Allow me to introduce you to this Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit SPAM Sandwich. It won the national SPAM brand recipe contest which I managed for 15+ years.
Panko-crusted SPAM is paired with a warm cabbage slaw and served on pretzel buns. The award-winning sandwich comes from Lisa Dziadulewicz who first won her blue ribbon bragging rights at the 2015 Wisconsin State Fair. She went on to win national honors as well.
The schnitzel-inspired sandwich is a nod to the Midwest’s broad German heritage, and more specifically Wisconsin, where the home cook and creator lives.
When I saw “German Sandwich Day” (September 24) on the national today calendar, I knew the time was ripe to pull this indulgent, blissfully delicious recipe from our archives.
This Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit SPAM Sandwich recipe is an all-time favorite recipe because it is tasty and brings on so many fond memories of the SPAM contest. Plus, my family ate pork schnitzel almost every Christmas when I was growing up. I hope you make this sandwich soon and love it as much as we do.
Recipe Prep Tips
- You can make the warm cabbage slaw ahead of time and freeze portions of it so it’s ready on the fly when you’re ready to fry up a few of these sandwiches. This works well if you don’t want to make all 12 sandwiches at the same time.
- If you are making the full batch at the same time, keep the fried SPAM slices in a pan in a warm oven while you work your way through prepping all 12. Served warm, these sandwiches really bring on the gemütlichkeit.
- If you can’t find pretzel rolls, any hard rolls, like Kaiser or ciabatta will work also.
- Be sure to get the panko-crusted SPAM nice and golden brown as that texture makes for an amazing bite each time.
Gemütlichkeit, pronounced “guh-MOOT-luh-kite,” refers to something “welcoming” and “cheerful.” While this recipe clearly embraces the German food theme, the sandwich has broad appeal as well.
The tender savory SPAM with its crispy coating is a delight to bite into as it perfectly complements the pretzel bread and zippy mustard. When topped with the bacon-rich, colorful red cabbage, you have something epic in your hands.
p.s. If you’re into globe-trotting eats-wise: for dessert, we recommend whipping up a batch of these Guinness-themed cookies, another Wisconsin State Fair winner.
Wisconsin Gemütlichkeit SPAM Sandwich
8 ounces bacon, cut to 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
4 cups thinly sliced green and red cabbage
12 hamburger sized pretzel rolls
1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
2 (12-ounce) cans bacon SPAM
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup sweet spicy mustard
In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Place on paper towels; set aside. With 2-3 tablespoons bacon drippings still in pan, sauté onion until softened, 3-5 minutes. Mix in 1 tablespoon flour. Cook 2 minutes, then mix in apple cider vinegar, sugar, and ground pepper. Add cabbage, stirring until it slightly wilts, about 1-2 minutes. Add reserved bacon pieces. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Cut pretzel rolls in half. Lightly brush rolls with a small amount of oil and place face-side down on a baking sheet. Lightly toast rolls in the oven for about 5-10 minutes; set aside. Cut the two cans of SPAM to 12 slices. Place flour, eggs and panko crumbs into three separate shallow bowls. Dredge each slice in flour, then eggs, and panko crumbs last. In large skillet over medium heat, sauté slices in small amounts of oil until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Assemble the 12 sandwiches with mustard, SPAM, and cabbage slaw, and serve. Makes 12 sandwiches.