Italian Breakfast Sandwich

Italian Breakfast Sandwich
Staff Writer
Italian Breakfast Sandwich

Esquire Magazine

Italian Breakfast Sandwich

Every Sunday my father would go into the kitchen and become Mr. Sandwich, toasting up good slices of bread and filling them with all sorts of combinations. Some were good, some horrendous. But it turned me into a sandwich junkie. When you’re making a breakfast sandwich, there’s no time to waste. Frying the salami, sopressata is ideal because it’s generously larded, crisps up the meat and gives the sandwich body. But it’s also efficient, because you can use that same pan to make a sunny-side-up egg, glazing it with the spiciness of the rendered fat. (You can also use this trick to cook onions, peppers, or greens for a flavor boost with no extra work)

There’s a lot going on in this Italian sandwich, but it has great balance: The saltiness of the meat is offset by the sweetness of the basil and the creaminess of the egg and mozzarella. Soaking sliced red onion in ice water is something I learned from my mom. It takes the raw bite out of the onion and keeps it light and crunchy. This is a rich sandwich, but it’s refreshing. And the beautiful thing is, it’s not just for breakfast. 

Click here to see Make Brunch in 20 Minutes or Less — 10 Recipes.


In a skillet over low heat, fry the salami until lightly crisp and fat is rendered, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. In the same skillet, fry the egg sunny-side up. Remove and set aside. On one piece of bread, layer the salami, prosciutto, mozzarella, and drained red onion; close with remaining slice. Place in the same skillet, pressing down on the sandwich with the palm of your hand, and lightly toast on both sides. Remove, open the sandwich, and layer the egg and basil on the bottom half. Close, slice on the diagonal, and serve.


Calories per serving:

1,321 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Oil Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 64g 98%
  • Carbs 104g 35%
  • Saturated 26g 130%
  • Fiber 5g 18%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 11g
  • Monounsaturated 25g
  • Polyunsaturated 9g
  • Protein 79g 158%
  • Cholesterol 399mg 133%
  • Sodium 5,150mg 215%
  • Calcium 495mg 50%
  • Magnesium 120mg 30%
  • Potassium 1,071mg 31%
  • Iron 11mg 60%
  • Zinc 9mg 58%
  • Phosphorus 939mg 134%
  • Vitamin A 211µg 23%
  • Vitamin C 2mg 3%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 144%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 2mg 92%
  • Niacin (B3) 19mg 93%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 54%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 272µg 68%
  • Vitamin B12 3µg 44%
  • Vitamin D 3µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 2mg 10%
  • Vitamin K 14µg 17%
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