Making a sandwich for me is already practically a romantic experience. So it was only natural that my affair with Mortadella inspired me to create the most romantic Italian Sub sandwich ever. Imagine beautiful bread, gorgeous cheese, and Italian Mortadella…I’m in love. It’s a little bit of work, but it’s truly worth it.

Decoding the Art of Italian Sub-Making: Mortadella, Burrata, and More

On my trip to Italy last fall, I fell absolutely in love with Mortadella. This magic ingredient, brimming with unique and delicious flavors, finds its way into just about everything, from traditional antipasto platters to iconic pasta dishes. However, it was its application in a humble sandwich where I found its true potential shining the brightest.

A Fabulous Picnic Companion: Teri’s Gourmet Italian Sub Recipe

I have long been a sandwich maker. Even as a teenager, I was all about creating every ingredient. Here’s the reality: ingredients matter. A sandwich is only as good as what you put into it! The recipe is not hard, but it does require a beautiful, soft Italian roll, some spectacular Burrata cheese (which is amazing with just about everything), the best Mortadella you can find, and I’ve taken it to the next level by adding a couple of my Magic Elixirs, including Pistachio Pesto.

Step-By-Step How To Build A Fabulous Italian Sub Sandwich

Peppadew Mayo

Adding to the repertoire of flavor, peppadew peppers blended with mayonnaise combine for a sweet-spicy sauce, providing a delightful contrast to the creamy burrata and savory Mortadella. We finished ours with arugula and Marinated Red Onions. The vibrant green, peppery notes of the arugula and the sweet tang of the onions balance the rich, meaty flavors beautifully.

Love at First Bite: The Magic of a Homemade Italian Sub

This masterpiece of a sandwich is perfect for taking on a picnic, but beware: whoever you serve it to is likely going to love you forever. There’s something truly special about crafting your own Italian sub, from carefully selecting the highest quality ingredients to layering each element with precision and care. The end result is not just a sandwich, but a labor of love: a bite-sized piece of Italy that tells a story of passion, tradition, and undying affection for good food.

If you make my Italian Sub, leave a comment and let me know. If you’re looking for more inspiration, sign up for our Friday Favorites newsletter, and follow along on PinterestInstagram, and TikTok to join in all the fun!

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A woman holding two an Italian sub cut into 2 halves.

Italian Sub Sandwich

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  • Author: Teri Turner
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Sandwiches
  • Method: Assembled
  • Cuisine: Italian


This gourmet Italian Sub features creamy Burrata, savory mortadella, and one of Teri’s special Magic Elixirs. It’s the perfect picnic recipe!


For the Pistachio Pesto 

  •     1 cup raw pistachios 
  •     ½ cup olive oil 
  •     3 cloves garlic, put through the press 
  •     1 cup fresh basil 
  •     1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley 
  •     3 tablespoons lemon juice 
  •     Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

For the Peppadew pepper mayo 

  •   1 cup mayonnaise  
  •   12 jarred peppadew peppers 
  •   2 tablespoons peppadew brine 

For the Sandwich 

  •   Italian roll, regular or gluten free 
  •   Olive oil 
  •   6 ounces mortadella 
  •   4 ounces burrata 
  •   Arugula 
  •   Salt 
  •   Freshly ground pepper 
  •   Marinated onions 


  1. Heat oven to 350°F  (if the bread is GF or you choose to toast it).  

Make the Pistachio Pesto.  

  1. In the food processor, pulse a cup of raw pistachios until coarsely chopped. Add the pressed garlic, basil, and parsley. When all of that is mixed well, slowly add a half cup of olive oil until combined well. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper and combine until well mixed. Depending on your desired consistency, add more olive oil, 2 tablespoons at a time (I usually end up adding 4 tablespoons), and set aside.  

Make the Peppadew Pepper Mayo. 

  1. In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, jarred peppadew peppers, and brine. Pulse until completely combined. Set aside. 

Make the sandwich.  

  1. Slice your bread lengthwise and scoop out the inner bread from the middle. If using gluten-free bread, you will want to toast it but if using regular bread, toasting will be optional, and you can skip the toasting step if you prefer it softer.   
  2. If toasting your bread, brush the cut sides of the bread with olive oil and place on a parchment-lined sheet tray, cut side up. Put in the oven for a few minutes until lightly toasted, or toasted to your preference. Remove the sheet tray from the oven and place the bread on a cutting board.  
  3. Spread a few tablespoons of the pistachio pesto on one of the bread halves and a few tablespoons of the peppadew pepper mayo on the other.  
  4. Add a few slices of mortadella on the peppadew pepper mayo, drizzling it in gentle ribbons. Add a handful of arugula on top of the pistachio pesto and salt your greens.  
  5. Tear a ball of burrata open and top the mortadella as evenly as you can and sprinkle it with ground pepper.  
  6. Add marinated onion on top of the arugula.  
  7. Swiftly close the sandwich by placing the pistachio pesto side over the other. 
  8. Cut the sandwich in two. Serve cold and enjoy! 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Italian Subs

What kind of bread should I use for my Italian sub?

The best kind of bread for an Italian sub is a soft Italian roll. It’s sturdy enough to hold all ingredients but soft enough to provide a satisfying bite.

Can I use a different cheese if I can’t find Burrata?

Yes, if Burrata cheese is unavailable, you can substitute it with fresh mozzarella or creamy goat cheese. However, the unique creaminess and texture of Burrata are what make this sandwich truly special.

What is Mortadella?

Mortadella is a large Italian sausage or luncheon meat made of finely hashed or ground, heat-cured pork, which incorporates at least 15% small cubes of pork fat. It is traditionally flavored with spices, including whole or ground black pepper, myrtle berries, and pistachios. Mortadella originated in Bologna, Italy, and is known for its smooth texture and distinctive pink color. It’s a key ingredient in many Italian dishes and is particularly delicious in sandwiches like the Italian sub.

Where can I find Mortadella?

Mortadella can be found at many specialty food stores, Italian delis, or in the deli section of well-stocked supermarkets. You may also order it online from gourmet food shops.

What are “Magic Elixirs”?

“Magic Elixirs” are specialty condiments and sauces that can be added to a dish to elevate its flavor. In this recipe, the magic elixirs include Pistachio Pesto and a unique blend of Peppadew Peppers and mayonnaise.

Do you have a copy of the No Crumbs Left cookbook yet?

Food is my love language, and this book is a guide to getting you in the kitchen with me, rolling up your sleeves, and reigniting your passion for everyday cooking. Woven throughout the book are my Teri’s Tips as well.

This cookbook is a love letter to my mother because it offers the recipe for a well-lived life.

Click here to grab your copy!