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Chopped Grinder Fried Toast

Inspired by the famous chopped grinder sandwiches, this version is served on hearty, olive-oil fried toast. Piled high with deli meats, cheeses, peppers, and tomatoes, tossed with savory sub dressing and mayo. More fillings, less bread!

Overhead, close-up view of Chopped Grinder Fried Toast on a gray plate.

Dates don’t really matter on food sites anymore, so you might be landing on this post out of order: It’s actually the first edition of my new series, Toasted Tuesdays. This series was inspired by the sandwich food p0rn videos that are so popular on Instagram and TikTok right now.

While I enjoy watching those videos as much as the next sandwich-lovin’ foodie, they’re usually so complicated and over the top that I won’t ever actually make one of them. The last thing I want to do these days is smoke a brisket or a pork shoulder for a sandwich. And the sandwiches are huge. And drippy. Two slices of bread wrapped around these monsters is crayzeeee.

It’s all good fun, and I’m still watching, but my cooking goals are much more humble. I prefer a sandwich that I can prepare in 15 minutes or so. And one that will actually fit in my mouth. Lol. Why the one piece of bread? I was diagnosed with insulin-resistant T2 diabetes this year, and I have to minimize carbs. The open-faced sandwich is a good solution for me: Combining good fats, like extra virgin olive oil, with whole grain carbs helps minimize blood sugar spikes (although some diabetics can’t have bread at all — everyone is different).

All of these factors together pointed to the open-faced fried toast sandwich. I love my fried toast piled high with lots of protein-rich ingredients and interesting toppings. This Chopped Grinder Fried Toast is a beautiful representation of these goals and does not disappoint. Let’s take a look!

Ingredients for a Chopped Grinder Fried Toast sandwich spread on a wooden cutting board, including ham, turkey, salami, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, roastsed red peppers, and red onions.

Ingredients and Substitution Notes

Bread — For my fried toasts, I prefer sourdough bread, although whole grain wheat or multigrain bread is delicious as well. I generally use bakery bread, as the bread is larger, and I can slice it as thickly as I want. I would advise against the regular, squarish, squooshy-soft sandwich bread. It will work, more or less, but the goal of fried toast is to create a substantial sandwich substitute, and a side dish worthy of soup. You won’t regret a big slice of toast!

Why fried? Counterintuitively, frying bread in a little olive oil actually strengths it and gives it a crispy structure that’s somewhere between a crusty, teeth-jarring baguette and regular saw-dusty-dry toaster toast. Fried bread can support an alarming amount of toppings and still be bite-through-able … and that’s just what we want! More fillings, less bread.

Deli meats — A grinder is a great sandwich to indulge your deli meat preferences. I use ham, turkey, and Genoa salami. But if you’re feeling prosciutto and soppressata, go for it!

Cheese — I think white American cheese goes well with this toast, but again, choose your favorite: provolone, swiss, cheddar … it’s all good!

Vegetables — Pepperoncini is the traditional choice for a grinder, but I went with roasted red peppers, because I had a half-used jar in the fridge. I also added cherry tomatoes and lettuce because you can never go wrong with them on a grinder.

Don’t forget the onions! They really make the grinder pop. If you need to tame the bite of the red onions, just soak the slivers in water for 5 minutes, drain, and pat dry. It really cuts the harshness.

Condiments — Mayo is really all you need, but I also love to use submarine dressing (a.k.a. sub dressing or deli dressing). My preference for sandwiches is usually a “touch” of mayo, but when making something like a grinder salad, you need to use enough to wet everything down. I still use a little mayo, and fill in the gaps with sub dressing, which also adds another layer of flavors.

Sub dressing is usually made of olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a blend of Italian herbs. My Kroger sells several brands of sub dressing, so I hope it’s easy to find for you, too. I keep the bottle in the fridge and use it on everything from green salads to roasted chicken.

Balsamic Glaze — A drizzle of balsamic glaze at the end caps off this Chopped Grinder Fried Toast perfectly, with its burst of tangy sweetness. I use balsamic glaze on a lot of things, including soups, steaks, roasted veggies and, of course, summer Caprese salads, so I always have a bottle in the pantry, but if you would rather whip up a quick batch, try Budget Byte’s Homemade Balsamic Glaze.

How to Make Chopped Grinder Fried Toast

Here’s a look at how to make this tasty toast, with photos. Don’t forget to review the recipe card below to ensure you have all of the ingredient amounts and cooking times.

Step 1: Fry the toast

A slice of sourdough bread drizzled with oil toasting in a skillet on the stove.

Heat a small skillet over medium. When water flicked on the surface sizzles away, the pan is ready.

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over one side of the bread. Place the bread oil-side down in the center of the hot pan and let toast. Check every couple of minutes — you’re looking for golden brown markings evenly across the slice (the toast in the photo above is not quite even; I went with it anyway lol).

When the first side is toasted, drizzle more olive oil over the upside of the bread slice, and flip. Let toast for a few more minutes, until golden. Transfer the toast to a plate to cool.

Step 2: Prepare the grinder ingredients

The ingredients of the grinder chopped and ready to use, in a white bowl with a black rim.

Pile all of the veggies, meats, and cheeses on top of each other on a cutting board. Drizzle the sub dressing over everything and top with a tablespoon of mayo. Use a chef’s knife to chop through the ingredients, mixing things together as you go, until everything is in small pieces. When the mixture looks like a chopped salad, you’re good to go.

Alternatively, as I did, you can add the veggies, meats and cheeses to a mixing bowl and use kitchen shears to snip through the ingredients. Then fold in the sub dressing and mayo.

Step 3: Assemble the toast

The fully assembled Chopped Grinder Fried Toast, ready to serve.

Spread the grinder salad thickly over the fried toast. Sprinkle the Italian herb blend and pepper over the top and then finish with a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.

Cook’s Notes

Can this be made ahead? — While the fried toast is always best made fresh, you can definitely make the grinder salad ahead of time. Store the salad in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to a day in advance. Let the salad warm up a little bit on the counter before using, for optimal flavor.

How to store leftovers — Store any leftover grinder salad in the fridge in a covered bowl.

Why “Chopped?” — Chopped-anything sandwiches are super popular on social media today, and it brings out some passionate opinions: some people love the preparation, some people … not so much.

Why not just layer out all of the sliced ingredients on the bread and be done with it, some wonder? If that’s your preference, go for it! This fried toast will still be delicious. For me, it’s a texture thing. I love the mixed textures and flavors of foods like a chef’s salad, where you get lots of variety in every bite.

Plus, I know this sounds weird, but the edges of my front teeth do not come down together in a bite, so it’s difficult to use my teeth to make a clean cut through all of the layers of foods like sandwiches. I sometimes end up pulling out a huge chunk of ham or sliced tomato in one bite. It’s not as uncommon as you might think — IYKYK.

Angled view of the fried toast with a bite taken out of it, showing the layers of ingredients.

This is a hearty sandwich that’s perfect for lunch with potato chips or as a dinner side with Minestrone or a Mediterranean Salad. So filling and flavorful, it’s toast but turbocharged.

I’m having a blast with this series — so many more fried toasts coming up! — and I hope the Chopped Grinder Fried Toast has inspired you to try it, or anything, on fried toast.

Karen xo
Chopped Grinder Fried Toast on a plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Chopped Grinder Fried Toast

A hearty open-faced, olive-oil sourdough fried toast piled high with Italian grinder staples of deli meats, cheese, and peppers. Delicious and filling!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time18 minutes
Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chopped grinder, fried toast
Servings: 1
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 1 slice sourdough bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup roughly chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce
  • 3 slices deli ham
  • 3 slices Genoa salami
  • 3 slices roasted turkey
  • 2 slices white American cheese
  • 1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons slivered red onions
  • 2 tablespoons sub dressing*
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • Dried Italian herb blend
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Balsamic glaze or reduction


  • Heat a small skillet over medium heat, until drops of water flicked on the surface sizzle away on contact.
  • Drizzle the oil in zig-zags across one side of the bread. Lay the bread oil side down in the center of the skillet. Press gently on the slice to ensure maximum contact with the pan.
  • Let the bread toast on the one side for several minutes. Check periodically by carefully lifting up a corner of the bread and examining the underside. You’re looking for a nice, golden brown across the surface.
  • When the first side is ready, drizzle more oil over the second side (the “up” side) and flip the bread. Again, let the bread toast until that side is golden brown. Remove to a plate to cool.
  • While the bread is toasting, heap the lettuce, deli meats and cheese, peppers, and tomatoes on a cutting board. Sprinkle the sub dressing over the stack and top with the mayo.
  • Use a chef’s knife to chop through the stack, folding and mixing as you go, so that everything is coated with the condiments and cut into small pieces (think, chopped chef’s salad in texture).
  • Spread the grinder “salad” thickly on the fried toast. Season with a pinch of Italian herbs and black pepper. Finish with a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.


* Grocery stores often sell bottled submarine dressing, which is extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and italian seasonings. I keep a bottle in my fridge, but you can simple sub a drizzle of olive oil, a quick pour of red wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of Italian herb blend instead.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
Recipe Rating

Pearl Campbell

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

I love sourdough bread and I usually alway toast it for sandwiches, but i love the idea of frying it and can’t wait to try this!

Karen - SoupAddict

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

It's so lovely - the olive oil adds just a touch of richness to the bread; it's neither limp nor dust-dry. Just perfectly crispy. I hope you like it!

Mikki B

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

Love this new series! I’m a salad kind of gal and this grinder toast hits the spot! A quick bite of salad on crispy bread yum!

Karen - SoupAddict

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

This makes me so happy! I was afraid to hit publish in case people were like bleh toast :)