This post was originally posted in August 2018 and has been updated.
This foot-long cold-cut sub sandwich starts with a fresh bakery loaf of bread piled high with meats, cheese, and your favorite fixings. Slice and serve for picnics, easy weeknight meals, or game day snack spreads.
Skip the line at the deli shop and make this loaded sandwich at home. It's fresh and easy and full of ingredients the whole family will love!
Why you will love this sub-style sandwich
- This cold-cut sub is ideal for gatherings, picnics, or game days. Build the sandwich and slice it into smaller pieces for serving.
- No cooking is involved! You can build this sandwich in minutes, which makes it perfect for quick meals. Serve for lunch or dinner alongside these loaded baked beans, creamy coleslaw, chips, or your favorite pasta salad.
- This cold-cut combo sandwich is very versatile. Customize the bread, meats, cheese, and fixings based on personal preference, or use ingredients you already have on hand.
- Bread - Use a whole, unsliced loaf from the bakery section of your supermarket. I love sourdough, but any variety works. Try Italian, whole wheat, or whole grain. Focaccia would be delicious too!
- Spreads - Top the bread with mayonnaise, mustard (this deli-style mustard is my favorite), Thousand Island dressing, classic Italian dressing, or even pesto.
- Meats - I use a combination of roast beef, turkey, and ham. Add what you love, such as salami, corned beef, pastrami, soppressata, or mortadella.
- Cheese - My go-to combo is Swiss and Colby or Pepper Jack. Other great options are Cheddar, American, Muenster, Gouda, or Provolone.
- Fixings - Pile on your favorite toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, peppers, and olives.
✦Did you know?
The term "submarine sandwich", or "sub" for short, comes from the shape of the oblong roll which resembles the shape of a submarine.
The name for these sandwiches varies by region. New Englanders call them grinders, New Yorkers refer to them as heroes, and in Philadelphia, they are known as hoagies.
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Slice the bread in half lengthwise. Spread one side with mayo and the other side with mustard.
- Layer the bread with lettuce, cheese, meat, and tomatoes. Add additional toppings as desired.
- Slice and serve. Use food picks to hold the sandwich together, if desired.
What to serve with sub sandwiches
- Game-day spread - Serve sandwich wedges with chips and dip snack board, southern style deviled eggs, and mango pineapple salsa and chips.
- Easy weeknight lunch or dinner - Serve slices of the sandwich with potato chips and pickles or with oven-baked french fries and fruit salad.
- Picnic - Pack up this cold cut combo along with marinated olives, summer pasta salad, and salted brown butter chocolate chip cookies.
Frequently asked questions
Thinly sliced meats from the deli counter work best. The thin slices can be lightly piled on the sandwich. This creates a nice bite and prevents the meat layer from being too dense. The deli counter at your local supermarket offers a large variety of meats and flavors.
It's best to build the sandwich just before serving. This helps to maintain the texture of all of the individual ingredients. If you are making the sandwich ahead of time, to take on a picnic perhaps, it's best to leave wet toppings like tomatoes or pickles on the side. Then, when ready to serve, layer these items on the sandwich.
Absolutely. For a warm, toasted sandwich, build the sandwich with the spread, meats, and cheese. Wrap in foil and heat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until warm throughout. Then, open the sandwich to add the fixings, slice, and serve.
Cold Cut Sub Sandwich
- 1 loaf sourdough or Italian bread (whole, unsliced, 1 pound)
- 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2-3 tablespoons deli-style mustard
- ¼-½ pound deli roast beef (sliced thin)
- ¼-½ pound deli ham (sliced thin)
- ¼-½ pound deli turkey (sliced thin)
- 4-8 slices deli swiss cheese
- 4-8 slices deli Colby Jack cheese
- romaine lettuce (chopped, shredded, or whole leaves)
- sliced tomato
- Slice bread in half, lengthwise. Spread one side with mayonnaise and the other with mustard.
- Top the bottom half of the bread with a layer of each lettuce, swiss cheese, turkey, ham, and roast beef. On the top half, top with a layer of each tomatoes and Colby jack cheese (and more lettuce if desired). Flip the top half over on top of the bottom half of the sandwich.
- Slice into individual portions. Serve with potato chips and pickles.
- The amounts of ingredients needed will depend on the size of the loaf of bread. For longer loaves of bread, you will use a greater amount of the ingredients. Shorter loaves will require less.
- Use thin-sliced meat from the deli counter. Lightly pile or drape the meat on the sandwich. This creates a nice bite and prevents the meat layer from being too dense.
- Build the sandwich just before serving. This helps to maintain the texture of all of the individual ingredients. If making the sandwich ahead of time, to take on a picnic perhaps, it's best to leave wet toppings like tomatoes or pickles on the side. Then, when ready to serve, layer these items on the sandwich.
- Due to the large, somewhat cumbersome size of this sandwich, I find it easier to cut the top and bottom halves into slices separately, then reassemble.
- For a warm, toasted sandwich, build the sandwich with the spread, meats, and cheese. Wrap in foil and heat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until warm throughout. Then, open the sandwich to add the fixings, slice, and serve.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.