This Grinder Pasta Salad is a play off of the viral tiktok grinder sandwich trend. It’s loaded with arugula, ditalini pasta, salami, mozzarella, and lots of pickly things.
What is a Grinder Pasta Salad?
This delicious pasta salad is an homage to the viral grinder sandwich recipe that took over the internet a few months ago!
It's like a flavor explosion in your mouth, combining all the goodness of a classic grinder sandwich with the vibrant freshness of a pasta salad.
Get ready to dive into a world of deliciousness with arugula, ditalini pasta, cherry tomatoes, red onions, banana peppers, fresh mozzarella, salami, and garlic expressions salad dresing.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Arugula - Spinach would also work. I recommend a heartier green than the traditional iceberg that's in the typical sandwich.
- Ditalini pasta - I love this short tubed pasta for pasta salad but you could use any shape you like.
- Cherry tomatoes - Any type of tomatoes work but you could also sub them out for roasted red peppers.
- Red Onion - Any sort of onion -- especially my Pink Pickled Onions work in place of red onions.
- Banana Peppers - You could replace banana peppers with cherry peppers or even fresh peppers for more crunch.
- Fresh mozzarella - I love fresh mozz in this but you could also cube up some provolone or asiago.
- Salami - You could also use prosciutto, soppressata, or another cured Italian cold cut.
- Fresh basil - Fresh is best but dried italian seasoning can work if you're in a pinch.
- Garlic expressions - This is by far my favorite salad dressing but you could use any Italian dressing of your choice.
- Kewpie mayo - I like this kind of mayo because it's extra rich and a little goes a long way but you could use whatever mayo you have.
- Red wine vinegar - You could try subbing for white wine, apple or balsamic vinegar.
- Balsamic glaze - To me, this is what makes the whole thing pop off. You could make your own if you don't have this store bought balsamic glaze.
How to make it
Turning the viral grinder sub into a pasta salad is easy peasy!
FIrst, you'll just wash and dry all of your produce. Next, chop it up into bite sized pieces.
Now add all the ingredients in a big bowl and toss!
Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze before serving.
Best if enjoyed right away - if not, hold the arugula and balsamic glaze and add it in and toss before serving.
What goes with Grinder Pasta Salad?
Since it's so versatile, I love pairing Grinder Pasta Salad with almost any recipe!
If I were making it for lunch, I'd pair it with my easy ciabatta caprese sandwiches, some rustic tortellini soup or some jerk chicken salad sandwiches.
For dinner, I'd pair it with some Anthony Bourdain mortadella sandwich, my Buttered Smash Burger, or even these Grilled turkey pastrami sandwich.
For dessert, I would suggest my Mango Croffles or my Vital TikTok Cinnamon Rolls with Heavy Cream.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make pasta salad last longer?
The best way to store pasta salad is in an airtight container in the fridge. This will help to keep the salad fresh and prevent bacteria from growing and the pasta from getting too mushy. If you're using fresh greens, like arugula in this salad, I tend to add it in as I eat it. That way all the marinated veggies stay delicious and fresh.
Can I make grinder pasta salad in advance?
Yes, you can make this grinder pasta salad in advance. I think it actually tastes better when it has had some time to mingle and marinate. I recommend making it a few hours or even a day in advance to allow the flavors to develop. Just make sure to store it in the refrigerator and give it a good toss before serving.
Can I customize grinder pasta salad to suit my dietary needs?
My answer to this is always yes! Grinder pasta salad is incredibly versatile and can be customized to fit various dietary preferences. If you're vegetarian, omit the meat and add more veggies like roasted bell peppers or artichoke hearts. For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free pasta. Feel free to get creative and adapt the recipe to your liking.
Save this recipe for later
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You can pin any image on this page or use the pretty ones I made below specifically for your lunch pinterest boards.
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And if pinterest isn't really your thing, you can always scroll down to the bottom of this post and print the printable recipe card.
Chopped Grinder Pasta Salad
- 1 Tub Arugula
- 4 Cups Ditalini pasta cooked and cooled
- 10 Oz Cherry tomatoes chopped
- ½ Red onion finely chopped
- ⅓ Cup Banana peppers finely chopped
- ½ Lb Fresh mozzarella roughly chopped
- 3 Oz Salami roughly chopped
- 1 Handful Fresh basil hand torn
- ½ Cup Garlic Expressions (or your fav italian dressing)
- 3 tablespoon Kewpie mayo
- 2 tablespoon Red wine vinegar
- 1 pinch Flaky salt
- Balsamic glaze for serving
- Add all ingredients in a big bowl and toss!
- Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze before serving.
- Best if enjoyed right away - if not, hold the arugula and balsamic glaze and add it in and toss before serving.
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