You’ve probably seen this viral Italian Grinder Sandwich all over the place on TikTok. There’s a reason it’s so popular – it’s absolutely incredible! An Italian roll is piled high with three different meats, provolone cheese, tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers and the very best crisp iceberg lettuce salad.

A sandwich is plated with potato chips.

I don’t know if there’s much I love more than cold cuts. Salami, capicola, soppressata, I love it all! That means I’m downright obsessed with this sandwich because it includes all three of my favorite deli meats. And when it’s all paired with provolone and salad on an Italian roll? I might be drooling.

If you’re on TikTok, there’s a big chance you’ve seen this viral sandwich recipe floating around. It’s been all over my Instagram feed lately as well. It’s not a huge mystery as to why it’s gained such popularity – just look at the ingredients! It takes all of your classic Italian sub elements and tosses them together in the best way possible.

But the truth of the matter is, we, in Philly, have been enjoying Italian Grinder Sandwiches for decades and now you can make this classic at home. It’s one of my favorites!

I’ll be honest – I’m not quite sure where the name originates. Based off of my extensive research (a few Google searches), it seems that the “grinder sandwich” may have been named that because of how much work your mouth has to do to eat it. Is it true? I’m honestly not sure. What is true, though, is the fact that I can’t stop making this grinder sandwich recipe!

Ingredient Notes

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to make this viral recipe! For exact measurements needed, scroll to the recipe card below.

For the salad

  • Mayonnaise – You can use regular or low fat.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – This creates the very best fruity tangy flavor!
  • Italian Seasoning – I use my homemade blend any chance I get.
  • Pepperoncini – Make sure they’re thinly sliced.
  • Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
  • Red Onions – Don’t swap these with any other color of onion!
  • Parmesan Cheese – For the very best flavor and consistency, freshly grate this cheese yourself.
  • Salt and Pepper – Add each of these to taste. Also, keep in mind that kosher or flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper will create the very best flavor.

For the sandwich

  • Italian Roll – You can substitute this with a hoagie if needed.
  • Provolone Cheese – Feel free to use smoked or non-smoked provolone. The only difference is the flavor, but both will work just fine in this sandwich.
  • Dried Oregano – This is the not-so-secret ingredient that gives the whole sandwich a nice Italian flair.
  • Cold Cuts – You’ll feel a little like Tony Soprano eating this sandwich that features capicola, soppressata and salami!
  • Tomato – Thinly sliced is best. You can feel free to use any tomato you like best! I usually go with beefsteak or roma.
  • Pepperoncini

How to Make Italian Grinder Sandwiches

You’re going to love how quick and easy this grinder sandwich recipe is!

Four rolls have been split in half and topped with deli meats.
  1. Make the salad. Mix together the mayo, vinegar, oregano and pepperoncini to combine. Fold in the lettuce, red onions and parmesan.
  2. Prepare the rolls. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a slice of cheese onto each side of the Italian roll. Bake just long enough for the cheese to melt.
  3. Assemble. Sprinkle the melted cheese with oregano. Top the bottomhalf of the roll with capicola and the top with soppresata and salami. Top with peppers, iceberg salad and sliced tomatoes.
  4. Serve. Carefully press the sandwich together tightly and slice in half. Enjoy!
A bowl of salad is presented.

PRO TIP: Don’t make the salad ahead of time! The iceberg lettuce will wilt the longer it sits and you want it to be crisp. It’s best to make the salad only when you’re ready to assemble and serve the grinder sandwiches.

If you’re as much of a fan of this sandwich as I am, you will also love my other favorite Italian Hoagie. Much the same but not toasted, it’s a true Philly classic.

A halved sandwich is presented on a plate.

Enjoy more of my favorite Italian sandwich recipes!

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A sandwich is plated with potato chips.

Get the Recipe: Grinder Sandwich Recipe

A grinder sandwich, also known as a toasted hoagie or sub, is a popular Italian-American sandwich made with a long crusty roll filled with various meats, cheeses, and vegetables. The signature grinder salad, made with shredded lettuce, chopped vegetables, vinegar, and spices, adds a zesty kick to the sandwich.
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For the salad

  • 1 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 thinly sliced pepperoncini
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg
  • 1/4 thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the sandwich

  • 1 Italian roll split
  • 2 slices provolone cheese cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 ounces capicola
  • 2 ounces soppressata
  • 2 ounces salami
  • 1/2 thinly sliced tomato
  • 3 chopped pepperoncini peppers optional


  • 1 baking sheet


  • In a mixing bowl combine mayo, vinegar, oregano, and pepperocinis. 
Add lettuce, red onion, and parmesan and toss together until evenly coated.
  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place a slice of cheese onto each side of the bread roll and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese just melts.  Remove from oven and sprinkle each side with dried oregano.
Top bottom half of roll with mortadella (or ham) and top half of the roll with soppressata and salami.
  • Top capicola with peppers, if using. 
Top cherry peppers with iceberg salad, then sliced tomatoes.
  • Carefully, but tightly press the sandwich roll together, slice in half and serve.
Calories: 602kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 43g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 2644mg, Potassium: 372mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 477IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 256mg, Iron: 8mg