Welcome, friends. Today I am here to tell you all about my Cubano pizza recipe. Yes, all the fixin’s you’ll find on a traditional Cuban Sandwich, but in Grandma Pizza form.

A Cuban sandwich is made up of succulent roast pork, salty ham, nutty Swiss cheese, briny pickles, and sharp yellow mustard, all toasted on Cuban bread. My version takes all that goodness, including roasted pork marinated in the same marinade Roy Choi concocted for the Chef movie, and piles them onto the best Grandma pizza dough ever.

If you love the flavors of a classic Cubano, you may also like Cuban sandwich empanadas and Cuban sandwich stuffed Cuban bread.
For ease of browsing, here are all my sandwich recipes and my bread and roll recipes, in one place.

I received some delicious Famous Kream Mustard from Brownwood Farms. Thank you, Brownwood Farms friends!

Close up image of a baked cubano pizza shot from above.

What Is the Sauce?

Friends, it is as simple as this: mustard.

I used Brownwood Farms’ Famous Kream Mustard which, while a perfect balance of sweet and spicy by itself was a touch sweet to offset the fattiness of the cheeses and meats I used.

To make sure there was enough sharpness from the mustard in the finished pie, I zigzagged some yellow mustard over the Famous Kream Mustard and also over the finished pizza.

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If you are not as in love with mustard as I am, you can skip this step if you’d like.

A round pizza with pickles, ham, pork, and swiss cheese baked and ready to serve.
The second Cuban pizza I made with leftover grandma pizza dough. This time, I used straight yellow mustard as the sauce. I liked the sharpness and balance it brought to the whole. Note I stretched the grandma pizza dough out to make a thin-crust pizza. It worked really well. It’s a very versatile dough!

I made a second pizza using plain yellow mustard, and that was sharp enough to balance the Unctuousness of the toppings.

You can also mix some dill pickle juice with the mustard to make the Cubano pizza sauce, especially if you are a fan of pickles and want that flavor in every single bite.

A rectangle of grandma pizza dough spread with mustard to make a cuban sandwich pizza.
I mixed the Kream Mustard with some of my pork marinade which was very tasty when baked up into a big old Grandma Cuban pizza, but it wasn’t so pretty before baking. I added a zigzag of yellow mustard on top to sharpen the mustard flavor a bit more.

If you don’t like the flavor of mustard without the sharp bite, do consider giving the Famous Kream Mustard a try. It’s one of the only mustards I’ve ever wanted to just eat right off a spoon.

NOTE: Once I spread the mustard on the grandma pizza dough, I dusted the whole crust with cumin and oregano to underscore the Cuban flavor profile.

How Do You Fix the Roast Pork?

I actually experimented two ways, and I’ll them up and link to those posts when they’re up.

I took a pork shoulder, deboned it (or you can buy a boneless pork shoulder), and then cut it in half.

I marinated both halves in Roy Choi’s mojo marinade that he developed for Jon Favreau’s 2014 movie, Chef.

  • For one half, I wiped off the majority of the marinade and roasted it in the oven for about 3 hours.
  • For the other half, I put it and all its marinade (plus additional water) in my Instant Pot and let it cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.

After taste testing both pork shoulders, we decided that using the Instant Pot mojo pork was the way to go.

The oven-roasted pork was really succulent with great pork flavor, but it didn’t keep a lot of that fresh citrus/cilantro/mint flavor of the marinade. It sliced beautifully but wasn’t cooked long enough to shred. Ideal for actual Cuban sandwiches.

Since we wanted shreds of pork and not slices (for ease of both cutting the pizza and eating it), we went with the shreddable, Instant Pot mojo pork.

We also went with the shreds because we loved the fresh citrus flavor of the pork marinade and wanted it to carry through to the pizza.

It is totally your call. You can use small slices of oven-roast pork or shreds of Instant Pot pork. It’s completely dependent upon what flavor you are looking for in your Ultimate Cubano Pizza!

Tips for Making It Delicious

A whole cubano pizza with zigzags of yellow mustard on it and one slice cut out.
  • Use the best crust possible. For me, that generally means homemade, but you can also use fresh dough you buy from a local pizza place or from the deli section at the grocery store
  • Don’t overload the pizza: you want to make sure that you get most of the ingredients in every bite and all of them on every slice, but if you completely blanket the dough in a ton of toppings, it will take forever to bake.
  • It’s your pizza: If your favorite part of a Cuban sandwich is the mustard, make sure you use a very sharp mustard. If your favorite part is the pickles, use more pickles. It’s your pizza, so use the most of whatever you want the predominant flavor to be.
  • Bake the pizza on the lowest shelf of your oven, because that’s where the heat comes from. The intense heat towards the bottom of your oven will help brown the crust.
  • Watch your oven temperature. If you make a grandma pizza like I did, bake at a lower temperature to make sure it cooks through. If using a thin crust (even if you just end up stretching the grandma dough out thin) bake at the highest temperature your oven will reach.

Why This Pizza Works

There is a reason a Cuban sandwich works so well. It’s the interplay of different flavors and textures: fatty pork, salty ham, mellow, nutty Swiss cheese, the briny pickles and of course the sharp mustard all on soft Cuban bread that gets crispy on the outside when pressed. It’s pretty much a perfect sandwich.

I tried hard to bring the same balance to my Cuban-style pizza as I could.

  • light grandma pizza dough with a feathery crumb that gets crisp on the outsides as it bakes in the oven/fries in the olive oil in the pan
  • two different mustard choices: a sweet-hot or a sharp yellow. Both good choices and completely dependent on how you want your finished pizza to taste.
  • mellow, nutty, thick-sliced Swiss cheese
  • dill pickle chips–you could also use sweet pickles. Again, it is your call. I think if you go with sweet pickles, you may really like the sweet-hot flavor profile of the Brownwood Farms Famous Kream Mustard.
  • Instant Pot mojo pulled pork–I chose the IP pork because I really liked the fresh citrus and herb flavor the marinade brings. You can use your favorite roast pork or pulled pork, or stick with the famous Roy Choi marinade.
  • Deli ham. I bought Boar’s Head, but you can use your favorite sandwich ham here.
  • Mozzarella cheese, because for me, pizza needs a bit of stretchy cheese.
  • I accented the Cuban flavor profile in every bite by dusting the pizza with cumin and oregano, both on top of the sauce and once more right before serving.

Step by Step Instructions

Whether you’re using the grandma pizza dough that I used (linked both in the introduction and in the recipe itself) or you’re using some other pizza dough, you’ll want to prepare your pan.

For grandma pizza, this means to line a half sheet pan with parchment and then pour on about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Spread your dough out so it fills the pan. For directions on how to do this, see my Grandma pizza dough recipe, linked in the recipe.

From there, it’s an assembly process. 

Start with a base of your sauce (straight up mustard or a mixture of mustard and pickle juice. You could also consider mixing mustard with some of your pork marinade if you want to carry the citrus flavor.

After you add the sauce, sprinkle 2 Tablespoons minced garlic over the top. This is technically optional, but if you love garlic, it is NOT optional. 

NOTE: Please bring any marinade you used for the pork to a boil for food safety purposes. Especially if you want to taste before you bake your pie!

You will only need 7-8 slices of Swiss cheese. We placed them so there will be Swiss cheese on every piece of pizza though not necessarily in every bite.

Slices of Swiss cheese on mustard-covered pizza dough before baking.
So far, we have the mustard, the garlic, and the Swiss. On to the ham next!

Next up? Ham. We tore slices of ham in half and placed them in little “piles” on top of and around the cheese. As with the cheese, you will only need 7-8 slices of ham.

Piles of shaved ham placed on swiss cheese on a cubano pizza dough.

It’s time for the pork. Whether you use slices of roast pork or you use pulled pork, make sure to space them evenly over the pie.

Altogether, we used about 1 cup of pulled pork.

Pulled pork, ham, and swiss cheese all on mustard covered pizza dough before baking.

Next up? Pickles! We like dill chips, but feel free to use sweet “bread & butter” pickles instead. NOTE: drain the pickles on a paper towel or with a lint-free kitchen towel to get excess brine off of them. We don’t want a soggy pizza.

Close up of pickle chips, pulled pork, ham, and Swiss on pizza dough.
Sprinkle some cumin and oregano on now if you’d like. We did!

Last up, mozzarella. We used 8 oz, grated.

For best melty goodness, buy mozzarella in a block and grate it yourself with a box grater. Pre-shredded contains starches or other additives to keep it from sticking together and make it less than ideal for melting. If pre-shredded is all you have, though, go for it. Your Cuban Pizza will still be Ever So Good!

Overhead shot of a fully loaded cubano pizza before baking.
8 oz of mozzarella cheese by weight is all you need. There’s already Swiss cheese on the pizza, and you’ll want to still be able to taste it!

Please Take a Moment to Admire the Crust

I’m serious, you guys. Grandma pizza is the best. For real. Just look at that crust and that open, airy crumb!

If you love a thick crust pizza but don’t like them if they’re too heavy, you will want to make this dough and then use it for everything!

Close up of a cut slice of cubano pizza showing the open airy crust structure.

If that picture sets your heart fluttering, you may also want to give my Lasagna Pizza a whirl. It’s a grandma pizza too. I cannot get enough!

Reader Rave

Pinner Alexis made her own Cubano pizza the other day. Her review was very short and to the point. Hopefully her photo is worth 1000 words!

So good.

Pinner Alexis
Close up of a cuban pizza with roast pork, pickles, ham, and Swiss cheese.

I hope you’re inspired to pile all your favorite Cuban sammich fixin’s onto a mustard-slathered grandma crust, too.

Take it from me and Alexis. It is So Good!

A Note About Measurements

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
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Cubano PIzza Recipe

Jennifer Field
Behold the Cubano pizza: all the fixin's of the best sandwich in the world, The Cuban, all layered onto the most wonderful grandma pizza dough and baked to crispy, cheesy perfection!
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Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Bread and Rolls Recipes
Cuisine Italian-American-Cuban
Servings 16 slices
Calories 335 kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 32 oz pizza dough grandma pizza dough is my favorite link in Notes section
  • ¾ cup mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices deli ham
  • 1-1 ½ cups pulled pork mojo pork preferred, but any will do nicely
  • ¾ cup pickle chips dill or sweet
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
  • cumin and oregano for sprinkling

Instructions
 

  • Set a rack in the lowest position in your oven and preheat to 450F (425 if you have convection).
  • Prepare a half sheet pan by lining it with parchment and spreading it with olive oil.
  • Dimple or stretch your dough to fit a parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  • Allow the grandma pizza dough to rise for approximately 2 hours.
  • Carefully spread and layer the ingredients on evenly in this order: the garlic, mustard (or mix the garlic and mustard together before spreading), Swiss, ham, pulled pork, pickle chips, mozzarella cheese. NOTE: sprinkle the whole pizza evenly with cumin and oregano at whatever point/s you’d like. I added some after I added the mustard, after the pickles, and then again once it came out of the oven.
  • Bake the pizza for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan.
  • Bake an additional 7-10 minutes. The pizza is done when the bottom of the crust is golden brown on the bottom, deeply golden brown-to-brown around the edges, and the cheese is all melted with some broiled spots.
  • Remove from the oven, loosen the eges of the pizza with a spatula, and slide the pie onto a cooling rack.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Zigzag with mustard or even with reduced pork marinade if you like. Or skip that step.
  • Move the pizza to a cutting board,* and slice with a sharp knife or a pizza wheel.
  • Slice and enjoy.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Video

Notes

Tips for Making the Best Cubano Pizza

  • Use the best crust possible. For me, that generally means homemade, but you can also use fresh dough you buy from a local pizza place or from the deli section at the grocery store
  • Don’t overload the pizza: you want to make sure that you get most of the ingredients in every bite and all of them on every slice, but if you completely blanket the dough in a ton of toppings, it will take forever to bake.
  • It’s your pizza: If your favorite part of a Cuban sandwich is the mustard, make sure you use a very sharp mustard. If your favorite part is the pickles, use more pickles. It’s your pizza, so use the most of whatever you want the predominant flavor to be.
  • Bake the pizza on the lowest shelf of your oven, because that’s where the heat comes from. The intense heat towards the bottom of your oven will help brown the crust.
  • Watch your oven temperature. If you make a grandma pizza like I did, bake at a lower temperature to make sure it cooks through. If using a thin crust (even if you just end up stretching the grandma dough out thin) bake at the highest temperature your oven will reach.
*If you move the pizza straight to a cutting board from the oven and then let it cool, the bottom crust will lose its crispness, so allow it to cool on a rack for a few minutes before moving to a board then cutting it immediately and serving it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 19gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 916mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6g
Keyword Cubano pizza, pizza
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

And there you have it. A completely delicious Cubano pizza made with mojo marinated pulled pork. Stay tuned for that recipe, friends!

Thanks for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day.

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3 Comments

  1. I can only assume the 2 tablespoons of minced garlic is mixed with the mustard? You have it in the ingredients, but not in the directions.

    1. I’m sorry, it’s actually spread evenly over the dough before adding the sauce. But yes you can also just mix it in with the mustard. I will make that clarification in the recipe, and thanks for pointing it out. I hope you enjoy the pizza!

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