Italian Sub Sandwich + {Panera Contest}

Sometimes a girl just needs a nice big sandwich (or is it just me?) To me the bread is JUST as important as the filling. I like mine with a little crunch on the outside, where you have to wipe away the crumbs after each bite. Then once you’ve broken through the crust you’re rewarded with a nice and pillowy soft inside.  CIABATTA fits that bill for me. Every. Single. Time.  Baking bread is incredibly rewarding.  From kneading it (or letting Ruby do it for me), to watching it rise, to smelling it in the oven and diving in when I can’t wait any longer for it to cool. I’m a little light headed just thinking about it. Don’t even get me started on warm bread with a smidge of butter.

This beauty is stuffed with: Ham, Salame, Pepperoni, Provolone Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes and Fresh Crisp Lettuce. I like to finish it with a smear of homemade PESTO and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and then dig in! For me, that’s a legendary crowd pleasing sandwich! Do you have a sandwich that’s legendary?

Is Your Sandwich Legendary? Panera Bread® Wants to Find Out! If you think the rest of the country is missing out on your famous ‘Grilled Hamtastic Diablo’ sandwich then this is your moment. Sandwich enthusiasts across the country now have the opportunity to put their sandwich-making skills to the test as Panera Bread’s Sandwich Showdown contest kicks off today. The event gives amateur chefs, bread connoisseurs, and fans of culinary creativity throughout the country the chance to have their homemade concoction named the best sandwich in the U.S.

In addition to national bragging rights, the winner will take home $10,000 cash, $500 worth of Panera Bread gift cards, free Panera bagels for a year and will have their sandwich on the menu for a limited time at participating Panera Bread bakery-cafes in the United States.

Now through October 6, sandwich enthusiasts can submit their original sandwich recipes online at (see Official Rules for details). The site gives contestants a list of Panera Bread’s toppings and ingredients, which can be combined with its artisan and other specialty breads to create the ideal sandwich through an interactive virtual sandwich builder. Contestants will also be asked to tell the story behind their submission and why their entry should be named the next great legendary sandwich. “Great stories are what make the sandwiches stand out,” said Kish.

After all submissions are received, Panera Bread will narrow the field to the top 20 entries. The public will then be invited to vote online to determine the grand prize winner. The top four runners-up will each receive $1,000 cash and one $150 Panera Bread gift card.  The 15 remaining finalists will each win one $150 Panera Bread gift cards.

“We’re excited to see what kind of imaginative sandwiches people have in store for us,” Kish said. “For years we have been dedicated to finding the right combination of ingredients and breads for our signature sandwiches, and we know there are aspiring chefs throughout the country who are ready to do the same. We can’t wait to find the next great sandwich for Panera Bread.”

Additional information is available at Be sure to “Like” Panera on Facebook,  Follow them on Twitter and on Pinterest too.  When you share your creations use the hashtag #SandwichShowdown.


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Panera Bread. Opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be.

Italian Sub Sandwich

Total Time 0:00


  • 1 ciabatta loaf - cut in half horizontally
  • 1/4 pound sliced ham
  • 1/4 pound sliced salame
  • 1/4 pound sliced pepperoni
  • 1/4 pound provolone cheese - sliced
  • roasted tomatoes
  • artisan lettuce
  • pesto
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Onto bottom half of ciabatta layer: ham, salame, pepperoni, cheese. Top with tomatoes, lettuce.
  2. Spread pesto onto top half of ciabatta. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Cut into desired portions with serrated knife.


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  1. 1

    Wahoo! Sandwich love. That’s it, on the way to OBX this afternoon the boys and I are swinging by your house.

  2. 2

    This is so fun. I adore Panera and even more, I love sandwiches!

  3. 3

    So fun!! Love panera and this sammy!

  4. 4

    How fun! Your sub looks delectable!

  5. 5

    I’m hungry and looking at that big ole, scrumptious sandwich is doing me in!!!

  6. 6

    Now *that’s* a sandwich!

  7. 7

    We pop over often to Panera for a bite and some coffee. Love your sandwich-delicious!:)

  8. 8

    Paula, I feel the same way about bread and butter. 🙂 And, stacking delectable toppings on it makes it that much better! Great sandwich combo you came up with — thanks for the heads up on Panera’s contest, too.

  9. 9

    My little guy saw the commercial for this Panera contest and I had to enter, how fun! Your sandwich would be a huge hit around our outfit, yum!

  10. 10

    I love your recipe and what a great contest, Paula! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  11. 11

    Good Luck on the contest!!!!! I LOVE SANDWICHES 🙂

  12. 12

    I have everything on hand but roasted tomatoes (never seen or heard of them) but I am using Roasted red peppers in their place! Being Italian, I am used to that wonderful warm crispy crust and love all the meats & cheeses!! This will be my Super Bowl Sandwich for sure!!! I could have taken a bite right off the screen!!! Love me some Panera Bread!!!

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