Recipe Review

I Tried the Grinder Sandwich Recipe That’s Been Taking Over Social Media and I See Why It’s Popular

published May 22, 2022
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I Tried It Grinder Sandwich
Credit: Cheryl Fenton

While there might be regional nicknames for sandwiches served on tube-shaped rolls (is it a grinder, hoagie, sub?), there’s one thing everyone can agree on: The Grinder Salad Sandwich is social media’s latest little darling. 

Piled high with sliced meats and cheeses, as well as a creamy salad, the app says that videos related to “grinder salad” have been viewed 928 million times since March 28, when Gray Fultz first showed her boyfriend’s invention for his Richmond, Virginia, restaurant’s menu.  

I decided to try out the version that food blogger Seasoned to Taste posted on her Instagram as my introduction to this new take on an old favorite: the Italian. 

Get the recipe: Grinder Sandwich

How to Make the Grinder Sandwich

While the original calls for a whopping 21 ingredients (including six different types of meat), you can really just mix and match whatever suits your fancy. I tried to stay relatively in line with Seasoned To Taste’s post, using provolone, soppressata, salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, and oven-roasted turkey for my monstrosity.

Slice the sub rolls down the center, laying them flat-side up on a baking sheet. Layer on the cheese and meat, and place in an oven at 425°F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Credit: Cheryl Fenton

While it’s browning up nicely, in a large bowl add the salad dressing ingredients. A mayo-based “slaw” mixture, this is an easy conception of mayonnaise, garlic paste (I had to use minced garlic because our Whole Foods was out of paste), an Italian seasoning blend, Parmesan, sliced pepperoncini, red onion, and red wine vinegar. Stir until combined and then pour into the shredded iceberg lettuce. Gently toss with tongs until the salad is thoroughly coated. Grab the sandwich from the oven when the timer goes off, add the sliced tomato, pile on some of the salad fixings, smoosh it down, and devour. 

My Honest Review of the Grinder Sandwich

Was this grinder amazingly tasty? Absolutely. Will I make it again? Absolutely not. There’s a reason local sub shops have long lines at lunchtime. No one wants to make these messy meals at home. They want the sandwiches neatly wrapped in parchment paper and handed to them for grab-and-go ease. Also, the price tag is far beyond my usual DIY sandwich budget. In truth, however, the lettuce slaw (which Season to Taste mentions on her post that some people eat alone on potato chips) will be on repeat in our house for other sandwiches (and potato chips).

4 Tips for Making the Grinder Sandwich

  1. Don’t forget to dry the lettuce. Because of its high water content (a whopping 96%) it’s best to completely dry the sliced iceberg lettuce in a salad spinner to avoid a watery mayonnaise salad. 
  2. Make the “slaw” right before taking the sandwich out of the oven. Delaying will also end in a big soupy mess. And don’t even think of putting it into the fridge for later use. Trust me. 
  3. Opt for thick slices of tomatoes. This will deliver the best flavor.
  4. Don’t be afraid to sub out. If you don’t want to use mayo, you can also substitute it for Greek yogurt instead. Likewise, while iceberg lettuce works best for this salad, you could also use any leafy green. 

Get the recipe: Grinder Sandwich

Credit: Cheryl Fenton

If you want a little less mess, try this Italian sub recipe. For dessert, turn to TikTok again with these air fryer banana donuts.