Sandwich Salad

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Sandwich Salad

A Delicious Twist on the Viral Chopped Italian Grinder

Last year, the internet was abuzz with the chopped Italian grinder sandwich craze. This viral sensation inspired me to create my own version, which I lovingly call the “Sandwich Salad.” While you can definitely serve this on bread as a traditional sandwich, I prefer to ditch the bread and enjoy my sandwich salad with blue corn tortilla chips. The crunchy, salty chips paired with the crispy, fresh salad are so delicious.  I never thought I could overeat a salad, but this one is hard to stop eating.

Salads for parties

Versatility and Convenience

One of the best things about this sandwich salad is its versatility. It can be served in a variety of settings and for different occasions. Whether you’re hosting a brunch, packing a lunch, preparing a quick dinner, or looking for a salad for a party, this healthy sandwich salad fits the bill. It’s easy to dish out a little or a lot, making it perfect for feeding a crowd. In fact, the recipe is easily doubled if you need to serve more people.

classic salad recipes

Ingredients for Sandwich Salad

The Salad

  • 1 Head Romaine
  • 1 Tomato
  • ½ Red onion
  • 6 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz Dry salami
  • 2 Dill pickle spear
  • 5 Pepperoncini

The Dressing

  • 4 TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 TBSP White wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard 
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper

For Serving

  • Chips or bread for serving

*A printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this post.

Healthy sandwich salad recipes

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The Perfect Blend of Ingredients

What makes this sandwich salad recipe so irresistible is the perfect blend of fresh ingredients and textures. I start with fresh romaine lettuce, which provides a crisp and refreshing base. I like to cut my lettuce first and then spin in dry in my salad spinner. This ensures a crispy salad.

To this, I add dry salami, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, pickles, red onion, and pepperoncini. Each ingredient is diced into tiny, uniform pieces, ensuring that every bite is packed with flavor. The dry salami adds a savory and slightly spicy kick, while the fresh mozzarella offers a creamy, mild contrast. Tomatoes bring a burst of juiciness, and the pickles contribute a tangy crunch. Red onions add a sharp bite, and pepperoncini peppers give a hint of heat that ties everything together. The result is a salad that is both hearty and refreshing, making it a versatile dish that can be enjoyed for brunch, lunch, dinner, or even at potlucks.

Italian Grinder Salad
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Sandwich Salad Dressing

Homemade Dressing: The Finishing Touch

No salad is complete without a delicious dressing, and this sandwich salad is no exception. I top it with a homemade dressing that perfectly complements the flavors of the salad. The dressing is a simple blend of ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry, but it elevates the salad to new heights. The key is to wait until just before serving to add the dressing. This ensures that the salad stays crisp and fresh, rather than becoming soggy.

Italian Sandwich Salad
Sandwich Salad Dressing

The Grinder vs. The Sub

As you enjoy this sandwich salad, you might find yourself wondering about the origins of the chopped Italian grinder that inspired it. What exactly is a grinder, and how is it different from a sub? While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are some regional distinctions that set them apart.

In essence, both grinders and subs are types of sandwiches made with long rolls filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, and toppings. The term “sub” is short for “submarine sandwich,” and is commonly used across the United States. It’s believed to have originated in New England, where Italian immigrants created hearty sandwiches that resembled submarines.

“Grinder,” on the other hand, is a term that is primarily used in New England. The name is thought to have come from the effort required to chew the tough Italian bread traditionally used for these sandwiches. Over time, “grinder” has become synonymous with any sandwich made on a long roll, particularly those that are hot and toasted.

While the differences between a grinder and a sub can be subtle, they often boil down to regional preferences and slight variations in preparation. Regardless of what you call them, these sandwiches are beloved for their satisfying combinations of flavors and textures.



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Tips for the Best Sandwich Salad

To ensure that your sandwich salad is the best it can be, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: The quality of your ingredients makes a big difference. Opt for fresh romaine, high-quality salami, and the freshest mozzarella you can find.
  2. Dice Uniformly: For the best texture and presentation, take the time to dice all the ingredients into small, uniform pieces. This ensures that every bite is a perfect blend of flavors.
  3. Wait to Dress: As mentioned earlier, wait until just before serving to add the dressing. This keeps the salad crisp and prevents it from becoming soggy.
  4. Serve with Chips: While you can certainly serve this salad on bread, I highly recommend pairing it with blue corn tortilla chips. The crunch of the chips adds a delightful contrast to the salad, making it even more enjoyable.
  5. Make It Fresh: This salad doesn’t keep well for more than a day, so it’s best to make it the day you plan to serve it. This way, you can ensure that it’s as fresh and delicious as possible.

Italian Sandwich Salad

The sandwich salad is a fantastic way to enjoy all the flavors of a chopped Italian grinder without the bread. It’s a fresh, flavorful, and versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of settings. Whether you’re serving it at a brunch gathering, packing it to take for lunch, preparing it for dinner, or bringing it to a party, it’s sure to be a hit. Just be prepared for everyone to ask you for the recipe! And when they do, I hope you’ll tell them you got it from In Jamie’s Kitchen.

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Sandwich Salad Recipes

Sandwich Salad

Italian Sandwich Salad is a spin on the viral chopped Italian Grinder. While this salad can be served on bread, it is delicious on its own or even served with chips for dipping.
Course Brunch, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 4



  • 1 head Romaine
  • 1 Tomato
  • ½ Red onion
  • 6 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz Dry salami
  • 2 dill Pickle spear
  • 5 Pepperchini


  • 4 TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 TBSP White wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper

For serving

  • blue corn tortilla chips optional


  • Shred, wash, and dry lettuce
  • Dice remaining salad ingredients very small and add to the lettuce
  • Combine dressing ingredients and shake or whisk to combine
  • Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat
  • Serve as is or as a dip with chips or on bread as a sandwich
  • Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge up to 1 day



It’s a sandwich but in salad form 😱 The best idea since sliced bread 😆 I loved this so much and can’t wait to make it again. #grindersandwichrecipe#viralsandwich#sandwichsalad#subsandwich#dinnersalad#lunchsalad

♬ original sound – In Jamie’s Kitchen
Keyword classic salad recipes, Healthy sandwich salad recipes, Italian Grinder Salad, italian grinder salad sandwich (tiktok viral recipe), Italian Sandwich Salad, Italian sandwich salad recipes, Salad recipe ideas, Salads for parties, Sandwich Salad Dressing, Sandwich Salad Recipes


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Hi, I'm Jamie!

Hey, it’s Jamie. Welcome to my kitchen. Think of me as your go-to gal for simple recipes and fun kitchen gadgets. Pour a drink, tie your apron, and relax while we create something delicious together.


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