A bocadillo de jamón y queso is a sandwich prepared on a long bun spread with butter and topped with thin slices of ham and cheese. Once the sandwiches are assembled, they are placed on a heated grill to melt the cheese and to flatten the sandwiches. The sandwiches are ready when the cheese has melted and the outer bread has a crispy brown texture. I always had a sandwich with regular sliced bread at home in the United States until I moved to Puerto Rico as a teenager. Anytime I would order a sandwich with different fillings on the island, it was always prepared on a hot dog bun, grilled and flattened. This was a very different experience for me; however, I was truly fascinated with our culture, custom and cuisine while living in Puerto Rico. These sandwiches are also very popular in Spain. Similarly, they prepare these sandwiches without lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise or mustard.
Several decades later, the “Panini” sandwiches were introduced to the US food industry. These sandwiches are grilled and flattened. They reminded me of the bocadillos that I enjoyed so much in Puerto Rico. However, the traditional bocadillos did not contain the grill lines on top of the bread like the Panini sandwiches because the grills had a smooth surface at that time in Puerto Rico. This is the only major difference between a bocadillo and a panini sandwich!
Since I use a “Panini” grill with both upper and bottom plates containing groves to prepare my bocadillos; therefore, the bocadillos that I prepare will contain the grill lines on top of the bread. However, you can purchase a grill without the groves to make the authentic bocadillos if you so desire.
Let’s Cut the Bread!
You will need a long sub roll white bread that measures approximately 7 inches long and 2½ inches wide.
You can use our popular bread known as “pan de agua” or “pan sobao” if available at the supermarket.
Using a serrated bread knife, cut the bread in half lengthwise.
Let’s Start Assembling the Bocadillo!
Spread butter or margarine made with olive oil on the cut side of both breads.
Add thin slices of Swiss cheese.
The yellow processed cheese is traditionally used for the bocadillos. I prefer the swiss cheese.
Place thin slices of ham on top of cheese.
Place the other cut half of bread on top.
It is Time to Grill the Bocadillos!
Using a panini grill, place the bocadillos on the heated bottom grill plate. Read your operating manual for the panini grill.
The traditional bocadillos are prepared with a grill that contain a smooth surface – no grove lines on the grill plate.
Bring down the upper plate to come in contact with the bocadillos. Gently press down until the bocadillos are flattened. Grill the bocadillos for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
Once the bocadillos are heated thoroughly, cheese is melted and the outer bread has a crispy texture, the bocadillos are ready to be removed from the heated grill.
I normally cut the sandwich in half. Serve warm with a Malta or cup of strong Puerto Rican coffee!
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Prepare the Bocadillo (Ham and Cheese Sandwich)!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts!
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A bocadillo de jamón y queso is a ham and cheese sandwich served on a long sub roll that is heated thoroughly on a grill for an amazing crispy and cheesy ham sandwich.
- 2 long sub rolls, white bread (7-inch long x 2½-inch wide)
- 2 tablespoons margarine made with extra virgin olive oil
- 4 thin slices of swiss cheese
- 6 thin slices of lean ham
- Cut long sub rolls in half lengthwise.
- Spread margarine on the cut side of both breads.
- Add a layer of swiss cheese and ham on top of bread.
- Place the sandwiches on the heated grill.
- Grill sandwiches until cheese is melted and outer bread has a crispy texture.
- Serve with a malta or cup of strong Puerto Rican coffee.
This sandwich is similar to a “panini” sandwich. The difference between the panini and bocadillo is the grill marks. The traditional bocadillo does not contain the grill marks.
- Category: Sandwiches
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican