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Gooey Grilled Chicken Sandwich Muffuletta-Style
Food,  Recipes

Best Easy Grilled Chicken Sandwich – Muffuletta-Style

This is the best, easy grilled chicken sandwich muffuletta-style recipe for you to enjoy on your patio this summer!

Is the name Muffuletta or Muffaletta?

Tomato, tamatta, muffuletto, muffaletta?

There are several ways to pronounce and spell muffuletta. Some theories on the variations are that they stem from the Italian word muffa (mold) or, more likely, from the Latin term muffula (small sack or mitten).

How the heck did this become a sandwich?

Where did the Muffuletta Sandwich originate?

According to Wikipedia, muffuletta has origins in Sicily but is truly unique to New Orleans.

The “muffuletto” loaf came to New Orleans from Sicily, where it is used during religious festivities. These loaves are characterized by a soft and spongy interior and lightly golden, crispy crust. Most are large, round, often flattened, and come topped with aromatic seeds like sesame or fennel.

The Muffuletta sandwich is believed to have been created in 1906 at the Central Grocery in New Orleans by  Salvatore Lupo, the delicatessen owner, who was a Sicilian immigrant. 

As the story goes, farmers would stop at the Central Grocery at lunchtime, buy a loaf of “muffuletto” bread, sliced cold cuts, olives, and cheese, and eat them standing up or balanced on their laps. In order to make it easier for customers to hold everything, Mr. Lupo decided to put all the ingredients together on a sandwich. 

The rest is New Orleans history.

Today, the traditional-style Muffuletta sandwich consists of a crusty loaf of bread split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated chopped olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella.  

What’s not to like?

Traditional Muffuletta Sandwich

What goes well with muffuletta?

I decided to amp up the veggies and flavor with my menu!

Traditional Muffuletta is served with many different sides.  Chips, potato salad, carrot sticks, deviled eggs, and really any kind of summertime salad works.  I gotta say, most of these sound pretty boring.

My Grilled Chicken Sandwich Muffuletta Style is part of my Labor Day Menu.  The sides I included with the menu are Grilled Cauliflower Salad and Magic Grilled Broccoli.  These are grilled salads that you can serve warm or at room temperature. 

These salads come together very quickly to save you time! You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen and miss out on your company!  You can even make these salads in advance and serve them when you are ready to eat.

The dishes are incredibly flavorful, beautiful to serve, and are quite the surprise to any grilling menu.  And, as an added bonus, grilling the veggies keeps the heat out of your kitchen in the warm months of summer. Whew!

Is this a real Muffuletta recipe?

Well, not exactly in the traditional sense of a Muffuletta sandwich, no.

A Muffuletta (muff-uh-LAH-tuh) – also spelled Muffaletta – is a classic New Orleans sandwich that consists of a large wide bread, filled with layers of a marinated olive salad, cheese, and Italian charcuterie. It is typically pressed and served cold or at room temperature.

A more traditional recipe would be Emeril’s Muffuletta recipe on the Food and Wine website.

Grilled chicken is not a standard traditional ingredient, but it is healthier than salami!

Why does this recipe use chicken? 

Even though the original recipe does not have chicken, I added it to this recipe. 

Honestly, I love grilling out and also love a good olive salad.  Putting these yummies together seemed like a good idea, so I adapted this recipe for an incredible, flavorful taste sensation that I think makes this the best easy grilled chicken sandwich ever.

Is this a recipe for chicken breasts?

You can use chicken breasts as listed in the ingredients.  But you could also use chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat or have them on hand.  The cooking time may be shorter depending on the size of the chicken thighs.

How do you make this grilled muffuletta sandwich?

Gooey Grilled Chicken Sandwich Muffuletta-Style
  • Preheat your grill to high.
  • Pound the chicken to about ½ inch even thickness. 
  • Brush both sides of the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook on grill 4-5 minutes until golden. Flip over and cook another 3-4 minutes or to 155F internal temperature as it will continue to cook off the grill.  Remove from grill and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • While chicken is resting, slice the rolls horizontally almost all the way through leaving an inch connected. Place 1 slice of provolone on each bottom half and top with some olive relish.
  • Cut the chicken in ½ inch strips and place sliced chicken on top of the relish, add more relish, and another piece of cheese. Tightly close the sandwiches and wrap in aluminum foil.
  • Then grill the sandwiches with a cast iron skillet or bricks on top of the sandwiches to press. Grill for 2 minutes, turn over replacing the skillet or bricks and continue to grill for 2 – 3 more minutes or until the bread is quite crisp and the cheese oozes.
  • Serve family style with some delicious sides.
Olive relish for Muffuletta Sandiwich

How do you make the olive relish?

  • Cut the bell peppers and serrano chile in half lengthwise. Remove stems and seeds and flatten with your hand so they can lay fairly flat on the grill.
  • Cut the onion into ½ inch thick slices to make rings. Brush the bell pepper, chile and onion slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  • Using a grill pan over direct heat, grill onion slices until slightly charred and cooked through. Then grill the chile and peppers skin side down until skin is charred. Remove and let cool slightly.  Then peel and discard skin and dice. Roughly chop the onions.
  • Combine diced peppers, diced chile, coarsely chopped grilled onion, garlic, olives, celery, capers, vinegar, 2Tbsp oil, parsley, and oregano in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
  • Better yet, make one day ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let come to room temperature before using.

What are the ingredients in this best easy grilled chicken sandwich?

  • red bell peppers
  • yellow bell peppers
  • Serrano chiles
  • red onions
  • cloves garlic
  •  green olives
  • celery
  • capers
  • red wine vinegar
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • fresh oregano leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • hero rolls
  • provolone cheese
  • boneless chicken breasts with or without skin

Share these easy Grilled Chicken Muffuletta-Style sandwiches!

Enjoy these Easy Grilled Chicken Muffuletta-Style Sandwiches on your patio with your friends.  Don’t forget to add a crisp white wine or luscious rosé to the menu!

Your friends will love you all the more for putting smiles on their faces!

Labor Day Grill Menu Grilled Chicken Muffuletta Style

Grilled Chicken Muffuletta Style Sandwiches

Tangy chicken sandwiches from your grill.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 8

Equipment

  • grill
  • grill pan or vegetable grill basket

Ingredients
  

Spicy Olive Relish (See Note)

  • 2 medium red bell peppers grilled, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 medium yellow bell peppers grilled, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 serrano chiles grilled and finely diced
  • 2 medium red onions cut into ½ inch thick slices, grilled, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3/4 c green olives pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery finely diced
  • 3 Tbsp capers drained
  • 1/3 c red wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sandwiches

  • 6 – 8 soft hero rolls, one per person (See Note)
  • 12 -16 thick slices provolone cheese, 2 per sandwich
  • 6 Large Boneless Chicken Breasts, skin on or off, grilled and sliced 1/2 inch thick

Instructions
 

For the Spicy Olive Relish:

  • Heat your grill to high (450F) and prepare to cook over direct heat.
  • Cut the bell peppers and serrano chile in half lengthwise. Remove stems and seeds. Place peppers on cutting board and flatten with your hand. Just so they can lay fairly flat on the grill. Cut the onion into ½ inch thick slices to make rings. Brush the bell pepper, chile, and onion slices with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  • Place a grill pan or basket over direct heat (see note), grill onion slices 3-4 minutes a side until slightly charred and cooked through. Set aside. Grill the peppers skin side down until skin is charred 7 – 9 minutes. Remove and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes. Then peel. Discard skin and dice peppers.
  • Combine diced peppers, diced chile, coarsely chopped grilled onion, garlic, olives, celery, capers, vinegar, 2Tbsp oil, parsley, and oregano in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
  • Better yet, make one day ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let come to room temperature before using.

For the Sandwiches:

  • Heat the grill to high.
  • Place chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, rolling pin or skillet, pound the chicken lightly to an even thickness. About ½ inch.
  • Brush both sides of the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • If the chicken breast still has skin, cook on grill skin side down 4-5 minutes until golden. Flip over and cook another 3-4 minutes or to 155F internal temperature. ( It will finish cooking another 10 degrees or so after removed from the grill.) Remove from grill and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • While chicken is resting, slice the rolls horizontally almost all the way through leaving an inch connected. Place 1 slice of provolone on each bottom half and top with some olive relish.
  • Discard chicken skin if you prefer. Cut the chicken in ½ inch strips. Place sliced chicken on top of the relish, then top the chicken with more relish, and another piece of cheese. Tightly close the sandwiches and wrap each sandwich in aluminum foil.
  • Place 4 sandwiches, foil fold side down, on the grill close together. Place a cast iron skillet or bricks on top of the sandwiches. Grill for 2 minutes, remove the skillet or bricks and turn over. Replace the skillet or bricks and continue to grill for 2 – 3 more minutes or until the bread is quite crisp and the cheese oozes. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
  • Place foil-wrapped sandwiches on a platter and serve family style.

Notes

Notes – Recommendation: Make the Spicy Olive Relish a day in advance and place in a covered container overnight for the flavors to meld.
Use a roll that is crustier than a hamburger bun. The relish will soak into the bread and make it soggy if you use an overly soft bun. Careful when you slice them to leave an edge intact.
If you do not have a grill pan, use aluminum foil so the onion does not drop through the grate.
Keyword chicken, grill

Cheers Y’all!

P.S. Sharing is Caring. Please share this on your social media sites or send a link to a friend so they can enjoy this recipe post as much as you did! When you try it, let me know how it worked for you.

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