This Antipasto Salad recipe is the perfect start to a delicious meal! It is packed full of the delicious flavors of antipasto like cured meats, cheeses, and tangy vegetables and then tossed with a delicious Italian dressing to lock all of the flavors in. Antipasto Salad makes a great appetizer or salad course, or can be eaten in a larger portion size as a full meal. With veggies, meats and cheeses it can be both a delicious taste or a filling meal. Make it for a summer lunch, a neighborhood barbecue, brunch, or dinner party, this crowd favorite is perfectly suited for casual to formal.
Antipasto Salad Recipe
For half of my life I had no idea what antipasto was. For the other half I have no idea how I lived without it! This recipe for antipasto salad is everything I love about antipasto put in a fork and knife form so that it is totally acceptable to get a whole plateful instead of just nibbling!
My three favorite things about this Antipasto salad are:
- There is something everyone likes in it! Kids, adults, foodies, and picky eaters. I’ve got you covered!
- You can make a big batch and serve it with a meal then use it for lunches or sides throughout the week.
- It can be fancy or casual. You can just as easily serve this at a dinner party or bring it out on a summer night by the pool.
Now that you know this antipasto salad recipe is good for anything and everything, and just plain delicious so let’s get into the details!
What is Antipasto?
Antipasto most literally means “before food” in it’s Italian and latin roots. It was traditionally served an an appetizer course consisting of small bites of cured meats like salami, chorizo, and prosciutto, cheeses like provolone, mozzarella, and parmesan, and marinated vegetables like olives, pepperonchini peppers, and artichoke hearts. When these are placed together and served before a meal in Italy, they would refer to it as antipasto. This still carries on today through many cultures when serving this type of dish.
What to serve with Antipasto Salad
Since we usually use this as a salad course or a light lunch, you might want to add a thing or two in to round out your meal. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
- Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Lemon Asparagus Chicken
- Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken
- Italian Turkey Meatballs
- Creamy Pesto Chicken
- Side salad- Since this is a heartier salad, a green side salad is a great and light compliment!
- Garlic Bread
- Side of sauteed spinach
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Or check out any of my baked chicken recipes here!
Use one or add a few! This should get you started on a great easy and delicious meal! If you have another favorite way to serve this, let me know in the comments. I would love to try it out next time I make it!
How to Make Antipasto Salad
I am going to walk you through some tips and tricks I use for this recipe here to help answer any questions that might arise as you prepare this salad. For the full step by step recipe, make sure to jump down to the bottom of this post and grab the recipe card.
Antipasto Salad Ingredients
For the salad
- 8 oz Pepperoni slices, quartered- I like to use pepperoni because I almost always have it on hand. It isn’t the fanciest meat, but it is a crowd pleaser and easy to find. If you prefer you can substitute another cured meat you have on hand or prefer.
- 8 oz Genoa salami, diced- The total meat in this dish is about 16 oz. You can use my suggested meats or substitute for other cured meats like chorizo, prosciutto, etc. You can even use 3-4 meats if you prefer. Just keep the total amount about the same.
- 1 jar (16 oz) Peperonchini peppers, drained and roughly chopped- You can also buy these pre-sliced for ease. Make sure you get mild or spicy based on who you are serving this salad to.
- 8 oz Mozzarella or provolone, cubed- Much like the meats in this salad, the cheese is also up to your taste preference. I have mozzarella on hand almost all of the time so I like to use it as part of my antipasto salad, but if you prefer you can use other cheeses like provolone, manchego or other.
- 1 jar (9.5 oz) Kalamata olives, drained- Again, the olive choice is up to personal preference. Go with green or black instead if you prefer!
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved- I like to add the cherry tomatoes in to give it a little bit of freshness. It is a great little pop in this yummy salad.
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup creamy Italian Dressing– I absolutely 100% recommend whipping up a batch of this easy homemade Italian dressing to use on this salad. It compliments the salad perfectly and is just crazy delicious in general. I keep it on hand in the fridge pretty much all of the time now! If you prefer more of a vinaigrette style dressing you can use the other ingredients below INSTEAD of this dressing.
Note: Use either the creamy Italian dressing or the one below. DO NOT USE BOTH!
Vinaigrette style dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar- You could also use white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning- You can use plain italian seasoning or a tablespoon of this Italian Dressing Mix
Antipasto Salad Recipe Tips
- This salad is very forgiving! Use what you have on hand. If it is pepperoni, chorizo, or soppressata or prosciutto, as long as you stay in the family it will still be a great salad!
- Again, just to make sure you heard me loud and clear… don’t use both dressings! I prefer the creamy Italian (I cannot even tell you how good it is!) but the other will give you more of a vinaigrette or you can just use your favorite store bought Italian dressing in lieu of either!
- Allow the salad to marinate a bit in the dressing, making sure to toss it a couple of times to get it evenly coated. This helps everything in the salad get the same great flavor.
How to Store Leftover Antipasto Salad
Since this salad is more hearty than green salads it can be saved and eaten after the initial serving. To store salad, place the leftovers in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for 1-3 days. Before serving, toss the salad well to redistribute dressing. Antipasto salad cannot be frozen.
I really hope that you and your family come to love antipasto, and especially this Antipasto Salad as much as we do!
If you do get a chance to try it, I would love it if you let me know! You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on Instagram, make sure to tag me @easyfamilyrecipes so that I can see what you are cooking up! It makes my day to see others enjoying the recipes that I share!
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For the salad
- 8 oz Pepperoni slices quartered
- 8 oz Genoa salami diced
- 1 jar 16 oz Peperonchini peppers, drained and roughly chopped
- 8 oz Mozzarella or provolone cubed
- 1 jar 9.5 oz Kalamata olives, drained
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
For the dressing
- Creamy Dressing
- 1/2 cup creamy Italian Dressing
- -OR- use one or the other, NOT both
- Vinaigrette dressing
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients except the dressing and stir to combine.
- If using the vinaigrette dressing, whisk all dressing ingredients until combined.
- Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss the salad until everything is evenly coated.
- Chill for 10-15 minutes or until ready to serve. Toss before serving. Enjoy!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)