This Italian grinder pasta salad will be your new favorite dish this spring and summer. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I am sure you have seen the viral grinder sandwiches all over social media. As much as I love a good sandwich, I also love a pasta salad. This is my slightly lightened up, refreshing, seasonal take on the viral grinder.
If you want to opt out for a lower carb option, you can substitute the pasta fully with lettuce instead. This salad is the perfect recipe to bring to a gathering or the ultimate side dish if you’re hosting. It’s begging to be taken to a picnic.
The dressing is so creamy and absolutely chug-able; it’s excellent on any salad that features crunchy lettuce. A creamy mayo base gets a hit of spice and pungency from mustard and fresh garlic. The beauty of this salad is that you can make it with any ingredients you have on hand. You can add or take away to this recipe and make everything to taste.
Italian Grinder Pasta Salad
- 250 grams (1/2 pound) pasta shape of choice, boiled until al dente and cooled to room temp (I used Mafalda Corta)
- 1 cup finely shredded lettuce (any variety)
- ⅓ cup small cubed salami (I used garlic genoa)
- ⅓ cup small cubed cheese of choice (I used grass-fed cheddar)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup finely chopped cucumber
- ⅓ cup sliced green olives + 2 tablespoons olive juice
- ⅓ cup finely sliced pepperoncini pepper (optional) or use sweet peppers if you don't like spice
- ½ cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon honey Dijon mustard or regular Dijon
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- Add the cooled pasta, shredded lettuce, salami, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, green olives with juice, and pepperoncini (if using) to a large serving bowl.
- In a measuring cup, mix the mayo, mustard, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Pour the dressing on top of the salad, mix, and enjoy!
This is an amazing recipe! I included ingredients to make it taste like a Connecticut-style grinder and my Connecticut-raised husband loved it. I just made it for the second time, and it will be a summer staple! Thank you!
Ellen that makes me SO happy! SO so wonderful and I am glad to hear 🙂
Just made this, used tricolor rotini, added provolone cheese and diced ham. I’m not one to get too hyped about salad dressing but this one hit all the right notes – absolutely delicious
woohoooo so glad you loved it Jody. Thanks for the star rating, means the world to me
Tried it yesterday and my family loves this salad… although I forgot to add the olives LOL… good reason to have it again soon! I am looking for new salads to serve or to bring to a gathering, this one is perfect for both! Thank you!
Thanks for the sweet review Claudia. So happy you liked the pasta salad