Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwiches are packed full of flavor and perfect for brunches, parties, baby showers, bridal showers, picnics, and more. Your guests will be impressed!
Picnics are a family favorite of ours. Spring, Summer, Fall, we like picnicking during them all! Pressed sandwiches are a perfect picnic item. They are also great for serving at luncheons, and baby/bridal showers. They are easy to put together and require making ahead so it is the perfect party and picnic food. This particular sandwich is bursting with flavor. I used a walnut pesto spread because I enjoy the flavor and slight crunch of the walnuts as opposed to the more traditional pine nuts. Sun-dried tomatoes provide an air of sophistication while pepperocinis provide a little zing.
Can I change up the toppings?
Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the toppings according to your own personal taste preferences, and leave out the items you may not like. As written, this recipe provides a lot of strong and powerful flavors combined together.
How do I press a sandwich?
Your sandwich(es) need to be placed between two flat items and then weighted on top. To achieve this, we recommend simply using two baking sheets and stacking heavy objects like books on top.
What kind of bread should I use?
This recipe uses focaccia. We find that focaccia has the perfect texture for creating a pressed sandwich. If you are unable to find focaccia for purchase you can make it yourself using our recipe, or you can use a similar bread like ciabatta.
If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious picnic recipe ideas:
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwiches
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves loosely packed
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 large or 2 small loaves focaccia
- 1 pound deli sliced chicken breast
- 1/2 pound deli sliced salami
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced olives
- 1/4 cup pepperoncinis
- 2 roasted red bell peppers roughly chopped
- 16 oz. fresh mozzarella sliced
- Make the pesto by combining basil, garlic, parmsean, olive oil, and walnuts in a food processor or bender. Blend until fairly smooth.
- Cut the focaccia loves in half carefully. Spread the pesto on the top halves and set aside.
- On the bottom halves layer sliced chicken breast, and salami.
- Mix sun-dried tomatoes, olives, pepperoncinis, and roasted red bell peppers in a small bowl. Sprinkle over meat layer.
- Top with slices of fresh mozzarella to cover the entire sandwich.
- Place pesto covered top half of the focaccia onto the sandwich. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place the wrapped sandwiches onto a baking sheet. Place another baking sheet on top of the sandwiches. Place 2 heavy books or weights on the top baking sheet to squish the sandwiches. Place in the fridge, books and all, for 12 hours.
- Once 12 hours have passed, unwrap the sandwiches and slice into square for serving. Wrap in wax paper and cooking twine for a cutesy presentation.