Antipasto Salad is a simple and delicious lunch or dinner idea that will forever remind me family dinners at my grandmother’s house.
Antipasto Salad, almost a full meal in itself, was inspired by my grandmother. What is an antipasto salad, you ask? Only the best combination of cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables ever to grace a table, my friends!
A good antipasto salad recipe will have yummy cured meats and pickled veggies that are typically set out before a big Italian meal. Try it with homemade pickled onions too. Whether or not you had the good fortune of an Italian grandmother, this salad will have you saying mama mia! Try it with ranch dressing for something different!
Antipasto Salad Ingredients
This salad is quick to come together with almost no prep and tastes as bright and refreshing as it looks. It can be served as a meal on its own or to complement to family pizza night like we did, for an effortless meal. Even if it doesn’t bring back childhood memories for you, it will still taste delicious!
- Lettuce – I prefer a Spring Mix for it’s combination of colors and flavors. It is also full of small leaves, which minimizes any preparation (like cutting) that you need to do!
- Red Onion – Thinly slice the onion so that it doesn’t overwhelm any forkfuls. You could also bring it up a notch by using pickled onions.
- Olives – Use an assortment for all the flavors and colors!
- Cured Meats – I used salami, prosciutto, and pepperoni.
- Pickled Red Pepper – You’ll find this in a jar near the pickles.
- Pepperocini – These little peppers pack a nice punch without being overwhelmingly hot.
- Creamy Italian Dressing – Yeah, you could buy it bottles but why? This recipe is fast and easy and oh, so. much. better.
How to make Antipasto Salad (Step-by-step)
⭐ First, layer the salad.
⭐ Then, top with meats, pickled vegetables, onion, and olives,
⭐ Finally, drizzle with salad dressing and serve on its own or with meatball soup!
What else can go into an antipasto salad?
Antipasto Salads can have so many variations! Add some mozzarella balls or other Italian cheeses, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tomatoes – basically you can choose your favorites. I like to include a dollop of olive tapenade made with garlic on mine, and my daughter loves to douse hers in chunky blue cheese dressing.
Does Antipasto Salad Have Pasta In It
Antipasto salad does not have pasta in it. It is traditionally served as the first course, before the pasta and other courses. If you wanted to make an antipasto pasta salad, trade the lettuce for cooked noodles, chop the meats and vegetables to bite size, and toss with the dressing.
Can You Make Antipasto Salad Ahead Of Time
You can make your antipasto salad ahead of time. Refrigerate the platter covered in plastic wrap for up to a day in advance and don’t add the dressing until the course is served.
Storage and leftovers
Do you have to refrigerate antipasto salad?
You should refrigerate the salad. Although the dressing may be oil based, it is still safer to refrigerate. It will also keep the fresh taste.
How long will antipasto salad last in the refrigerator?
The salad will last a few days in the refrigerator, depending on the ingredients. Cover the platter with some plastic wrap for freshness.
Can You Eat Antipasto Salad When Pregnant
You can eat antipasto salad when pregnant. The only caveat being, check with your doctor about the cured meats as lunch meats are known for harboring listeria which can be harmful to pregnant women.
Many women also find that spicy things can cause heartburn so you may want to lay off the peppers. Always check with your OB as your situation may be unique.
Is Antipasto Salad Keto
Antipasto salad can be keto, depending on what you choose to make it with. The Antipasto Salad recipe I have provided would fall into the keto category, as it is mainly meat and vegetables. My creamy Italian dressing is also low in carbs.
Is Antipasto Salad Healthy
Antipasto salad could be considered healthy, depending on your dietary needs and how you structure the plate. For Keto, low carbers, and Paleo folks the meats add some nice fats (and if they come from grass fed animals, higher nutrition). The olives are also a great source of mono-unsaturated fats.
For those following a low calorie or low fat diet, you would want to focus on the vegetable and pepper portions of the salad and minimize how much salad dressing you add.
Any way you slice it, the salad is chock full of phytonutrients from the vegetables, good fats from the olives, and is fairly nutrient dense.
Frequently asked questions
What’s The Difference Between Antipasto and Antipasti
Antipasto is a traditional first course of an Italian meal (literally “before the meal”). Antipasti is the plural form of antipasto. You could consider Antipasto the “appetizer” course of the meal.
Italians know how to make a meal special! The antipasto is followed by the primi (usually pasta), the secundi (meats), contorni (vegetables and salads), formaggi (cheeses), and dolci (deserts).
Complete the meal with our serving suggestions
I like to serve our antipasto with some homemade creamy Italian dressing, or an easy balsamic dijon dressing. If we’re making it as a first course, some main course ideas that go well are Italian sloppy joes, instapot Italian beef, or one pot lasagne! And to finish the meal off with a little something sweet, try our lemon bar recipe!
More awesome salads to try!
Tools we love
- Santuko knife – My favorite knife for cutting vegetables! This knife is the perfect size and shape, handles great, and is super reasonably priced. Also, I just love that it’s fun and colorful!
- Mandolin slicer – Make thin refrigerator pickles, or curly fries, and shaved pickled onion. You won’t get a better or quicker thin slice than with this mandolin. Just make sure to use the safety guard, no one *actually* wants a knuckle sandwich!
- End grain cutting board – This is my absolute favorite cutting board and the one that I get the most compliments on. And p.s. I have a lot of cutting boards. It really is absolutely stunning, and knows how to take a beating. We use it every single day!
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How to Make Antipasto Salad
- Lettuce I prefer a Spring Mix
- Red onion thin sliced
- Olives assorted
- Cured meats I used salami, prosciutto, and pepperoni
- Pickled red pepper
- Creamy Italian Dressing
This Antipasto Salad Recipe was originally a sponsored collaboration with Walmart.