Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

This Vegetarian Muffuletta recipe is probably the best thing that I inherited from my ex… there were many other things, of course, but I must say that I am particularly grateful for that one. Without him, I’d have probably gone my whole life totally oblivious to the existence of this simple but delicious dish.

Honestly, the thought of stuffing a loaf of bread with a super fresh mix of bell peppers, parsley, olives and Swiss cheese and then throwing the whole thing in the oven only to crisp up the bread while leaving the salad in its cold, refreshing state, would’ve never, ever occurred to me. In fact, the first time he had made this dish for me, I was really skeptical… But then, as soon as I took my first bite, every last shadow of doubt totally deserted my mind. This thing is SERIOUSLY good! No, it’s way beyond that. It’s amazing. It’s a total explosion of flavors and textures, it’s summer freshness taken to the next level. It’s like a family picnic happening right in your kitchen.

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

While it doesn’t look like much, I’m telling you this muffuletta is bound to become a favorite of yours and of every member of your family, too!

My daughter, who really doesn’t care for bell peppers at all, totally jumps for joy every time I make this dish. This particular loaf you are looking at right now, I made last week and, after having a wedge for myself, shared the rest with her and her little family: one slice for her, one for her boyfriend and one for her baby daughter. On the night they ate it, she enthusiastically texted me, stating that it was the best “MUSSAFOUSSA” (hahaha, I love it when she reinvents words like that, and I think that one’s gonna stick!) that she’d ever eaten! She then said that she tried to steal a bite from her boyfriend’s plate but he wouldn’t let her, and that baby Matilde inhaled her portion just as fast as she’ll eat a banana (and that means FAST, really, you should see that little one eat a banana. It’s impressive. I never thought that such a small thing was even capable of eating that fast!) 

All this to say that even if you think that you or one of your family members may not be a fan of this dish because of a particular ingredient that it contains, I say you should definitely give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much they end up loving it.

I’m hoping that once you’ve tasted vegetarian muffuletta, you will end up loving it as much as I do and then will elect me your favorite person in the entire universe for introducing you to it.

Or wait… wouldn’t that make my ex your favorite person in the entire universe, rather?

Hmpft… now that sounds kinda strange… I say let’s get cooking, what say you?

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

When making this dish, it’s a good idea to start with prepping all your ingredients: chop the bell peppers and parsley, grate the cheese and then weigh your olives.

In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine some olive oil, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne and whisk vigorously until well combined.

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

With a sharp utility knife, cut out a large hole from the top of the loaf…

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Then, using your fingers, remove as much bread as possible from the inside, while being careful not to damage the crust.

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Tear about half of that bread you just removed (that would be about 2 cups) into bite size pieces and place it in a large mixing bowl. You can discard the rest or save it for another usage. Personally, I like to let mine dry out and then I grind it to make bread crumbs.

Add the chopped bell peppers, parsley, kalamata olives and grated cheese to the bowl with the torn bread.

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Pour the “dressing” you just made over the reserved bread stuffing and mix well.

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Stuff this mixture into the hollowed out bread, compacting it really well as you go.

Although you may feel as though you have way too much stuffing, if you do a good job at compacting it, you should have no problem fitting it all in.

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Keep in mind that you will be slicing this bread into wedges later. If the stuffing is too loose, it’ll collapse and fall everywhere. It has to be super compact in order to hold its shape as you cut into that loaf. So don’t be a afraid to push on it, and push on it good!

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Once you managed to stuff all the salad into that loaf, place the “cap” on top of the bread. Wrap your muffuletta in aluminium foil and then place it in the refrigerator until the next day, or at least for a couple of hours, to allow for flavors to develop.

Now, although muffuletta can be eaten cold, I strongly recommend that you send it for a brief trip to the oven first before eating it. This really takes the dish to the next level, as it makes the bread all warm and crispy, while leaving the refreshing salad that’s inside all fresh and cold.

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Are you going to take my advice, yes? HA! Good move!

When you’re good and ready to eat, preheat your oven to 400°F.

Open the foil about halfway and then place the loaf in the hot oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bread feels warm and crispy but the salad inside is still cold. Don’t be afraid to remove the cap from time to time and test the temperature of the salad by touching it with the tip of your fingers. If you feel it’s getting slightly warm, then it’s definitely time to take that loaf out of there! 

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Carefully slice your muffuletta into 4 to 6 wedges and serve immediately.

See this? It’s like salad made portable… It’s a salad you can eat with your hands, or a sandwich you can eat with utensils.

It’s food, made simple and delicious!

Vegetarian Muffuletta | thehealthyfoodie.com

Vegetarian Muffuletta

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes
A vegetarian muffuletta is like a refreshing bell pepper, parsley, kalamata olives and Swiss cheese salad served inside a warm and crispy loaf of bread.
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • With a sharp utility knife, cut out a large hole from the top of the loaf and then, using your fingers, remove as much bread as possible from the inside, while being careful not to damage the crust. Tear about half of the bread you just removed (about 2 cups) into bite size pieces and place it in a large mixing bowl. You can discard the rest or save it for another usage.
  • Add the chopped bell peppers, parsley, kalamata olives and grated cheese to the bowl with the torn bread and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne and whisk vigorously until well combined.
  • Pour over the reserved bread stuffing and mix well.
  • Stuff this mixture into the hollowed out bread, compacting it really well as you go. Although it may seem like a lot of stuffing, if you do a good job at compacting it, you should have no problem fitting it all in.
  • Replace the "cap" on the stuffed bread, wrap it in aluminium foil and then place it in the refrigerator overnight, or at least for a few hours, to allow for flavors to develop.
  • Although this muffuletta can be eaten cold, I strongly recommend that you send it for a brief trip to the oven first before eating it. This will make the bread all warm and crispy, while leaving the stuffing real fresh and cold.
  • When you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Open the foil about halfway and then place the loaf in the hot oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bread feels warm and crispy but the salad inside is still cold.
  • Slice into 4 to 6 wedges and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 525kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 934mg, Potassium: 283mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 4173IU, Vitamin C: 116mg, Calcium: 469mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Sandwiches
Cuisine: French
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!

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