Get ready for the world's easiest lunch or dinner that comes together in a snap and can feed an army! Our amazing baked Italian sandwich recipe is perfect for using up lunch meat and bread that needs to be eaten. Bye, food waste!
Sometimes you come across a recipe and you almost have to wonder what the catch is, because it looks so easy and delicious. This is that recipe! You can easily make modifications and substitutions, using what you have on hand, and this baked Italian sandwich recipe will come out perfect and delicious every time!
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So go ahead and add it to your favorite dinner ideas list because your whole family will be asking you to make it time after time. Seriously, what are we waiting for?! Let's get to it! First, we'll go over how you can…
EASILY MODIFY THIS BAKED ITALIAN SANDWICH RECIPE
It's so simple to make a baked Italian sandwich your own! This recipe is so great because you can completely change your ingredients up every time and you'll still end up with some crazy delicious sammies that everybody devours at dinner.
BAKED ITALIAN SANDWICH VARIATIONS
Here are the basics, along with some great ways to shelf cook your way through this easy peasy recipe:
- Bread – Any type of thick bread will work! We like to use homemade French bread since it's really easy to make and delicious. You can also stock up on it when it's on sale at the store and freeze it until you need it. Don't be afraid to try out the different seasoned loaves that the store offers, either!
- Sliced Cheese – You can use whatever your favorite type of cheese is for your Italian dishes! Provolone is hard to beat, but mozzarella tastes just as fabulous on a baked Italian sandwich. Don't be afraid to mix and match as well, especially if you don't have enough of one type for all the sandwiches. Cheese freezes really well, so we usually try to always have extra on hand in the freezer. And if all else fails, use some shredded cheese!
- Lunchmeat – You can really get creative here! Pretty much any cold cut will work on a baked Italian sandwich. You can never go wrong with ham, turkey, or chicken lunchmeat. But don't forget about the Italian meats, such as salami, pastrami, or even sliced meatballs! You could even use leftover turkey or ham from another meal.
- Bread Crumbs – The recipe calls for Italian bread crumbs, but you could easily use plain bread crumbs and put a little Italian seasoning in them. If you're completely out of bread crumbs, no worries! You can quickly make your own and they're just as good, if not better.
- Parmesan Cheese – You don't have to have Parmesan cheese, but you may feel like you're missing out on the party if you don't. 😉 Feel free to use grated or shredded. If you have shaved Parmesan cheese, just give it a little chop to make it smaller.
- Dipping Sauce – Homemade spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce are our go-to dipping sauces because they're so easy to make and they freeze well, so we always have some on hand. Store-bought is also just as delicious. If you're completely out of those and happen to have some Alfredo, it's also really good with a baked Italian sandwich!
Whew! Just think of all the crazy delicious combos you can try out! Time to fancy up your every day ham and cheese! Let's go!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BAKED ITALIAN SANDWICH
Guys! It's so easy! You will need a few pans or shallow dishes as you assemble these bad boys. But the dishes are totally worth it.
While gathering all your supplies, melt the butter in the oven. Whatever you do, don't let that butter burn! It only needs a few minutes to melt and coat the bottom of your pan.
Dip ONE half of the sandwich in the egg and milk mixture and then in the cheese and bread crumbs mixture. Set coated side DOWN in your buttered up pan. Next, you'll layer cheese, meat, and more cheese before adding the other sandwich half, already coated in all that yummy goodness!
Get the whole family involved in making these and have your own at-home cooking class. Try making an assembly line with all the hands you have at home. It's the perfect way to bond while also teaching your kids, tweens, and teens some important life skills.
HOW TO FREEZE AND THAW THESE SANDWICHES
Yes, it's possible! Don't be afraid to make more sandwiches than you need so you can freeze them for later, especially if your ingredients are starting to go bad. Simply make them as usual and allow them to cool completely. Wrap each baked Italian sandwich in aluminum foil, then store in a freezer bag until you're ready to eat.
There are a few ways to reheat your sandwiches once they're thawed, so do what works best for you! You can leave them in the aluminum foil and stick them in the oven or toaster oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until they're heated all the way through.
Then, remove the foil and stick them back in to broil for 1-2 minutes until they're crispy. You can also wrap them in a damp paper towel to reheat in the microwave, then toast them in a pan to get them crispy again.
YOUR NEW GO-TO BAKED ITALIAN SANDWICH RECIPE
Are you ready to get to it or what? Grab your casserole dish and plan on making extras so you can freeze the leftovers for a quick and easy meal later!
Baked Italian Sandwich Recipe
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced into sandwich style slices
- 6 slices Provolone or Mozzarella
- 16 oz Sliced Ham, Sliced Pepperoni, or Sliced Turkey
- Marinara sauce, for dipping
- Turn oven to 425°F.
- Put butter in a 9×13 baking dish and place it in the oven while it's preheating to melt the butter. Remove once butter is melted.
- Slice bread to sandwich style slices (any thickness you prefer)
- In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs & parmesan.
- In a separate dish, beat the 2 eggs with the milk
- Dip one side of each piece of bread in the egg mixture, then coat it well in the crumb mixture, and set it in the buttered pan (coated side down)
- Once pan is full, top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese and 2-3 slices of meat, then top with an additional slice of cheese.
- Continue the pattern of dipping the remaining slices of bread in the egg mixture and then coating with bread crumbs to create the tops of the sandwiches. Place the remaining slices (coated side up) on top of each sandwich in the pan.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven, use a spatula to flip the sandwich, then bake for another 5-8 minutes, or until both sides are golden brown.
- Optional: if you'd like your sandwiches even crispier, broil for 1-2 minutes. Watch very carefully so they don't burn!
- Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping!
DOUBLE & FREEZE
- Once cooled, wrap each sandwich individually in foil and freeze in a freezer bag. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then stick the foil-wrapped sandwich in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the foul and broil for 1-2 minutes to get them crispy again!
MAKE YOUR OWN MARINARA
- Making your own marinara sauce is easier than you think! Sauce 1/2 of a diced onion until soft, then add 3 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, and simmer 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and voila!
Couldn't be any easier!! And seriously, so. stinkin'. tasty. The leftovers are even something to dream about…
Whatever you do, you won't be disappointed! We hope you love them as much as we do! Let us know your favorite combos in the comments below.
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Looking for more great ideas?
- Remember to stick to your grocery budget!
- Stick this recipe in your meal plan when you have bread and lunchmeat that you need to use up!
- Check out even more of our family's favorite recipes!
Now go get your Italian on!