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Revamped Recipe: Low-Sodium Cubano Sandwich for Healthier Eating

Updated: Jan 17

The first bite of a Cubano in Miami's vibrant heat was a revelation. The symphony of flavors – savory pork, salty ham, tangy pickles, and zesty mustard – dancing on a bed of pillowy bread instantly won my heart. This recipe is my passionate attempt to recreate that magical experience, but with a focus on keeping the sodium content in check.


The journey begins with the bread. Ditching the butter, I tweaked my trusty recipe, adding lard for a subtle richness and a satisfying, crackly crust. Remember, be mindful of choosing low-sodium options for key ingredients. I've included baseline sodium numbers for key components like pickles and ham to guide your portions.


The true star of the show is the mojo sauce, a vibrant marinade that infuses the pork with layers of citrusy, garlicky goodness adding depth without relying on salt. Trust me, it's the soul of this low-sodium masterpiece.


Enough talk, let's get cooking! With careful ingredient choices, we can savor a delicious Cubano, clocking in at a satisfying 350-360mg of sodium per serving. Dive in and experience a taste of Miami magic right in your own kitchen!


Slow roasted ham, pickles and mustard on a sandwich, pressed in a panini
Dreaming of Miami with this Low Sodium Cubano sandwich


Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 lbs. pork roast

  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled

  • 2 shallots

  • Zest of one orange

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup lime juice

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 2 teaspoons oregano

  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Combine everything except pork in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

  2. In a large glass bowl or large zip top bag, place pork and cover with marinade. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

  3. After marinating time is complete, put pork and marinade in a slow cooker and cook 3-4 hours on high until center reaches 160° F. Alternatively, you can cook in a Dutch oven at 350° F for about 45-60 minutes.

  4. Remove from pot, and shred pork with 2 forks.

Sandwich Ingredients (each sandwich)

  • 3 oz cooked pork

  • .5 oz honey ham, deli sliced (I used enough ham to hit about 100mg, which was about half a piece of ham for the brand I found, so you can adjust accordingly)

  • 1 oz baby Swiss cheese

  • 1 tsp low sodium mustard

  • 1/2 serving pickles, diced (I used enough of a serving of pickles to hit about 110 mg of sodium of pickles, which was about half a serving).

  • 1/4 loaf of my loso bread

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat panini grill. You can also use a skillet if you're pressed for time or don't have a panini press.

  2. In a small bowl, combine mustard and pickles

  3. Butter outside of bread. On the inside of bread, spread mustard and pickle mixture.

  4. On the top slice of the bread, layer cheese and ham. On the lower slice, heap that beautiful pork.

  5. Put the top layer on the bottom, and place in the panini press and close, slowly pressing down. Once sandwich is nice and crispy on the outsides, remove from press

  6. If using a skillet, press down using a foil lined full tea kettle or using a spatula. Once one side is crispy, flip and repeat.

Enjoy!

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