Fried Mortadella Sandwich

This fried mortadella sandwich, made with just bread, fried mortadella, and a shmear of grainy mustard, is an elevated version of your childhood bologna sandwich.

A fried mortadella sandwich cut in half on a piece of parchment paper

This fried mortadella sandwich is essentially a grown-up riff on that fried bologna sandwich that likely made a frequent appearance in your after-school snack attacks. This version, made with rustic rather than Wonder bread, fried mortadella in place of Oscar Meyer cold cuts, and a schmear of mustard, is undeniably an elevated version of the original. So, go on, splurge on the best mortadella you can find and uplevel your childhood memories.–Angie Zoobkoff

What Exactly Is Mortadella?

Okay. So we said that this is like a bologna sandwich gone to finishing school, but we didn’t explain why. In case you’re wondering, the rustic bread and the smear of mustard are part of the equation. But more than anything, it’s the Mortadella, which  is the silken smooth, subtly spiced, grown-up equivalent of bologna. Made from heat-cured pork, small chunks of lard, and spices, including white pepper, anise, coriander, and sometimes myrtle berries, Mortadella can also sometimes contain wine and pistachios. It can be shaved as thin as prosciutto to let it literally melt in your mouth or it can be hacked into cubes and speared with toothpicks and set out with cheese and olives or it can be thickly sliced and fried or cut into matchsticks and fried like bacon for use in recipes or, well, there are a lot of things you can do with it. Including this sandwich.

Both bologna and Mortadella originated in Bologna, Italy, although bologna has a simpler, less complex taste and texture.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Just saying .

Fried Mortadella Sandwich

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 1
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In a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, or using a toaster, toast the bread, flipping once until it is slightly browned and pale golden, about 5 minutes.

When the bread has finished toasting, remove the bread and put the mortadella slices in the skillet, making sure they’re not touching (you may need to do this in two batches). Fry the mortadella, flipping once, until both sides have a golden-brown glow, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Spread as much mustard as you like on one side of one or both slices of toast. Pile the mortadella slices on one slice of toast. Place the other slice of toast on top. Slice, if you like, and serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Even though I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, this sandwich is a guilty pleasure. It’s basically a bacon sandwich, but it feels different somehow. The mortadella fries up crisp but it’s still got a nice chew to it and the sharpness of the whole grain mustard cuts the salty, fattiness of the meat. Just glorious.

Rather than dirtying more dishes than necessary, toast the bread (I used squishy white sandwich bread) in the skillet while it heats. I like mine lightly toasted for sandwiches, so it only took about 5 minutes. I could only fit 2 pieces of mortadella in the skillet at once so cooking time was 15 minutes in total. I used a very generous teaspoon of mustard and it was perfect.

Well, this was a bit of nostalgic food that I truly enjoyed. When I was a kid a real weekend treat for us was a fried bologna sandwich for lunch. The substitution of Mortadella for plain ol' bologna elevated this sandwich to a more adult level for me.

I made 2 of these sandwiches for myself and my daughter for a quick and easy dinner one night. I used a soft white bread for one sandwich and a soft mutigrain for another, half of each for us both to try. I made mine according to the list of ingredients but my daughter prefers white bread and yellow mustard to whole grain mustard. For each sandwich I fried 4 slices of mortadella. Even using a very large skillet I was only able to fit 2 slices of the meat in to fry at a time. I can't say how large her mortadella was but mine was a good 8 inches across and doing more than 2 slices at a time meant missing out on the crispy bits. We toasted the bread in the oven since it was on to keep the meat warm until we could assemble to sandwich. Personally I would just as soon have used the toaster as it can do the bread faster and as well than the oven can.

Our results were stellar. I loved the bacon like crispness of the mortadella and the whole grain mustard added a little something special that I don't think a Dijon would do. The yellow mustard also worked well here. The sandwiches made for a lovely and filling dinner alongside a simple salad. My preference was the multigrain bread with whole grain mustard, but I don't think you can go far wrong with something as simple as this whatever your choice. A dab of mayo would work well here as well as a little lettuce or a slice of smoked cheese. I'm looking forward to making this one again.

I think if you wanted a thicker sandwich 6 slices of thin mortadella could have been used.


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