This tasty Grinder Salad is easy to make, full of flavors, and naturally low carb! It’s made with deli meats like salami and ham, provolone cheese, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, red onion and tossed in a delicious Italian dressing!
What is a Grinder Salad?
This salad is basically an Italian Grinder Sandwich turned in to a salad, simple and delish! Made popular through a viral recipe from TikTok, the “Grinder Salad” is often known as the lettuce and dressing combo tossed together and placed on the viral Grinder sandwich!
What makes a Grinder Sandwich?
A grinder sandwich is a popular submarine-style sandwich loaded with Italian meats like ham, turkey, salami, pepperoni and cheese like provolone and served on Italian bread like a hoagie roll. Grinder sandwiches were made popular in New England.
I’ve taken the Grinder Salad one step further to include those tasty Italian deli meats and other toppings for a hearty, entree salad that’s absolutely dynamite! It’s similar to an antipasto salad, but even better! The best part? It’s naturally low carb and keto!
This salad is very forgiving when it comes to ingredients. There are *SO* many options for deli meats and cheeses that will give you a similarly delicious Grinder Salad so use what you have on hand or what’s available to you! I’ve made it multiple times with different meats and cheeses, it’s delish every single time.
Let’s go over a few ingredient notes that might help! Read on…
Grinder Salad Ingredients:
SHREDDED LETTUCE: Iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce, shredded.
MEATS: Ham, Turkey, Genoa Salami, Prosciutto, Capicola, Pepperoni, etc. Choose your favorites.
CHEESE: I like to buy sliced provolone and slice it thinly in ribbons and cut those into thirds for small pieces. You could also use mozzarella, swiss cheese, colby or pepper jack. Also grab some parmesan cheese, grated or shredded, to top it all off!
TOMATOES: Cherry tomatoes or larger tomatoes, sliced
PEPPERONCINI PEPPERS: Substitute Banana Peppers if you prefer.
OLIVES (optional): You could also add olives if you like. Sliced green olives or black olives would be delish!
Grinder Salad Dressing:
The homemade dressing for this salad is so easy to make, I make it all the time for house salads and use throughout the week for quick meals. It’s a creamy Italian dressing that’s super simple.
- Olive Oil
- Mayo (use light if you like)
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Minced Garlic
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Italian Seasoning
Just whisk together the salad dressing ingredients and store in an airtight container (I use a mason jar) in the refrigerator to dress this salad when you’re ready to serve! I often make a double batch of the dressing to use throughout the week.
How to Plate a Grinder Salad:
You have two options here! First, you can serve up your salad undressed and let guests do the honors. I actually love this option because everyone can see all the ingredients, and it looks so presentable on a platter.
- Fill a large salad bowl or serving platter with shredded lettuce.
- Top lettuce, in rows, with chopped deli meats, cheeses, peppers, red onion, and chopped tomatoes.
- Drizzle on dressing when ready to serve.
OR you can dress this chopped Grinder salad and toss it all together, perfectly ready to eat!
More ways to serve Grinder Salad:
REALLY love a sandwich? You can absolutely load this tossed salad right on top of a Hoagie roll or even a wrap (I love it in a sun-dried tomato wrap) for a heartier meal.
Want a side salad version? I leave off the meats if I’m looking for a side salad version of Grinder Salad to serve alongside grilled chicken, steak or fish.
FUN FACT: Why is it called a Grinder?
The traditional Grinder sandwich is served on a hoagie or sub type sandwich bread that is so thick and chewy that you had to “grind” your teeth through it, giving it the nickname of a a “Grinder”.
More Salads You’ll LOVE:
- Apple, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad
- Pulled Pork Salad
- Panera Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad
- Hot Chicken Salad
- mixing bowl
For the Salad
- 1 head iceberg lettuce or Romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 cup pepperocinis sliced
- 4 ounces salami
- 4 ounces ham
- 6 slices provolone
- 1/4 cup parmesan shredded or grated
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic minced
For the Grinder Salad Dressing:
- Whisk together mayonnaise, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes (or crushed red pepper), Italian seasoning and minced garlic. Set aside (shake or whisk again when ready to serve).
Preparing the Grinder Salad:
- Shred lettuce and fill a large serving platter or mixing bowl.
- Top with rows of sliced pepperocinis, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, chopped meats, and chopped cheese. Top with shredded parmesan.
- When ready to serve, drizzle or toss together with the Grinder Salad Dressing. Enjoy!