Mini Italian Sandwiches with Garlic Aioli – Tailgating Recipes Version 5



I’ve decided to finish this week of tailgating recipes on an easy note. Not that the other recipes aren’t super easy, but you really don’t get any easier than a good sandwich. I really like sandwiches for tailgating. I especially like the mini versions of sandwiches. This gives your guests the chance to chow down on the other great dishes that you will undoubtedly have at your tailgate =). These sandwiches can either be made ahead of time or fixed up once you get to the tailgate. This also makes them a great food for a tailgate. Spread them with some pesto and garlic aioli and you really have yourself a special bite-sized treat. These mini Italian sandwiches are the way to go with any get together. You can really get creative with them and make them anyway you please! I love the idea of having a beer paired theme for a tailgate. This keeps your guests who aren’t super interested in football, but interested in the tailgate that goes along with football something to get excited about. Next time you throw a tailgate, whether it’s from the back of your truck or from the comfort of your own home, try beer pairing on for size!






Fun Facts and Opinions:

1. I like the idea of using store-bought pesto for this recipe. There are some really great ones out there, but if you would like to make your own, then sure be my guest! This is especially ok if you have a crazy amount of herbs (primarily basil) that you need to get rid of. Any type of pesto that you decide to use will be A-OK.

2. The types of meat you decide to use is totally up to you. Mortadella, Salami and Turkey just happen to be three of my favorite types of cold cuts, but use what you please! I won’t tell anyone. I also suggest keeping an eye on what’s on sale. Cold cuts can get expensive, and you don’t want to completely overdo it for a tailgate. Most people will probably be slightly intoxicated anyway!

3. I like the idea of using mini sandwich rolls (or slider buns) for this recipe. You can certainly make these sandwiches in “tea sandwich” form or “large sandwich” form. I think that the “large sandwich” form can become very filling for most people which is why I like to go the “mini” route. A panini-style would also be ok, but if you want to stay out of the kitchen or you don’t want to spend the whole time cooking at your tailgate, then I suggest going the “cold” route. =)

So I decided to go extreme for this beer pairing and go with Bear Republic’s Racer X Double IPA. I love this beer, and anytime we can get our hands on a bottle then it’s a very good day. This is rare however. I feel like here in Colorado it’s very difficult to get your hands on some. This double IPA is S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R in every sense of the word. It’s perfectly malty and perfectly hoppy and it really compliments these sandwiches. I would not however suggest supplying this brew for all of your guests. You may go broke in the process. Do what Zach and I do, buy a couple of bottles and split amongst your guests. Tasters are the best way to celebrate great beers without having to spend a fortune. We don’t want to break the bank!

Happy Thursday everyone! Saturday I will have a compilation of all our great tailgating recipes with the brews to match. See you all then!




Mini Italian Sandwiches with Garlic Aioli
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr

Mini Italian Sandwiches with Garlic Aioli

These little bite sized treats are perfect for any get together. If you want simple and delicious, then mini italian sandwiches are the way to go.


  • 8 sandwich rolls, mini or slider size
  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • 8 slices mortadella
  • 8 slices hard salami
  • 8 slices turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup pesto, store-bought
  • 1 cup baby spinach (optional)
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, store-bought (optional)
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  • For the garlic aioli, begin by roasting your garlic. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and grease two muffin molds on a muffin tin with olive oil. Cut the top of the garlic heads off, exposing the garlic inside and peel the very outer layer of skin. Make sure to still keep the garlic in tact. Place the garlic into the prepared muffin tins and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil and roast for 40-45 minutes or until the garlic is soft and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for just a minute, then remove the cloves from the head.
  • In the bowl of your food processor or blender, combine the garlic, mayo, dijon mustard, lemon juice, a dash of salt and pepper and cayenne pepper. Pulse until smooth and then transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
  • To assemble your sandwiches, spread a layer of pesto on one half of the roll and the garlic aioli on the other half. Layer the provolone cheese, mortadella, salami, turkey breast, spinach and roasted red peppers onto one half of the roll and top it with the other half. Stab each roll with a toothpick and serve at room temperature! Enjoy!


Hardware: * Muffin Tin * Foil * Sharp Knife * Cutting Board * Food Processor or Blender * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Toothpicks *

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