italian salami sandwiches

I’ve wanted to make these sandwiches for well over a year. Seriously, they’ve been hanging around in the back of my brain waiting for the perfect time. What better time than now? Sandwiches sound like the perfect thing to eat in the days leading up to Christmas and if you cut these into smaller pieces, they’re the perfect appetizer or nibbles for a sandwich tray!

I used a half loaf of my homemade focaccia bread for the sandwiches, but if you’re in a rush you can use store bought bread. Just be sure to get a nice crusty french loaf, ciabatta, or some other really strong bread. The sandwich needs a sturdy bread to hold up to all of the goodies.

I also had a half jar of pesto left in my fridge, so I dressed the sandwiches with that, but a nice red wine vinaigrette is a great alternative. Just sprinkle a little vinaigrette on the open sides of the bread to keep things moist.

So, before you spend $40 on a sandwich tray, consider making your own. Once you have the ingredients ready the assembly takes only a few short minutes. …but hey, I know how stressful the holiday season is, so I won’t give you the evil eye if you don’t make your own ;)

Italian Salami Sandwiches

Italian Salami Sandwiches

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Italian Salami Sandwiches

Italian Salami Sandwiches with pesto, provolone cheese, and roasted red peppers on homemade focaccia bread.

Total Cost $7.93 recipe / $1.32 serving
Servings 6


  • 1/2 loaf homemade focaccia $0.54
  • 1/2 medium red onion $0.45
  • 1/2 cup white or red wine vinegar $0.25
  • 1/2 Tbsp white sugar $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 6 Tbsp pesto $0.99
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.25
  • 1/3 lb. Italian dry salami $2.33
  • 6 slices provolone cheese $1.70
  • 1/2 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers $1.00
  • 2 cups spinach $0.37


  1. At some point before making the sandwiches (at least one hour ahead of time, up to a couple days ahead), make the quick pickled red onions. Thinly slice the red onions and place them in a bowl or jar. Mix together the vinegar, salt, and sugar until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions, making sure they’re all covered. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to a couple of days.
  2. When you’re ready to make the sandwiches, slice the focaccia bread into six pieces. Cut each piece through the middle to form a top and bottom. Spread the pesto over each bottom pieces (1 tablespoon for each piece) and thinly spread the mayonnaise over the top pieces (about a 1/2 tablespoon each).
  3. Layer the sandwich toppings on. They don’t have to be in any particular order, but I layered mine as follows: salami, provolone, pickled red onion, roasted red peppers, then spinach. See photos below for more details.
  4. Place the top pieces of focaccia back over the sandwich filling and slice through again to separate the six sandwiches. If you’re making a sandwich platter, you can further cut each sandwich into 2-4 pieces. Place a toothpick through each one to hold the sandwich together.

Italian Salami Sandwiches

Step By Step Photos

pickled onions
At some point before you make the sandwiches (at least an hour ahead, up to a couple days ahead), make the pickled onions. The pickled onions are a little bit tart, a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and a LOT yum. They add just the right amount of tang to balance the fatty salami. Slice the onions really thin and then pour the mixture of vinegar, salt, and sugar over top. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until the onions have softened (they’ll also turn bright pink).

When you’re ready to make the sandwiches, cut your half focaccia loaf into 6 pieces. This large piece of focaccia is about 9 x 18 inches.

open focaccia
Cut each piece through the center to make a top half and a bottom half. Lay the pieces out so that the edges touch – as if they were still one large piece. Spread the pesto over the bottom pieces and the mayo over the top pieces.

sandwich filling
This is what I filled my sandwich with – a mixture of stuff I had and stuff that I bought. Italian dry salami, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, pickled onions, and spinach.

Layer the salami pieces all over the bottom of the bread. I had bought a half pound of salami, but only ended up using about 1/3 lb. and that was plenty.

Layer on your six slices of provolone…

onions peppers
And then the pickled onions and roasted red peppers. Make sure to let the excess moisture drip off of both the onions and peppers before putting them on the sandwich. You don’t want a soggy sandwich. I only layered half of the peppers before taking the picture so that you could see the onions, too.

roasted red peppers
Here is a closer look at the roasted red peppers if you’re not sure what to look for at the store. I only used about half of this 12 oz. jar. I’ll save the rest for salads, sandwiches, or soup. You can usually find these peppers near salad dressing and pickles, or near canned artichoke hearts. Or just ask for help from a store employee :)

Lastly, layer on the spinach.

top sandwiches
Put the “lids” back on the sandwiches and use the knife to cut through the centers so that you have six separate sandwiches. If you want appetizers, cut each one into two to four pieces and use a tooth pick to keep them together.

Italian Salami Sandwiches
They make a cute little appetizer!