Authentic Cuban Sandwich Recipe – How to Make a Cubano

Traditional Cuban recipe – Added October, 2001There are plenty of recipes to make a Cuban sandwich, but only one recipe is traditional.  An authentic Cuban will not have mayonnaise, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, bell peppers, or jalapeños.  Some Cuban restaurants don’t add mustard or pickles, but they will never leave off the pork. It’s the flavor that really ties the whole sandwich together.You can also add more ham and roast pork than what’s called for below, depending on the size of the slices or your appetite.

Prep Time: 5 minutes – Cook Time: 5 minutes – Total Time: 10 minutes

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Cuban Sandwich Tips & Variations:

1. You can add or leave off ingredients as you like, but the recipe above is used if you want to make a traditional Cuban. The most common changes I’ve seen is people leaving off the mustard or pickles.

2. In Tampa, Florida, where many believe the Cuban sandwich was created, it is common to include salami. Although the recipe above is for a Miami-style Cuban, it is also considered traditional or authentic to add salami.

3. One of the most popular variations is the medianoche, my favorite way to eat a Cuban sandwich. Medianoche is the Spanish word for “midnight”, and as the name suggests, people would often have it as a midnight snack coming back from a night of dancing or after a movie. The medianoche is sometimes smaller, and the only real difference is the use of a sweet yellow egg bread (similar to challah). Some online Latin grocery stores sell medianoche bread.

4. You can purchase an electric sandwich press online. Don’t use a panini grill. They don’t heat the sandwiches evenly, and a real Cuban sandwich doesn’t have those little lines grilled into the bread.

I buy my sandwich presses from the Cuban Food Market. Best of all, I can use them for any type of pressed sandwich.

5. Always try to use slow-roasted pork. But if you don’t have much time to cook, many supermarkets sell a pre-cooked roasted pork such as Hormel Pork Roast Au Jus in their refrigerated meat section. Simply heat it up, then slice it.

6. If you don’t have time to bake bread, you can buy fresh French bread. But there are also websites that sell actual Cuban bread from Miami, click here to see what is available for purchase online.



Cuban Sandwich Recipe

Cuban Sandwich

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Cuisine Caribbean, Cuban


  • 4 slices roast pork
  • 3 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 3 or 4 pickle slices
  • Yellow mustard not spicy or dijon
  • 1/3 cut Cuban bread hard crust or French bread