I first saw a muffuletta sandwich in Martha Stewart’s magazine years ago. Although her version displayed layers of meats and cheeses, it sparked a vegan idea. I eat an array of vegetable sandwiches, but I figured I could layer vegetables if Martha layered meat and cheese. So, I went to the farmers' market to find colorful vegetables to make my muffuletta sandwich.
Luckily, a beautiful round-shaped loaf of bread caught my attention. And then my imagination took over.
Nobel Bread, a local deli and bakery, bakes all its vegan bread from scratch. Luckily, they sell their bread at the farmer's markets each weekend. As a result, most of their bread does not contain oil or fat, just water, yeast, and flour.
For this particular sandwich, I selected a large round of sourdough bread.
The Muffuletta Sandwich is a sandwich with very little bread
Since I remove the inside of the bread, this muffuletta is technically low in carbs. Instead of filling the sandwich with meats and cheeses, I layered cooked and raw vegetables. However, the purpose of the bread is to hold all the vegetable layers in place and create a crunchy structure to house the vegetables.
The only bread consumed is the crusty outside. And what's better than the crusty outside of bread? To avoid wasting the inside of the bread, reserve it for dipping into stews and soups. Why waste the extra bread? Instead, use it for other recipes like bread crumbs.
First, cut a hole in the top of the bread and remove the center.
Next, using your fingers, remove all the bread inside the bread, digging into the sides. Do not, however, break through the crust on the sides ott the bottom of the loaf.
The Cooked and Raw Ingredients
I chose many fresh vegetables; the more colorful, the better.
- Portobello Mushrooms
- Red Bell Peppers
- White onions (or yellow onions)
- Yellow Squash
- Spinach or other greens of choice
Although I prefer grilled vegetables, sauteeing the vegetables offers an alternative for weather issues. I recommend grilling in the event the weather is conducive. You can also marinate the vegetables in advance if you plan to grill them. Ensure they are thoroughly cooked, so your vegetables are not too moist, avoiding soggy bread.
Layering the vegetables in the Muffuletta Sandwich
Once the bread is removed from the loaf, press the raw spinach into the base of the hollowed-out bread. Be sure to pack into the sides, creating a base of spinach.
When the spinach is packed down, add the tomatoes, slightly overlapping each slice.
Now, begin adding the grilled vegetables, one at a time, creating layer upon layer of vegetables, brushing with dressing between layers of vegetables.
Even though the vegetables fill to the top, add another layer of spinach, push it into the hollowed-out bread, and brush a final coat of dressing on the inside of the cut-out bread top.
Finally, wrap in aluminum foil, and bake in an oven for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Baking the sandwich makes it crusty on the outside and warm and inviting on the inside, yet feel free to eat it cold if you prefer.
To serve, unwrap the foil, and using a bread knife, cut wedges of Muffuletta Sandwich to enjoy!
Do you love vegan sandwiches? Here are some beautiful sandwiches to try
- French Dip Sandwiches
- Portobello Mushroom Sandwich
- Italian Sandwiches
- Vegetable Sandwich
- Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Sandwich
- Vegan Meatball Sub
- Oil-Free Hummus and Tabbouleh Wrap
- Buffalo Chickpea Wrap
- Veg Wrap
- Red Lentil Curry Wrap
- Falafel Burger
- Tofu Burger
- 1 loaf Vegan Sour Dough Bread
- 1 large sliced thin Hot House Tomato
- 1 large sliced Yellow Onion
- 1 medium Yellow Summer Squash sliced thin
- 1 medium sliced zucchini
- 3 cups Fresh Spinach depends on the size of bread
- 1 Red Pepper sliced thin
- 3 Portobello Mushrooms sliced thin
- ⅛ cup Pure Maple Syrup
- ¼ cup Dijon Mustard
Preparing the Bread
- Take a whole round loaf of bread, and cut the top off like you would a pumpkin.
- Gently remove all the bread from the top and base (I put the brad removed in a bag to use to dip in soup another day)
- Once all the bread is removed, you have a bowl; you are done.
- Leave a thin layer of bread inside the bowl and on the top.
- Set aside
Saute or Grill Vegetables
- Grill or Saute Portobello Mushrooms, Onions, Red Peppers, and Zucchini.
- Grill on a medium-low grill in a grill basket for 12 minutes.
- Leave the spinach and tomatoes uncooked (Raw).
- Separate on a platter so you can easily layer your sandwich.
- Mix Dijon mustard and maple syrup together.
- Using a spoon or a brush, coat the inside of the bottom of the bread bowl with dressing.
- Do the same to the top.
- You should have about ⅓ of the dressing left. Set it aside.
Layer the Vegetables
- Your layer's order is critical so your sandwich does not get soggy.
- Start with half the fresh spinach. You do not want cooked spinach (it will cook in the oven).
- Put the spinach into the corners of the bread base, making a layer of spinach on the bottom. Push down to pack in.
- =Then add the tomato slices, slightly overlapping each other.
- Now, add grilled/sautéed portobello mushrooms. Again, cover the bottom, pushing them into the sides in a single or double layer.
- Then add the red peppers; again, cover the base and push into the corners. It should be a single layer. Brush with dressing.
- Then layer onions the same way. Brish with dressing.
- Layer the summer squash; brush with dressing
- Layer the zucchini; brush with dressing.
- Top with the rest of the fresh spinach.
- The top has a hole, so don't worry if the spinach is falling out of the top.
- *It should be overflowing.
- Add the top of the bread, brush with dressing on the inside, and push any remaining spinach back inside the bowl.
- *The fresh spinach is a barrier for sautéed vegetables, so they do not make your bread soggy.
- Wrap and BakePre-heat over t0 400 degrees
- Wrap the entire bowl, top, and all in aluminum foil.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- Slice sections when outer bread cools enough to touch
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
I bought your book and I have a question about bread. You suggested ciabatta rolls for a sandwich. Are all the breads you suggest oil free? I am trying to find whole grain oil free fresh bread, but I am not having much luck. I love your recipes.
Hi Rosemary, yes, all the bread I use is oil-free. I find my fresh bread in the grocery bakery section. Of course, you do have to check the labels, but most of the bread in the bakery section where I live is made with only water, yeast, and seasonings. I am also lucky to have a vegan baker at my local farmer's market, open all year round.