Zesty and delicious, my Italian sub is generously stuffed with slices of Genoa salami, ham and capicola, plus two cheeses, an array of crisp, fresh veggies and my tangy red wine vinaigrette. It's a classic deli-style sandwich you can easily prepare in your own kitchen so that you can skip the sandwich shop!
Italian Sub, the Perfect Sandwich to Make at Home
I love poking around little local food shops and specialty markets any chance I get. The inspiration I gain from looking at the tasty and often unique offerings always seems to pique not only my appetite (I should probably never go shopping hungry!) as well as my creativity, and I love that!
A few years back, my hubby Michael and I discovered a little gem of an Italian deli called “Mario's” not far from our home that has been there for years and is a popular deli, shop and pizza joint.
If memory serves me, we only left with a little handful of treats that day to nibble on, probably little tasty odds and ends, but I knew I wanted to return to that shop to perhaps try out some of their deli meats and cheeses to create my own Italian sub sandwich like the one they offered on their menu.
I'm a big fan of sandwiches, because I always feel like I can get creative with them using very simple ingredients. I also adore fresh, soft bread which makes homemade sandwiches a natural staple for me! 😉
So when I decided to have a little fun and whip up my own take on a classic Italian sub, I grabbed my trusty tote bag and headed over to Mario's for my main ingredients.
There, I ordered up some Genoa salami, sliced capicola (a spiced and smoked pork shoulder cold-cut), and traditional ham, each staples in an Italian sub sandwich recipe.
I also brought home two kinds of cheeses—some provolone and some mozzarella—to layer in between the ingredients.
For the fresh, colorful veggies, I sliced up some green bell peppers, tomatoes and red onions, shredded up some romaine, and sliced up some black olives and pepperoncinis.
And because an Italian sub just isn't quite an Italian sub without a zippy, herby and garlicky red wine vinaigrette, I whirled up my own “house” red wine vinaigrette, to drizzle into the sub!
How to Make an Italian Sub That's Better Than a Deli's
If you're lucky enough to have an authentic Italian deli near your home like I do, then that's the ideal place to purchase the main ingredients—the authentic meats and cheeses—used in this Italian sub recipe to whip up your own homemade subs.
If you don't, you can purchase the meats and cheeses at your local market, and make any substitutions needed in order to enjoy that classic Italian sub flavor.
I use a combination of Genoa salami, capicola, and traditional ham, but you can feel free to use just two of these, if you prefer.
I'd suggest using at least the capicola or the ham, as well as some salami (use a different one if you can't find Genoa), because the difference in flavor in these will create some nuance.
As far as bread goes, a nice soft Italian-style sub roll is perfect, a larger French roll, or even soft hoagie roll will work.
The veggies add crisp freshness and color, and the red wine vinaigrette adds some zip that ties the sandwich together!
Here's a glance at my Italian sub recipe: or just jump to the full recipe below...)
- I like to get things started by preparing my scrumptious red wine vinaigrette dressing, then setting that aside until I'm ready to use it. (It can also be prepared ahead of time for convenience, then kept in the fridge and allowed to come to room temp before using.)
- Then, I prepare my bread by scooping a tiny bit of the middle out to create more room for the ingredients, and drizzle some vinaigrette over both top and bottom.
- To assemble the Italian subs, I lay a couple of slices of each meat on the bottom roll, followed by one of the cheeses; then, I add another layer of the sliced meat followed by the other cheese.
- I finish the sub up with some of the thinly sliced veggies plus a drizzle more of the red wine vinaigrette, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and cover the sub with the top half of the roll.
Italian Sub with Red Wine Vinaigrette
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4 (makes 2 full sub sandwiches)
Nutrition Info: 844 calories (per serving)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Italian Sub Ingredients:
- 2 good-quality sub rolls or Italian bread
- 8 slices Genoa salami, thinly sliced
- 8 slices capicola, thinly sliced
- 8 slices ham, thinly sliced
- 4 slices provolone cheese, thinly sliced
- 4 slices mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- Thinly sliced ½ green bell pepper
- Thinly sliced ¼ red onion
- Thinly sliced tomato
- 1 cup shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce
- 1 tablespoon sliced, black olives (optional)
- 1 tablespoon peperoncini (optional)
Red Wine Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 6 cloves garlic
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (dried Italian herbs)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- Begin by preparing the red wine vinaigrette: add all of the ingredients up to and including the black pepper into the bowl of a food processor, and process for about 20-30 seconds until well blended; with the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until everything is well emulsified and blended.
- Keep vinaigrette in a covered container, and store any unused portion in fridge for up to a couple of weeks.
- To assemble the subs: split the sub rolls lengthwise in half, and scoop some of the bread out of each half; drizzle a bit of the red wine vinaigrette onto both top and bottom halves.
- On the bottom half, layer a couple of slices of each of the meats, followed by a couple of slices of provolone; do another layer of the meats follow by the mozzarella.
- Add some of the thinly sliced veggies, and drizzle a little more of the vinaigrette over those; add a little extra sprinkle of salt and pepper before covering the sandwich with the top half of the roll.
Tips & Tidbits for my Italian Sub recipe:
- Your favorite combo of Italian meats: The flavor combination of Genoa salami, capicola and ham are terrific for this tasty sandwich, each bringing a bit of either mild spice, peppery-ness, or savoriness. If you cannot find one of these, just sub the closest kind of meat you can. Use regular salami, or traditional ham, if needed.
- Two flavorful cheeses: Provolone and mozzarella add some pungency and some creaminess to this Italian sub, but you can easily use just one of them (I'd go with the provolone in this case).
- Fresh, crisp veggies and add-ins: Thinly sliced red onion and tomatoes offer some kick and sweet juiciness, shredded romaine and green bell pepper add some cool crunch. I also love the salty bite from sliced black olives and the heat from pepperoncini, but if you're not a fan, simple leave 'em out.
- Easy red wine vinaigrette recipe: In my book, my red wine vinaigrette really kind of “makes” this Italian sub. It offers lots of zesty and zippy bite, some much needed tanginess. It's easy to prepare in the food processor, and you can even use any leftover dressing for salad!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016, and has been updated with even more love!