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This grinder salad is a deconstructed version of the classic sandwich, made with lettuce, brussels sprouts, salami, ham, provolone, and fresh veggies. It’s all coated in a creamy, savory dressing that you won’t be able to get enough of!

Don’t underestimate the power of a good chopped salad! Try this Italian chopped salad or Portillo’s chopped salad next, they’re so tasty!

Hero image of grinder salad in a serving bowl.

Grinder Salad Recipe

Let me tell you why this grinder salad is the best and why you’ve gotta try it ASAP! Imagine all the epic flavors of a classic Italian grinder sub, but with a fresh and vibrant twist that your taste buds will go crazy over. First things first, this dressing is the real deal. Creamy mayo meets tangy red wine vinegar, and then we throw in some Italian seasonings, zesty garlic, and a kick of pepperoncini pepper liquid. Oh, and don’t forget the grated parmesan for that extra savory punch!

Now, let’s talk about the salad itself. We’ve got crisp shredded iceberg lettuce and thin slices of Brussels sprouts for some serious crunch. But wait, it gets better! We pile on the salami and deli ham for some mouthwatering protein, and the provolone cheese adds a creamy, dreamy touch. And oh boy, the chopped red onion and pepperoncini peppers give it that tasty kick, while the grape tomatoes bring juicy sweetness into the mix. Even if you’re not a big salad lover, this is one recipe you won’t want to miss. Grinder salad is the perfect balance of meaty and fresh!

Dressing and Salad Ingredients

When you toss all these ingredients together with that fantastic dressing, it’s the ultimate flavor combo! And if you’re into that extra oomph, go ahead and sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top. Seriously, the grinder salad is the way to go when you’re craving those grinder sub vibes but want something lighter and just as tasty.

Dressing

  • Mayonnaise: The creamy base that makes the dressing smooth and rich. If you want a healthier option, try using Greek yogurt or a mix of yogurt and mayo.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: This adds a tangy kick that goes great with the creaminess. If you don’t have it, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar will do the trick. Just keep in mind that the overall flavor will change slightly.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season until the dressing tastes just the way you like it!
  • Italian Seasonings: A tasty blend of herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary that gives the dressing that classic Italian taste. You can also use a store-bought Italian seasoning mix.
  • Fresh Minced Garlic: Adds a bold kick. If you like it milder, roasted garlic or garlic powder can be used instead.
  • Pepperoncini Pepper Liquid: The secret ingredient for some heat and tanginess.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated parmesan adds a savory kick to the grinder salad.

Grinder Salad

  • Shredded Iceberg Lettuce: This is where the freshness and crunch come from, giving the salad that light and cool vibe.
  • Brussels Sprouts: These little green goodies bring a fun twist and extra crunchiness.
  • Sliced Salami: Get ready for some serious flavor! This tasty protein gives the salad that classic grinder sub taste. If you’re not into salami, you can swap it with turkey or roast beef – equally delish!
  • Deli Ham: Another hero from the deli, bringing a milder and slightly sweet touch. It plays so well with the other ingredients.
  • Sliced Provolone Cheese: Oh, cheesy goodness! This creamy delight is one of the things that makes this grinder salad so irresistible.
  • Chopped Red Onion: Adds a sharp kick to balance out the flavors.
  • Sliced Pepperoncini Peppers: Tangy and mildly spicy, these little peppers bring the party to the salad. If you can’t find them, go for banana peppers or pickled jalapeños – still awesome!
  • Halved Grape Tomatoes: Juicy and sweet, these little gems enhance the whole flavor game.
  • Red Pepper Flakes (For Serving): Okay, spice lovers, here’s your moment! Sprinkle some of these fiery flakes on top if you’re up for some extra heat.

How to Make a Grinder Salad

Don’t wait another minute – get your hands on those ingredients and treat yourself to a salad experience like no other! You’ll be hooked from the first bite, guaranteed!

  1. Mix Up the Dressing: To make the dressing, add the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, garlic, and pepperoncini liquid to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, then stir in the parmesan cheese. Chill the dressing in the refrigerator while you prepare the salad.
  2. Add Salad Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add all of the prepared salad ingredients.
  3. Toss Together: Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients. Gently toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing.
  4. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with red pepper flakes before serving if desired. Enjoy immediately!
Collage of the salad ingredients being tossed with the dressing.

Customize Your Grinder Salad

Ready to make your grinder salad even more delicious? I’ve got some awesome tips and variations that’ll take your salad game to new heights!

  • Adjust the Dressing: Add a personal touch to your dressing! You like it tangy? Add more red wine vinegar. Wanna bring the heat? Go wild with that pepperoncini pepper liquid!
  • Mix Up the Meats: You don’t have to stick to salami and deli ham – switch it up! Pepperoni, turkey, roast beef, whatever floats your boat!
  • Add Some Avocado: Creamy, dreamy avocado? Yes, please! Slice ’em up and dive into avocado heaven. It’s another great contrast to the pepperoncini and onions.
  • Dress Right Before Serving: To keep the salad crisp and fresh, add the dressing just before serving. This prevents the lettuce from getting soggy.
All of the ingredients in a serving bowl, before being mixed.

Storing Leftovers

This grinder salad is best enjoyed right away! The addition of Brussels sprouts helps prolong the life of the salad because it is a sturdier green that holds up well with the dressing. The lettuce tends to get soggy as it sits. There is always the option of keeping the salad and the dressing separate and then adding the dressing when you are ready to eat it.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store the leftover salad in an airtight container then refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Grinder salad being tossed with 2 wooden spoons.

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Grinder Salad

5 from 5 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
This grinder salad is a deconstructed version of the classic sandwich, made with lettuce, brussels sprouts, salami, ham, provolone, and fresh veggies. It’s all coated in a creamy, savory dressing that you won’t be able to get enough of!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

Dressing

Salad

Instructions 

  • To make the dressing, add the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, garlic, and pepperoncini liquid to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, then stir in the parmesan cheese. Chill the dressing in the refrigerator while you prepare the salad.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all of the prepared salad ingredients.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients. Gently toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing.
  • Garnish with red pepper flakes before serving if desired.
  • Enjoy immediately!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 549kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 25gFat: 47gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 2015mgPotassium: 488mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 721IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 258mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Italian, Italian American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    LOVE this recipe. Next time I will double the amount of cherry tomatoes, as there didn’t seem to be enough to go around. I also cut the salami down to 8 ounces and added 4 ounces of mortadella for a bit more variety. Very tasty.

  2. 5 stars
    This salad was DELICIOUS! Perfect for keto!! I am definitely putting that amazing dressing in my salad dressing repertoire! Like others, I kept the dressing separate from the salad as I am making several meals out of this bowl. Can’t wait to try your other salad! Thank you! ❤️

  3. Tried the grinder salad today. Girl ! Yesss!! Easy prep and easy to put together. I kept the dressing separate and we added dressing as we plated our salads. Have just enough for lunch tomorrow. Definitely a recipe
    To keep

  4. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious!!! This is going to be my lunch for the next week and I will add the dressing just before eating it.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is crazy good! What a great idea, a breadless sub! I added some mortadella to the salad, and some minced cherry peppers to the dressing. I also drizzled a thin ribbon of Italian fig balsamic to the salad before dressing it. Also, it helps to pick through the shaved brussel sprouts to take out the hard stem pieces. Fantastic!