Cuban Sandwiches (Cubanos)

A classic Cuban sandwich with mojo-marinated pork, swiss, pickles, and lots of mustard. And also lots of butter, but let’s try to focus on the calorie-free mustard. 

Cuban Sandwiches from The Food Charlatan

The other day I was discussing eye color with Charlotte’s friend Milo, who is four:

“What color are your mom’s eyes, Milo?” Green.

“What color are your dad’s eyes?” Yellow.

“Humans don’t have yellow eyes.”

“My dad’s not human.”

Cuban Sandwiches from The Food Charlatan

Aside from making the decision to start doing actual background checks on Charlotte’s friends, I’ve been making Cubanos. Lots, and lots, and lots of Cubanos.

Last week I shared the recipe for this Cuban Mojo-Marinated Pork, which is a totally awesome stand alone recipe. It is some of the tenderest, juiciest, crustiest meat I’ve ever had. But slap it on some buttery bread and smother it with swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard? Now we’re talkin.

Cuban Sandwiches from The Food Charlatan

I found the boiled ham in the lunchmeat section at the store. The recipe called for boiled ham, and after thinking to myself, “what the heck is boiled ham,” I asked someone in the meat department before even bothering to check. She led me right to this perfect little 6-ounce package that clearly says “boiled ham.”

Cuban Sandwiches from The Food Charlatan

Cuban Sandwiches from The Food Charlatan

I must have had a really stupid look on my face, because she pointed at the other lunchmeat packages: “See, you’ve got your honey ham, your smoked ham, lots of different kinds of ham. This one’s just boiled.” I felt idiotic and relieved that I didn’t have to ask for more information on boiled ham. Apparently a two word description of EXACTLY WHAT IT IS isn’t enough for me.

Cuban Sandwiches from The Food Charlatan

Make yourself at least one Cubano soon, or 4 or 5 if you’re normal. If you get really ambitious, you could even buy a food truck and start selling Cuban Sandwiches across the nation. It worked in Chef!

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Cuban Sandwiches (Cubanos)


  • 6 ounces thinly sliced boiled ham
  • Softened butter, for brushing
  • 6 six-inch soft baguettes or hero rolls, split lengthwise
  • Yellow mustard, for brushing
  • 3/4 pound thinly sliced Cuban Mojo-Marinated Pork, or store-bought roast pork
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese
  • 3 half-sour dill pickles, thinly sliced (I used regular ol' dill chips)


  1. Heat a skillet over medium, and add the sliced boiled ham. Cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until brown spots start to appear. Remove to a plate.
  2. Brush or spread softened butter over the cut side of each roll. Add to the skillet and brown the cut side of the bread until it is golden and starting to toast.
  3. When the bread is toasted, spread with mustard. Use as much as you like.
  4. Layer the pork, browned ham, Swiss, and sliced pickles. Top with the bread. Brush the top and bottom of the sandwich with butter.
  5. Grill the sandwiches in the same skillet, using another heavy skillet to press down the sandwich. Add cans or something else heavy if it's not being pressed well. If you have a George Foreman or a panini press, use that. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip the sandwich, squish it again, and cook for another 2-3 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it. You want to outside to be crisp and golden and the cheese melted.
  6. Slice in half and devour immediately!

Source:, who published the recipe from the chef who cooked for the movie “Chef.”

Here is the Cuban Mojo-Marinated Pork I used in the Cubanos. Soooo good:

Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork from The Food Charlatan

Classic Egg Salad Sandwich:

Classic Egg Salad Sandwich from The Food Charlatan

Reuben-Stuffed Crescent Rolls:

Reuben-Stuffed Crescent Rolls from The Food Charlatan


Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Naan:

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Naan from

More sandwiches!

Steak Sandwiches from Cravings of a Lunatic
Monte Cristo from She Wears Many Hats
Bacon Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches from Simply Delicious





  1. says

    Mmm these look so incredibly yummy! I remember I saw the movie Chef on the plane ride back from Paris and was positively starving by the end, and totally wishing I had one of these. I don’t know if this would work (maybe sans mustard) but warm cream cheese might be a nice addition too. If not, on the topic of sandwich recipes, there’s this deli near me that sells this sandwich called the Drakester and it’s basically hot turkey with melted pepper jack, cream cheese, roasted chili peppers, and I think mayo all on garlic sourdough. It’s amazing and I definitely recommend it as a hot sandwich variation to try! :D Thanks for sharing the recipe, Karen – can’t wait to make these!
    Beeta @ Mon Petit Four recently posted…Homemade Croissants: A Lesson in ViennoiserieMy Profile

  2. says

    Can you please make me a cubano? I had 4 recipe fails in the kitchen this weekend and all I’d like right now is a cubano (and maybe an extra side of that pork). Also – This isn’t the most embarrassing thing that could happen at a grocery store – you COULD have left a trail of sugar as you walked around the store…. just sayin’. ;)
    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen recently posted…Little Gem Spring Salad with Toasted Seeds & Herbed Goat CheeseMy Profile

  3. Shani says

    Made the Cuban Mojo marinated pork to make this sandwich today. So good. Kids ate the pork but deconstructed the sandwiches, paired it with papas rellenas (too much goodness.) Love this so much.

  4. Kelly says

    Ummm, did anyone else think of Andy Garcia when you saw “Cubano”??? Well, I did! Whew, I’ll take Andy Garcia anyday! This pork looks divine!

  5. Kevin says

    Growing up in Tampa, I had no idea that “other people” didn’t didn’t eat Cuban sandwiches at least once a week. Though I’m not Cuban, the food permeates the food scene in Tampa. For a variation, search for “Tampa Cuban Sandwich.” You will find a very similar recipe but it also includes Genoa salami. Local shops will ask “Dressed? Pressed? Pork?” Basically Dressed is usually a combo of mayo and mustard. Pressed is a sandwich press, like a panini without the ridges; this makes it hot, but usually not hot all the way through. And, believe it or not, the “Pork” is optional, though not for me. I am going to try your pork recipe. I love the look of the crust.

      • Kevin says

        Also forgot to mention that the bread makes a huge difference. The La Segunda Bakery here in Tampa has been making Cuban bread for 100 years. The loaves are about 3 ft long and cooked with a piece of palmetto leaf that gives it a perfect crease on top. Once you have this bread, it is difficult to have any other. It is also great just with a little butter and toasted for breakfast. Search Google Images for “la segunda bakery cuban bread” for some pictures.

  6. Megan says

    I am dying to make the pork and followed your link to the sandwiches. I figured I would make the pork for dinner and the sandwiches with the left overs. Can you recommend a side dish for the pork?

    • says

      Hey Megan! I think this pork would go great with some rice and beans if you wanted to take it in a Latin direction! And a big green salad. Or if you wanted it more American you could do mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes and green veggies. Hard to go wrong!

  7. Crissy says

    Wow, I’ve made these a couple times now and omg. Your recipe for the marinated pork is to die for! So much flavor! I love Cuban sandwiches so much and there is no better recipe than this one! Great recipe!

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