This copycat Primanti Brothers sandwich is as loaded as the Pittsburgh classic. Full of pastrami, cheese, tangy coleslaw, and fries; this sandwich will satisfy even the heartiest appetites!
My boys and I are all big fans of visiting Primanti Brothers anytime we make it to Pittsburgh.
If you’re not familiar with it, Primanti Brothers is a classic Pittsburgh deli that features sandwiches positively loaded to the brim with meat, cheese, coleslaw, and fries.
Eating one is an experience, and you absolutely never walk away hungry.
This recipe gives you that experience without having to travel to Pittsburgh to eat in the iconic eatery.
It’s a spot on copycat loaded with tangy slaw, fries, and heaps of warm pastrami.
Let’s break the ingredients down into a set for the coleslaw and one for the sandwich itself.
For the coleslaw, you need:
- Shredded cabbage– Go for green cabbage to keep this as authentic to the original as possible.
- Sugar– Granulated sugar to cut the tang from the vinegar and bite from the mustard.
- Vinegar– Use white vinegar here.
- Spices– A combination of sea salt, black pepper, and celery seed.
- Mustard– Use whole grain and not dijon or yellow.
- Canola oil– You can substitute another mild oil if you need to.
For the sandwich you’ll need:
- Bread– I highly recommend using thickly cut slices of Italian bakery bread.
- Pastrami– Ask for it sliced thin and warm it in a skillet before you make this sandwich.
- Cheese– Go for a good quality provolone.
- Fries– Use shoestring style fries and cook them according to the package instructions.
- Coleslaw– See above.
- Tomato– Cut in slices.
How to Make
To make this, start by making the coleslaw before you assemble the sandwich.
For the slaw, add the shredded cabbage to a medium sized mixing bowl.
Then add the remaining ingredients into a small bowl or mason jar. Whisk or shake the ingredients together to combine.
Pour the dressing over the shredded cabbage and give everything a toss to combine.
Then cover the coleslaw tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours but up to overnight.
Once your coleslaw has marinated and is ready, you can build your sandwich.
To do it, add one slice of thick Italian bread to a plate.
Top it with warm pastrami, provolone, cooked shoestring fries, a pile of coleslaw and the tomato slices.
Close the sandwich with the other thick slice of bread.
Cut it in half with a thick knife and serve.
This recipe is for one full sandwich. You can easily double, triple, quadruple it as needed!
The coleslaw makes enough for 4-6 sandwiches depending on how much or how little you use.
Leftovers of the assembled sandwich don’t hold up well. The sandwich will get soggy in the fridge.
However, you can store any leftover oil & vinegar coleslaw in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure to ask for your pastrami thinly sliced.
- You can make these sandwiches using pastrami (as shown) or with capicola ham- the eatery makes it both ways.
- Don’t skimp when you make your sandwich. You really want to pile it high with meat, fries, and slaw.
- Use your favorite kind of shoestring fries and cook them in your favorite method.
- These sandwiches work well served with extra fries, potato chips, and pickles.
Other Pittsburgh Inspired Recipes
These copycat Primanti Brothers sandwiches are my favorite way to get a taste of the Steel City at home. Make them today and satisfy our cravings.
Looking for other Pittsburgh inspired recipes? Try these:
- City Chicken Recipe
- Pittsburgh Salad
- Homemade Pierogi
- Pittsburgh Style Ham Barbecue Sandwiches
- Haluski (Polish Fried Cabbage & Noodles)
If you’ve tried this COPYCAT PRIMANTI BROTHERS SANDWICH, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
Copycat Primanti Brothers Sandwich
For The Coleslaw
- 6 cups shredded green cabbage
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 tsp ground sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 2 tbsp canola oil
For The Sandwich
- 2 slices thick cut Italian bread
- thinly sliced pastrami warmed in a skillet
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- shoestring style french fries cooked according to package directions
- 2 slices tomato
To Make The Slaw
- Add the shredded cabbage to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Add all of the remaining coleslaw ingredients to a small mason jar. Close the lid, and shake until the ingredients are all evenly combined.
- Pour the dressing out over the coleslaw, and then gently toss until everything's nicely coated.
- Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw for 2 hours, or up to overnight. Toss again just before serving.
To Assemble The Sandwich
- Start building your Primanti Bro's style sandwich by adding one of the slices of bread to a plate.
- To that layer warm pastrami, provolone cheese, french fries, coleslaw, and tomato.
- Add the other slice of bread to close the sandwich, and using a sharp knife (carefully) cut the sandwich in half.
- Serve with extra fries on the side & enjoy!