Sign In
Sign Up Now

Cuban-esque Panini

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
image for Recipe schema
Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

Let Your Friends Try This Recipe!

Why we love it:

A great Cuban has pulled pork, pickles, ham, and cheese. I’m willing to bet that you do not have time to make 4-hour pulled pork today so you can put it in a sandwich for dinner at 6pm. If you do, please google a different recipe. THIS recipe is about the essence of a Cuban to give you the feeling of one within 30 minutes.


  • 12 pound Pork Chop (boneless)
  • 12 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard (divided)
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 cup Pickles
  • 8 ounces Gruyere (or sliced swiss)
  • 4 Torpedo Rolls (look for Cuban rolls, or something with a soft crust, brioche can work and Portuguese rolls too)
  • 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 34 pound Ham (deli sliced)
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)

Cooking Instructions


    Place the pork chops flat on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice thin, wide strips off of the main chop. Make your slices across the grain and keep going until the entire pork chop is sliced thinly. Place in a bowl and mix with the ½ teaspoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and ½ teaspoon of the dijon.

    Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add the pork in one layer. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook the other slice until cooked through - about 1 minute longer. Remove to a plate.

  • 2. SLICE + PREP

    Slice the shallot into thin rings. Slice the pickles into rounds, if needed. Slice or grate your cheese, if needed.


    Meanwhile, start assembling your paninis. Open the rolls and spread the mayo evenly on one side; the remaining dijon on the other side. Top with sliced ham, the slices of cheese, rings of shallot if using, and the pickles. Top with the cooked pork chop slices and place the top piece of bread on.


    If you have a panini press, use it!

    If not, wipe out the large sauté pan you used for the pork and return to the stovetop - it doesn’t have to be fully cleaned. Melt ½ of the butter in the sauté pan and add the sandwiches, swirling them around to the get the bottoms of the bread to absorb the butter. Place a weight on the sandwiches to press them firmly into the pan. For this, another heavy pan works well, as does a smaller casserole dish, or even a dinner plate with a few cookbooks on top.

    Sear for about 4 - 5 minutes. Remove the weight and carefully flip the sandwiches. Add the remaining butter to the pan and swirl the bread so the bottom piece picks up the butter. Replace the weight and cook for another 3 - 5 minutes or until the bread is well toasted and golden brown and the cheese is melted.

    During this time if it’s browning too quickly, flip the sandwiches sooner or turn down the heat.

  • 5. SERVING

    Remove from the pan and slice in ½ on an angle. Serve with fruit, chips, or a side salad.

Check out our new features!


    use your favorite GF roll
    make this a pork-free Cuban by using sliced turkey or chicken instead - or use a combination of chicken breast, leftover shredded chicken thighs or rotisserie chicken
    garbanzo beans, or hummus
  • HAM:
    sliced turkey is delicious too - level up with prosciutto
    use pork tenderloin or, of course, leftover pulled pork if you have some
    some type of swiss is traditional, but use jack, cheddar, or provolone if you prefer
    just omit
  • MAYO:
    just omit

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Adapt the filling of the sandwich to meet their preferences. Perhaps just grilled ham and cheese, or grilled cheese with pickles
  • You can slice the sandwiches into long thin “finger” slices
  • Serve with fruit

For Toddlers

  • Serve a smaller portion of grilled cheese, possibly some chopped up pork, which is less salty than deli ham
  • Add some hummus or yogurt, serve with fruit or cucumbers

For Choosy Eaters

  • A simple grilled cheese will fit the bill - they could try some ham or pork perhaps
  • Serve with fruit on the side or some carrot sticks

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Cook the pork chop
Rate this recipe:
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Send us feedback

Meal Plans

save time and reduce food waste
Get Your First Meal Plan