The Grinder Salad is a twist on the traditional sandwich that brings together all your favorite grinder sandwich ingredients in a mouthwatering yet nutritious salad. This Grinder Salad recipe offers a customizable option for those looking to enjoy the hearty flavor of a grinder sandwich without the heaviness of the bread.
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I recall the viral grinder sandwich on Tik Tok. I’d watch endless videos waiting for the day I could make it. But rather than use the crusty bread that a grinder sandwich calls for, I wanted a salad and simply skipped the bread in this recipe. And let’s just say, once I tried it, I’ve been hooked on this salad.
This salad is called Grinder Salad because it incorporates all the classic ingredients found in a grinder sandwich such as salami, pepperoni, ham, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. The flavors are bold, but the salad is light and refreshing. It’s the perfect summer lunch or dinner option that even picky eaters will love. Plus, it’s so easy to make and customize to fit your own tastes.
The Grinder Salad starts with a base of fresh Iceberg lettuce. Then, you can customize it with your favorite grinder toppings like salami, pepperoni, ham, provolone cheese, onions, tomatoes, and banana peppers. Finally, to top it off, toss it in a delicious and creamy homemade dressing.
Grinder Salad Ingredients
Salad Base: shredded lettuce, sliced deli meat, cherry tomatoes, banana peppers (or pepperoncini peppers), red onion, and provolone cheese.
Grinder Salad Dressing: mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes.
How to make a Grinder Salad:
Start by washing and shredding the iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and banana peppers and place in a large bowl. Add your desired deli meat and cheese and mix everything together.
In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes for the dressing.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until everything is evenly coated. Serve your Grinder Salad and enjoy!
How to make this Salad ahead and pack it for lunch
To make this salad ahead and pack it for lunch, you can prepare the salad ingredients in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make the dressing separately and store it in a separate, small, airtight container.
When it’s time for lunch, simply mix together the salad base and creamy dressing and toss to combine. Eat immediately. This is the best way to ensure your salad does not get soggy.
How to customize this salad
You can customize the Grinder Salad by adding any ingredients you like. For example, you can add other vegetables such as whole tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, or any other vegetables you have on hand.
You can also add proteins such as cooked chicken, tuna, or hard-boiled eggs. Try other deli meats like roast beef, or other Italian meats.
For the cheese, try adding different types, like Parmesan cheese, swiss cheese, feta, or goat cheese. You can also change up the dressing by adding different herbs or spices.
Turn this salad into a grinder sandwich by adding it on top of crusty bread. Or top the salad with croutons. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this creamy iceberg salad.
If you would rather skip the homemade dressing, a creamy Italian dressing works as well.
What type of sandwich is the grinder sandwich?
The grinder sandwich, alternatively known as a submarine sandwich, sub, or hoagie, is believed to have earned its “grinder” moniker from the New England region of the United States, specifically within the Italian-American community in Connecticut during the early 20th century. One theory behind the name suggests that the sandwich was called a grinder due to the effort required to chew the crusty bread traditionally used, making the eating experience similar to “grinding” the sandwich between the teeth.
Yes, you can prepare the Grinder Salad ahead of time. However, it’s best to keep the dressing separate and add it just before serving to maintain the freshness and crunch of the ingredients.
Consider using grilled vegetables, marinated artichokes, or avocado slices for vegetarian options. For a vegan Grinder Salad, you can substitute the deli meats with plant-based alternatives, such as vegan deli slices or tempeh, and use vegan cheese or a nut-based cheese substitute.
To create a lower-calorie Grinder Salad, opt for leaner deli meats, such as turkey or chicken, and use reduced-fat cheese. You can also reduce the amount of dressing or create a lighter dressing by substituting some of the mayonnaise with a low-calorie ingredient, like Greek yogurt.
I hope you enjoy this delicious salad as much as we do. If you like this salad, try our buffalo chicken salad recipe.
Grinder Salad Recipe
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce shredded
- 1/2 cup chopped deli meat of choice Salami and turkey
- 1/2 cup chopped provolone cheese parmesan, smoked cheddar, or mozzarella pearls work as well
- 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1/3 cup banana peppers or pepperoncini chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
Grinder Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Combine the lettuce, deli meat, cheese, tomatoes, banana peppers, and onions in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, Italian seasonings, and oregano in a small bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve and enjoy.