Fried Mortadella Sandwich Recipe With Melted Provolone

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Crispy pan-fried mortadella is layered with melty cheese and squeezed between two amazing brioche buns for the ultimate sandwich. It’s a next level indulgent mortadella sandwich that truly melts in your mouth.

A fried mortadella sandwich layered with smoked mortadella slices, provolone cheese, and a lemon aioli on a brioche bun on a cutting board.
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We love Italian Mortadella because it has a rich buttery flavor with pockets of delicious and rich fat. Our Smoked Mortadella has become a staple on every holiday charcuterie board we make and always yields plenty of leftovers. When we are graced with such leftovers we love to make this crispy pan-fried mortadella sandwich and it’s always a big hit.

Ingredients + Substitutions for Mortadella Sandwich

You can find good quality mortadella in most grocery stores near the cold cuts, deli case, or seek out an Italian Market with a deli counter. Some online purveyors will also ship them direct to you.

  • Italian Mortadella – Or you can buy your own loaf and slice it yourself. Plan on 1/3 pound of meat per sandwich. While you can technically use bologna, we encourage you to seek out the richer and more flavorful cut of quality mortadella.
  • Bread – We love brioche buns for the added rich flavor and soft texture. The buns are fried in butter to get a golden brown toast. Another great option is fresh focaccia. The key is to have soft slices of bread that will brown in the butter. Avoid baguettes or hard rustic crust breads.
  • Cheese – We use provolone cheese because it melts quickly when piled on top of the mortadella. You can also use mozzarella although it tends to have less flavor.
  • Aioli – We make a quick aioli of good mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice and coat both slices of bread.
  • Pickles – Because mortadella sandwiches are so rich we like to add a pickled flavor and acid to balance the flavors. Classic dill pickles are great. Be sure to buy the hamburger sliced pickles.
  • Optional Toppings – Add peppery arugula for some nice flavor and texture or some caramelized onions.

Full portions are in the recipe card.

Mortadella versus Bologna

Italian Mortadella is pork sausage and originated in the Bologna region of Italy. As Italian immigrants came to the United States they created a version of mortadella called balogna (or baloney). American balogna can be beef or a mix of pork, chicken, and beef. The ingredient list highlights the finer flavors of mortadella with pockets of fat and often mixed with pistachio and herb seasonings.

Tools Needed for Mortadella Sandwich

You will want a plancha or a large cast iron griddle in order to get the slices of mortadella crispy. It’s also good to have good tongs and a flat top style spatula.

Preparation

slices of thinly cut meat
  1. Mortadella sandwiches need thin slices. On a slicer that would be .5 to .75 MM setting (not that is not inches, it’s the setting for thinness in MM). It will crisp up better if thin.
  2. Make your aioli by combining the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice in a small bowl. We use 1/4 cup of aioli for every two sandwiches.

Recipe Steps for Mortadella Sandwich

  1. Start by preheating your cooking surface to high heat. We are using a cast iron plancha. If using a grill pan or griddle that would be a temperature of 375 – 400 degrees F, if reading the surface with an IR thermometer.
  2. Coat the plancha with a light coating of olive oil and place your slices of mortadella directly on the pan so they lay flat. Crisp up the mortadella for about 5 minutes or until you see the edges start to brown. Then using your spatula flip the mortadella and crisp up the other side for an additional 4 – 5 minutes.
  3. Once the mortadella is crispy use the tongs to pile up half of the meat. Then add one slice of provolone to the top of the mortadella. Top with more mortadella and another slice of provolone. Then add butter to the pan and when it melts place your bun facing down into the butter. Allow to toast for up to 2 minutes or until it is golden brown. 
  4. Once the meat is cooked and the cheese is melted it’s time to build the mortadella sandwich. Coat both of the slices of bread with the aioli. On the bottom slice add the crispy mortadella with the melted cheese on top. Then add the pickles (and arugula if using it) and the top slice of bread. Serve warm.

Chef’s Notes + Tips

  • If using a smaller pan, then consider crisping up the meat in two batches. The ideal goal is to have as much of the mortadella touching the hot pan as possible so it all gets crispy.
  • We brown and toast the bread second so it’s still warm when eating.

Other Sandwich Recipe Ideas

If looking for some fun sandwich inspirations, here are a few of our favorites.

  • Prime Rib Steak Sandwich – Take leftover prime rib and stack it on a baguette with caramelized onions and arugula. Simple ingredients, big flavor.
  • Smoked Meatball Sandwich – A rich and decadent sandwich with smoked meatballs, marinara sauce, and topped with melty mozzarella cheese.
  • Smoked Cubano Sandwich – Smoked pork stacked with classic Cuban sandwich flavors.

And if looking for other ways to use mortadella try our mortadella pizza recipe.

Mortadella sandwich sliced in half

About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.


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A fried mortadella sandwich on a cutting board
5 from 1 vote

Mortadella Sandwich Recipe

Crispy pan-fried mortadella, melted provolone cheese, and wedged between a butter brioche bun. This is an incredible sandwich.
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich
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Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • pound mortadella, thinly sliced
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 brioche sandwich roll, (Alternatively you can make sliders too)
  • 2 tablespoons aioli
  • 3 slices dill pickles

Aioli (good for 2 sandwiches)

  • 3 tablespoons good mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions 

  • Preparation: Make your aioli by combining the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice in a small bowl. We use 2 tablespoons of aioli per sandwich. Preheat your cooking surface to high heat. We are using a cast iron plancha. If using a grill pan or griddle that would be a temperature of 375 – 400 degrees F, if reading the surface with an IR thermometer.
  • Crisp Meat: Coat the plancha with a light coating of olive oil and place mortadella slices directly on the pan so they lay flat. Crisp up the mortadella for about 5 minutes or until you see the edges start to brown. Using a spatula flip the mortadella and crisp up the other side for an additional 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Melt Cheese: Use the tongs to pile up half of the meat. Then add one slice of provolone. Layer with more mortadella and top with one more slice of provolone. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
    Then add butter to the pan and when it melts place the bun pieces facing down into the butter. Allow to toast for up to 2 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Build Sandwich: Coat both of the slices of bread with the aioli. On the bottom slice add the crispy mortadella with the melted cheese on top. Then add the pickles (and arugula if using it) and the top slice of bread. Serve warm.

Notes

Optional Toppings: Consider fresh arugula for a peppery bite or caramelized onions.

Nutrition

Calories: 1475kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 118g | Saturated Fat: 50g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 36g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 324mg | Sodium: 6572mg | Potassium: 827mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2605IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 620mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: sandwiches
Servings: 1 sandwich
Calories: 1475
Keyword: mortadella sandwich, mortadella sandwich recipe
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Vindulge

About Mary


I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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