5 from 6 votes

Grinder Salad (Italian Sub Salad)

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This delicious grinder salad is similar to an Italian sub, minus the bread! It’s a low-carb chopped Italian salad that’s quick, delicious and healthy.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
£1.90
Makes: 4
mains
American

This grinder salad is the perfect solution if you’ve ever craved an Italian sub but are on a low-carb diet. It’s similar to a deconstructed sandwich but keto-friendly, tangy, and delicious. It comes with a yummy, creamy dressing. This salad is inspired by the trending TikTok grinder sandwich that became a huge sensation.

A bowl of salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, salami and chorizo pieces , chicken with skin slices and parmesan topping.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Super easy – This grinder salad is ready in four quick, easy steps.
  • Low Carb – Since there’s no croutons, Italian bread chunks, or other similar ingredients exist in this Italian sub salad, it’s perfect for those on a low-carb or keto diet.
  • Make it your way – It’s easy to adjust this salad to your preferences by changing the grinder salad ingredients, including the meat, cheese, and veggies.
  • Fantastic dressing pulls it all together – The deliciously creamy dressing is the perfect final touch for this recipe.

Try these other delicious salads during the week: Budget Green Goddess Salad, Healthy Tortellini Pasta Salad, and Halloumi Caesar Salad.

What is a Grinder Salad?

The grinder salad is based on a TikTok viral sensation, the grinder salad sandwich. It’s essentially a deconstructed chopped Italian sandwich known as a grinder but as a low-carb version. This salad is crispy, fresh, and packed with protein from chicken and salami. Flavorful and easy to make, this salad is a favourite in many households.

Bonus! It has a creamy dressing to go with it!

Ingredients

Ingredients to make a salad laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Salami – Since this grinder salad is modelled after an Italian sub, I’ve included salami in the recipe. However, you can easily use other deli meats like ham or turkey instead.

Romaine Lettuce – This lettuce adds a crisp consistency to the Italian grinder salad. Iceberg is also a great option.

Mayo – You can still create a deliciously creamy dressing using Greek yoghurt instead of mayo. Light mayo will also work if you want a lower-calorie option.

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

Here are some fun ways to make this grinder salad your own!

Try different cured meats or opt for healthier meats – Instead of salami, try adding ham, roast turkey, roast beef, or another type of deli meat.

Different cheeses – This salad works great with any type of Italian cheese, including asiago, mozzarella, and provolone cheese. Use these in place of the parmesan cheese. Or, include both options for a flavour boost.

Switch up the lettuce – Any lettuce variety will work for this salad cuisine recipe, including butter and iceberg lettuce. If you prefer a crisper salad, pick a heartier lettuce.

Add more veggies like shredded brussel sprouts – Add other veggies for an extra crunch (and more nutrients). Brussels sprouts and cabbage create a crispier texture in this chopped Italian sandwich salad. You can also add banana peppers, chopped red onion, and pepperoncini peppers.

Add some avocado – Create a richer, creamy salad by adding slices of avocado.

Sub out the mayo for Greek yogurt or avocado mash – If you want a healthier dressing, you can use Greek yoghurt or avocado mash instead of mayo. 

Trade the creamy dressing for an Italian vinaigrette – This salad tastes just as delicious with vinaigrette instead of grinder salad dressing. 

Add Italian seasoned croutons – If you’re not on a low-carb/keto diet, add seasoned croutons to create a salad that tastes even more like the TikTok famous sandwich.

How to make a grinder salad

  1. Start by adding all of the ingredients for the dressing, except the water, to a bowl or mason jar (Image 1).
  2. Either shake to combine or whisk if you’re using a bowl. Then slowly add the water whilst continuously whisking. Or if using a jar, add 1 tbsp of water, shake, then repeat (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first mayonnaise and herbs added to a jar and the second with the mayonnaise mixed together with the herbs.

3. Prepare all your salad ingredients and sliced meat, then keep them in separate meal prep containers ready to make the salad (Image 3).

4. Add the prepared salad elements into a bowl and toss with the dressing, then add the salami and chorizo (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with meal prep container filled with salad and meats and the second with a bowl of salad with the meats.

5. Top with the sliced, cooked chicken pieces (Image 5). 

6. Finish with a sprinkle of chives, grated parmesan and dig in! (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with a bowl of salad and meats and the second with the salad and meats topped with some parmesan

Tips for the best result

Add dressing right before serving; no earlier, or it will get soggy
Leave the dressing off this grinder salad until you’re ready to serve it. Otherwise, all the ingredients will get soggy. This salad is meant to have a crisp bite from the veg.

Try to make sure the chopping is all a similar size and shape
If you have veggies/protein that are much larger than other bits of the salad, it can make eating challenging. For the best version of this salad, keep everything a similar size.

Here are some more yummy salads to keep in your recipe rotation: Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce, Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad, or Chicken Fajita Salad Bowl.

A bowl of salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, salami and chorizo pieces , chicken with skin slices and lots of parmesan shavings.

Make Ahead Instructions

If you want to meal prep this grinder salad, you can prep the veggies, protein, and dressing separately. Chop the veggies and cook/chop the protein. Keep each in a separate airtight container. Create the dressing and store it in a mason jar. Store the ingredients separately in the fridge until you’re ready to eat the salad, then mix the ingredients. It’s also important to leave the chives off until you’re ready to enjoy this dish.

Storage Instructions

Keep leftover grinder salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay good for up to two days. If you know you won’t finish the entire salad, only serve the portion you want with dressing and store the dressing separately. This extra step will help keep the leftovers from getting soggy.

FAQs

Why is it called a grinder?

This grinder salad is modelled after the viral TikTok grinder sandwich, an Italian sub served cold with a crunchy salad topping.

Is a chopped salad and a Cobb salad the same?

No, they are not the same. A Cobb salad is a type of chopped salad. Nearly any salad with the ingredients cut into smaller pieces can be considered a chopped salad.

What is a good vinaigrette to replace the creamy dressing?

A vinaigrette is a great way to season the recipe if you don’t want to top your salad with a creamy dressing. Italian dressing is a great option. Or, make an easy vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar (like red wine vinegar), salt, and pepper.

Pair this grinder salad recipe with a warm soup for a filling meal. Here are a few ideas: One-Pot Creamy Tomato Tortellini Pasta Soup, Creamy Spiced Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, or Roasted Vegetable Soup

A bowl of salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, salami and chorizo pieces , chicken with skin slices and parmesan topping on a bright pink background.

If you tried this Grinder salad recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Grinder Salad (Italian Sub Salad)

Print
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
£1.90
mains
American
Servings: 4
This delicious grinder salad is similar to an Italian sub, minus the bread! It’s a low-carb chopped Italian salad that’s quick, delicious and healthy.

Ingredients

  • 2 romaine lettuce heads, sliced and washed (£1.09)
  • 6 salad tomatoes, thinly sliced (£0.95)
  • ½ -1 cucumber, sliced in half, then diagonally into thin pieces (£0.50)
  • 110 g Italian or German salami (£1.50)
  • 50 g chorizo, thinly sliced (£2.50/4)=(£0.62)
  • 500 g cooked chicken thighs, I used skin-on (£2.80/2)=(£1.40)
  • Fresh chives, thinly sliced (£0.60)

For the dressing

  • 50 g parmesan (£1.85/2)=(£0.93)
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp water to loosen optional

Method

  • Start by adding all of the ingredients for the dressing, except the water, to a bowl or mason jar. Either shake to combine or whisk if you’re using a bowl.
  • Then slowly add the water whilst continuously whisking. Or if using a jar, add 1 tbsp of water, shake, then repeat.
  • Add the prepared salad elements into a bowl and toss with the dressing. Then add the selection of meats to the top.
  • Finish with a sprinkle of chives and dig in!

Notes

  • Dress the grinder salad right before serving to prevent it from getting soggy; avoid adding dressing earlier. This ensures a crisp bite from the vegetables.
  • Try to make sure the chopping is all a similar size and shape.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 44g
Calories: 636kcal
Carbohydrates: 11g
Protein: 48g
5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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