Italian Hoagie Salad

By Ann Fulton

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A reader-favorite (and reader-created!) recipe, this satisfying pasta salad was inspired by the classic sandwich is a tried-and-true crowdpleaser. Easy to make, too!


It is always a joy to receive recipes from those who read my newspaper column or blog. When readers send me their family favorites, I am always happy to cook them for my family.

Nine times out of ten, those tried-and-true recipes are a hit in our house, too.

And who doesn’t love a good hoagie?

I sure do, so when I received Landisville resident Maria DeAngelis Bowman’s recipe for a salad based on an Italian sub, I had high hopes.

Maria explained that she and her family enjoyed a similar salad from a now-defunct stand at Lancaster Central Market. Maria set out to recreate it, and her family liked the following version better than the original.

This novel salad is what Maria is now known for, and she cannot attend a potluck, barbecue, shower, or work party without a request for this dish.

Maria and I also discovered that we were former class of ’88 classmates at J.P. McCaskey High School. Go Tornadoes! (The timing is actually quite perfect as my older son starts his freshman year there today!)

You control the ingredients with this copycat recipe that's easy to make with everyday spices. Fast, fresh-tasting, economical, and endlessly versatile!

For a homemade dressing, you may enjoy this copycat recipe for Good Seasons Zesty Italian Dressing

A reader-favorite (and reader-created!) recipe, this satisfying pasta salad was inspired by the classic sandwich is a tried-and-true crowdpleaser. Easy to make, too!
Italian Hoagie Salad
Yield: 6-8 servings
  • 1 box of penne pasta (or similarly shaped pasta; use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 envelope of Good Seasons Zesty Italian Salad Dressing (and ingredients to make*)
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 1 small head of curly lettuce (about 5 ounces**)
  • 4 ounces of hard salami from the deli, sliced thick***
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes, optional (I use a pint box)
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and then set aside to cool.
  2. Rinse the lettuce, dry well, and chop into bite-size pieces. Halve the tomatoes, if using, and cut the salami into small pieces.
  3. Add the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salami, and Italian dressing to the pasta and mix well. (I start with ½ cup of the dressing and drizzle a little more prior to serving.)
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

*The Good Seasons Zesty Italian packet calls for vinegar, olive oil, and water. I recommend using red wine vinegar for this recipe. Balsamic vinegar would be my second choice.

**Baby spinach or baby kale are nice options if you’d like to make this salad for lunches throughout the week as they won’t wilt as readily as leaf lettuce.

***Dicing a thick slice of salami works well, although more recently I like to have the meat chipped at the deli counter. Then I roughly chop before mixing with the other ingredients. This way, a small amount of salami goes a long way in providing tremendous flavor in the salad.

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  1. Jo

    This salad sounds great but the Good Seasons dressing has changed and I believe it is no longer gluten free. Please check this before making the salad.

    1. Ann

      That is great to know. Thank you for mentioning, Jo. A red wine, balsamic, or other Italian vinaigrette would be a good alternative.

  2. Terri Souders

    I am going to make this simply because you are from Lancaster County and I know that you know good food! I am from Reading,Pa (berks county), not far from Lancaster and graduated from Millersville University. I have been looking for this recipe and I trust this one. Thanks!

    1. Ann

      I love your comment, Terri, and I think you will adore the salad! It has become a favorite in our house and among many friends. Hope all is well in Reading!

  3. ~Maria~

    I’m glad everyone is enjoying my pasta salad. My teenage daughters’ BFF just asked her if I could make this for her birthday 🙂

    My sister-in-law changed it up according to what she had on hand with equally delicious results. She replaced the dressing with ranch, the lettuce with cucumbers, the salami for ham, and the cheese for cheddar. I’m now lucky enough to enjoy both versions.

    1. Ann

      I have had more people tell me that they love this salad, Maria, and that they make it often. Thank you again for sharing your recipe last summer and for the recent adaptations!

  4. Stacie

    I made this for the third time for a soccer picnic this weekend. Among many pasta dishes – this one was completely emptied! Much to my husband’s disappointment, no leftovers – we love it!