The world's best baked Italian sandwiches, perfect for using up lunch meat and bread that needs to be eaten!

With the fast approach of baby girl (only 3 weeks away! Ahh!) I've been nesting like CA-RAY-ZAY! One of the ways I've been organizing is to empty out my fridge and freezer to make room for freezer meals. This recipe is a GREAT way to use up freezer items, and it's my husband's #2 favorite meal of all time, believe it or not!

Remember this amazing deal I got on lunch meat from Costco? Needless to say, I have some lunch meat in my freezer we need to use up. This recipe is a GREAT way to use up meat that is about to expire, or if you are simply sick of eating plain ol' sandwiches! Now introducing… Baked Italian Sandwiches. There's not much of a recipe with this, you just throw it all together! But here's how I do it:

You need:

  • French bread
    • (I use this recipe or stock up when it's on sale and freeze it. You can use any flavor of bread you want, this time I used an italian loaf and it was delish.)
  • Butter or margarine
  • Provolone cheese
    • (or whatever cheese you want, but Provolone is the best! Once again, I stock up when it's on sale and freeze it. I had shredded mozzarella on hand that I used this time also because I didn't have very much provolone left.)
  • Deli ham
    • (or any other lunch meat you have. I used Turkey this time, but ham and provolone is the best combo in my opinion.)
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Parmesan cheese

Here's how you do it:

  • Turn on your oven to 425°F. Put a chunk of butter or margarine in the bottom of a BIG baking dish, and put it in the oven as it's preheating so the butter can melt. You want enough butter so that it lightly coats the bottom of the dish.
  •  While your butter is melting, take your bread and slice it. I didn't go super thick this time, but don't be afraid to go nice and thick on the slices!
  •  Mix some bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a dish. (Just eyeball it. You can freeze any extras to use for the next time!)
  •  Beat an egg or two and some milk in another dish.
  • OPTIONAL: For the first time I sauteed some onion and green pepper to add because I had some in my fridge I needed to use up. You can do this if you'd like…but actually, we liked it better without the veggies!
  • Assemble your sandwiches.
    • Dip one side of a piece of bread in the milk mixture,
  •   Then coat it well in the crumb mixture.
  •  Set it in the pan, making sure it gets coated with some of the melted butter.

(like so)

  •  Add a slice of cheese (I only did a 1/2 slice because I didn't have a whole package to work with. The more cheese the better though!)
  •  Add a bunch of your lunch meat,
  •  Add the sauteed veggies (optional)
  • Top it off with another slice of cheese, and another slice of bread coated in bread crumbs and melted butter.
  •  Put your assembled sandwiches in the oven for about 5-8 minutes on each side. This is so the cheese melts and the bread gets toasty. Just keep an eye on them.
  •  I like to broil them on high for 1-2 minutes at the very end to get a nice brown crispy finish on the bread. Just keep a close eye on them, they brown (and burn) fast!
  • Warm a little spaghetti sauce in individual dishes for dipping.
    • (I stock up on sauce when it's on sale so I always have some on hand, or when I make homemade sauce I make extra and freeze it. I just warm mine up in the microwave.)
  •  And serve! Enjoy with a nice italian salad and you've got a quick, easy, and delicious meal that uses up lots of stuff from your fridge and freezer.

BAKED ITALIAN SANDWICHES RECIPE

Baked Italian Sandwiches

An easy and delicious weeknight meal that is great to freeze and you likely have the ingredients on hand already!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • Provolone Cheese
  • Ham Lunch Meat
  • Italian Bread Crumbs
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup Milk
  • Spaghetti Sauce, for dipping

Instructions
 

To Prepare

  • Turn oven to 425°F.
  • Put butter in large casserole dish and put it in the oven while it's preheating so that the butter will melt. You want enough butter to cover the entire bottom of the dish. Remove once it's melted.
  • Slice bread to whatever thickness you prefer.
  • Mix some bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a dish. (Just eyeball it. You can freeze any extras to use for the next time!)
  • Beat 2 eggs and milk in a separate dish.

To Assemble the Sandwiches

  • Dip one side of a piece of bread in the milk mixture, then coat it well in the crumb mixture.
  • Set it in the buttered pan.
  • Add cheese, meat, and cheese.
  • Top it off with another bread that has been dipped in the milk and crumb mixtures.
  • Repeat until your pan is full.

To Bake the Sandwiches

  • Bake for 5-8 minutes, flip, and bake for another 5-8 minutes. Don't overbake!
  • To get a crispy finish on the bread, broil for 1-2 minutes. Keep a close eye on them! They will brown (and burn) fast.

To Serve

  • Warm a little spaghetti or marinara sauce in the microwave to dip the sandwiches in.

Couldn't be any easier!!