make for a gathering, quick dinners for outdoor activities (think baseball practice, etc.). Once pressed, you can toss them in a zipped plastic bag and place in a cooler for ultimate portability. That gives me an idea…these would be great for a day at the lake or beach, too.

Italian sandwich cut in half

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4.34 from 3 votes

Pressed Italian Sandwiches

A delicious and easy recipe for savory deli-style cold cut Italian sandwiches. Great for picnics, lunches and more. Made with salami, ham, provolone and more toppings.
Course Sandwich
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian sandwiches
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Press + Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 658kcal
Author Buy This Cook That


  • 6 ciabatta buns split
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup green olives chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/2 pound salami deli style, thin sliced
  • 1/2 pound ham deli style, thin sliced
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split the ciabatta buns and arrange them on a baking sheet. Brush the inside of each bun evenly with the olive oil. Toast in the warmed oven for 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl combine the chopped olives and Italian dressing. Let rest at room temperature while assembling the sandwiches.
  • On the bottom of each toasted ciabatta bun, arrange the deli meats, cheese, red onions, roasted peppers as desired.
  • Spoon some of the olive mixture on top of each sandwich, then top with the ciabatta top bun. 
  • Wrap each sandwich with wax paper or parchment paper.  Top the sandwiches with another baking pan and then weight it down with a heavy object like a cast iron skillet.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to overnight. Keep chilled until serving.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 2500mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 445mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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