Pressed Picnic Sandwiches

These were made for our Oscar Party that I told you about last week, and I think that they were my favorite thing that we made as a whole. When I was in high school, I basically lived on sandwiches. They were much more basic than these pressed picnic sandwiches, but they were my favorite thing to eat – I would usually prefer to make myself a sandwich for dinner (or even breakfast) than have what my mom was making. I’m sure that this was frustrating beyond belief, but my mom always kept our fridge stocked with plenty of cold cuts and cheeses so that I could make my beloved sandwiches. Eventually, I started getting more creative with my sandwiches, and I still love making Kramer a sandwich to bring to work every morning. There’s just something so comforting and simple about a good sandwich, don’t you agree?

These pressed picnic sandwiches were inspired by a post that I saw over at The Cilantropist, which is also where I discovered my new favorite pesto recipe. I knew that I would have to plan to make at least a few items that could be thrown together relatively easily for our party, and these pressed sandwiches were the perfect thing. I used plenty of good Italian meats, like sweet sopressata and prosciutto, sliced mozzarella and provolone, fresh basil leaves, and some beautiful ciabatta bread. Pressing the sandwiches down over night allow all of the flavors in the sandwich to develop and permeate into one another, and the pesto adds just the right amount of moisture to the bread so that every bite is well balanced. I cut these into small squares so that they would be easy to eat, and they were quickly devoured by our guests. I don’t think that there is anything more welcoming than a big platter of beautiful, little tea sandwiches. You can make these to enjoy indoors or out, and they travel so well that you will probably be taking them along with you at every opportunity.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
I was in a bit of a rush the day that I photographed these (obviously), so there isn’t an ingredient shot, sadly. But, you want to start by spreading the pesto on the ciabatta, followed by a layer of sopressata.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
Followed by prosciutto, then cheese, and, if you have some leftover sopressata like I did for this particular sandwich (I made 3), a little more of that (waste not, want not).

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
Finish it all off with a few fresh basil leaves.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
Here they are, pre-pressing.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
Wrap them very, very tightly in plastic wrap.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
Now, you will want to put something heavy on the sandwiches while they sit in the fridge. I used 3 large books and a 10 pound hand-weight, and let them sit for 24 hours, but 3-4 hours will be just fine.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
When you remove them from the plastic wrap, they will be perfectly compressed little sandwiches.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
That’s the stuff.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
Cut the loaves into little sandwiches and enjoy!

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9-12 sandwiches
  • 1 large loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced lengthwise
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh pesto
  • ¼ lb. sliced sweet sopressata
  • 3-4 slices good prosciutto
  • 3-4 slices provolone cheese
  • 3-4 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 6-8 basil leaves, washed and patted dry
  • plastic wrap, for wrapping the sandwiches
  1. Slice the ciabatta bread lengthwise, so that there is a top and a bottom slice. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of fresh pesto over the bottom piece of bread. I like a lot of pesto, but don't use so much that the bread becomes soggy.
  2. Top the pesto with the sopressata, then the prosciutto, then the provolone and mozzarella cheese. Top the cheese with your basil leaves, then place the top of the bread on the sandwich. Press down on the sandwiches with your hands, then very tightly wrap them in plastic wrap (seriously - do this as tight as you possible can). Place the sandwich in the fridge and top with lots of heavy books, a weighted down pot or pan, or whatever other heavy objects you can find. I used 3 very heavy books, then put a 10 pound hand-weight on top of those, and let them sit in the fridge overnight - I did mine for a full 24 hours, but even just 3-4 hours, with plenty of weight applied, will yield beautifully pressed sandwiches.
  3. When you are ready to eat, unwrap the sandwiches and use a very sharp knife to cut the sandwich into 9-12 small sandwiches, depending on how big you want them to be. I got about 12 sandwiches out of mine, but it also depends on how big your original loaf was. These will keep well after being sliced in an airtight container for up to 2 days - we ate them as leftovers after our party and they were still absolutely delicious.


71 Responses

  1. mom says:

    They look adorable when they are cut into those perfect little cubes. I don’t think I have a knife sharp enough to cut them so perfectly. A nice bite of yumminess!

  2. I’m not a huge sandwich person but this sandwich could convert me. It reminds me of Italy, mmm:-)

  3. Kari says:

    My family made these for our wedding a couple years ago. They were definitely a huge hit!

    • Sydney says:

      Kari: It’s so funny how some of the most simple food is often the most popular – these are one of the best things I’ve made in a while, that’s for sure!

  4. MichellePC says:

    These look fantastic! I’ve never met a pressed sandwich I haven’t liked.

  5. Juliana says:

    Sydney, love the idea of “pressed” sandwich :-) Love the picture of the books pressing the sandwich. Looks delicious with all the yummie stuff in it. Have a wonderful week ahead!

  6. Oh how disappointing. For some reason I am getting no picture of your lovely sandwiches. They sound gorgeous. I’ll pop back later to see if the pic loads then.:)

  7. Miss says:

    Lovely! I used to make between 20 and 30 sandwiches every day for lunch for cowboys on a ranch, I tried to be creative, but never had anything like this. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Sydney says:

      @Granny: I hope that they are working now! Our host went down for a while earlier.

      @Miss: That is a ton of people – you are a trooper!

      @Kari: Thanks for the tip!

      @Anthony: Don’t wait! :)

      @Michelle: I definitely think your husband is on to something there – maybe some aioli on this sandwich would be up his alley?

      @Laura: Thank you!

      @Tina: Thanks! :)

      @Kim: I’m going to go ahead and believe you on that one.

      @Vanilla: Freezing them is a fantastic idea.

      @Jane: I think some chips ON the sandwich would be insanely delicious. A great Liz Lemon move!

      @Kathy: Thanks – you definitely have a feast for the eyes with these babies!

      @Vicki: I should make one of those next!

      @Heather: Same here!

  8. Kari says:

    Mom: You may have known this, but have you ever tried bringing your knives in to your local grocery store? They usually will sharpen all of them for free (though they’ll often only take 3 or 5 a day). So much easier than trying to time a trip to a knife store!

    • Patti says:

      I used to do that in California, but since moving to Washington state I find that they grocery stores here don’t even sharpen their own knives. Someone comes in every month or so and sharpens them for them. That explains the sometimes ragged cuts, lol.

  9. Anthony says:

    I’ve actually never heard of pressed for sandwiches before. Looks perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. :)

    (But why wait until next year? ūüėČ )

  10. Michelle says:

    I love this idea! Though its neatness goes against my husband’s rating system for a good sandwich – the messier you get eating it, the better. :)

  11. mom says:

    Kari: No, I did not know that! thanks for the info!

  12. laura says:

    wow these look fantastic and so impressive! im definately going to give them a go, thanks!

  13. Tina from Pa says:

    Love me a good sandwich! This looks sooooo good! Thanks for a great idea!!

  14. Kim says:

    Yes, please. If you compress them, you compress the calories right out, therefore you can eat as much as you want! Deee-lish!

  15. Vanilla says:

    That is such a good idea on how to press sandwiches! Thank you!
    I might actually make these all for myself & freeze them for an easy & cute sandwich at work ūüėČ

  16. Jane M says:

    Very nice sandwiches! I do love those cold cuts every once in a while! I would a handful of crunch potato chips with those sandwiches too! OH YUM!

  17. These look delicious – I love the colorful layers. :-)

  18. heather says:

    I love a sandwich with various strata. So much more interesting — visually and taste-wise. Pressed sandwiches, by whichever name they go, are an excellent vehicle for fresh flavors… and lots of meat + cheese! Great photos.



  19. Dana says:

    Perfect for a picnic! If only it were picnic weather.

  20. Alena says:

    Well, I finally figured out what to make for dinner tonight!!! WOW.

  21. This is going to sound outright weird, but in our 7 and a half years we’ve been together (3 years married) my husband and I have NEVER been on a picnic even though I’ve dreamt of going on one forever. THIS is the perfect recipe to help motivate me because I definitely felt stifled over what a good picnic lunch would look like (in an attempt to avoid a simple turkey sandwich and chips). Can’t wait to try this!

    • Sydney says:

      Viv: We haven’t either, to be honest, except once with his aunt and other family members for a birthday. It was fun – we had it in Central Park. You should do a turkey sandwich with chips on it!

  22. teresa g. says:

    Made a couple types of these for our recent vacation. Two, foot-long cibbata rolls. 1 with Italian meats and cheeses, and quick marinated tomatoes. I didn’t have any pesto (and no time to make it) so I used the vinaigrette that I marinated the tomatoes in. The 2nd was with ham & turkey & cheese with thin sliced onions & cucumbers using a garlic & olive oil sandwich spread.

    These traveled so well and were still very good going into day 3 of the trip. Making some more today to have for my lunches this week. YUMMMMMM

  23. tami says:

    I will try these without the meat, as i am a non meat eater.I will probably use 3/4 different cheeses, thin sliced onions,basil, and banana peppers.These should hold up well, for picnics.

  24. […] pressed picnic sandwiches via Crepes of Wrath […]

  25. Codi says:

    I made these totake with us for a picnic at the drive-in movies. They were such a hit that my husband has requested them for his annua guys only camping trip. Great recipe!

  26. […] s√°nduches se me ocurrieron cuando vi √©sta receta. ¬†Inmediatamente me acord√© cu√°ndo era peque√Īa, que mi mam√° siempre hac√≠a √©ste tipo de […]

  27. Kelly says:

    These look GREAT. I’ll have to try this when the weather is warm enough to picnic :)

  28. […] week, so I spent the weekend baking loaf after loaf of ciabatta bread, which were then turned into pressed picnic sandwiches. I think we ended up with about 100 salami sandwiches and 50 vegan sandwiches; not too bad! I also […]

  29. […] 1. Pressed Picnic Sandwiches by Crepes of Wrath are made with sopressata, prosciutto, pesto, and cheese pressed between a ciabatta roll. Are you drooling yet at the thought of this sandwich? I am. […]

  30. Anita says:

    Is that 12 sandwiches per loaf?
    Thank you

  31. […] types of sandwiches (Caprese, Portobello Mushroom, Rosemary Chicken with jarred peppers, and Pressed Picnic Sandwhiches). ¬†For the sides, I made Potato Salad, and Mac & […]

  32. Tinashe Blanchet says:

    I have made these twice now for lunch to bring to work and I just adore it. I found a great easy recipe for ciabatta here:
    Thanks for sharing!

  33. Anissa says:

    I have to tell you these remind me of my childhood being brought up by an Italian grandmother in NY city and going to the delis to get “just the right meats”….these are delicious and now living in AZ totally remind me of home….thank you so much for this….

  34. […] Pressed Picnic Sandwiches – The Crepes of Wrath¬†I’ll be honest, I put this in the queue because I wasn’t sure where to categorize it in my elaborate bookmark folder system. I don’t make a lot of sandwiches and I don’t go on many picnics. And I would have to buy 90% of the necessary ingredients to make it. Worst odds of them all. […]

  35. […] Italian Pressed Sandwiches Recipe slightly adapted from Crepes of Wrath […]

  36. cristina rosetti says:

    This was AMAZING! I made this for a party and it was a huge hit. Not only did it look beautiful but it also tasted fantastic. My son suggested heating them up and we heated up a couple (for us to munch on!) before serving and those were also out of this world! The melted mozzarella oozing over the yummy meats/pesto/basil was so tantalizing. I can’t wait to make again and experiment with other ingredients.

  37. […] honey, lemon and cream. If you want to serve something a little more filling, we love these cute pressed sandwiches which would be easy to make ahead of […]

  38. […] Pressed Picnic Sandwiches […]

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    posts posted by this site, I inquisitive more interest in some of them expect you will give more information on this topic in your next articles.

  41. […] I made a variation of these picnic pressed sandwiches from Crepes of Wrath. Essentially: Place pesto, salami, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and basil […]

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  45. Michelle says:

    Took these with us when we made the 90 mile drive into Denali State Park in Alaska. They were absolutely the perfect end to a beautiful trip – paired it with am italian pasta salad. I made the night before, pressed and wrapped in the fridge, packed them in the cooler and didn’t think about them again until it was time to eat and they held up deliciously! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  46. […] am in charge of making these Pressed Picnic Sandwiches¬†and Liz is going to make this Bacon Jalape√Īo Cheese […]

  47. Aaron Wright says:

    These sandwiches are so dry. Everything in them is a dry ingredient. Even the pesto only has a few tablespoons of olive oil. There needs to be a sauce on the top. Also, if your bread is a little thicker than in the pictures above, you need to hollow it out, or trim it down. If you don’t, your sandwich is going to be dry that it’ll be hard to eat.

  48. mindy says:

    This was very salty. Everything on the sandwich has salt so no wonder.

  49. […] new neighborhood, and traveled up the Stono River. I made ‘pressed’ sandwiches using this recipe, and they held up great in the Yeti (I highly recommend them for boating or beach picnics)! It was […]

  50. Sugar301 says:

    What’s a great sub for pesto? Nut allergens.

  51. Curious says:

    What size did you cut yours into?

  52. […] the structural integrity of your meal, they’re great for making pressed sandwiches, like this one from Crepes of Wrath. (Bonus: pressing the sandwich overnight means that the sandwich will hold together better and be […]

  53. Heather says:

    I’m a sandwich “snob” (read: real chicken, cheese, etc, hate sauces like mayo/mustard, etc!) and I made these for my daughters birthday party last year and they are AWESOME you have converted me :) thanks for a great recipe!

  54. […] usually thing these sandwiches from Crepes of Wrath are blank is a hulk potion of lemonade and some homemade […]

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  56. […] in my experimenting I had found this one yummy sandwich¬†idea that coincided with Joe’s mentions of loving the meats involved and I thought I would […]

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