This Italian sub salad is a delicious, high protein main dish salad. Filled with yummy cold cuts, cheese and tangy peppers, you will love making this salad for meal prep, an easy and light main course, or to serve a crowd.
A hearty salad that reminds me of traditional Italian subs? Yes, please! We are big fans of a good Italian sub sandwich around here, and this salad has all the same flavors of your favorite sammy, minus the carbs. Ideal for those watching their carb count or following a KETO diet, or for anyone who just wants something a little lighter. I’ve made this salad for book club, Christmas Day dinner, to go alongside Italian food, and just for a light dinner. It’s so easy and the perfect blend of crunchy, tangy and salty, especially when using homemade croutons.
Why you’ll love this delicious salad
- All the flavors you love in an Italian sandwich. Crunchy, sweet, spicy and salty, this salad has a delicious variety of flavors and textures.
- No cooking involved, so perfect for an easy dinner or hot day!
- Low carb and easily made gluten-free by just using gf croutons
- Can be prepped in advance. Since this salad does require a decent amount of chopping, you can easily prep all the ingredients in advance, and just toss right before serving the next day.
- Perfect for a crowd or for a light dinner!
- Iceberg lettuce – 1 whole head of lettuce sliced and chopped up. You can also use romaine lettuce, but I prefer the super crunch of iceberg.
- Deli meats – deli ham and salami are what I use, but feel free to use another type of cured Italian meats. I have used large pepperoni in a pinch, if I didn’t have salami on hand.
- Cheese – I used 2 types; fresh mozzarella pearls and fontina cheese. Provolone cheese would make a nice addition and perfect for this type of antipasto salad.
- Red onion and tomatoes – added veggies for more flavor and nutrition.
- Peppers for tang – I used peppadew peppers, but banana peppers would also be great, especially if you can’t find peppadews. I like these 2 options because they lend a sweeter flavor. If you want to stick with a spicy flavor, you can use pepperoncini peppers instead.
- Black olives or kalamata olives.
- Red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and dried oregano for the salad dressing ingredients
- Croutons – store bought is fine, but I highly recommend using homemade! My air fried croutons are so easy to make and have the perfect flavor and texture.
Preparing your sub salad
This is a pretty simple salad to make, it just requires some chopping. Begin by prepping all the salad ingredients. Cut deli meats into thin strips, chop up tomatoes, onions, fontina cheese and peppers. And of course rinse and chop up lettuce.
Add all ingredients, beginning with the lettuce, into a large bowl. Toss ingredients well, then top with croutons. Right before serving, drizzle olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle oregano all over salad, then toss one more time.
- Do not add salad dressing until you’re ready to serve. Or better yet, combine salad dressing ingredients in a container, and allow guests to add dressing as they serve themselves. That way the lettuce doesn’t wilt if you have leftovers to store.
- Use a pizza cutter to quickly slice up deli meats.
- Check the day old bread cart for deals on delicious bakery bread, which makes the perfect croutons. See my air fryer (or oven baked) crouton recipe here.
- Adjust ingredient amounts to suit your personal taste preference.
I hope you love this delicious, high protein salad as much as we do! If you give it a try and enjoy it, please consider leaving a recipe comment and rating below.
High Protein Italian Sub Salad
- 1 head iceberg lettuce thinly sliced
- 4 ounces deli ham sliced
- 4 ounces salami sliced
- 4 ounces fontina cheese cubed or sliced
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese small pearls or a block cut into cubes
- ½ small red onion thinly sliced
- 2 tomatoes cut into small chunks
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 8 ounces croutons adjust amount to your personal preference
- Add all fresh ingredients except for croutons, oil and vinegar and oregano to a serving bowl or platter and toss well.1 head iceberg lettuce, 4 ounces deli ham, 4 ounces salami, 4 ounces fontina cheese, 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, ½ small red onion, 2 tomatoes, ¼ cup sliced black olives
- When ready to serve, drizzle with oil and vinegar and sprinkle with oregano. Toss well and top with croutons. Serve immediately.2 teaspoon dried oregano, 3 tablespoon olive oil, 4 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 8 ounces croutons