Close up of a stack of Bread Bowl Sandwiches
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5 from 4 votes

Christmas Leftovers Toasted Bread Bowl

Recipe video above. This isn't really a recipe, it's more of an idea you can make your own. A way to completely transform leftovers into an epic sandwich for sharing! Use leftover ham, cooked meats, roasted veg, cheese platter leftovers. Imagine the possibilities!  Great served fresh AND travels well!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main
Keyword: Bread Bowl Sandwich, Muffuletta
Servings: 4 - 5 people
Calories: 574kcal
Author: Nagi


  • 1 round or oval bread loaf (Note 1)
  • 300 g / 10 oz ham, turkey and other cooked meat slices
  • 1 cup roughly chopped antipasto things (olives, sun dried tomato, chargrilled peppers, artichokes, feta etc)
  • 4 - 6 slices cheese of choice (I used Swiss in the video)
  • 3 big handfuls baby spinach (~75g / 2.5oz)

Garlic Butter:

  • 50 g / 3 tbsp salted butter , melted
  • 1 garlic clove , minced


  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  • Mix butter and garlic.
  • Cut the top off the bread loaf. Pick out bread from the loaf and the lid, leaving a wall and floor about 1.5cm / 3/5" thick.
  • Place bread on a large sheet of foil on a baking tray.
  • Dab / brush inside with butter. Layer with: half spinach, turkey, antipasto things, remaining spinach, ham, cheese.
  • Tuck flappy bits inside the loaf, top with lid.
  • Brush with butter all over. Wrap with foil.
  • Weigh down with something flat and heavy - cast iron skillet is ideal.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove skillet and foil.
  • Bake for a further 10 minutes until golden.
  • Cut into thick slices and serve immediately!


1. Bread - any type of bread will work just fine but artisan style breads like sourdough, ciabatta and similar work best because they will hold together better and get a better crust so it's easier to hold and eat.
2. Make ahead - I've made this several times using deli cold cuts to take on flights! It puts aeroplane food to shame :) Make it the day before, and bake. Wrap it up with foil again while warm, let cool then refrigerate. The flavours meld overnight and makes it even more amazing so you don't miss the melty cheese (promise). Consume at room temp for best experience! 
3. Leftover Bread - Use it to make Italian meatballs! I use fresh chopped bread to make most of my Meatball recipes - it's the secret to extra soft and juicy meatballs!
4. Filling Ideas - see above the video in post for an extensive list of ideas. Think beyond the obvious - this can be made with almost ANY leftovers!


Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1401mg | Potassium: 409mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2160IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 4.4mg