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This Italian Grinder Salad aka Sub in a Tub combines all the ingredients of an Italian sub sandwich in a delicious low carb bowlful.
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Like many of you, I am sure, I saw the viral TikTok grinder sandwich going around that is all about the Italian-inspired lettuce salad you put on it.
People were going crazy for it. I was going crazy about it.
But, being that I am living la vida low carb over here I thought I would just quietly drool to myself and that would be that.
Then the hubs requested a new lunch idea and the light bulb suddenly went off in my head.
He is not on keto but he is trying to eat a bit healthier and that includes cutting as much bread out of his diet as possible. So, I thought why not make this as a main dish and not just an addition to a sandwich? I could give him that portable sandwich taste without using bread.
I use shaved Brussels sprouts because they are sturdier than iceberg lettuce so they won't get super wilted and soggy if this salad sits in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Even if you are not a huge fan of Brussels sprouts I suggest giving this salad a try with them.
That makes this the perfect lunch meal prep idea too.
The dressing is a super easy blend of mayo, vinegar, spices, and some pepperoncini peppers along with some of their juice that really kicks the dressing up and takes it to a whole new level in my opinion.
The salad itself is all about you and your tastes so feel free to customize it as you see fit. Grab your favorite sandwich ingredients and go to town!
I used ours which are lettuce, tomato, onion, ham, salami, and provolone cheese. You can add olives, you can change up the meat, you can add additional cheese, it is all about you here.
Don't forget to top it with fresh Parmesan cheese!!
🥘Italian Grinder Salad Ingredients
The ingredients needed to make this Italian Grinder Salad are simple and completely customizable to what your family enjoys in a sub sandwich.
For the dressing:
- Keto mayonnaise
- Red wine vinegar
- Pink sea salt
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic paste
- Peperoncini peppers + juice
- Parmesan Cheese
For the salad:
- Brussels sprouts
- Provolone cheese
- Red onion
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
🔪Italian Grinder Salad Instructions
This is a basic breakdown of the steps involved in making this Italian Grinder Salad. You will find the full directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
Add the shredded Brussels sprouts, salami, ham, provolone cheese, red onion, and tomatoes to a large bowl.
Add the dressing and toss everything together until well combined.
Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.
- Greens - instead of Brussels sprouts you can use another sturdy green, you can use kale, cabbage, Swiss or rainbow chard, collard greens, and radicchio can add a nice bitter bite, endive, or romaine.
- Dressing - you can totally change this dressing up to meet your taste requirements. Feel free to add more or less of the ingredients, use different seasonings, or up the spice level.
- Meats & Cheese - again I urge you to make this salad your own by using whatever your favorite sub sandwich meats and cheese are. The sky is the limit here!
No specialty equipment is needed for this recipe but, if you really enjoy this salad I recommend buying a mandolin or food processor to make shredding the Brussels sprouts evenly much quicker and easier.
You will want to store this Italian Grinder Salad in a large airtight bowl or in individual 2-cup airtight containers for up to 5 days.
I would not recommend freezing this salad as it can change the texture of the greens and other ingredients and the dressing can separate.
You can eat this salad as soon as everything is combined but it really tastes the best if you allow the flavors to meld and the brussels sprouts to break down a bit so I would wait at least an hour before serving.
FAQ about Italian Grinder Salad
There is a lot of speculation on exactly where the term "grinder" comes from. Some say it refers to the dock workers that were referred to as grinders. Others say that it is likely attributed to thick crusty bread. In other words, the sandwich can be tough to consume, therefore needing to "grind" your teeth to eat it.
As I said above, I chose Brussels sprouts because they are a sturdy green that I knew would stand up to the dressing and not become super soggy if stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Because they are shaved, and the dressing has so much flavor, I don't feel that the taste of Brussels sprouts is pronounced in this salad at all. But, if you seriously hate Brussels sprouts, I would suggest another sturdy green that you enjoy like possibly kale or even Romain lettuce.
I store this Italian Grinder Salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Looking for other delicious salad recipes like this? Try these:
- Low-Carb Shrimp Louie Salad
- Low Carb Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Keto Tuna Salad
- Crispy Salmon Caprese Salad
- TikTok Green Goddess Salad
- Ahi Tuna Salad
Italian Grinder Salad
- 1 tongs
For the dressing
- 1 cup keto mayonaise
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pink salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste
- 2/3 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers + 2 tablespoons pickling liquid
- 2/3 cup Parmesan Cheese + plus more for serving grated
For the salad
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts thinly sliced or shredded
- 12 ounces salami sliced into ribbons
- 1 pound deli ham sliced into ribbons and then chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 8 slices provolone cheese sliced into ribbons and then chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing.
- Set aside.
- Add the shredded Brussels sprouts, salami, ham, provolone cheese, red onion, and tomatoes to a large bowl.
- Toss everything together until well combined.
- Top with extra Parmesan cheese
Most of my recipes are low-carb (or keto) and gluten-free, but some are not. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Recommended and linked products are not guaranteed to be gluten-free. Recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs will not be included as it has a glycemic index of 0 (meaning it does not spike blood sugar) and it’s not metabolized. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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This looks freaking amazing!
Thanks so much! It really is SO good!!
This Grinder Salad is delicious. I didn’t have enough brussel sprouts so I mixed in shredded cabbage to make up the difference.