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Italian Grinder Salad

A take on the viral grinder sandwich, this Italian Grinder Salad is made with thinly sliced cold-cuts, shredded provolone, red onion, pepperoncini, and tomatoes, all tossed with that classic grinder dressing! It’s the ultimate 15-minute salad for lunch or an Italian themed dinner night.

Why You’ll Love This TikTok Grinder Salad

Don’t be surprised if everyone suddenly starts asking for seconds of this Italian grinder salad.

  • Bursting with flavor. Between the salami, capricola, and provolone, every bite has the perfect amount of savoriness balanced out by sweet beefsteak tomatoes. Spicy red onions and pepperoncini peppers also add crunch and the perfect amount of heat.
  • Easy. All you need to do is whisk the dressing and toss the salad. Any home cook can pull it off.
  • Trendy. Impress your friends and family by serving this trending salad recipe that’s all over the internet.
  • Prep-friendly. Toss the salad and prepare the dressing in advance so all you have to do is pack it for lunch or serve it for dinner during the week.
Grabbing the plate of Italian grinder salad with sliced tomatoes on top.

What Is An Italian Grinder?

An Italian grinder is an Italian-inspired sandwich filled with salami, provolone, and classic veggies like lettuce, tomato, and onion. For more flavor, other ingredients like pepperoni, prosciutto, roasted turkey, and peppers can be added. Once ready, it’s popped into the oven until the bread is toasty and the cheese is melty. This is the salad-version of an Italian grinder, using the same ingredients (minus the bread) and a simple dressing.

Ingredients for a grinder salad recipe.

Recipe Ingredients

This sub-inspired salad is packed with Italian ingredients for a combination of fresh veggies and savory cold-cuts. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

For the Salad

  • Green leaf lettuce – Iceberg lettuce is best for this salad because it’s quite firm.
  • Beef steak tomato – You can also use heirloom tomatoes.
  • Red onion – White onion is a great swap if needed.
  • Pepperoncini peppers – Look for them in deli stores. They’re usually canned or jarred.
  • Oven roasted turkey – Grilled turkey works too, if you like.
  • Capricola and salami – Capricola is an Italian cold-cut similar to prosciutto.
  • Provolone – This is the best kind of cheese to use, but feel free to pick any melty cheese you like.

For the Dressing

  • Mayo – Feel free to use full-fat or low-fat mayo.
  • Olive oil – Avocado oil is okay too.
  • Red wine vinegar – Don’t use regular vinegar for this.
  • Dried oregano and basil – Mix in dried herbs rather than fresh.
  • Parmesan – I recommend using the fresh stuff for this recipe.
  • Garlic – No garlic powder please.
  • Salt and black pepper – Freshly ground black pepper tastes the best.
  • Red pepper flakes – For a little bit of added heat. Feel free to omit this if you’re not a fan of spice!
Close-up of an Italian grinder salad with creamy dressing.

How to Make An Italian Grinder Salad

Whisk and toss… That’s it! Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  • Make the dressing. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Set it aside.
  • Toss the salad. Mix all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then toss to combine. Serve your salad with the dressing on the side or drizzle it right in. Enjoy!

Tips & Recipe Variations

Feel free to try out these tips and variations with any version of this TikTok grinder salad:

  • Swap the cold cuts. No worries if you’re out of salami or can’t find capricola. Swap them for pepperoni and prosciutto instead.
  • Use rotisserie chicken. Add your leftover rotisserie chicken to this salad for a heartier side. You can even turn it into the main dish if you add enough of it.
  • Add nuts and seeds. Sprinkling in a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds will give the salad some crunch.
  • Use store-bought dressing. When you don’t have time to make the dressing, use your favorite store-bought vinaigrette.
  • Add croutons. To substitute the bread in a traditional grinder, add a handful of croutons to your salad.
Large plate of TikTok grinder salad.

Serving Suggestions

This grinder salad recipe is perfect with all of your Italian-inspired dishes like eggplant parmesan with Italian sausage sauce or tomato pappardelle. A bowl of minestrone soup can also keep things extra classic. If you’re not going for an Italian-night, then serve it as a side for your favorite steak like my cast iron cowboy steak.

Can This Italian Grinder Salad Be Prepared In Advance?

Absolutely! Toss the salad without the tomatoes up to 3 days in advance. Add the tomatoes right before serving so that they don’t release moisture. As for the dressing, feel free to prepare it up to 5 days in advance.

Grinder salad recipe on a plate.

How to Store

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If possible, store the salad and dressing separately so that the veggies stay nice and crisp. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight when on the counter for serving. Enjoy it straight out of the fridge.

More Easy Salad Recipes

There are so many ways to make a flavor-packed, quickly assembled salad! Here are a few more of my favorite recipes:

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Plate of Italian grinder salad recipe.

Italian Grinder Salad

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  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American


This easy Italian grinder salad recipe with homemade dressing is a trending 15-minute side that’ll be a hit at the dinner table.


  • 1 large head of green leaf lettuce, shredded
  • 1 large vine ripe or beef steak tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers
  • 3 ounces salami, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces oven roasted turkey, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces Capricola, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces provolone, shredded

Grinder Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Make Dressing: Add mayo, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, basil, parmesan, minced garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to a small bowl and whisk together until smooth and combined. Set aside.
  2. Assemble Salad: To a large bowl or plate add green leaf lettuce, red onion, pepperoncini, salami, turkey, capricola and provolone. Pour dressing over top and using tongs toss the salad until everything is coated.
  3. Garnish: Top the salad with the sliced tomatoes and serve!


  • To store. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If possible, store the salad and dressing separately so that the veggies stay nice and crisp. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight when on the counter for serving. Enjoy it straight out of the fridge.

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