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Vegan Muffaletta Casserole


Serve up this scrumptious Vegan Muffaletta Casserole at breakfast or brunch–or even lunch or dinner–and watch it go!

Here’s a tasty vegan spin on New Orleans’ Muffaletta Sandwich, a multilayered treat of Italian bread sandwiching deli meat, cheese and a delicious olive spread. This vegan Muffaletta Casserole is just as delicious but it’s meat-free and dairy-free, of course, and it’s topped with a creamy, cheesy custard. It bakes up wonderfully delicious and golden and crispy in a casserole, and it makes a showstopping dish to serve family or guests. You can easily modify this recipe for a gluten-free, nut-free or low-carb diet.

An overhead shot of a casserole dish with vegan muffaletta casserole topped with cheese and parsley.

With Mardi Gras almost here I wanted to share with you another classic New Orleans recipe to add to the many others I already have on the blog, including Vegan Dirty Rice, Vegan Gumbo, Vegan Jambalaya, Vegan Etouffee, and Vegan Fricassee.

This vegan Muffaletta Casserole is just as tasty and unique as all of those recipes and I hope that like them it also becomes one of your favorites to make and eat year-round.

What is muffaletta?

Muffaletta, sometimes spelled mufuletta, is a sandwich that originated among Sicilian immigrants in New Orleans. A large Italian sesame seed bun is layered with various kinds of cured meats, including ham and salami, an olive paste and provolone cheese, then cut into pieces and served as individual sandwiches.

Can you make a vegan muffaletta?

That’s a logical question given that this is a particularly meat-heavy sandwich, with cheese as one of its other key ingredients. However, thanks to the easy availability of vegan deli meats and cheese, you can definitely make a very, very tasty vegan muffaletta–one that even a meat-eater would enjoy.

And although I will not pretend that this is health food, it has lots of protein, some healthy veggies, and is far better for you than any dish made of cured meats, which come not only with oodles of cholesterol but are also known to be carcinogenic.

Jay, my 13-year-old son, adores vegan deli meats in sandwiches and this casserole was one I designed as a treat for him. If you have kids or teens of your own, or are cooking for some, you might find that this dish passes their taste test with flying colors.

Front shot of a piece of vegan muffuletta casserole in a white plate with fork with baking dish in background.

Why you’ll love this vegan muffaletta casserole

  • It’s super tasty. There are so many contrasting elements in a muffuletta and together they make each bite an adventure of delicious flavors and textures.
  • It’s an easy recipe. There are a couple of elements here you need to pull together, but they come together in a blender or food processor–the olive salad and the creamy, cheesy custard. The only other thing you need to do is layer the casserole and then let the oven do the rest.
  • It’s easy to tweak to various diets.
    • Gluten-free or soy-free? Use a gluten-free sandwich bread for the casserole and make sure you buy gluten-free and soy-free deli meats. I used Tofurky slices which do have gluten and soy, but Green Slice and Quorn, among others, make a variety of soy-free, gluten-free, vegan deli meats.
    • Low-carb? Use a low-carb bread–there are so many on the market now and they are quite amazing. I especially love the Old Tyme Italian 647 loaf for this recipe.
    • Nut-free? I used cashew milk in the recipe but if you are nut-free you can use oat milk or soy milk or any other creamy non dairy milk.
Front top shot of a sandwich from the vegan muffuletta bake.


For the olive salad:

  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives. You can sub with any other green or black olives
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 roasted bell peppers. Buy jarred or make your own.
  • ¼ medium onion (or a small shallot)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 level tablespoon capers. These add a nice, sharp tang and saltiness but don’t overdo it.
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

For the creamy custard:

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk. I used cashew milk but any creamy milk like oat milk or soy milk would be fine here.
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch. To help thicken the custard.
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. This adds more cheesiness and flavor.
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes or onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Other ingredients for the casserole:

  • 1 14-oz Italian loaf, cut into 20 slices.
  • 30 vegan deli meat slices. I used a mix of hickory-smoked, oven-roasted and peppered deli slices. Choose any flavors you like. It’s good to have a variety so you can get the most flavor in your casserole.
  • 10 slices vegan provolone. I used Violife smoked provolone slices.
  • 4 oz vegan mozzarella shreds. These are optional but they make a nice topping for the casserole and look and taste amazing. If you choose not to use these, drizzle 2 tablespoon of vegan melted butter on the casserole before baking.

How to make the vegan muffaletta casserole

  • Make the olive salad/tapenade:
    • Place all of the ingredients for the salad in a food processor. Pulse 10 times or until the ingredients are finely chopped. Don’t make it a paste. You can chop the ingredients by hand but make sure you chop them as finely as possible.


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