Grinder Salad Sandwich

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You’ll love this Grinder Salad Sandwich recipe that features Italian meats, provolone cheese, and a creamy grinder salad. It’s one of those viral TikTok recipes you can’t stop eating!

grinder salad sandwich showing meats, cheeses and salad.

What is a Grinder Sandwich?

A grinder is basically a sub sandwich made with Italian bread that’s piled high with deli meats and cheeses. While grinders were originally made popular in New England, a hot submarine sandwich is well known throughout the United States.

But, the crowning glory of this simple Italian sandwich is the shredded iceberg lettuce topped with a creamy mayo dressing! The mayonnaise is the key ingredient in the original TikTok recipe.

The flavorful salad includes red onion, banana peppers and lettuce which is mixed with mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic and Italian seasonings. It’s placed on a hoagie roll or long, crusty bread along with cold cuts, sliced tomato, and provolone cheese that’s been toasted in the oven until melted and crispy.

This Italian grinder sandwich has gone viral on TikTok and social media for good reason! It’s the salad dressing ingredients that take this classic grinder to the next level. This sub also pairs well with other sandwiches like Sheet Pan Sliders and Cheesy Meatball Sliders with BBQ sauce.

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Why You’ll Love It

  • incredible flavor
  • messy and worth it!
  • perfect for weeknights, game day or parties when cut into smaller portions
grinder salad sandwich with chips in a basket.

Ingredients

  • Dressing: mayonnaise, garlic, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt & black pepper
  • Salad: shredded iceberg lettuce, red onion slices, banana peppers
  • Meats & Cheese: black forest ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, parmesan
  • Toppings: sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
ingredients needed to make recipe.
Ingredients needed for Grinders

How to Make Grinder Salad

  • Make the dressing ahead of time so the flavors can blend together in the fridge.
  • In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, garlic, vinegar, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper together. Refrigerate while assembling the grinder sandwiches.
  • Shred the head of iceberg lettuce with a knife. Mix with banana peppers and red onion slices in a large bowl. Cover and keep in refrigerator until time to mix with dressing. Then, combine the salad and dressing with kitchen tongs (ad).

How to Make a Grinder Sandwich

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Slice loaf of bread down the middle and open to 2 long slices. Place on a sheet pan and hollow out the middle of the bread. Leave about 1 inch of bread all the way around and discard the crumbs.
  • Place the sliced cheese on one half of the bread. Layer ham, salami and pepperoni on the other half.
  • Put sub in oven and heat until cheese melts and bread is toasted. (around 5 minutes).
  • Take out of oven and add tomato slices on top of the baked deli meats. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  • Remove salad and dressing from fridge. Pour dressing over lettuce and veggies in bowl. Toss well with kitchen tongs (ad) and place on top of cheese.
  • Grate fresh parmesan over tomatoes and salad.
  • Close sandwich by placing one side on top of the other. Press down to seal.
  • Just before serving, cut into slices and serve with potato chips or potato wedges to scoop up extra salad!

Expert Tips

  • Use a really good mayonnaise like Dukes (ad) that adds nice flavor to the dressing.
  • Wait until the last minute to mix the salad with the dressing to keep it from wilting.
  • Make sure to heat the sub in the oven until the cheese melts and bread is crispy on the edges. This is an important step!
grinder salad sandwich after it has been put together.

Storage

Leftover sandwiches can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in the refrigerator for 2 days. However, the salad will wilt so you may want to take it off the sandwich and add later.

If you have leftover salad, store it in an airtight container for up to 1 day. After that, it won’t be crispy. Unfortunately, this sandwich can’t be frozen.

sandwich with a plate of chips.

Variations

  • Add diced green bell peppers or pepperoncini peppers (ad) for a nice touch.
  • Toss in some sliced kalamata olives (ad) for extra flavor, or drizzle tomatoes with olive oil.
  • Use any type of long crusted bread roll like French bread, or purchase a hoagie bun.
  • Use turkey slices, romaine lettuce, or any type of meat and cheese you like!

Recipe FAQS

How did the grinder get its name?

It’s been said that the grinder got its name from being harder to chew than a regular sandwich, thus causing folks to grind their teeth. Hence, the term “grinder.”

What are some other names for grinder?

In New York, a grinder is called a Hero, while in Philadelphia it’s called a Hoagie. Down south, we call these sandwiches subs or submarines, which is also a popular name across the United States.

What is grinder bread?

The bread used to make an Italian American sandwich is chewy and dense. It’s typically a long and crusty roll that’s harder to chew than regular sandwich bread.

Is the grinder salad good to eat by itself?

Absolutely! This salad is so tasty, you’ll want to serve any leftovers with the sandwich, or refrigerate and eat by itself the next day. In the original TikTok video, they scoop up extra salad with potato chips!

inside look at a grinder salad sandwich.

What Sides Go with Grinders?

This TikTok grinder sandwich goes great with something as simple as a side of potato chips. Or, you can enjoy it with french fries, coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans.

You’ll get hooked on the incredible flavor of this sandwich and won’t be able to stop eating the salad! It’s a huge grinder that can easily feed 8 people, but can be cut into smaller portions for parties, game days, and events.

If you’re planning a party and want to make a big spread, try adding these recipes….

Recipe Card

grinder salad sandwich showing meats, cheeses and salad.

Grinder Salad Sandwich

You'll love this Grinder Salad Sandwich recipe that features Italian meats, provolone cheese, and a creamy grinder salad that's gone viral on TikTok!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads, Sandwiches
Cuisine: Italian American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 1248kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper

SALAD

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded (shredded)
  • ½ large red onion (sliced)
  • 1 cup banana peppers (sliced)

BREAD

  • 1 large loaf Italian bread (I used 5 grain)

MEATS & CHEESE

  • ½ pound deli ham (sliced thin)
  • ½ pound provolone cheese (sliced)
  • 4 ounce package salami
  • 4 ounce package pepperoni

TOPPINGS

  • 1 large tomato (sliced)
  • 1 dash dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 dash salt and pepper
  • 1 ounce freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

DRESSING & SALAD

  • In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, garlic, vinegar, seasoning, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper together. Refrigerate while assembling the grinder sandwiches.
  • In a large bowl, shred the iceberg lettuce and mix with banana peppers and red onion slices. Cover and keep in refrigerator until time to mix with dressing.

BREAD

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Slice loaf of bread down the middle and open to 2 long slices.
  • Place bread slices on a sheet pan and hollow out the middle on both sides. Leave about 1 inch of bread all the way around and discard the crumbs.

GRINDER

  • Place the sliced cheese on one half of the hollowed bread. Layer ham, salami and pepperoni on the other half.
  • Put sub in oven and heat 5 minutes until cheese melts and bread is toasted.
  • Take out of oven and add tomato slices on top of the baked deli meats.
  • Sprinkle tomatoes with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  • Remove salad and dressing from fridge. Pour dressing over lettuce and veggies in bowl. Toss well with kitchen tongs and place on top of cheese side of the bread.
  • Grate parmesan cheese over salad and tomatoes. (optional)
  • Close sandwich by placing one side on top of the other. Press down to seal.
  • Just before serving, cut into slices and serve with potato chips or french fries to scoop up extra salad!

Notes

  • Use a really good mayonnaise like Dukes (ad) that adds nice flavor to the dressing.
  • Wait until the last minute to mix the salad with the dressing to keep it from wilting.
  • Make sure to heat the sub in the oven until the cheese melts and bread is crispy on the edges. This is an important step!
  • View the Google Web Story for this recipe! 

Nutrition

Calories: 1248kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 101g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Sodium: 3386mg | Potassium: 862mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 303mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh! This sandwich is off the charts! I just love your recipes. You have the best pictures and everything is easy to follow. Thanks for making it a joy to cook again!

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