Interdigitating dendritic cell sarcomas (IDCSs) are extremely uncommon tumours that arise predominantly in lymphoid tissue. We report a case of an IDCS arising in the parotid gland of a 73-year-old man. Clinically, a primary salivary gland tumour was suspected but fine needle aspiration cytology suggested a soft tissue tumour. A diagnosis of IDCS was made on histopathological examination of the resection specimen, with subsequent confirmation by electron microscopy. Given the extreme rarity of this tumour at this site, it is unlikely to be a common diagnostic problem, but the importance of multiple diagnostic modalities is emphasized. The findings of cytology, histology, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy have not previously been described together in a single case report of this tumour.