I’m always baffled when people propose Jimmy John’s as a meal destination. Jimmy John’s isn’t food that should rank as your first (or even third) option. It’s really the last resort type when all other choices have been shot down, or it’s the only place within walking distance during a blizzard. The W.G Grinder Original Italian is the best fast food grinder I’ve had, but here I’ll show you how to make the best home-made “Italian” style grinder – The Panger!

The Panger Grinder Recipe Ingredients

  • Walmart Traditional French Bread
  • 6 slices of cheese (Provolone or Swiss)
  • 3 slices hard salami
  • 3 slices sandwich pepperoni
  • 2-3 slices smoked ham
  • 1 small (roma) tomato, sliced
  • zesty Italian dressing
  • lettuce (optional)
  • banana peppers (optional)

The Panger – Step by Step

1. Begin by pre-heating the oven to 350°F. Prep a baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil. We’ll be making one serving here so cut the French bread loaf into two halves, and then split the half horizontally.

The Panger Grinder - Cut the Bread

The Panger – Cut the Bread

2. Add the slices of the cheese to each side of the bread loaf. Here I’m using 6 slices of swiss cheese but just provolone or a swiss/provolone combo also work well.

The Panger Grinder Recipe - Add Provolone and or Swiss Cheese

The Panger – Add Provolone and or Swiss Cheese

3. Arrange the hard salami and pepperoni to achieve full, consistent coverage for each bite.

The Panger - Add Hard Salami and Pepperoni

The Panger – Add Hard Salami and Pepperoni

4. Top it off with the 2-3 slices of smoked ham, again with an eye for consistent coverage.

The Panger - Add Smoked Ham

The Panger – Add Smoked Ham

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to bake for too long as the bread will become a rock. You are aiming for melted cheese and bread that’s crusty on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.

The Panger - the perfect bake

The Panger – the perfect bake

6. Remove your Panger from the oven and add lettuce, tomatoes, banana peppers, and douse liberally with zesty Italian dressing. Pair with your favorite sides (I like raw baby carrots and broccoli with a spinach dip) and enjoy!

The Panger - Finishing Touches

The Panger – Finishing Touches

Final Words

The Panger - Walmart Traditional French Bread

The Panger – Walmart Traditional French Bread

The key to a good grinder recipe is choosing the right bread. You want a bread that bakes well – that is, the outside becomes crusty while the interior remains soft and chewy. The Traditional French bread from Walmart is among the best I’ve found and only costs $1! While it may not be the final word in bread loafs, it does strike the best balance between taste, price, and convenience. Protip: Buy the bread the day of your meal because it won’t keep for more than a day or two before molding over.

The Panger is tastier than pretty much sub or grinder you can buy from a fast food restaurant with the additional benefit of being able to customize it exactly how you like. It’s crazy to spend almost $9 on something like the JJ Gargantuan when you can get higher quality (and quantity) at a lower price within the comfort of your own home.