Italian Sub Tutorial: All You Need To Know

an italian sub made with our recipe

A lot of people may claim they make the best Italian subs, but after perfecting our own recipe, we’re telling you: don’t believe them.

So many people leave out a few key ingredients that add a whole new dimension to this staple sandwich.

Would you believe that so many members of society are missing out by making these guys without ham?! And people in Boston think it’s a mortal sin to put lettuce on an Italia!

We may get a lot of crap for adding them onto this, but don’t knock it ‘till you try it.

The ham adds a nice, sweet, porky touch to each and every bite that really brings out the flavors of the provolone and other cold cuts. Plus, who doesn’t love ham?

And the lettuce… people are going to get irate. If you’re anti lettuce on an Italian sub person, you’re probably already pissed off.

Too bad! We’re making you try it anyway.

When you season it perfectly with salt, pepper, oregano, and a little red wine vinaigrette you’ll understand why it’s the right move. That cool, crisp, vinegary crunch is a match made in heaven for all the fatty cold cuts.

After trying our Italian Sub recipe you’ll never be able to have it any other way.

Here’s what you need to make the best Italian Sub

italian sub ingredients on a table

Our Italian sub recipe has many ingredients (especially meat cuts). But don’t worry, you can easily find all of them, and craft your sangwich at home in less than 5 minutes. It’ll be worth it!

Sub roll: Make sure you get something worthy of this masterpiece you’re about to make.

Mortadella: Get some with pistachios, the kind your mother would buy when you were a kid.

Ham: Something simple will work just fine. Stay away from anything with flavors added, like honey or maple. Make sure you get it sliced thin.

Genoa salami: Ask the guy at the deli counter. He knows what to do.

Capicola: Or as Tony Soprano would say, “Gabagool.”

Provolone cheese: Get some sliced from your local deli.

Lettuce: Make sure you use iceberg. Shred it nice and thin.

Tomato: Thinly slice this one too, so there’s a piece of tomato in every single bite.

Red onions: We like to use red onions in our Italian subs, but yellow onions would work too. Slice them as thin as you can.

Dill pickles: Get a decent jar of pickle chips from the supermarket..

Banana peppers: The tanginess of the vinegar will go really nicely with the meat.

Roasted red peppers: We prefer red peppers over green peppers because they are sweeter and have more flavor.

Red wine vinegar: You don’t need to break the bank. We’ll be turning this into a really simple vinaigrette.

Olive oil: A nice, quality olive oil is the goal.

Now that you know the ingredients, it’s time to assemble them!

*Don’t like reading? Don’t worry, Chuck is here to show you our Italian sub recipe – directly from our kitchen!*

Italian sub construction

My first advice is this…make sure all of your cold cuts are sliced thin. That’s going to make or break your Italian Sub experience.

Now that we have that out of the way, start out by cutting a sub roll in half, and drizzling it with olive oil. Now season it with salt, pepper, and oregano.

Add the provolone cheese. You’re going to want to shingle them all over the bottom half of the sub, so there’s a piece of provolone in every single bite.

how to make an italian sub sandwich step 1: provolone on bread
Next comes the ham. Just trust us with this! Don’t lay it flat. Fluff it up on top of the provolone and make sure you get full coverage.
how to make an italian sub sandwich step 2: ham on provolone

Go ahead and add your mortadella to this too. This should also be fluffed up. Fold it in half and stack it on so you get some height!

how to make an italian sub sandwich step 3: mortadella on ham
Capicola time! This is also going to be shingled, just like we did with the provolone. Don’t skimp out, make sure there’s a piece of capicola in every bite.
how to make an italian sub sandwich step 4: capicola on mortadella
Add your salami! Full coverage is what we’re looking for.
how to make an italian sub sandwich step 5: salami on capicola

Time to piss off a lot of Bostonians once again—we’re adding lettuce! Layer shredded iceberg lettuce all over the sub. When you’re done adding the lettuce, season it with salt, pepper, oregano and red wine vinaigrette. It’s like a little salad.

adding lettuce

Add your thinly sliced tomatoes on top of the lettuce, stretching out all across the sub. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and oregano.

Go ahead and add your onions, pickles, banana peppers, and roasted red peppers on top of everything. Don’t be afraid to pile them on high. We’re over making boring sandwiches.

how to make an italian sub sandwich final step: tomatoes and peppers

Season everything once more with salt, pepper, and oregano, and top it with a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinaigrette.

Italian sub FAQs

Q: What are some other meats I can put on an Italian Sub?
A: There are tons of them! Some of my favorites you could add are hot capicola, pepperoni, and prosciutto.

Q: I don’t like red wine vinegar. What else can I use?
A: Feel free to use Balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I like using a white Balsamic vinegar.

Q: What are the different kinds of bread I can use?
A: There are lots of rolls that are perfect for your Italian Sub. I suggest something that is soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. Try a loaf of French bread, a braided roll with sesame seeds or a baguette.

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What to serve with your newly created masterpiece

Snack: You’d be doing it wrong if you didn’t eat this with some kettle cooked potato chips.

Side Dish: When you go to the bakery to pick up your bread, grab a couple slices of bakery pizza. I like the kind with a really sweet sauce and no cheese!

Drink: Beer…a sandwich’s best friend. Try this with a smooth lager from your favorite local brewery.

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an italian sub made with our recipe

The Best Italian Sub

  • Author: Mortadella Head
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x


A lot of people may claim they make the best Italian subs, but after perfecting our own recipe, we’re telling you: don’t believe them.

So many people leave out a few key ingredients that add a whole new dimension to this staple sandwich. Here’s how we like to do it!



1 Sub roll

6 slices provolone cheese

4 slices smoked ham

4 slices mortadella

6 slices capicola

5 slices genoa salami

1 cup shredded lettuce

½ tomato

¼ onion

¼ cup pickles, sliced

¼ cup banana peppers, sliced

¼ cup roasted red peppers

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinaigrette

Salt, pepper, oregano to taste


  1. Line the bottom of a sub roll with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano

  2. Shingle provolone cheese on top of the bottom

  3. Fluff up ham on top of the provolone

  4. Layer on mortadella, fluffing up each piece

  5. Shingle on capicola

  6. Layer on salami

  7. Top with shredded lettuce, seasoning, and vinaigrette

  8. Layer tomatoes and more seasoning on top of the lettuce

  9. Spread onions, banana peppers, roasted red peppers, and pickles on top

  10. Drizzle with more olive oil, seasoning, and red wine vinaigrette

  11. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 5

5 thoughts on “Italian Sub Tutorial: All You Need To Know”

  1. I made this sandwich for my son and his wife using all of the ingredients mentioned, they haven’t stopped raving about it!!!

    Thank you for the recipe 🙏🙏

  2. As you stated, “a lot of people claim to make the best Italian sub” don’t believe them. I don’t believe this is the best. Not by a long shot. Vinaigrette?? Is it a salad sandwich? Banana peppers over pepper relish? Roasted peppers? Your trying to reinvent the wheel here! All the extras you through on top diminish the flavors of the meats, cheese and bread! This is a two bit hack job of a sandwich.

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