If you've ever visited a New York City bodega or deli, 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 as they cook before the lettuce and tomatoes are added on top.
A chopped Italian sandwich, on the other hand, can be best described as a cross between a chopped cheese and an Italian grinder. It isn't a bodega staple, however the recipe is currently making rounds on TikTok after recently being shared to the app by Big Eric's BBQ.
Much like a chopped cheese, the components of a chopped Italian sandwich are also chopped together, but on a cutting board, not a griddle. And instead of cooked beef, onions, and melted cheese, it uses cold cuts, raw red onion, and unmelted cheese along with all the classic ingredients of a grinder or Italian sub.
Before you even take a bite, you can easily guess how a chopped Italian sandwich will taste. But the taste isn't the reason it's being raved about across TikTok — it's more so the texture.
If you like chopped salads with loads of mix-ins (aka the kind Baked By Melissa always makes), you'll definitely enjoy a chopped Italian sandwich too, because that's basically what the filling is. Whereas most sandwiches, including chopped cheeses, use whole lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes, in a chopped Italian sandwich, these two ingredients get chopped up along with everything else. The spreads and seasonings also get more thoroughly incorporated into each bite; when chopped correctly, you shouldn't end up with a lone glob of mayo, for instance.
As many of the comments have pointed out, the sandwich is easy to customize to your liking. Some suggested adding jalapeños for more texture and heat, and apparently pickles taste great on it 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 as enjoyable if you really like crunching into your lettuce, you can always chop it up a little less finely than Big Eric's BBQ does.
It's definitely easier to assemble a sandwich the traditional way, but the extra chopping does make all the difference — and it's a sandwich that's easy enough to prepare in bulk, for summer get-togethers. See for yourself, and make your own chopped Italian sandwich following the recipe below.
- Hoagie roll or bread of your choice
Half a head of iceberg lettuce
4 slices ham
4 slices salami
1/4 cup pepperoni
1/4 red onion
1/4 cup banana peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon mayo
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon tablespoon Italian dressing
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 slices provolone cheese
- Slice the tomato and onion, as well as the lettuce, if not using the pre-shredded kind.
- On a large chopping board, layer the lettuce, cold cuts, onion, tomato, and banana peppers.
- Roughly chop ingredients, then sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
- Drizzle on the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, Italian dressing, and Italian seasoning, then add the cheese.
- Chop once more until the ingredients are properly combined.
- Place the filling in a hoagie or between two slices of bread, and enjoy!
- Main Dishes, Sandwiches
- 3-4 sandwiches
- Total Time
- 14 minutes, 59 seconds