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Grinder Salad

This fresh and crunchy grinder salad recipe is a deconstructed version of the classic Italian sub sandwich! With crisp lettuce, savory deli meat, provolone, and veggies tossed in an irresistibly creamy dressing.

Grinder salad in a large white bowl.


The Tik-Tok Famous Grinder Salad is everything you love about the classic Italian sandwich, deconstructed into a fresh, easy bowlful. This recipe has crispy lettuce, grape tomatoes, onions, a savory combination of deli meats, mild cheese, and sweet and spicy pepperoncini peppers tossed in a tangy dressing. If you love the idea of turning your favorite sandwiches into salads (like this crispy BLT salad), you’re going to want to try this grinder salad ASAP!

Why You’ll Love This Italian Grinder Salad Recipe

  • Fresh ingredients. You’ll love the combination of meaty and fresh ingredients in this easy salad recipe. Crisp iceberg lettuce, ripe veggies, and savory deli meat work some serious magic in the zesty homemade dressing.
  • Packed with flavor. All the incredible flavors you love in an Italian grinder shine through in this salad. The dressing is a creamy combination of mayo, Italian seasoning, fresh garlic, and grated parmesan.
  • Easy to make. Whip up the dressing in one bowl, combine your salad ingredients in another, and then give everything a good toss. Super simple, and so satisfying!
Ingredients for grinder salad.

Salad Ingredients

The dressing and salad ingredients are easy to come by in your local deli or supermarket. You’ll find some quick notes below, and remember to scroll to the recipe card for a printable ingredients list.

  • Lettuce – Crisp iceberg lettuce or Romaine. 
  • Deli Meat – This salad combines all the meats you’ll find in a classic Italian grinder, including chopped salami, deli ham, and pepperoni. Together they bring tons of flavor.
  • Cheese – Chopped provolone cheese. Another mild cheese, like cheddar, also works, as does Monterey Jack.
  • Tomatoes – I like to use sweet grape tomatoes, but any variety tastes great in this salad. 
  • Onion – Thinly sliced red onion. You can also use white or yellow onion.
  • Pepperoncini Peppers – These are sweet Italian chili peppers that are usually sold pickled. Pepperoncini can be mild or spicy, so choose the variety that you prefer.


  • Mayonnaise – Mayo forms the creamy base of the salad dressing. For a lighter option, you can replace some or all of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. The flavor will be a bit different.
  • Parmesan Cheese – I recommend freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, but the pre-grated kind is fine here, too.
  • Vinegar – Red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar give the dressing a tangy kick. Plain ol’ white vinegar also works.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced garlic. You can adapt the number of cloves to taste.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar or light brown sugar, whichever you have on hand.
  • Seasoning – Italian seasoning (either store-bought or homemade), salt, and black pepper. If you’re a fan of spice, go ahead and sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes over the salad when serving.

How to Make a Grinder Salad

Salads are some of the easiest recipes! This grinder salad comes together in 3 short steps. Have a scroll down to the recipe card for printable instructions.

  • Make the dressing. First, you’ll whisk together the dressing ingredients. Cover and refrigerate the dressing until you’re ready to use it.
  • Prepare the salad. Combine all of your salad ingredients in a large serving bowl.
  • Combine. Drizzle the dressing all over the salad and toss to coat. Serve this grinder salad as a light lunch or as a side with your favorite mains, see below for ideas.
Grinder salad and dressing tossed together in a wooden bowl, with a set of salad tongs.

Tips and Variation Ideas

Try these tips and easy variations to make this grinder salad even more to your liking:

  • Replace the seasonings in the dressing. The parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in the salad dressing can be replaced with my pre-mixed Italian dressing mix.
  • Dress the salad before serving. Leave off the dressing until you’re ready to serve. This way, the lettuce and ingredients stay fresh and crisp, and not soggy.
  • Try a different dressing. Adapt this creamy dressing to taste by adding more vinegar and seasonings. You can also try a lighter option, like apple cider vinaigrette.
  • Change up the deli meats. In place of salami, ham, and pepperoni, try sliced turkey, roast beef, or any meat you’d like. Feel free to mix and match your favorites!
  • More add-ins. Add pitted olives, sliced bell peppers, capers, or crispy homemade croutons. Creamy avocado is another tasty add-on to an Italian grinder salad.
  • More protein. Top your grinder salad with sliced or diced grilled chicken (like this grilled chicken antipasto salad). Steak bites also taste great.
Grinder salad ingredients combined in a large bowl.

What to Serve With a Grinder Salad

Turn this salad into a main topped with grilled or smoked chicken, with a side of homemade garlic bread for a delicious, Italian-inspired meal. A fresh and crunchy grinder salad is also tasty served as is, washed down with a glass of sangria in the summertime. For a cozy meal in the colder months, enjoy this savory salad as a side to Italian sausage soup or bright and lemony avgolemono soup.

Grinder salad and dressing tossed together in a wooden bowl.

Storing Leftovers

This salad is best enjoyed right away, since the lettuce becomes soggy the longer it sits. Try to store the salad separately from the dressing. If you have leftovers, store them airtight in the fridge for up to 2 days.

More Easy Salad Recipes

Yield: 4 servings

Grinder Salad

Grinder salad in a large white bowl.

This fresh and crunchy grinder salad recipe is packed with all the savory flavors of an Italian sub sandwich! With crisp lettuce, deli meat, and cheese tossed in a creamy dressing.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 8 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 8 oz salami, chopped
  • 8 oz deli ham, chopped
  • 8 oz pepperoni, chopped
  • 8 oz provolone cheese, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup pepperoncini peppers


  • ½ cup mayo
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a small bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Mix until well combined. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to use. 
  2. In a large bowl add all of the salad ingredients. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the top and mix until everything is well coated. 
  4. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 1063Total Fat 86gSaturated Fat 32gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 50gCholesterol 203mgSodium 3788mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 4gSugar 9gProtein 51g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Wednesday 15th of May 2024

Ingredients are now on my shopping list!!! Can't wait to try this.


Friday 10th of May 2024

Absolutely loved the Grinder Salad recipe! The mix of flavors and textures was just phenomenal. I used it to top off some homemade subs, and it was a game-changer. Such a fresh addition to our meal


Thursday 9th of May 2024

This salad is going to be a staple of mine this summer! It's amazing


Thursday 9th of May 2024

I had this for lunch yesterday and I loved it! Perfect on busy weekdays!


Thursday 9th of May 2024

Oh man this really hit the spot. Made it last night for a family party. Thanks a bunch!

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