This Cubano sandwich recipe is one of the greatest ways to repurpose your leftover pulled pork. It’s so tangy, sweet and delicious, you simply have to give it a try.

Cubano sandwiches hot off the grill

Ever since watching the movie Chef a few years back, we’ve been dying to try our hand at preparing our own Cubano sandwich. Jon Favreau just makes it look so delicious.

We found ourselves with some leftover pork shoulder the other day and decided that this would be an amazing way to bring new life to our leftovers.

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What is a Cubano Sandwich Made of?

Traditionally, a Cuban sandwich, or Cubano is made up of slow roast pork, ham, mustard, dill pickles and Swiss cheese, and prepared on a crusty Cuban bread.

Instead of slow roasting pork shoulder specifically for this sandwich, we have prepared a mojo sauce to add to leftover pulled pork from when we previously smoked a Texas Style Pork Butt.

Mojo Sauce for Pulled Pork

To cook our leftover pork shoulder for our recipe, we first needed to make the sauce to season the pork appropriately.

This is fairly easy with only 4 ingredients and can be done in about 10 minutes.

juicing an orange

All we had to do was juice one lime and one orange. We put the citrus juice in a small pan over medium heat and added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar as well as 1 tablespoon of chili powder.

Mojo sauce ingredients in a saucepan

After about 10 min of simmering, stirring fairly regularly, the sauce had slightly reduced down and started to thicken. (Not to mention it smells so good!)

mojo sauce beginning to thicken

We then stirred in the 8 ounces of pulled pork until the sauce was evenly dispersed all throughout.

mojo sauced pulled pork for Cubano recipe

How to Make a Cuban Sandwich

Living in the heart of Indiana, we don’t exactly have access to authentic Cuban bread, so we just picked out a nice loaf of Italian bread that looked crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.

Cut the loaf in half to make a couple long sandwiches. After cooking, those two sandwiches would get cut again to total four servings in total. You can share them if you want, but once you taste them, you might not want to.

Slice open both halves of the loaf and spread a nice even coat of plain mustard on all four pieces of bread.

spreading mustard on the bread

You might be questioning if this is too much. The answer is no. The mustard is one of the key ingredients to the flavor profile of this sandwich, so you do not want to skimp out here.

After the mustard, you will stack Swiss cheese, followed by ham, the sauced pulled pork, more cheese and pickles, followed by the other piece of bread.

layering swiss cheese and ham on the bread for Cuban sandwich
adding mojo pork to the sandwich
pickle slices on the Cubano recipe

(Sometimes you can find a jar of thinly sliced dill pickles at the grocery store, but you could also do like we did and slice a whole pickle using a mandolin.)

The last step before grilling the sandwich is to brush melted butter on the outside, both the top and bottom bread. Brushing the butter on the bread will help it toast better.

spreading melted butter on the Cuban sandwich

Grilling a Cuban Sandwich

We cooked our Cubano sandwiches on our Vision Kamado grill running at around 400 degrees.

Rather than using a sandwich or panini press, we worked with what we had on hand. We preheated our cast iron pizza pan as well as a cast iron skillet as the grill came up to temperature.

Grilling cubano recipe on cast iron

A panini press would also work great if you prefer cooking these sandwiches indoors. Some people even use an oven for this, though it’s not as effective and you probably won’t get results quite as close to a panini press.

Grilling the Cuban sandwiches happened quickly. We simply placed the sandwich between the pizza pan and the skillet and then used our insulated pit gloves to apply pressure to the top pan in order to press the sandwich down. It let us toast the sandwiches very efficiently.

pressing cubano recipe between two cast iron pans

At 400 degrees, the sandwich was nicely toasted from white to a golden brown on both sides of the sandwich in less than 90 seconds. Not even enough time to close the lid of the grill.

Fully toasted grilled Cuban sandwich

Recipe:

Cubano sandwiches hot off the grill
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Cuban Sandwich

Got leftover pulled pork? Do yourself a favor and make this Cubano sandwich recipe. You'll be so thankful you did.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: leftover pulled pork
Servings: 4
Calories: 1275kcal
Author: David Gafford

Equipment

  • grill
  • 2 cast iron pans

Ingredients

  • 1 orange juiced
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 Tb. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tb. chili powder
  • 8 oz pulled pork
  • 1 loaf Cuban bread
  • ¼ c. yellow mustard
  • 6 slices swiss cheese
  • 6 slices deli ham
  • 2 whole dill pickles thinly sliced
  • 2 Tb butter melted

Instructions

  • To make the mojo sauce, combine orange juice, lime juice, sugar, and chili powder in a small saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes over medium heat until it begins to reduce and thicken slightly.
  • Stir leftover pulled pork into the sauce to evenly coat.
  • Cut the loaf of bread in half (to make two long sandwiches that will later be cut in half after cooking). Then slice each in half to open up and begin building the sandwiches.
  • Spread mustard on the top and bottom of each sandwich. Begin with a layer of Swiss cheese slices on the bottom of the sandwich.
  • Add slices of ham to the bottom half of the sandwich and then pile the pork over that.
  • Layer dill pickle slices over the pork, followed by an additional layer of cheese. Then finish with the other half of the bread.
  • Use a pastry brush to paint melted butter on the outside (top and bottom) of each sandwich.
  • Heat your grill up to about 400°, preheating two cast iron pans to get them good and hot. (We used a pizza pan and a skillet.)
  • Place the sandwiches down between the two cast iron pans. Use heat proof gloves to push down on the top pan to press the sandwich. You'll want to be sure the cheese is melted before removing it from the grill but it will likely only take about 90 seconds before it's good to go.
  • Slice each sandwich in half and serve right away.

Video

Notes

If you would rather skip the cast iron on the grill, these sandwiches could also be prepared using a panini press.

Nutrition

Calories: 1275kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 80g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1727mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 1778IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 409mg | Iron: 5mg

What to do with Leftover Pulled Pork?

We always like when we have leftovers from a smoked pork butt because there are so many delicious ways to repurpose the pulled pork! It lets us experiment with the pork and make new recipes to please our friends and family!

Although our Cubano sandwich recipe is already becoming very popular with our loved ones, we have other great recipes that you can use your leftover pork for. (You can give us thanks later).

In addition to this Cuban sandwich, here are some of our other favorites that you can make: