It’s no secret that I LOVE a big bowl of greens. But, what I love even more, is a big bowl of greens piled high with protein and yummy toppings. That’s why this macro-friendly grinder salad has become one of my favorites. It’s easy to make and the flavor is even better than what you’d imagine. 

macro grinder salad

What You’ll Need to Make a Grinder Salad:

  • Nonfat Greek or dairy-free yogurt
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Frozen garlic cubes, or minced clove
  • Oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Jarred mild banana peppers, chopped 
  • Red onion, diced
  • Iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Cucumbers, diced or thinly sliced
  • Sweet bell pepper, diced
  • Turkey pepperoni, chopped 
  • Deli turkey or chicken, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional cheese: parmesan, mozzarella, havarti, they’re all good!

How to Make a Grinder Salad:

When I’m making this salad I like starting with the dressing. It’s super simple. Super flavorful. And really brings this macro-friendly grinder salad together. Plus, I love the extra creaminess the yogurt adds.

For the dressing, grab your favorite large bowl. In the bottom of your large bowl, add your non-fat Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt. Whisk everything together until it all combines. That simple!

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Next, you grab all of your salad ingredients before putting them into your large bowl right on top of your dressing. Add your jarred mild banana peppers (chopped), diced onion, finely chopped iceberg lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, diced (or thinly sliced) cucumbers, diced sweet bell peppers, chopped turkey pepperoni, and chopped deli turkey or chicken. I also like adding in extra cheese depending on where I’m at with my macros. My favorites are parmesan, mozzarella, and Havarti. 

Now that the ingredients are in the bowl, toss well and enjoy! 

quick grinder salad

Gluten-free/Dairy-free Modifications

This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but there are some dairy elements that will need to be modified if you need dairy free. When making your dressing you can swap out the non-fat Greek yogurt for your favorite dairy-free yogurt. My favorite dairy-free yogurt is the coconut yogurt alternative from So Delicious. I really like how tastes in creamy dressings and sauces.

The other dairy-free modification for this recipe is the cheeses. I wrote the recipe with cheese being optional, but they really do make this macro-friendly salad extra yummy. If you want that cheese-y feel, just use your favorite dairy-free cheeses. I LOVE the parmesan cheese and feta cheese from Follow You Heart. You can’t even tell that they are dairy-free. 

Serving Suggestions:

This grinder salad is a meal all in itself. Before indulging, I like to finish off with additional salt and pepper to taste. It just takes it to the next flavor level.

This grinder salad recipe is written for an individual salad portion, but you could totally double or triple the recipe to take as a side for your next get-together. 

lightened up grinder salad

Similar Recipes:

Wedge Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

Salmon Romesco Salad

Cobb Salad with Creamy Lemon Basil Dressing

Summer Chop Salad with Light Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing

Chipotle Grilled Chicken Salad and Mango Cobb Salad

Chopped Peach Caprese Salad

Easy Dairy-free Cava Bowl

Chopped Green Goddess Salmon Flatbread

Grinder Salad

My family and I seriously love this macro-friendly grinder salad. And I also love that it makes eating healthy easy. If you are looking for other easy recipes that stay in line with your macros, then you should check out my cookbooks. They are full of yummy recipes that my family and I eat on the regular. I also share new things I’m trying on Instagram and TikTok so make sure you are hanging out with me over there too. 

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

lightened up grinder salad

Grinder Salad

This quick and easy grinder salad is the perfect macro meal.
5 from 1 vote
Course salads
Cuisine Fresh, Healthy, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Calories 311 kcal


  • 1/4 cup Nonfat Greek or dairy-free yogurt (60 g)
  • 1 Tbsp Red wine vinegar (15 g)
  • 1 Frozen garlic cubes, or minced clove
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Jarred mild banana peppers, chopped (28 g)
  • 1/4 cup Red onion, diced (35 g)
  • 4 cups Iceberg lettuce, finely chopped (300 g)
  • 1/2 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved (80 g)
  • 1/2 cup Cucumbers, diced or thinly sliced (60 g)
  • 1/2 cup Sweet bell pepper, diced (60 g)
  • 1/4 cup Turkey pepperoni, chopped (28 g)
  • 1/4 cup Deli turkey or chicken, chopped (65 g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional cheese: parmesan, mozzarella, havarti, they’re all good!


  • In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  • Add the rest of your salad ingredients right on top and toss well!
  • Finish with additional salt and pepper to taste!


MFP: Lillie Eats and Tells Grinder Salad


Serving: 741gCalories: 311kcalCarbohydrates: 28.6gProtein: 24.9gFat: 9.6gFiber: 7g
Keywords grinder, healthy salad, salad

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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Recipe Rating


  1. I LOVE each of these ingredients but this salad was not for me. I followed the recipe exactly but hesitated at the 1 tsp red pepper flakes, love spicy foods but it was way too much for this salad.

  2. I thought this salad was flavorful although it took me a lot longer than 10 mins to chop and assemble everything. The only thing I did extra was grill plain chicken breasts and dice. But still, it was more time consuming by 2-3X’s!

  3. Absolute YUM! The absolute perfect, fresh lunch that tastes like it came straight from the Italian deli. I love that it was a mix of things I already had on hand/usually keep in stock with a few items I don’t normally choose (pepperoni, banana peppers). Will be making again this week!

    1. If you were to make this ahead would you put the banana peppers in the dressing to top it later or include them in the salad?