Chopped Italian sandwiches are having a moment—here’s how to make one

Chopped Italian sandwiches are having a moment—here's how to make one

If you’ve ever visited a bodega or deli in New York City, chances are you’ve had a chopped cheese before, or at least heard of one. This popular sandwich gets its name from the way the beef, onions and cheese are all “chopped” together with a spatula while cooking before the lettuce and tomatoes are placed on top.

A chopped Italian sandwich, on the other hand, can best be described as a cross between a chopped cheese and an Italian grinder. It’s not a bodega staple, but the recipe is currently making the rounds on TikTok after recently being shared on the app by Big Eric’s BBQ.

Like a chopped cheese, the components of a chopped Italian sandwich are also chopped together, but on a cutting board, not a baking sheet. And instead of cooked beef, onions and melted cheese, it uses cold meats, raw red onion and unmelted cheese along with all the classic ingredients in a grinder or Italian sub.

Before you even take a bite, you can easily guess what a chopped Italian sandwich will taste like. But the taste isn’t the reason it’s being raved about across TikTok – it’s more the texture.

If you like chopped salads with lots of mix-ins (also the kind Baked By Melissa always makes), you’ll definitely enjoy a chopped Italian sandwich too, because that’s basically what the filling is. While most sandwiches, including chopped cheeses, use whole lettuce leaves and sliced ​​tomatoes, in a chopped Italian sandwich, these two ingredients are chopped together with everything else. Toppings and condiments are also more thoroughly incorporated into each bite; when chopped right, you shouldn’t end up with a lone glob of mayo, for example.

As many of the comments have pointed out, the sandwich is easy to customize to your taste. Some suggested adding jalapeños for more texture and heat, and apparently pickles taste good with that too. Although Big Eric’s BBQ uses slices of provolone, you could just as easily use some leftover cheese cubes from your last charcuterie board, since everything just gets chopped up in the end. And while you might not find the sandwich that enjoyable, if you really like to munch on your salad, you can always chop it a little less finely than Big Eric’s BBQ does.

It’s certainly easier to assemble a sandwich the traditional way, but the extra chopping makes all the difference—and it’s a sandwich that’s easy enough to make in bulk for summer gatherings. See for yourself and make your own chopped Italian sandwich using the recipe below.


  1. Hoagie roll or bread of your choice
    Half a head of iceberg lettuce
    4 slices of ham
    4 slices of salami
    1/4 cup pepperoni
    1/4 red onion
    1 tomato
    1/4 cup banana pepper
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 tbsp mayo
    1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
    1/2 tablespoon Italian dressing
    1 tsp Italian seasoning
    4 slices of provolone cheese


  1. Cut the tomato and onion into slices, as well as the lettuce if you are not using the pre-chopped kind.
  2. Place salad, cold meats, onion, tomato and banana pepper on a large cutting board.
  3. Coarsely chop the ingredients, then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle on the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, Italian dressing and Italian seasoning, then add the cheese.
  5. Chop once more until the ingredients are well mixed.
  6. Place the filling in a hoagie or between two slices of bread and enjoy!

Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kalea Martin

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