Last Updated on March 16, 2023 by Kayla Berman
This trending Italian Grinder Sandwich is the best sub sandwich you’ll ever make! Made with a hoagie roll, Italian meats, provolone & parmesan cheese, and a creamy & tangy grinder salad … it is no wonder this loaded recipe went viral on TikTok. It is hearty, fresh, flavorful, and absolutely delicious!
Loving this TikTok favorite? Check out some more social media food sensations next, Marry Me Pasta with Chicken or Big Mac Smashed Tacos! Or another popular sandwich, Joe & The Juice Tunacado Copycat.
The Ultimate Italian Submarine Sandwich
I am an avid social media user and have been seeing this epic grinder salad sandwich all over TikTok recently! I love a good Italian sub and it looked so incredibly tasty that I simply had to make my own version.
Now where I’m from, New York, we actually call these sandwiches heroes! And from my recent research on the subject, that could be a hot take. But whatever you call them – grinders, hoagies, or subs – this one will probably be one of the best you have ever eaten. I promise!
While the classic grinder, is stacked with cold deli meats and sliced cheese this recipe is broiled in the oven, resulting in melty delicious provolone and crispy cured meats. It’s amazing!
But the real element that sets this submarine sandwich apart from all others is the grinder salad! It is a coleslaw like creamy salad made from shredded crunchy lettuce, jarred banana peppers, and sliced red onion. The addition gives this sandwich a perfect tangy and zesty flavor!
Love the sound of this hearty sandwich? Check out my low carb deconstructed version, Italian Chopped Grinder Salad.
This TikTok recipe is loaded with fresh, flavorful, and simple ingredients! You should find most of them in the deli or bakery section of your local store.
You could also grab these ingredients at an Italian market. The final sandwich result would be even more amazing!
- Sub Rolls: To make this recipe you will need 3 sub rolls! Or 1 large Italian loaf if you want to make more of a deli-style shareable sandwich.
- Meats: This viral sandwich calls for a combination of cured meats and turkey slices. 1/4 pound each of salami, pepperoni, and smoked turkey to be specific.
- Cheese: Cheese is key in any sandwich, especially here! For this one, add 1/4 pound provolone cheese and 1/3 cup grated parmesan. It is a delicious Italian combination!
- Lettuce, Tomato, & Onion: Lettuce, tomato, and onion are separated among this grinder. You’ll need 1/2 a head of shredded iceberg lettuce, 1 tomato, and 1/2 a red onion. The lettuce and onion are in the salad and juicy sliced tomato is added on top of the sandwich. So good!
- Mayo: The base of the grinder salad is 1/2 cup mayo. I recommend full fat for the best flavor.
- Banana Peppers: Banana peppers add delicious flavor here! They’re vinegary and are truly the perfect touch.
- Red Wine Vinegar: This ingredient is also key for flavor in this grinder recipe. 1 tbsp goes a long way to get that authentic taste!
- Seasonings: Add 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and black pepper to taste.
Substitutions & Additions
My favorite thing about this sandwich, besides it’s incredibly delicious flavor, is how customizable it is! You can add any meat, cheese, veggie, or seasoning you enjoy or have on hand.
I recommend you customize to your liking and create your own perfect version! It will be your new favorite sandwich.
Meats: Some additional or different meat options for this TikTok grinder sandwich are prosciutto, ham, roast beef, or even chicken.
Cheese: If you want to add more cheese to this submarine sandwich … try havarti, asiago, or colby jack. Or honestly any cheese you like!
Bread: You can really use any sort of grinder roll, large crusty loaf, or even a baguette in this recipe. Whatever works!
Seasonings & Herbs: For extra flavor try Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, or onion powder. You could even add fresh herbs like parsley or oregano!
Mayo: You could swap mayo with greek yogurt for a similar creamy vibe. However, I do love the flavor of the mayo in the grinder salad dressing here!
Fun & Flavorful Mix-Ins: Through the countless (and drool-worthy!) versions of this grinder sandwich on TikTok I have seen so many fun and flavorful mix-in ideas! Try cherry peppers, pepperoncinis, sun dried tomatoes, everything bagel seasoning, olive oil, pickles, or olives.
How To Make This Recipe
This recipe is super straightforward and simple to make! It is so delicious and seriously could be from a fancy grinder shop or Italian market, but can be made easily at home. It’s truly the best!
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Start by preparing the grinder salad. Add the mayo, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Then add the lettuce, red onions, and banana peppers. Combine thoroughly.
Step 2: Next assemble the sandwiches. Divide the salami, pepperoni, and turkey among the rolls. Add the cheese slices on top of the meats. Broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and the meat is crisped up.
Step 3: Remove the subs from the oven. Add the tomato slices on top of the baked deli meats and cheese. Season with salt & pepper. Add a generous amount of the grinder salad to each sub. Lastly, top with parmesan cheese.
Step 4: Close the sandwiches, cut in half, and enjoy!
I recommend you make this sandwich right before serving! It could get quite soggy because of the grinder salad and is best enjoyed straight away.
Keep an eye on the sandwich while broiling! Things can go from perfectly melted and crisped to burnt very quickly.
Season and customize to you liking. This is an obvious one, but I love to remind people that you should always do this! Recipes are not a one size fits all.
Use thinly sliced meat and cheese! Lots is stacked on these sandwiches, so I find thin to be best.
My most important tip – Embrace the mess! This sandwich is very messy, but that is exactly what makes it delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
The original grinder sandwich seems to have originated in New England by an Italian shopkeeper.
Some claim the sandwich coined the name “grinder” because it is such a hefty, hearty sandwich that you have to grind your teeth into it in order to eat it. While others claim it came from the slang word for dockworkers, who grinded hulls.
Wherever the grinder name came from, the type of sandwich itself is what we all know! A long roll full of an assortment of cold cuts, cheeses, and other fixings.
Grinder salad is what makes this sandwich so special! It is also the part that went viral on TikTok.
It is a coleslaw-like salad with a base of mayo, red wine vinegar, and a variety of seasonings. Iceberg lettuce, red onion, and banana peppers are mixed in. Some variations also include other ingredients.
The salad is added to the grinder sandwich as a sort of dressing or sauce. It is a perfect contrast to the thick bread and meats!
No they are not the same thing, although similar!
They are both often found pickled in the grocery store and have a slightly sweet and tangy flavor. They also look pretty similar!
However, when you look closer you can see the differences! Pepperoncini peppers are more bitter, have a wrinkly texture, and are typically higher in heat.
I recommend using classic sub rolls! The exact ratio for this recipe was tested with that, so I know the results will be perfect.
But you could also use a large Italian bread loaf or a baguette.
Love this recipe? Check out some more TikTok favorites…
- Strawberry Yogurt Clusters
- Copycat La Scala Chopped Salad
- Avocado Corn Salad
- Baked Brie Bites
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- High Protein Cottage Cheese Ice Cream
- Easy Italian Pasta Salad
- Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Lightened Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Upside Down Puff Pastries
Connect with me!
If you make this loaded hoagie recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.
Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.Print
Italian Grinder Salad Sandwich (TikTok Viral Recipe)
This trending Italian Grinder Sandwich is the best sub you’ll ever make! Made with hoagie rolls, Italian meats, provolone & parmesan cheese, and a creamy & tangy grinder salad … it is no wonder this loaded sandwich recipe went viral on TikTok. It is hearty, fresh, flavorful, and absolutely delicious!
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 5 Minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 3 Servings 1x
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded finely
- 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup banana peppers, sliced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper, to taste
- 3 sub rolls
- 1/4 pound salami
- 1/4 pound pepperoni
- 1/4 pound turkey
- 1/4 pound provolone cheese
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Start by preparing the grinder salad. Add the mayo, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Then add the lettuce, red onion, and banana peppers. Combine thoroughly.
- Next assemble the sandwiches. Divide the salami, pepperoni, and turkey among the rolls. Add the cheese on top of the meats.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and the meat is crisped up.
- Remove the subs from the oven. Add the tomato slices to the sandwiches. Season with salt & pepper.
- Add a generous amount of grinder salad to each of the sandwiches. Top with parmesan cheese.
- Close the sandwiches, cut in half, and enjoy!
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