Italian Grinder Pasta Salad


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Italian Grinder Pasta Salad takes all of the ingredients of the delicious Italian sub that seems to be everywhere on the internet. Three kinds of meat, banana peppers, red onion, and iceberg lettuce make this pasta salad a deliciously deconstructed version of your very favorite sandwich.

Ingredients for Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

  • Ditalini pasta: Any pasta is fine, but this is my favorite.
  • Pepperoni, salami, and deli ham: Using good quality meat is important here.
  • Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan: I got a block of mozzarella cheese and cubed it, but you could also use little fresh mozzarella pearls too. For the Parmesan I used the shaker you get from the pasta aisle.
  • Red onion, cherry tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce: All your favorite sandwich toppings make this pasta salad unique and delicious.

  • Banana peppers and juice from the jar: This is the secret ingredient to the whole salad. Banana peppers add an amazing punch of flavor that can’t be found anywhere else.
  • Mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper: Makes the most delicious creamy Italian dressing.

Tips for Making Pasta Salad

  • Rinse the pasta in cold water immediately after it is done cooking. I like to use this over the sink strainer to help it cool down faster. Run your pasta under cold water after you strain it so you don’t overcook it. The cold water will stop the cooking process and help it cool down faster as well. I like to make sure that the pasta is totally cool before I add the other ingredients so I don’t have to chill it in the fridge for hours before I want to serve it.
  • If you’re not serving your pasta salad immediately, store in the fridge. You might not think of pasta salad as something that can spoil easily, but it can, especially when it’s hot out.
  • Whisk together the dressing in a separate bowl. If you don’t whisk the dressing together first, it might be hard to distribute all of the seasonings and other dressing ingredients throughout the pasta salad.
  • Serve it in a pretty bowl like this one.

More Pasta Salad Recipes

BLT Pasta Salad

Pepperoni Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Orzo Feta Pasta Salad

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

Recipe by Julia Pacheco
Course: SidesCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time



Three kinds of meat, banana peppers, red onion, and iceberg lettuce make this pasta salad a deliciously deconstructed version of your very favorite sandwich.

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  • Pasta salad
  • 8 oz ditalini pasta (or any other shaped pasta)

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, chopped

  • 1/2 cup salami, chopped

  • 1/2 cup deli ham, chopped

  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

  • 1/4 cup banana peppers

  • 3 tbsp banana pepper juice (from the jar)

  • 2 1/2 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped

  • Dressing
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tbsp minced garlic

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • Cook the pasta according to the box instructions. Once the pasta is cooked, strain it over the sink and rinse it super well with cold water to let it completely cool down. Add the cooled pasta to a large bowl. Add the remaining pasta salad ingredients and stir well. Set to the side.
  • To make the dressing, add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl, then whisk together. Top the pasta salad with the dressing and stir well to coat evenly. Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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  1. This turned out great! I ran out of real mayo so I used half Miracle Whip and it still turned out just fine. We had this for supper last night and I took leftovers for lunch today which are still great!. I used shredded lettuce to help with the prep a bit and chopped the rest of the salad components while I waited for the water to boil and pasta to cook. Will make again! Might add diced cucumber next time.

  2. Midwest Cook

    Super flavorful, and a great main-dish “salad”. A half-recipe filled my 4-quart casserole and is 4-6 servings so the recipe’s estimated servings for a full recipe is off. To keep total prep time low, use the time while the pasta water is starting to boil and pasta is cooking to prep all salad ingredients and make the dressing. I waited until my pasta was cooked and cooling to start chopping, so the total prep time for me was more than an hour.

  3. We made this today and it was absolutely amazing. I will make some tweaks to proportions next time (a bit more red wine vinegar, a bit more onion for crunch, double the pepperocini peppers) but it is going in the recipe box for sure. Thanks!

  4. I am.on Julie cooking channel and have watched many of her videos the food is easy and delicious. Simple to prepare casseroles to crocpot sheet pan .

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