Macro-Friendly Sub in a Tub (35g of Protein)

published: August 23, 2023

updated: October 25, 2023

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What’s a “Sub in a Tub” you ask? Well, it’s a sub sandwich that’s on a bed of greens as opposed to a roll. Basically, it’s all the things that you love about a delicious sub, but without the high-calorie bun!

I have always been a fan of subs. Between the fresh deli meats and cheeses and the tangy sub sauce, they’re always bursting with flavor and so satisfying! But sometimes a full sub can feel really heavy and eat up a lot of calories and macros for the day, particularly in the carbs department. This is where our Sub in a Tub comes into play!

This recipe is easy to make, high in protein, very filling, and perfect for meal-prepped lunches! If you’re looking to spice up your lunches without adding extra calories, this macro-balanced Sub in a Tub is going to be your new go-to!


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3 Reasons Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  1. Classic flavors. It doesn’t get any more classic than a good old-fashioned sandwich or sub for lunch. Deli meat is a highly convenient way to add some protein to your meal. Our Sub in a Tub combines all the classic flavors of a sub but in a bowl without the bun.
  2. Added nutrients. A traditional sub might have a small amount of veggies and greens on it, but a roll can’t hold a ton. Enter the Sub in a Tub. By crafting our sub on top of a big old bed of veggies, you can count on getting more micronutrients in when compared to eating a sandwich.
  3. It’s easily customizable. There’s no one way to make your sub in a tub. Choose your favorite deli meats, cheese, veggies, and sauce to make your meal all your own!

Ingredients

  • Deli-cut ham: Ham is a traditional deli meat that’s full of flavor and protein. I like to choose lower sodium options if available and I ask for thinly sliced.
  • Deli-cut turkey breast: Turkey breast is another traditional sub-component. It’s high in protein and low in calories. Again, if a lower sodium option is available, go for it. 
  • Deli-cut provolone cheese: Provolone cheese is very flavorful making it a great addition to our Sub in a Tub. The sharpness of the cheese pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the deli meats.
  • Chopped romaine lettuce: Romaine is the perfect bed for our Sub in a Tub because it provides just enough crunch and flavor to liven up the whole experience.
  • Chopped onion: Onions are a classic sub-veggie, adding a ton of flavor.
  • Banana peppers: These are optional, however, I highly recommend adding them for a little extra kick and a tantalizing splash of flavor.
  • Chopped tomatoes: Tomatoes have a way of adding flavor while also balancing out some of the contrasting flavors present in a sub.
  • Light Italian dressing (I used Olive Garden’s version): Instead of using a calorically dense sub sauce, we chose to use a light Italian dressing which will offer a ton of tangy flavor without piling on too many extra calories.

Kitchen Tools Required

  • Cutting board 
  • Knife
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring spoon

How to Make

  1. Chop and wash your veggies and add your chopped romaine lettuce and veggies to a large bowl. 
  2. Lay your deli meat on the counter and begin to assemble “rolls”. Layer your lunch meat and cheese starting with 1 slice of ham, and 2 slices of turkey, then top with 1 slice of cheese.
  3. Roll your deli meat and cheese up tightly. Make small slices width-wise down your roll to create multiple smaller rolls.
  4. Add your rolls of meat and cheese to bed of romaine lettuce and veggies.
  5. Top your bowl with 2 tbsp. of dressing and enjoy!

Swaps or Alternatives

  • Deli meats: We opted for ham and turkey in our recipe, however, you can feel free to choose any deli meat you wish! Not a fan of cold cuts? Try swapping for cool grilled chicken.
  • Provolone: While we used provolone in our recipe, the cheese can be swapped for your favorite variety. We also like American, Swiss, and Pepperjack!
  • Romaine: You can choose whatever bed of greens you’d like for your Sub in a Tub. Want more micronutrients? Try spinach or a greens mix.
  • Veggies: Anything goes here! Use your favorites and leave out the ones you don’t like.
  • Dressing: Italian dressing closely mimics a traditional sub sauce, and when you choose a lower-calorie or “light” version, you can save yourself some calories. That said, feel free to add whatever dressing or sauce you like best!

Quick Tip(s)

  • If you’re meal-prepping this recipe, wait until right before you eat your meal to add the dressing to avoid your lettuce getting soggy.
  • If possible, go to the deli counter at your grocery store and ask them to cut your meat for you as opposed to grabbing the pre-packed deli meats. This way, you have more control over the thinness of the slices and can ensure it’s fresh.

Macro-Friendly Sub in a Tub

Tami Smith
We took all the best components of your favorite sub, tossed them in a tub, and brought you a macro-friendly version of a traditional lunch. Sub in a Tub is easy to make, full of flavor, and with 35g of protein per serving, the perfect way to hit your protein without going overboard on carbs and fats!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 320 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Large bowl
  • 1 Measuring spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 2 oz. deli cut ham (about 2 slices)
  • 4 oz. deli cut turkey breast (about 4 slices)
  • 2 slices deli cut provolone cheese
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup banana peppers
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Light Italian dressing (I used Olive Garden’s version)

Instructions
 

  • Chop and wash your veggies and add your chopped romaine lettuce and veggies to a large bowl.
  • Lay your deli meat on the counter and begin to assemble “rolls”. Layer your lunch meat and cheese starting with 1 slice of ham, and 2 slices of turkey, then top with 1 slice of cheese.
  • Roll your deli meat and cheese up tightly. Make small slices width-wise down your roll to create multiple smaller rolls.
  • Add your rolls of meat and cheese to bed of romaine lettuce and veggies.
  • Top your bowl with 2 tbsp. of dressing and enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe is fully customizable, so feel free to make it your own by adding any additional veggies you’d like and swapping in different lunch meat and cheese options.
  • This recipe is great for meal-prepped lunches! The Sub in a Tub can be pre-made and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, just avoid adding the dressing until right before you eat it.
  • Nutrition information may vary depending on the brands and ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 35gFat: 12g
Keyword high protein, macro friendly
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About the author, Tami Smith

Hi, I'm Tami, a certified macro coach, nutritionist and personal trainer! I love creating and sharing quick and easy macro-friendly recipes, and working out in my garage gym!

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