This Mardi Gras Muffaletta layer dip is inspired by the famous Italian sandwich, The Muffaletta, which was introduced by Central Grocery in New Orleans in 1906!
This hot dip is a great appetizer for your Mardi Gras or Super Bowl party!
The recipe consists of a zesty olive salad, roasted red peppers, giardiniera, Salami, Mortadella, Pepperoncini, Cream cheese and Mozzarella, all layered, baked till bubbly and served warm with bread!
If you can't get to "The Big Easy" for Mardi Gras, make this and you'll feel like your right there in New Orleans!
Facts about the big Italian sandwich
An interesting note here...typically, when you think of New Orleans, you think of the French Quarter and the French immigrants, right? Well, this city also has a high percentage of folks from Italy!
In 1906, Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant, founded Central Grocery right there on Decatur street in the French Quarter. He brought with him is family's famous sandwich recipe and the rest is history!
The sandwich is actually named after the bread, muffaletta, which is about 8" inches round and has sesame seeds on top!
Today, Central Grocery still serves the Muffaletta, but if you can't get to New Orleans, Jason's Deli™ Muffaletta is the closest thing to the original. Schlotzsky's™ Original sandwich is a close second.
What is giardiniera?
Giardiniera, pronounced "jar-deen-air'-a," is an Italian pickled vegetable relish that usually consists of cauliflower, carrots, celery, and pepperoncini. It is said to be of Sicialian origin and often served with antipasta plates.
What is Mortadella
Mortadella is an emulsified sausage from Italy. It is very mild flavored and not quite as salty as the ham we have in the United States.
You can usually find it in the gourmet section of the deli. If you can't find it, substitute with uncured ham or bologna.
Ingredients for Muffaletta layer dip
How to make it
Puree in food processor: giardiniera and green olives; add cream cheese, garlic powder, black pepper, and black olives; transfer to mixing bowl and half of the shredded Mozzarella
Put a layer of the mixture in lightly oiled baking dish
Add half of the salami, mortadella, and peppers; top that with thinly sliced Provolone; repeat process and sprinkle remaining Mozzarella on top
Bake till bubbly and serve with Italian bread
Be sure to drain the olives and vegetable relish first
Use green pitted or green stuffed with pimento. Since you can't buy "chopped green olives" process these first in the food processor with the giardiniera
There's no need to add salt to this recipe. The cured sausages (salami and mortadella), along with the peppers are salty enough
Baking Pan Size and Yield
This recipe was cooked in a 9 x 6 x 2 baking dish and it filled it to the top, yielding about 4 cups of dip. You could make this in an 8 x 8 square pan as well.
If you're using a big baking dish, like a 9 x 13, then double the recipe, otherwise, it will be very thin and you won't have enough dip ingredients to layer.
Get a better idea of the total volume your baking dish and adjust ingredient proportions for your baking dish.
Make ahead and reheating
You can bake this Mardi Gras Muffaletta Layer dip ahead of time and just reheat it in the oven (covered with foil) when you're ready to serve. You can also assemble it, refrigerate it and bake it when you're ready to serve.
The dip will hold up fine in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More Mardi Gras recipes
- Louisiana Seafood Gumbo
- Creole Shrimp Pasta
- Authentic Natchitoches Meat Pie
- Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee
- Roasted Cauliflower Spread
- Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a rating and comment! I love to hear from you!
Mardi Gras Muffaletta Layer Dip Recipe
- 1 5.75 ounce jar green olives with or without pimentos
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 4.25 ounce cans chopped black olives
- 1 cup giardiniera (see recipe notes)
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup chopped roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped pepperoncini
- ½ cup chopped salami
- ½ cup chopped mortadella, or ham
- 8 thin slices provolone
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella, (divided) (½ for olive/cream cheese mixture; ½ for top of dip)
- spray oil for baking dish
- Finely chop roasted red peppers until you have a ½ cup; set aside½ cup chopped roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
- Lightly spray oil in a baking dishspray oil for baking dish
- Preheat oven to 350°F
Make the Muffaletta Layer Dip
- Measure one cup of gardiniera; place in food processor; add green olives; pulse till grainy (See recipe notes)1 cup giardiniera, 1 5.75 ounce jar green olives
- Add cream cheese, black olives, garlic powder and black pepper to processor; pulse a few times and transfer mixture to a bowl8 ounces cream cheese, softened, 2 4.25 ounce cans chopped black olives, 1½ teaspoons garlic powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Fold in 1 cup of shredded mozzarella2 cups shredded mozzarella, (divided)
- Using a spatula, spread ½ of the mixture into a lightly oiled baking dish
- Sprinkle half of the mortadella and half of the salami (¼ cup each) over the mixture
- Sprinkle half of the roasted red peppers over the meat (¼ cup)
- Sprinkle half of the chopped pepperoncini over the red peppers (1½ tablespoons)
- Place 4 slices of provolone over the mixture
- Repeat process, layering the giardiniera mixture, chopped meats, chopped red peppers, chopped pepperoncini and the last 4 slices of provolone
- Top muffaletta dip with remaining cup of shredded mozzarella
- Bake uncovered @ 350°F for 20-25 minutes on the middle rack (or until bubbly)
- Serve with Italian bread