Thinly-sliced, slow-roasted pork meets Italian salsa verde and pickled onions for the best Porchetta Sandwich you’ll ever eat. Great for using holiday dinner leftovers, or for Game Day!
Like most showstopper meals that involve slow roasted meats, I count the minutes until I can make a sandwich with the leftovers. Whether it’s a Prime Rib Sandwich with Pesto Rosso, a Turkey Croissant Panini, or a Porchetta Sandwich, I can’t wait to break out my favorite bread and plan my day-after lunch.
With its rich pork belly, crispy crackling, and tender, juicy pork loin, a porchetta roast is just begging to become a sandwich, don’t you think? Layer it onto crusty bread with herby salsa verde and a pop of sweet-tangy pickled onions, and you’ll find yourself wanting to make my porchetta recipe just for the leftovers!
Italian Salsa Verde for Porchetta Sandwiches
Salsa verde is so easy to make. We love the bright, fresh notes it brings to the rich porchetta meat. It only takes a couple of minutes with a blender or food processor.
Though their names are the same, Italian salsa verde is different from the Mexican salsa verde that you might be familiar with, which uses tomatillos. The Italian condiment is a fresh parsley and caper sauce, made with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, a touch of lemon, and anchovies for umami flavor.
Don’t be afraid of the anchovies here! They bring a savory depth of flavor to the sauce and don’t make it taste fishy. If you aren’t an anchovy fan, you can omit them for a straight herb sauce.
For this salsa verde recipe, I gave a range of garlic clove quantities. If you’re making my porchetta recipe, the meat is infused with a prominent garlic flavor. So, I only use one clove of garlic in the salsa verde when making these sandwiches for friends.
If you’re someone who can never have too much garlic (let’s be friends), or your porchetta is only mildly garlicky, increase the salsa verde to two cloves.
Making Quick Pickled Onions
Pickled onions typically involve boiling a sugar, salt, and vinegar brine, and pouring it over sliced onions. The onions pickle as the mixture cools. They’re delicious, but they take a bit of forethought.
Sometimes, I’ll crave pickled onions on a sandwich and don’t have time to do the whole boiling and cooling process. Enter: quick pickled onions.
For this recipe, I whisk together my onion pickling ingredients, and simply toss them with thinly-sliced red onions. I let them sit for 40-60 minutes at room temperature, stirring every so often, and voila.
Quick pickled onions usually aren’t as vibrantly-colored as their hot brine counterparts. They also they retain a bit more of the raw onion “crunch” since they’re pickled for less time. I love them on sandwiches, tacos, salads, and really any place where you’d want the zing of a fresh onion, with a pop of tang and sweetness.
They’re fantastic on a porchetta sandwich to counter the rich pork belly. If a sweet-tart flavor isn’t your favorite, you can easily substitute raw onion, or omit.
Assembling and Serving Your Porchetta Sandwich
Crusty ciabatta rolls are our favorite choice for porchetta sandwiches. If your local market or bakery doesn’t sell ciabatta in individual buns, buy a ciabatta loaf and cut it into sections.
I like to slice the warm porchetta thinly for this sandwich, and chop up a bit of the crispy cracklings to sprinkle over the meat. (So good!) I also add a few baby arugula leaves for a fresh, peppery bite, along with the pickled onions and salsa verde.
These sandwiches are filling, but they’re great with a pile of hot, crispy Herbed French Fries on the side, or your favorite kettle chips.
Porchetta sandwiches are well-enjoyed with a cold glass of beer. We like a crisp pale ale with citrus notes. For a non-alcoholic pairing, I love flavored Italian sparkling waters with these sandwiches, like San Pellegrino’s Clementina.
Porchetta Sandwich with Italian Salsa Verde
Quick Pickled Onions
- 1/2 medium red onion , thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup Italian parsley leaves , tightly packed
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brined capers , drained
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 1-2 large garlic cloves , peeled*
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 4 large ciabatta rolls
- 12-16 slices warm porchetta , 1/4-inch thick, plus crackling
- 1 cup baby arugula
Make the Pickled Onions
- In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add the onion and toss to combine. Let stand for 40-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Make the Salsa Verde
- In a blender or food processor, pulse together parsley, vinegar, capers, lemon zest, anchovy fillets, and garlic cloves until finely chopped. Scrape the bowl. With the blender or food processor processor running, add olive oil in a steady stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the Sandwiches
- Layer ciabatta buns with baby arugula, sliced porchetta, and pickled onions. If desired, chop some of the crackling from the porchetta and sprinkle over the meat. Drizzle with salsa verde. Serve immediately.