Enjoy the most delicious Grinder Salad combining fresh veggies, smoky ham and turkey, provolone cheese, and a creamy, tangy salad dressing. This simple salad recipe will be a hit with the whole family!
TikTok Grinder Salad
If this salad is recognizable, it may be because it went viral on TikTok recently. While the salad is pretty basic, my version adds my personal touch including a healthier version of creamy dressing. I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes which balances the flavors.
There are many versions of this Italian grinder salad, but my recipe rivals the best!
Try making our Italian Grinder Sandwich next! It’s perfect for game day and will impress your guests.
Why This Recipe Works:
- SIMPLE – This salad recipe is very simple to make and involves no actual cooking. You’ll need a sharp knife, a whisk, a cutting board, and a large bowl for this delicious salad.
- TASTY – We enjoy the crispness of the flavorful veggies, the savory goodness of the salty meats, the creamy indulgence of the cheese, and the zesty tang of the dressing. Let your taste buds be tickled!
- LOW CARB – This grinder salad recipe is low carb if you don’t add the bread as a side. All of your favorite sandwich ingredients without the bread and an antipasto salad of your dreams.
- THE BEST CREAMY DRESSING – The dressing is creamy, tangy, and mouth-watering. The perfect topper for a grinder salad.
Grinder Salad Ingredients:
- Iceberg Lettuce – You’ll need about 8-10 cups of thinly shredded lettuce. As an alternative, you could use romaine lettuce or any lettuce mixture you desire.
- Tomatoes – We use cherry tomatoes but any juicy tomatoes work fine.
- Pepperoncini Peppers – We love the heat from these jarred peppers. Feel free to substitute banana peppers if desired.
- Black Olives – These are optional but delicious.
- Deli Meat – You’ll need a combo of turkey, ham, and hard salami. You could also use a variety of Italian meats for this hearty salad.
- Cheese – Provolone cheese is our preference in this salad, but others work too (like Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, and Colby jack).
- Homemade Dressing – A simple combo of mayo, Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and seasonings (oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper). Some Italian seasoning would be nice too.
We love adding some fresh crusty bread as a side – like our “new” pesto bread, 5-ingredient Chewy French Bread, or a slice of Italian Herb Bread. Other ideas are to add the salad to a fresh hoagie roll and dig in for another version of the grinder salad sandwich.
How to make a Grinder Salad:
Make the Grinder Salad Dressing. Add ingredients to a mixing bowl – the mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and seasonings. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients until mixed well.
Pour the dressing into a mason jar to store. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Assemble salad. Use a large platter or salad bowl to assemble the salad. Layer the iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, sliced olives, pepperoncini, sliced ham, turkey, salami, and provolone cheese.
Serve. Serve individual servings of our Grinder Salad with plenty of creamy salad dressing and fresh black pepper. Don’t skimp! BTW, we also like to add some freshly shredded parmesan cheese to the top too.
Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Keep the dressing in a mason jar for up to a week.
I recommend adding the grinder salad dressing to individual salads instead of the entire salad (unless you serve a group).
It’s been said that the “grinder” name initially came from the tough Italian bread used to make the Grinder sandwich, which you would have to “grind” your teeth through.
The grinder salad uses mayo (or in our case, mayo plus Greek yogurt) while a typical Italian salad uses a vinaigrette.
Grinder Salad Recipe
For the dressing:
- 6 Tablespoons mayo with olive oil
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (2%)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
For the salad:
- 1 head iceberg lettuce head (about 10 cups) – sliced thin
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved
- 1/3 cup red onion – sliced thin
- 3/4 cup pepperoncini peppers – chopped
- 2.25 oz. sliced black olives
- 4 oz. salami – sliced thin
- 4 oz. deli ham – sliced thin
- 4 oz. deli turkey – sliced thin
- 8 oz. provolone cheese – sliced thin
- Make the dressing. Add ingredients to a mixing bowl – the mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and seasonings. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients until mixed well.
- Pour the dressing into a mason jar to store. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Assemble salad. Use a large platter or salad bowl to assemble the salad. Layer the iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, sliced olives, pepperoncini, sliced ham, turkey, salami, and provolone cheese.
- Serve. Serve individual servings of our Grinder Salad with plenty of creamy salad dressing.
- Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Keep the dressing in a mason jar for up to a week.