A hoagie salad, aka Italian sub pasta salad, has all the salty, briny, and zesty flavors of the popular Italian sub in one bowl. It’s a satisfying combination of all our favorite hoagie fillings like Italian deli meats and cheeses, crunchy bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, and spinach tossed in a creamy Italian dressing!
This hoagie salad has all the makings of becoming one of my favorite pasta salads of all time.
Perfectly cooked pasta, 3 kinds of deli meats, cheese, crispy veggies, and a flavorful homemade dressing that comes together in minutes. It’s an easy way to satisfy a crowd with very little effort at all!
Plus, it’s a pasta salad version of everyone’s favorite Italian sandwich without the heaviness of the hoagie rolls.
It’s similar to my homemade Italian hoagie dip but heartier because we’re making a meal out of it by adding cooked pasta and a few extra chopped vegetables, while still giving us the salty, savory, umami, and tangy flavors we love.
Whatever toppings you normally put on your Italian submarine sandwich, add them to your Italian sub salad, then dig in!
Why you’ll love this Hoagie Salad
It’s the perfect summer dish – For potlucks or to serve at all your summer BBQs, something a little different than the traditional macaroni salad.
Flexible – As with any pasta salad, it’s always adaptable to suit your tastes, so feel free to swap or add in your favorite ingredients.
Always a hit – If you’re a fan of a hoagie piled high with all the things, you’re going to love it in flavorful salad form too!
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Tri-Colored Rotini: Cook the rotini according to box directions then drain it. I use tri-colored just because it’s pretty, but you don’t have to. You can even swap the pasta for your favorite kind of small or medium noodle.
- Veggies: Peeled and sliced cucumber, diced green and red bell peppers, sliced cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, chopped spinach, and sweet and hot salad peppers. Optional vegetables to add could be black olives, green olives, pepperoncini peppers, or hot banana peppers. Chop into bite sized pieces for even bites of everything!
- Deli Meat: Diced ham, salami, and pepperoni. Some people like to add shaved turkey or chicken, bacon, or prosciutto to their hoagie salad recipe.
- Cheese: Diced provolone cheese. You can also use a different kind of cheese such as fresh mozzarella, bocconcini, Havarti, gouda, shaved Parmesan, or white cheddar.
- For the Dressing: Mayonnaise, Italian dressing, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese. Parsley is optional.
How to make Hoagie Salad
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: To a large mixing bowl, add all of the salad ingredients, including the cooked pasta, veggies, meat, and cheese.
- Step Two: In a medium mixing bowl, mix the salad dressing ingredients.
- Step Three: Pour the dressing over the hoagie salad and gently toss to combine. Once everything is evenly coated, cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Step Four: Chill the hoagie salad in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle with optional parsley, and toss once more. Enjoy!
What to serve with Hoagie Salad
A hoagie salad is great to have for a light lunch or dinner, especially during the warmer weather. It’s a complete meal all on its own, but there are times we use it as a side too.
In keeping with the Italian-inspired theme, Italian chicken meatball subs are also a great dinner idea and would pair nicely with a smaller portion of hoagie salad as a starter or side dish.
If you’re looking for something light and refreshing to wash it down with, a 3-ingredient old-fashioned lemonade for the kids or ultimate lemonade for grown folks would be great. Talk about a satisfying summer menu!
What are the 5 pasta salad mistakes to avoid? 🥗
- Not choosing the right pasta. It’s a pasta salad so pasta is an important part of the entire dish! However, it’s not all there is, so you don’t want it to overpower anything else. Small or medium shaped pasta is the best, especially ones with nooks and crannies to hold all the dressing.
- Making sure the pasta is cooked just right. Cook it to al dente so it doesn’t become mushy overtime. You also don’t want it too chewy, which it will naturally become as it cools down. A good way to overcome this is by cooking it to al dente but adding 1 extra minute of cooking time.
- Forgetting to season the pasta. Sure, there’s plenty of seasoning in the dressing and tons of flavors in the mix-ins, however, you can’t mask bland pasta! Use salted boiling water when cooking the noodles. Use a generous amount.
- Not adding the dressing while pasta is warm. You want to make sure not to allow it to cool too much before dressing the salad. It will absorb so much more flavor while it’s still warm. Add about 2/3 first and then the rest just before serving.
- Having it sit for too long. Don’t make it more than a day ahead. Otherwise it will become mushy.
How to reheat and store Hoagie Salad
How to store leftovers
Keep leftovers in an airtight container. If you’ve made a big batch and have lots left over, it’s a good idea to portion it out in smaller containers to meal prep for the week.
How long will Italian Sub Pasta Salad last in the fridge?
For up to 5 days. The longer it sits, the more chance it’ll have to get mushy, but the flavors will still be there!
What is a hoagie made of?
Traditionally, an Italian hoagie is made on a crispy Italian bun piled high with cured meats such as ham, salami, pepperoni, veggies, lettuce, and a vinaigrette as a condiment.
Is a hoagie salad healthy?
Healthy looks different to everyone, but when it comes to salad, it’s not your typical leafy green, high in nutrients salad.
Yes, there are fresh veggies, proteins, and fresh ingredients, however, cured meats contain a lot of sodium as do pickled peppers.
How many servings does this recipe make?
It serves about 8 people but easily double or triple it to feed a larger crowd.
Need more potluck salad recipes? Try these:
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