Italian Sub Salad

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Everything you love about an Italian sandwich in a salad! This Italian Sub Salad, also called a Grinder Salad, with fresh veggies, deli meats and three cheeses makes the perfect dinner salad. Drizzle with our homemade Italian sub salad dressing that features garlic and a hint of honey.

When the dog days of summer hit we serve salad as a main dish for dinner. Whether it is layered Mexican salad or a healthy tuna salad, or this new Italian Sub Salad, you’re sure to find a salad that pleases everyone!

This Italian sub salad takes all the flavors of a classic Italian hoagie and turns it into a “sub in a bowl” salad recipe you’ll quickly fall in love with. This isn’t a boring salad…it’s loaded with flavor in every bite.

closeup of italian sub salad in a bowl with forks

What’s in this Italian Sub Salad?

This dinner salad features all of your favorite sandwich ingredients:

ingredients for italian sub salad on a table
  • Deli meats: salami & pepperoni.
  • Cheeses: fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese and provolone cheese.
  • Fresh veggies: onions, peppers, lettuce, cucumber
  • Seasonings: black pepper and dried basil
  • Banana peppers give a pop of flavor that is characteristic of that Italian sub sandwich!
  • Homemade Italian sub dressing: This simple vinaigrette has a base of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Garlic and Italian seasoning give flavor, while honey adds a touch of sweetness.

Make the Salad

Italian grinder salad traditionally has all of the salad ingredients cut into small pieces. My family likes salad served this way, but for this recipe, I leave a few larger pieces of pepper. The onion and cucumber should be very thinly sliced.

  • Start by making the dressing. This simple Italian vinaigrette is a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt. Add the ingredients to a jar and mix them well. Make this in advance so the flavors can blend.
homemade vinaigrette in a measuring cup
  1. Layer the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. First add romaine lettuce. Then top with meats, cheeses, and remaining veggies. Sprinkle with pepper and basil.
sliced vegetables for salad in a bowl
  1. Cover and refrigerate if desired. At this point you can load the salad up, cover it and allow it to sit overnight in the fridge. If you choose to do this, it’s best not to mix it. Allow the ingredients on top to create a seal for the lettuce beneath to keep it crisp.
  2. Serve the salad. When you’re ready to serve the salad, toss it, drizzle with the dressing and add freshly snipped basil to the top as a garnishing.
closeup of Italian chopped salad in a bowl
about tastes of lizzy t

Make it a meal.

This Italian sub salad makes a complete meal in one and is great for lunch or as main dish for dinner. However, if you’d like to serve it to guests and would like a few side dishes, we recommend the following:

And don’t forget some lemon iced tea to go with it!

sub salad on a plate with fresh basil

Recipe Variations

This Italian sub salad is completely customizable based on what you have in your fridge. Here are a few substitutions and additions I often make:

  • Switch out deli meats. Try roast beef (delicious with Swiss), turkey, prosciutto or ham.
  • Add more veggies: Tomatoes, sliced carrots or shaved red cabbage are delicious salad additions.
  • Top with olives or pepperoncini peppers.
  • Red pepper flakes sprinkled with the black pepper and basil adds a hint of spice.
italian sub salad in a bowl with fresh basil
italian sub salad in a bowl with fresh basil

Italian Sub Salad

4.71 from 24 votes
Love Italian subs but don't want all the carbs? Try this Low Carb Italian Sub Salad with fresh meats and cheeses plus a homemade vinaigrette dressing.
Servings 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

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  • 2 hearts of romaine (chopped)
  • 1/2 pound salami (chopped)
  • 5 ounces mini pepperoni
  • 1/2 pound provolone (chopped)
  • 8 ounces mini fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 cucumber (sliced thin)
  • 1 red pepper (sliced into strips)
  • 1 cup banana pepper rings
  • 1 white onion (sliced thinly)
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil



  • Whisk together ingredients for salad dressing. Cover and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add romaine lettuce. Top with meats, cheeses, and remaining veggies. Sprinkle with pepper and basil.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight (to let flavors meld).
  • When ready to serve, toss, and drizzle with dressing.
  • Serve cold garnished with fresh basil. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.


If you’re going for a low carb dressing, leave out the honey and add in some monk fruit sweetener to add a touch of sweetness.


Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 1878mg | Potassium: 472mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3555IU | Vitamin C: 35.3mg | Calcium: 557mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 595
Keyword italian salad recipe, loaded salad recipe, summer salad recipe
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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4.71 from 24 votes (23 ratings without comment)
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4 years ago

5 stars
Wow thank you so much for such wonderful recipes you provided <3 I will definitely use it for my low carb diet Would you mind if I take it and print? I will use it to cook for my family, and show it to my neighborhood as well as my close friend?