The best Cuban Sandwich recipe is made with tender mojo roasted pork, ham, cheese, and pickles. It will have your mouth watering before it’s even assembled!

If you love sandwich recipes, try our Monte Cristo Sandwich, Croque Madame, or a Lobster Roll!

A traditional Cuban Sandwich sliced in half and placed on top of another sandwich, made with ciabatta rolls.

I can never pass up a good Cuban Sandwich when I see one on the menu, and after some testing I’m happy to share this easy Cubano recipe you can make from home! A Cuban sandwich typically contains ham and pork with a mojo marinade, cheese, mustard and pickles, toasted into a pressed sandwich.

How to make a Cuban Sandwich:

Marinate Pork: Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides. Add marinade ingredients to a ziplock bag or a bowl. Add pork and massage meat in marinade to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to one day.

A pork tenderloin in a marinade inside a ziplock bag to make the best Cuban Sandwich recipe.

Grill Pork: Using a grill, grill pan, or a skillet over medium-high heat, cook pork loin for 7-10 minutes on each side, rotating slowly, until internal temperature reaches 145°F.

A pork tenderloin being cooked in a cast iron pan.

Slice: Remove pork to a plate, cover, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly for sandwiches.

A cooked pork tenderloin sliced on a cutting board for a Cubano sandwich.

Assemble Sandwiches: To make the best cuban sandwich, slice cuban bread roll or ciabatta rolls in half horizontally. Lightly butter the outsides of the bread. Spread mustard on each slice of bread. Layer a slice of cheese, pickles, ham, salt and pepper, pork, then cheese again. Sandwich with the top piece of bread.

Four images in a collage showing how to assemble the best Cuban Sandwich with mustard, cheese, pickles, and pork tenderloin.

Cook Sandwiches in a hot panini press or in a hot skillet, pressing them down with a cast iron or heavy pan on top to toast them into a panini-style sandwich.

Three easy Cuban Sandwiches assembled and being cooked in a hot cast iron skillet.

Serve with a side of potato chips, black beans, French fries, Sweet Potato Fries, or Citrus Fruit Salad.

A Cuban Sandwich sliced in half to show the layers inside, on a plate with potato chips.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Marinate pork up to two days before cooking.

To Freeze: Let the sandwiches cool, wrap them in aluminum foil, and place in a freezer bag or container to freeze for up to 2 months. Rewarm in the oven.

Recipe Variations:

  • Bread: A traditional Cuban sandwich is made with a long, crusty loaf of Cuban bread. We like to use ciabatta as it’s easier to find, but a loaf of French Bread or artisan bread would work, or make the Cuban Bread from scratch.
  • Pork Shoulder: Cuban sandwiches are often made with braised pork shoulder. I prefer to use tenderloin because it cooks much quicker, but leftover pork from carnitas or pulled pork would work great!
  • Pickles: You can use pickles sliced lengthwise or pickle chips, whichever you have on-hand. You can also substitute bread and butter pickles instead of dill pickles if you prefer.

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Recipe

A traditional Cuban Sandwich sliced in half and placed on top of another sandwich, made with ciabatta rolls.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Marinate/Refrigeration 1 hour
Total 1 hour 40 minutes
Save Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

For the Pork:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin *
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice and zest from ½ an orange
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika , or regular
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the Sandwich:

  • 8 ciabatta rolls *
  • 3 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup pickles *, dill or bread and butter pickle slices
  • 8 slices ham , deli smoked or honey mustard

Instructions
 

Marinate and Cook Pork:

  • Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides. Add marinade ingredients to a ziplock bag or a bowl. Add pork and massage meat in marinade to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to one day. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow to come to room temperature.
  • On a grill, in a grill pan or in a skillet over medium high heat, cook pork loin for 7-10 minutes on each side, rotating slowly, until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove to a plate, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly for sandwiches.

Assemble Sandwiches:

  • Slice ciabatta rolls or Cuban bread roll in half horizontally. Lightly butter the ousides of the bread. Spread mustard on each inside slice of bread. Layer a slice of cheese, pickles, ham, salt and pepper, pork, then cheese again. Sandwich with top piece of bread.
  • Cook sandwich in a hot panini press or in a hot skillet, pressing them down with a cast iron or heavy pan on top to toast them into a panini-style sandwich.

Notes

Pork: Cuban sandwiches are often made with braised pork shoulder. I prefer to use tenderloin because it cooks much quicker, but leftover pork from carnitas or pulled pork would work great!
Bread: A traditional Cuban sandwich is made with a long, crusty loaf of Cuban bread. We like to use ciabatta as it’s easier to find, but a loaf of French Bread or artisan bread would work, or make the Cuban Bread from scratch.
Pickles: You can use pickles sliced lengthwise or pickle chips, whichever you have on-hand. You can also substitute bread and butter pickles instead of dill pickles if you prefer.
Make Ahead Instructions: Marinate pork up to two days before cooking.
Freezing Instructions: For best results, freeze sandwiches before toasting. Wrap them in aluminum foil, and place in a freezer bag or container to freeze for up to 2 months.
To Reheat Cuban Sandwiches, place them on a warm skillet with a lid to rewarm the sandwich and toast the bread.

Nutrition

Calories: 341kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 28gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 876mgPotassium: 360mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 267IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 179mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe January 2021. Updated June 2023.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

5 from 40 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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  1. The Cuban Sandwich was/is delicious. I love the way all the flavors just meld together. You done good!

  2. 5 stars
    Yes! Yes! Yes! So much goodness in one sandwich. This was SO good! Better than any Cuban I’ve had at any restaurant.