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Serranito Recipe (Spanish Sandwich with Aioli and Serrano Ham)

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Prepare to be serenaded by a sandwich that has crunch, juiciness, and caramelized sweetness with every mouthful courtesy of my serranito recipe. This Andalusian favorite is a hugely popular style of bocadillo and will bring Spanish flair and mouthwatering flavor to lunch or dinner.

Serranito sandwiches

Serranito Recipe

Serranito sandwich (up-close)

What is a Serranito?

For clarity, the serranito is a type of bocadillo or Spanish sandwich (see the section below for more on bocadillos). It hails from Andalusia and is especially popular in places like Seville, where it is a beloved choice of fast food.

While the serranito has variations, it typically contains pork loin or, less commonly, chicken (as I have used in my recipe), cured ham (typically Serrano ham), sliced tomato, and fried/sautéed green pepper. A base sauce to bind the ingredients, such as mayonnaise or aioli, is also common.

What is a Bocadillo?

A bocadillo is a type of Spanish sandwich made with barra de pan, which is essentially a Spanish baguette. The sandwich is typically cut lengthways and historically was a cheap, inexpensive food.

Generally, bocadillos are made from a simple combination of ingredients, such as ham and tomato or ham and cheese. The Serranito somewhat breaks the mold because it uses many more ingredients than is typical of a bocadillo filling.

Today, the bocadillo is an iconic dish in Spanish cuisine and is enjoyed at cafes, bars, and street vendors across Spain.

Ingredients

Let’s get started with my serranito recipe. You’ll first need to assemble the following ingredients (for two serranitos):

Serranito sandwich ingredients on a wooden board.

For the Serranito:

  • Baguette – 1 small baguette
  • Serrano Ham – 6 thin Serrano ham slices
  • Chicken Breast* – 1 large chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • Green Pepper – 1 large green pepper, sliced
  • Tomato – 1 large tomato, sliced
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper – 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Olive Oil – 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more if making aioli (see below)

Option A: Aioli Sauce for the Serranito:

  • Garlic – 3 large garlic cloves
  • Egg – 1 egg
  • Olive Oil – about 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt – a pinch of salt
  • Lemon Juice – a squeeze of lemon juice, optional

Option B: The Easy Option (Garlic-Flavored Mayo)

This sandwich is fantastic with aioli but if you want a simpler recipe, you can simply use mayonnaise mixed with minced garlic and (optionally) a squeeze of lemon juice.

  • Garlic – 1 large garlic clove (or more to taste)
  • Mayo – 1/3 cup
  • Lemon Juice – a squeeze of lemon juice, optional

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Slice the green pepper. Then, place a pan on medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of oil, and once the oil is hot, add the pepper slices, frying them over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side.

Frying the peppers.

Flip them occasionally. Get a nice char on them, but be careful not to burn them. After about 2-3 minutes per side, you can lower the heat and keep cooking them for about 7 more minutes to make them softer.

Charred peppers

Step 2 – Season the thinly sliced chicken breast with salt and pepper. Then, place a pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, add the chicken breast slices and cook until cooked through (about 2-3 minutes per side).

Grilled/pan-fried chicken breast.

Step 3 – Slice the baguette in half lengthwise, drizzle some olive oil, and then cut it in two and toast it in a pan over medium-high heat for just a couple minutes until it gets a nice golden-brown toasted color.

Baguette cut lengthwise.
Drizzling olive oil on the baguette.
Toasting the baguette halves.

Step 4 – Before assembling the Serranito, you need to make the sauce. You can make the aioli (below) or you can also use a garlic-flavored mayo.

For the Garlic-Flavored Mayo:

To make the garlic mayo, combine 1/3 cup of mayo with 1 minced clove of garlic (or more, to taste) and a squeeze of lemon juice.

For the Aioli:

To make the aioli, first separate the egg yolk from the egg white.

Egg yolk separated from egg white for the aioli for the serranito.

Then, add the garlic cloves, egg yolk, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice to a tall cup or glass in which you can use an immersion blender. Then blend, while slowly drizzling in the olive oil (about 3/4 cup) until emulsified.

Making the aioli.

Pro tip: If you don’t like the strong taste of raw garlic, you can remove the sprout from the garlic to make the aioli less pungent/harsh. This particularly helps if the garlic you’re using is older (you can tell when that is as the sprout gets more pronounced and starts turning light green). To remove it, slice the garlic clove in half lengthwise and then with the tip of a knife, take out the sprout from the middle (as shown below).

Removing the sprout from the garlic.

Step 5 – Let’s assemble the Serranito!

First, spread a couple tablespoons of the sauce (aioli or the garlic-flavored mayo, depending on what option you chose) on the toasted baguette halves.

Speading aioli on the toasted baguette halves.

Then, add the grilled chicken.

Adding the pan-fried chicken.

Add the Serrano ham.

Adding the Serrano ham.

And finally, add the charred pepper slices and tomato slices.

Serranito bocadillo being assembled (adding the final ingredients - tomatoes and peppers).

Serving Suggestions

You can absolutely serve this delightful sandwich as it is, as so many tapas bars and cafes do in Spain.

Serranito bocadillo is ready to be served.

If you want to make your lunch or gathering more Spanish-themed, consider the following:

French Fries – It is common for a serranito to be served with a side of hot, crispy fries.

Tapas – If you’re having a Spanish-themed evening, you could serve these along tapas like croquetas and patatas bravas.

Drinks – A cold beer or a glass of red wine are often ordered with serranito to wash it down with.

Other Condiments – Bring some ketchup, mayo, mustard, and other flavored mayos to the table so your guests can get creative.

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this Andalusian classic.

Recipe Card

Yield: 2

Serranito

Serranito
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Serranito

  • 1 small baguette
  • 6 thin Serrano ham slices
  • 1 large chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 1 large green pepper, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more if making aioli (see below)

Option A: Aioli Sauce for the Serranito

  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • about 3/4 cup olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • a squeeze of lemon juice, optional

Option B: The Easy Option (Garlic-Flavored Mayo)

  • 1 large garlic clove (or more to taste)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • a squeeze of lemon juice, optional

Instructions

  1. Slice the green pepper. Then, place a pan on medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of oil, and once the oil is hot, add the pepper slices, frying them over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. Flip them occasionally. Get a nice char on them, but be careful not to burn them. After 2-3 minutes per side, you can lower the heat and cook them for about seven more minutes to make them softer.
  2. Season the thinly sliced chicken breast with salt and pepper. Then, place a pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, add the chicken breast slices and cook until cooked through (about 2-3 minutes per side).
  3. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise, drizzle some olive oil, and then cut it in two and toast it in a pan over medium-high heat for just a couple minutes until it gets a nice golden-brown toasted color.
  4. Before assembling the Serranito, you need to make the sauce. You can make the aioli, or you can also use a garlic-flavored mayo.

    For the Garlic-Flavored Mayo: To make the garlic mayo, combine 1/3 cup of mayo with one minced clove of garlic (or more, to taste) and a squeeze of lemon juice.

    For the Aioli: First, separate the egg yolk from the egg white to make the aioli. Then, add the garlic cloves, egg yolk, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice to a tall cup or glass in which you can use an immersion blender. Blend while slowly drizzling in the olive oil (about 3/4 cup) until emulsified.
  5. Let’s assemble the Serranito! First, spread a couple of tablespoons of the sauce (aioli or the garlic-flavored mayo, depending on your choice) on the toasted baguette halves. Then, add the grilled chicken, Serrano ham, charred pepper slices, and tomato slices.

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Save and Pin for Later

Keep my serranito recipe for safekeeping, ready for tapas night or a Spanish-inspired lunch, by saving it to one of your recipe boards.

Two serranitos bocadillos (pin).

Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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