Cubanos are a pressed Cuban Sandwich recipe that pairs ham, pork, and melted Swiss with a slathering of yellow mustard, along with tangy dill pickles. They’re an easy lunch or dinner that everyone in the family will devour!

cuban sandwiches on a plate

The first time I tried a cubano was at a restaurant in Palo Alto called La Bodeguita Del Medio, back when I was a summer associate at the law firm where I would later go on to start my short-lived career as a practicing lawyer. I loved the crisp, pressed exterior, the melty cheese in the middle, and the savory ham—and I’m so glad it’s easy to replicate at home!

Cuban Sandwiches sliced into triangles and stacked

What is a Cuban Sandwich?

A Cuban sandwich, or cubano, is made with sliced deli ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and yellow mustard, all layered between Cuban bread that is sliced in half horizontally, submarine sandwich style. The sandwiched is grilled in a panini press, hot griddle, or frying pan. As the bread gets toasty on the outside, the cheese melts and the meat warms on the inside.

Cuban sandwiches were created in either Key West or Tampa, where a neighborhood known as Ybor City has historically been home to thousands of Cuban immigrants. As the Cuban population spread throughout Florida and beyond, so did the popularity of the Cuban sandwich.

In some parts of Florida where there were also large Italian populations, salami was added to the mix as well, so that's another variation to consider if you’re making these cubanos!

(We always love a good sandwich! Some of our other favorites are Indiana Pork Tenderloin SandwichThe Ultimate Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich, and the Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich.)

white plates with triangle cut slices of Cuban Sandwiches stacked on top of eachother

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Loaf of Cuban bread French bread, or Italian bread – Since Cuban bread is difficult to find outside of Florida, French bread or Italian bread are good substitutes.
  • Yellow mustard
  • Thinly sliced baked ham
  • Shredded or sliced Cuban Mojo Pork – Or use store-bought pork roast.
  • Sliced Swiss cheese
  • Sliced dill pickles – You’ll need enough to cover the whole sandwich so you get pickles in every bite!
  • Butter – Let the butter soften a bit so it’s easy to spread onto the bread.

Does a Cuban Sandwich Have Mayo?

People have very strong opinions about this! Some cubano recipes call for mustard and mayo to be mixed together and spread onto the bread, while traditionalists call for mustard alone. I prefer skipping the mayo, but if you want to give it a try, you can add a few tablespoons to the mustard in a small bowl and stir them together.

white plates with triangle cut and stacked Cuban Sandwiches

How to Make Cubanos

Here’s how to make your own Cuban sandwiches at home!

  1. Cut the bread. Use a serrated knife to slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally.
  2. Assemble. Spread the mustard on the cut sides of the bread. On the bottom half, layer the sliced ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, and pickles. Top with the other half of the  bread, then cut it into 4 smaller sandwiches.
  3. Grill. Spread butter onto the top and bottom of the bread. Grill the sandwiches on a panini press, griddle, or in a frying pan with a heavy skillet on top to press the sandwiches flat. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until nicely toasted; flip and cook the other side if you’re using a griddle or frying pan.
  4. Serve. Once the exterior of the sandwiches is golden brown and crisp and the cheese has melted, the sandwiches are done. Cut them in half and serve.
stacked Cuban Sandwiches on plates

Tips for Success

This recipe is easy as can be, but here are a few additional hints and tips!

  • No panini press? No problem! You can make Cuban sandwiches in a hot griddle or frying pan. Place a heavy cast iron skillet on top, then weigh it down with some cans so it presses the sandwiches evenly. You will need to flip the sandwiches to cook both sides, but this method totally works.
  • No leftover pork? If you haven't made Cuban mojo pork and don't have any pork roast leftovers on hand, you can usually get roast pork at the deli.
  • Get the right mustard. Use yellow American mustard, not a spicy, grainy mustard for the most authentic cubano.
a sliced and stacked cubanos sandwich on a white plate

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

If you end up with leftover cubanos, you can wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or foil, or transfer them to an airtight storage container. They’ll keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You can eat the sandwiches cold, warm them up in the microwave, or heat them in a 350ºF oven until they’re warmed through.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

You can freeze these sandwiches for up to 3 months. Make sure they’re wrapped well; for even reheating, I recommend letting them thaw in the refrigerator first.

Cuban Sandwiches sliced into triangles and stacked

More Hot, Meaty Sandwiches You'll Enjoy

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Cubanos (Cuban Sandwich Recipe)

5 from 18 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 sandwiches
These Cuban sandwiches are meaty, cheesy, toasty, and a cinch to make!


  • 1 loaf Cuban bread, or French or Italian bread
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ½ pound thinly sliced baked ham
  • ¾ pound shredded or sliced Cuban Mojo Pork or store-bought pork roast
  • 8 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
  • sliced dill pickles (enough to cover each sandwich)
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, softened


  • Slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally.  Spread the mustard on the cut side of the bread, then layer the sandwich with sliced ham on the bottom, then the roast pork, followed by the swiss cheese and pickles.  Top with the other half of the loaf of bread and cut into 4 smaller sandwiches for easy grilling.  
  • Brush the top and bottom of the sandwiches with the softened butter.  Then grill the sandwiches on a panini press, griddle, or in a frying pan using a heavy skillet to press down the sandwich.  You might even want to add a heavy can of beans or something to the skillet to make sure the sandwich is being pressed well. 
  • Cook until toasted (around 3 minutes), then flip and continue to cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.  The exterior of the sandwich should be golden brown and crisp while the cheese inside is melted and the meat is hot.
  • Slice each Cuban sandwich in half and serve.


  • Storage: Wrap leftovers tightly with plastic wrap or foil, or transfer to an airtight storage container. They’ll keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You can eat the sandwiches cold, warm them up in the microwave, or heat them in a 350ºF oven until they’re warmed through.
  • Freezing: You can freeze these sandwiches for up to 3 months. Make sure they’re wrapped well; for even reheating, I recommend letting them thaw in the refrigerator first.


Calories: 907kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 2029mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 956IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 549mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Cubanos are my favorite sandwich (at least right now) and John used to say he didn't like dill pickles until he had them on a Cuban sandwich. Now I have to guard mine from him. This sandwich looks delicious and has me craving this beautiful sandwich!

  2. 5 stars
    I LOVE dill pickles!! Cubanos are always such a treat when you're lucky enough to order one from a restaurant who really knows what they are doing. Now I can make them right at home! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious sandwich and perfect for a mid week meal. Absolutely add the pickles. I don’t think a Cuban sandwich would be the same without them!

  4. 5 stars
    My sis-in-law tried to tell me that a Cuban Sandwich is just a grilled cheese with ham and I explained, no it's so much more! Your sandwich is perfectly grilled and looks like the ultimate - you're making me hungry!

  5. 5 stars
    Brooks absolutely loved these! And I am all out of the mojo pork because I couldn't stop eating that either!

  6. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite sandwiches because I love pork and pickles. My panini maker went to heaven and I can't believe I didnt think to try them with a weighted skillet on top. What a great tip!

  7. 5 stars
    I love Cubanos, it's one of the tastiest sandwiches ever created! Can you tell I am a big fan? I need to put this on my menu for next week. My family is going to love it!

  8. Thank you for the Cuban pork and Cuban Sandwich recipes. Growing up in Tampa I experienced a lot of Cuban food -- in high school we even enjoyed Cuban cuisine at the school's cafeteria. I still mourn the closing of many wonderful Cuban restaurants in the area.

  9. Aww amazing!!! I’ve loved following your blog – your amazing recipes (many of which I’ve tried and loved!), beautiful photos and refreshing writing! Congratulations!

  10. You cannot have a real Cuban sandwich unless you go to Ybor city in Tampa where it originated back in 1930-1940. The sandwich is not pressed and the bread is the secret.

    The bread is only made in Tampa at Fadeos or La Segunda bakeries. If you want more information contact me.

  11. This is a great recipe as written and produces a flavorful authentic Cubans.  Don’t forget the salami. 😉

    The sandwiches can also be baked in a preheated 400* oven.  Butter the outside of the bread as per the recipe.  Place sandwiches on a non-stick baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. 

    As the pan heats, the bottom of the sandwich will brown and crispen. (Note: Preheating the baking sheet will shorten the cooking time and brown and crispen the bread faster).  Ovens vary, so you will have to keep an eye on the sandwiches. About 7 minutes per side is what I have found.  Flip the sandwiches and with a firm spatula, press down firmly on the sandwich.  Cook until desired crispness.  Press down firmly with the spatula again before serving. 

  12. This is not a Cuban sandwich. Cuban sandwiches were never pressed plus some of the ingredients are not right. I was born in Ybor city where the sandwich started. My whole family is from this area and agree with me. They have been here since 1889.