Get a taste of the latest hype on TikTok and learn how to make the trending Italian Grinder Sandwich! This hearty sandwich with thick-crusty bread, Italian meats, topped with a creamy salad will put all other hoagies to shame.
Looking for more sandwich recipes? Try Big Mac Sloppy Joes, Jerk Shrimp Sliders or Salmon Cheesesteaks!
WHAT IS AN ITALIAN GRINDER?
While there is speculation on exactly where the grinder name derives from, it more than likely attributes to its thick, hard crusty bread. In other words, the sandwich can be tough to consume, therefore needing to "grind" your teeth to eat it.
Some also speculate that this term is New England based where locals interchangeably use the word hoagie too. Read more fun and interesting facts about the history of the grinder here.
If you have scrolled on TikTok lately, you have probably seen examples of the grinder being made. Thick, crusty bread, sliced cheese of your choice, Italian style meats such as salami, prosciutto are piled high, toasted and topped with this creamy grinder salad.
WHAT IS A GRINDER SALAD?
Coupled with the Italian Grinder, the grinder salad is the missing piece to this hearty and crusty hoagie. The creamy "grinder salad" that is added, cuts the texture of the bread leaving it crunchy yet soft and enjoyable to the palate.
To create this simple salad, a mayonnaise-based dressing is made and to that, iceberg lettuce, pepperoncini peppers and thinly sliced red onions are tossed until coated. A pre-made "salad" topped on a hoagie may be new to you, I encourage you to try this recipe! You won't be disappointed.
For the grinder salad, you will need items that are easy to find in any market. Here is what you will need.
- Mayonnaise-Get the good stuff. I prefer Duke's or Blue Plate.
- Garlic Paste- This step is optional but adds great flavor. Minced garlic works good too.
- Red Wine Vinegar-This adds a "zing" to the salad and is typically used as a sauce on most hoagies.
- Seasoning Blend- Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Italian Seasoning (optional) and Red Pepper Flakes (optional).
- Pepperoncini Peppers- Adds another "zing" and a slight bit of heat. Use banana, cherry, Anaheim or even bell peppers as a substitute.
- Red Onion
- Iceberg Lettuce- It is mentioned that using this lettuce works best to withstand the dense dressing.
- Parmesan- Use the good stuff. Pre-shredded or grated will work but for maximum flavor, good quality cheese always works best.
What is helpful about this sandwich/recipe is that you are open to use whatever ingredients you have on hand. Feel free to modify based on your taste and what you have access to. Here are the ingredients I used.
- Deli Meats- Honey Roasted Turkey Breast, Salame, Prosciutto and Capocollo.
- Crusty Bread- Any hard crusty hoagie style sandwich bread will work.
- Tomato- Sliced thick!
- Sliced Cheese- I used a Colby jack mix and also tested with provolone and spicy pepper jack. Again, use what you have on hand!
- Parmesan Cheese- As mentioned, quality works best. Thinly grate for best results.
Provided that the ingredients are prepped before beginning this recipe, this sandwich can be made in under fifteen minutes. First, begin by preparing the grinder salad.
First, in a large bowl add the salad dressing ingredients. Pour the mayonnaise, garlic paste, seasoning blend, parmesan, pepperoncini and red wine vinegar. Stir until combined.
Next, pour in the shredded iceberg lettuce and using tongs, toss until the salad is thoroughly coated. Set aside until later use.
While the grinder salad marinates, prep the hoagie by preheating your toaster oven, oven or air fryer to 425 degrees. Then, if needed, slice the hoagie roll through the middle. Third, layer the sliced cheese, deli meats and toast for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and bread is toasted.
Last, remove the hoagie from the oven and set aside until assembly.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE
Now that each component of the Italian Grinder is complete, it is time to assemble and enjoy the hoagie.
First, take the sliced tomato and add on top of the baked deli meats. Next, season the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Now, top the seasoned tomatoes with the grinder salad and additional grated parmesan.
Lastly, fold the top of the bread over the grinder sandwich, "smush" the sandwich (for good measure) and enjoy!
TIPS FOR BEST RESULTS
- Prep all ingredients separately and assemble right before use. This style hoagie works best served fresh as the bread can become soggy from the grinder salad.
- Not a mayonnaise lover? Try substituting Greek yogurt or miracle whip!
- If you don't have red wine vinegar, use white wine or balsamic vinegar.
- As mentioned, Iceberg lettuce works best for this salad. Use romaine, butterhead or any leafy green that has slightly thick texture.
Check out another TikTok viral recipe of mine here!
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE!
Testing trending recipes on social media can be fun and interactive. And, more than likely, the foods are tasty and enjoyable. As other trending recipes before this one, I have been impressed with being introduced with new ways to create foods.
This Italian Grinder is downright delicious and enjoyable to eat. In typical hoagie style sandwiches, the toppings are layered and can be hard to consume the ingredients at once. With this style of preparation, while the sandwich can still be somewhat "messy", you can truly enjoy all the ingredients in every bite.
Italian Grinder (TikTok Viral Salad Sandwich)
- ½ cup Mayo
- ½ tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Paste see blog notes
- ⅓ cup Pepperoncini Peppers
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Cheese see blog notes
- 3-4 cups Iceberg Lettuce
- 1 Large Loaf Crusty Italian Bread
- 4 oz Sliced Colby Jack Cheese
- ¼ lb Salame
- ¼ lb Capocollo
- ¼ lb Honey Roasted Turkey Breast thinly shaved
- 4 oz Prosciutto
- 1 medium Beefsteak Tomato
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Cheese thinly shaved-see blog notes
- In a large bowl add the salad dressing ingredients. Pour the mayonnaise, garlic paste, seasoning blend, parmesan, pepperoncini and red wine vinegar.
- Stir until combined.
- Next, pour in the shredded iceberg lettuce and using tongs, toss until the salad is thoroughly coated. Set aside until later use.
Italian Grinder & Assembly
- While the grinder salad marinates, prep the hoagie by preheating your toaster oven, oven or air fryer to 425 degrees.
- Slice the hoagie roll through the middle.
- Layer the sliced cheese, deli meats and toast for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and bread is toasted.
- Take the sliced tomato and add on top of the baked deli meats.
- Season tomatoes with a little salt and pepper.
- Top the seasoned tomatoes with the grinder salad and additional grated parmesan.
- Lastly, fold the top of the bread over the grinder sandwich, "smush" the sandwich (for good measure) and enjoy!
Looking for more sandwich recipes?
I knew that once I saw this recipe on Instagram it’d be a hit in our home!! So easy to make, the recipe was perfect — absolutely delicious! Thanks so much Carita!
Lizzy Newman says
omg HEY CARITA!!!! Googled "tik tok grinder sandwich" and you came up first!! Making it tonight 🙂
Hi Lizzy!!! I bet that tickled you a bit, right? Happy to hear you are hopping on the grinder trend. Hoping you'll enjoy it. It's absolutely delish!
Lizzy Newman says
YEP that was just as delicious as I thought it would be! thank you for the amazing recipe!!
Tried this and it was SOOO GOOD ! love your recipes
This was delish! I used ham instead of Turkey (kids preference!) and it was one of the best sub sandwiches I’ve ever had! Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Yay! Glad you made it your own. I have picky eaters in my home so turkey was the better option. It's so good and I'm happy you stopped by to check out the recipe! 🙂
Yay! So glad to hear this. It's sooo good! 🙂
This is not a grinder let’s be honest the term is from New England and electric boat where they built submarines hence sub not hoagie. A regular grinder is Italian bread, cooked salami, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and olive oil. That’s the only ingredients needed. Maybe salt and pepper if you like. Just figured I would help you out a little.
Omg shut up lol. No one needed a history lesson it's a recipe move on
reply was to Henry, not the 'person' who told him to shut up. BTW, Holly, some people LIKE to be educated on where food terms come from. Why didn't you just MOVE ON!
This sandwich is divine but don't forget the red onion. It's mentioned in the write up but it's not in the ingredients or instructions.
Yes! Red onion is a must. Somehow when I filmed the recipe, I left the bowl of onions out by accident!
This is AMAZING! I used cabbage instead of lettuce as I prefer the crispier/peppery bites over lettuce. GREAT Recipe!
Love the cabbage idea. Will try that next time!
Nicole Turchiano says
Yes! Same, made mine with cabbage and it was fantastic. I was worried it would taste a little too much like coleslaw but not at all. I ate a few bites of it before I even put it on my sandwich
Absolutely delicious! Perfect food to eat while watching a football game with friends. Thanks for a great recipe!
So glad you enjoyed. It's one of my favorites! 🙂