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An Authentic Cuban Sandwich is a gloriously grilled sandwich filled with ham, pork, (sometimes salami), Swiss cheese, pickles, and yellow mustard on Cuban bread!

Authentic Cuban Sandwich

The Cuban Sandwich is a Florida tradition. I live in the Tampa Bay Area and this tasty meat and cheese filled deliciousness can be found everywhere! And for good reason it is divine! In many area’s of Tampa you can smell that aroma of Cuban bread baking and what a treat.  Just slather on a little butter while it’s hot and oh my goodness!!!

But when you take that bread and pile on the ingredients that build this sandwich and you really have yourself, in what many Floridians will say, is the best sandwich in America!

 Cuban Ingredients

Cuban Sandwich Pilings

  • Cuban Bread
  • Yellow Mustard (Don’t try to get fancy)
  • Pickles
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Ham
  • Cuban or Mojo Roasted Pork
  • Genoa Salami (NOW this one is controversial) – optional (I do not use)
  • Butter

The sandwich is believed to have made it’s debut in Florida in the late 1800’s. Cuban immigrants began traveling and moving into the area. It is said that this was a common lunch item enjoyed in workers cafes. Some say the salami addition became popular in the Tampa area because of the Italian influence also present. I say I have tried it both ways and like it either way – I know gasp of the die hards! When making the sandwich, if you want to leave off the salami, increase the ham portion to substitute for it.

WHAT is your vote Salami – NO or YES??

Let me know in the comments or head over & vote on Facebook!

Now the last and final part to making this sandwich GREAT is the Butter & Pressing it! So the real deal is NO grill marks. My press has them so to keep it real, I use a cast iron skillet and put something heavy on top like a foil wrapped brick or in my case other cast irons skillets. Flip and do the other side!

pressing cuban sandwich

After it’s pressed you are ready take a big bite out of this masterpiece! I would love to hear if you make this one at home! They are so delicious and easy to make! A little taste of Florida culture in every bite!

 Authentic Cuban

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  Authentic Cuban Sandwich

Authentic Cuban Sandwich
4.86 from 14 votes

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Authentic Cuban Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Nikki Lee
An Authentic Cuban Sandwich is grilled sandwich filled with ham, pork, (sometimes salami), Swiss cheese, pickles, and yellow mustard on Cuban bread!
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  • 10 inch Cuban Bread
  • 2 tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 3 ounces Swiss Cheese, sliced
  • 4 ounces Ham, sliced
  • 3 ounces Roasted Pork, (I can find this in my deli)
  • 2 ounces genoa salami, (optional) Use 2 more ounces of Ham if not using - I do not use
  • 3 ounces Pickles, slices thin
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • Preheat a panini press or a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. 
  • Lay bread, open side up, on a work surface and spread the bottom and top halves with mustard. Layer top half with Swiss cheese and pickles. On bottom half, layer ham, Spanish pork, and salami (if using). Close sandwiches, pressing gently.
  • Butter top and bottom of sandwich, place on panini press and apply moderate pressure until crisp on both sides, about 8 minutes. If using a cast iron skillet or griddle, melt some butter and add sandwich. Use a second pan to press on them as the first side crisps. When crisp, flip sandwich and continue cooking while pressing until crisp on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Slice sandwiches in half diagonally and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1/2 sandwich Calories: 297kcal (15%) Carbohydrates: 7g (2%) Protein: 21g (42%) Fat: 20g (31%) Saturated Fat: 10g (63%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 85mg (28%) Sodium: 816mg (35%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 1g (1%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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  1. I used to love ❤️ eating Cubans all time when I was in La Habana. The only thing I liked more was a plate of ropa Viejas, los morros y cristianos y plantano maduro, and wash it down with a Coca-Cola.

  2. I use to live in Pinellas county and over by the Clearwater airport there was this tiny shack that made the Best Cuban sandwich I ever had

  3. I got a taste of a Cuban Sandwich an love it only to find it was not very authentic. Working in the airline industry with several people of Cuban and Hispanic descent from the Miami area, I started researching this sandwich. There are two items which are KEY. First the Cuban bread, (which I can not get in the Memphis area) and next is the Mojo marinade which can be made if you can get bitter or sevile oranges that can be ordered on line.

    1. Sam, I am not sure if you have Publix supermarkets in Memphis. I know there are some in the TN area. Check to see if they carry Spanish pork in the deli, if so. It is a really great option for a Cuban. They also make Cuban bread. It’s not exactly like the loaf you get in Tampa but it is really good. You can also mojo marinades in the store that do a pretty good job. I have a slow cooker mojo pork that works pretty well. Marinate the meat for a few hours for even more flavor.

  4. 5 stars
    I have lived in Tampa and have sampled many varieties of Cuban Sandwiches over the years. This recipe nailed it. One of the best I have ever eaten, the rest of the family echoed the same sentiment. The pork seasoning and of course the baked Cuban Bread is key though with this sandwich. Very well done, we’ll be doing this again.

    1. Thank you, Randy! It’s hard to beat a Cuban Sandwich. I love living in this area! Such amazing food and we are so spoiled with delicious Cuban bread!

    1. It depends on where you live. Publix usually carries it. Their bakery-style is delicious not the same as what you find here in the Tampa area but it is really good. Walmart also has it too, but it may vary based on location. I like to buy the Casino brand at Publix as it is made in a Tampa bakery.

  5. I live in Apollo Beach Fl south of Tampa and Plant City I think the best Cuban I have ever had is from a visit to Miami ! I too have made them but there is just something about going to Miami and sitting down in a Cuban restaurant and enjoy! Read a different recipe of yours about shrimp salad Sandwiches and your grandparents how wonderful I have many food memories from my grandparents home I grew up in Connecticut and seafood was a plenty and some of the best we summer at the cape cod and eat seafood daily! Nice to know others that relate family with food ! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Karen! You aren’t too far from me. I do love memories we make surrounded by love ones and the table! I appreciate you stopping in to say hello and connecting with me. I still haven’t made it to the Connecticut area. My husband and I were just talking about hopefully being able to go soon. Seafood twice a day sounds glorious!

  6. I lived in Miami for several years and came up with my own version when we moved back to Georgia, I use ham and not salami. Thank goodness for Publix baking the “authentic Cuban bread” which I use, I also use a cast iron pan with foil in between it and the sandwich for what I call my “redneck panini maker!”

    1. I also use ham as well! And that goodness for Publix. 🙂 And our cast iron pan panini makers 😉

  7. We lived near Tampa, Florida, for almost 6 years. Hubby discovered the Cuban Sandwich there and fell in LOVE with it. While there, I did learn how to make it, and even made some when we moved back to NC. However, it’s been a few years since I have made these for him. I am going to print this off and make for him again. He will be thrilled!

    Regarding the salami, he loves it, but one of the folks in the church where we were serving, who was Cuban, said it just WAS. NOT. DONE. LOL – so we are half and half on using it – sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I have enjoyed a Cuban when I was down in Florida and enjoyed it very much. I don’t think it had salami. I am going to have to see if I can find Cuban bread here in Michigan. I may have to substitute a different kind.

  9. Thank you for the intro to the Cuban. All the times I’ve traveled to Florida, I had no idea the Cuban was a tradition. It does indeed look and sound scrumptious.

    1. You are so welcome! They are such a simple but delicious sandwich! I’m from the Tampa area so I may take them for granted a bit! They are on most sandwich shop menus. My family loves when I make them at home too!

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Nikki, I like this sandwich both ways, the salami gives it a little something extra, looks delicious!!!

  11. 5 stars
    I’m a firm believer that only folks around Tampa know a true Cuban sandwich, so THANK YOU for sharing!