by Sep 6, 2020

Still one of my funniest posts, I think. Please comment if you have actually tried this — in the oven or in a car!

Sometimes simple is best. That is certainly the case with these sandwiches that are a family favorite from wa-a-a-y back. My mother in law used to serve these when we came to visit; they are easy, quick, and satisfying. You can make them ahead of time, and just pop them in the oven for 15 minutes when ready to eat. Over the years we have added a bit more barbecue sauce, changed to reduced fat/sodium salami, and incorporated a lot more fun and laughter. These are yummy served alone, or with wonderful seasonal fruit like watermelon or our world-famous Michigan cherries. You don’t need many ingredients, nor do you need much time for these. With the wide variety of buns and rolls available, you can offer choices to your family and friends: large, small, white, whole wheat, or even rye.

Still one of my funniest posts, I think. Please comment if you have actually tried this — in the oven or in a car!

I have never been much of a beef or pork eater, gravitating more towards fish, chicken, and vegetarian sandwiches.  I just don’t like fatty or gristly meat. It is rather strange, then, that my first post would be these hearty, meaty sandwiches. But these Hot Salami Sandwiches have always been readily gobbled up and appreciated even by those who don’t eat a lot meat. My mostly vegetarian daughter, Erika, even requested a version of these for her birthday this year (Future post coming up at the end of the month). I usually use a reduced fat/reduced sodium hard salami. It has a more pronounced vinegar flavor, and tastes less fatty. The Covid Pandemic has made me hesitant to go out to larger grocery stores, so I decided to use yummy salami what was available locally. There are several types of salami in grocery stores, including Genoa and hard salami.  Genoa is generally made with pork, is moister and more acidic tasting than smoky- flavored hard salami which is usually made with beef and less fat. While researching and finding out more-than-I-ever-wanted-to-know-about-salami, I did discover that three thin slices (less than 1/16 of an inch) comprise one serving. Never knew that…but since I generally don’t want more than two slices of salami on a sandwich, I think that is okay. Salami does provide a high concentration of protein with B vitamins, a good range of nutrients and even “beneficial” bacteria like probiotics.

These sandwiches are quick to make when you set everything up in an assembly like fashion.  Even children could help layer foil, buns, sauce, salami, cheese, onion as they walk around the table. 

Onion or Not? The Kornow clan’s version had a big slab of onion in it.  Although I love any kind of cooked onion-grilled, baked, sautéed, and yummy caramelized- I have never enjoyed the bite and texture of raw onions, and I have some family and friends who can’t eat onion. I prefer this sandwich rather bare-naked, compared to the original. It’s easy to modify these to everyone’s liking.

I must have passed down my raw onion dislike to the Kornow Kids because they also prefer onion-less adaptations. In fact, someone who shall remain nameless, has an immediate and intense “oral projectile” reaction when biting into an onion (yep, he upchucks). The sandwiches are wrapped in foil and cooked only long enough to melt the cheese, so it was always hard to tell from the outside which sandwiches had onion, and which ones didn’t. I had to develop a special foil folding technique so my son Karl (Oops, sorry, Sweetie!) knew which ones were safe: foil folded over on top means the onion is hiding beneath.  Smooth tops are onion free.

Now, here is what we used to do in order to have Hot Salami Sandwiches while traveling; it is a favorite family story. My husband Allen never envisioned that he would be tasked with finding places to put the wrapped sandwiches under the hood of the car, near the heat of the engine, when driving long distances with the kids. As always, though, Allen thought it was humorous, fun to try, and was up for the challenge. He was creative and clever enough to figure out where to place the sandwiches so they would heat up but would not fall out along the way. We didn’t want to leave a trail and make other travelers wonder why barbecue sauce and smashed buns pointed the way up North to Cherry Country. What fun to pull into a rest stop and have hot salami sandwiches ready for our lunch. The car engine did all of the work and provided fuel to roam Michigan and fuel for our stomachs at the same time.

Of course, you don’t need to get in the car in order to make these, but if you get bored…head North, South, East or West for some family fun!

By the way, a lot of folks easily down two of these in a sitting, so plan accordingly. Teenager alert: maybe three.

Hot Salami Sandwiches

makes 4


  • 4 Hamburger Buns
  • 8-12 Salami Slices
  • 4 Slices Cheddar Cheese (or use grated cheddar)
  • Barbecue Sauce of choice
  • Onion Slices, Optional


Tear off sheets of aluminum foil that are large enough (at least twelve inches square, but it really depends on the size of the buns) to wrap around buns. Lay foil out on table in assembly line fashion and place opened buns on each piece. Squirt barbecue sauce on top and bottom of hamburger buns; spread with a knife to edges. Layer salami, cheese, onion (if using). Wrap each sandwich in aluminum foil and bake in preheated 375 degree oven until cheese melts; about 15 minutes.

You may wrap sandwiches in paper toweling and microwave on half power until cheese melts, if you are in a great hurry, or if you want kids to help make dinner. Not quite as good, IMHO, but still tasty.

Make it a Full Meal (menu additions coming soon):

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Leave a comment.


  1. Anne Kornow


  2. Katie Andrea


    • akcooker

      Thanks, Katie!

  3. Marla

    I love the story with the pictures of the sandwich!

    I prefer darker colored print than the white.

    Got me wanting to read the story!!

    • akcooker

      Thanks, Marla; I will work on to make a darker font. I am also trying to figure out why I can’t change this to sentence case instead of all caps!

  4. Sherry Warden

    I love the blog with the personal stories. Now I’m trying the “notify me by email” link.

  5. Sherry Warden

    Okay, my last email address didn’t work, so I’m trying my other one.