Chopped Italian Grinder Salad Recipe {TIKTOK Viral}

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Have you seen the viral Italian Grinder Salad recipe taking over TikTok and Instagram? This low-carb spin on the classic Italian sub combines all your favorite flavors – savory deli meats, zesty veggies, and tangy Italian dressing – into one irresistible low-carb chopped salad.

 Viral TikTok Chopped Grinder Salad in a black bowl, showcasing a vibrant mix of chopped meats, cheeses, lettuce and vegetables, with a text overlay highlighting the dish's viral popularity on the social media platform.

What is a Grinder Salad?

The Italian Grinder Salad is more than just a salad; it’s a nod to the beloved Italian sub sandwich. These sandwiches, also known as grinders, heroes, or hoagies, have been a staple in Italian-American communities in the Northeast since the early 1900s. According to Bon Appetit, Italian immigrants brought their favorite sandwich recipes with them to the United States, and these sandwiches quickly gained popularity.

Creating this low-carb grinder salad recipe is a breeze! Simply chop all the tasty ingredients from the classic sandwich – the meats, cheeses, and veggies – and toss them with some crisp lettuce. Add a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, and voila! You have a delicious and healthy chopped salad that’ll satisfy your cravings.

What I love most about this Italian chopped salad is its healthier alternative to the traditional sandwich without compromising flavor. Trust me, you won’t even miss the bread! It’s a fantastic way to switch up your lunch routine and try something new. Plus, it’s a hit with my entire family, all four kids included!

Grinder Salad Ingredients:

  • Lettuce: The fresh and crispy base of the salad.
  • Ham, salami, and pepperoni: The savory protein of the dish.
  • Tomato: Provides a juicy, slightly acidic flavor.
  • Onion: Adds a sharp flavor and crunchy texture to the salad.
  • Banana peppers: The recipe has a tangy, slightly spicy taste.
  • Provolone and mozzarella cheese: The combination adds a creamy and mild taste.
  • Olive oil: The base of the dressing.
  • Red wine vinegar: Adds a tangy, acidic flavor to the dressing, balancing out the richness of the olive oil.
  • Dijon mustard: A sharp and slightly spicy flavor that adds creaminess to the dressing.
  • Minced garlic: Gives that savory, garlicky flavor to the salad.
  • Italian seasoning: Adds extra flavor!
  • Onion powder: Enhances the onion flavor in the dressing.
  • Salt and black pepper: Seasons the dressing and the overall salad.
  • Parmesan cheese: Adds extra cheesy flavor and texture to the recipe.

Large Mixing Bowl with Fresh Lettuce for Keto Italian Grinder Salad

Steps For Making Easy Italian Chopped Salad Recipe

Below is a step-by-step guide with pictures so it’s easy to follow. But if you want the full recipe, scroll down to the bottom of the post, and you’ll find everything you need.

Step 1: Prepare the Lettuce

Wash your head of lettuce thoroughly and pat it dry. Make sure it is good and dry; otherwise, your salad will be watered down. Then, chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl.

Tip: As much as bags of lettuce totally spoil me, I use a fresh head of lettuce because it is always fresher and crispier. If you want to avoid the hassle, a bag of shredded lettuce will work just fine.

 

Close-up view of thinly sliced red onions topped with bright yellow banana pepper rings, a key step in preparing the flavorful and colorful Italian Grinder Salad recipe.

Step 2: Layer the Meats and Veggies

Layer the ham, salami, and pepperoni slices on a cutting board. Cut the tomato and onion slices into quarters and place them on top of the meat and your banana peppers.

Tip: Nothing has to be perfect here. Just plop one ingredient on top of the other.

Keto Italian Grinder Salad Cheese Topping on a cutting board Collage

Step 3: Add the Cheese and Chop

Now, add the provolone and mozzarella cheese. Just sprinkle it right on top of all those tasty meats and veggies. Grab a long knife and start chopping away! You want to keep chopping until everything is in nice, small pieces. Once you’re done chopping, scoop up all those delicious bits and toss them into the bowl with your lettuce.

Tip: I’ve also made this recipe using the viral veggie chopper. It is also a quick and easy way to make this salad. (I am an Amazon affiliate and may earn a commission from items purchased from my links.)

Keto Italian Grinder Salad Recipe Served in Mixing Bowl

Step 4: Make the Dressing and Toss

To make the chopped salad dressing, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle it generously (or to taste) on your salad, and add the Italian seasoning and Parmesan Cheese before tossing it well.

Tip: Feel free to adjust the amount of salad dressing. Keep in mind that you don’t want to drown your salad in dressing. It’s all about finding that perfect balance where the dressing complements the flavors of the ingredients without overpowering them.

Top Tips And Tricks For Making Italian Chopped Salad With Provolone and Mozzarella

  • Spin Your Salad: I like using a salad spinner to dry my lettuce much faster than paper towels to save time. Mine got warped in the dishwasher, so it’s time for a new one.
  • Use a Veggie Chopper: While I chopped this salad by hand, I also made it using my veggie chopper. It’s super fast, and everything is chopped closer to the same size.
  • Choosing A Knife: The sharper your knife, the better. I also recommend using a long knife to chop a large amount of the salad at once.
  • Don’t Go Too Crazy Chopping: Don’t chop the ingredients too finely because this can make the salad too mushy after combining, which is gross. Yuck.
  • Taste Test: I always like to taste the dressing before I add it to the salad, just in case I need to adjust the seasoning according to my preferences. I don’t add all of it once to the salad, it’s also one of those preference things. I tend to dress my salads lighter while my hubby goes ALL IN with the dressing. 🙂
  • Soaking Your Onion: If you’re using raw onion, you can soak the sliced onion in cold water for 10-15 minutes before adding it to the salad to reduce its sharp, pungent taste.
  • Spice it up! Red pepper flakes are a great way to heat it up a bit. You could also add a splash of hot sauce to the dressing.

I don’t know if the onions I bought were particularly intense, but once I started cutting them, I had tears running down my face and couldn’t open my eyes—and it kept getting worse! I haven’t experienced something like that before. I found the quick tip about soaking them in cold water online and wanted to share it in case it might be helpful for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of lettuce?

Yes! You can also use Romain, a mix of baby greens, or other favorite lettuce. I would keep with a milder lettuce as you don’t want the taste of the lettuce to overpower the rest of the ingredients.

Is there a vegetarian version of this salad?

For a vegetarian-friendly version, you can omit the meats and add extra vegetables, such as roasted bell peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, etc.

How many servings does this chopped Italian Salad make?

I’ve made this chopped Italian salad recipe several times and found that it typically makes around 4-6 servings. But you know what? It depends on how much you and your guests like to eat!

If you’re aiming to serve four people, each serving of this delicious salad will be around 1 1/2 to 2 cups, give or take. It all depends on how finely you chop everything up and how much you like to pack into your measuring cup.

Can I add more protein to make this salad a complete meal?

Sure, you can always double the meat! You could also make it with grilled chicken or shrimp instead of the deli meats.

How can I add some crunch to the salad?

I’m a total crunch girl. I love adding texture to salads with nuts, such as sliced toasted almonds or even crispy crumbled bacon. Bacon makes everything better, right?

Storage Instructions

This salad is best served fresh because the longer it sits, the lettuce turns all wilty, and everything else starts getting soggy.

If you are packing a lunch in the morning, pour the delicious creamy dressing in the bottom of a mason jar and add the salad mixture on top.

Some say you can store it in the fridge for up to 2 days if you keep the salad and dressing separately in an airtight container. I personally think that by day 2 it would be too watery.

If you want to make the recipe a few hours ahead, I recommend storing the veggies and dressing separately until you’re ready to serve—to make sure it’s nice and fresh.

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • Meats: Instead of ham, salami, or pepperoni, you can use prosciutto, capicola, roast beef, bacon, turkey, or other deli meats.
  • Cheese: If you’re not a fan of provolone or mozzarella, swap them for fontina, asiago, feta, colby jack, or swiss cheese.
  • Banana peppers: Instead of the Banana peppers, you can use pickled jalapeños, pepperoncini, or mild pepper rings.
  • Additional Veggies: You can add cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onion, shallots, or scallions in addition to and/or in place of the tomatoes and onion.
  • Minced garlic: If you don’t have minced garlic, try garlic powder or roasted garlic.
  • Creamier Dressing -You can add a teaspoon of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt to give your vinaigrette a slightly thicker, richer texture that coats your salad beautifully.

Alright, there you have it – the Italian Grinder Salad recipe! It’s super easy to make and tastes just like the yummy Italian sandwich but without all the carbs.

Whether you’re looking for a satisfying lunch, a quick weeknight dinner, or a dish to share at your next gathering, this recipe is versatile and easy to customize to your liking. So, grab your knife, start chopping, and get ready to savor the mouthwatering flavors of this Italian Grinder Salad.

Go ahead and give this Italian Grinder Salad a try. I bet you’ll love it as much as I do! Happy chopping and munching!

More Keto Salad Recipes:

Overhead view of a bowl filled with chopped Italian Grinder Salad, showcasing a colorful mix of meats, cheeses, lettuce, and vegetables tossed together with a zesty Italian dressing.
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Chopped Italian Grinder Salad Recipe

This easy, low-carb Chopped Italian Grinder Salad recipe combines all the flavors of a classic Italian sub sandwich in a fresh, crisp salad form, perfect for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Prep Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, lunch, Salad
Cuisine: American, casual
Servings: 4
Calories: 385kcal
Author: Kasey Trenum

Ingredients

  • 1 Head Iceberg Lettuce
  • 5 Slices Packaged Ham
  • 10 Slices Packaged Salami
  • 8 Slices Packaged Pepperoni
  • 3 Tomatoe slices
  • 3 Onion slices
  • 1 Handful Banana Pepper
  • 2/3 Cup Shredded Mozzarella & Provolone Cheese Mix
  • 2 Teaspoon Grated Parmesan

Simple Italian Vinaigrette

Instructions

  • Wash the head of lettuce thoroughly under cold running water. Remove damaged or wilted outer leaves, pat dry with a clean kitchen towel, or use a salad spinner to remove excess water.
  • Chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl.
  • Layer the ham, salami, and pepperoni slices on a cutting board. Cut the tomato and onion slices into thin slices and place them on top of the meat.
  • Add the banana peppers and sprinkle the provolone and mozzarella cheese.
  • Using a sharp knife or a veggie chopper, carefully chop the salad ingredients together, mixing everything evenly. (I am an Amazon affiliate and may earn a small commission from purchases made from my links)
  • Transfer the chopped ingredients to the bowl of lettuce. Using tongs or salad servers, gently toss the salad until combined.
  • To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl or shake them together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Pour the desired amount of the simple Italian vinaigrette over the salad. Toss the salad once more, making sure the dressing coats all the ingredients and is evenly distributed throughout. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
  • Taste and adjust the amount of dressing as needed to suit your preferences. Serve the salad immediately, and enjoy!

Notes

Top Tips And Tricks
  • Spin Your Salad: To save time, I like using a salad spinner to dry my lettuce much faster than paper towels. Mine got warped in the dishwasher, so it's time for a new one.
  • Choosing A Knife: The sharper your knife, the better. I also recommend using a long knife to chop a large amount of the salad at once.
  • Don't Go Too Crazy Chopping: Don't chop the ingredients too finely because this can make the salad too mushy after combining, which is gross. Yuck.
  • Taste Test: I always like to taste the dressing before I add it to the salad, just in case I need to adjust the seasoning according to my preferences. I don't add all of it once to the salad, it's also one of those preference things. I tend to dress my salads a bit lighter while my hubby goes ALL IN with the dressing. šŸ™‚
  • Soaking Your Onion: If you're using raw onion, you can soak the sliced onion in cold water for 10-15 minutes before adding it to the salad to reduce its sharp, pungent taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1620IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @kaseytrenumblogger or tag #kaseytrenumblogger!

Collage featuring two images of the Chopped Italian Grinder Salad - a close-up of the salad ingredients, including shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese, and the finished salad tossed together in a bowl with title text overlay.

 

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