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    Antipasto Salad 

    Antipasto Salad… The salad that is fit to be an any time meal. This bright and colorful salad is a great no-cook recipe that can be a wow worthy side dish, or stand alone main.

    What I love most is how every bite is a little different, as this antipasto salad is loaded with salami, pepperoni, plump mozzarella balls, olives, artichokes, sweet cherry tomatoes and many more great antipasto favorites.

    The mix of “meat, cheeses and vegetables” is always a winning combination. All I need to do is to present it in a cheeseboard fashion, and voila, I end up with a great company first course, or an easy weeknight meal.

    This Italian Antipasto Salad recipe is packed with veggies, cured meats and cheese. It's great as an appetizer, side or main course.

    I’ve been hooked on antipasto dinners for a few years. We usually raid those antipasto salad bars at our local grocery store. It makes a great dinner along with fresh crusty bread and some nice glass of red.

    It’s not just a salad at the Beisers’, but a very easy no cook dinner. So making a salad out of my usual favorite antipasto ingredients was just a matter of artfully presenting them over a bed of lettuce, and shaking up a tasty, zesty homemade Italian dressing to drizzle all over.

    This Italian Antipasto Salad recipe is packed with veggies, cured meats and cheese. It's great as an appetizer, side or main course.

    What is Antipasto, or Antipasti?

    Antipasto, or Antipasti, is the traditional first course of an Italian meal. Literally, the word “antipasto” is derived from the Latin word “anti” meaning “before” and “pastus,” which means “meal.”

    Thus, the antipasto course simply refers to the dish that precedes all others. It’s nothing but an appetizer course, as we say in English, or hors d’oeuvre in French. 

    Antipasti (plural form) can be served on individual plates, in bite-sized pieces on a plate that is passed around the table, or presented as an elegant centerpiece for grazing.

    These beautifully prepared, skillfully arranged plates have cured meats, specialty cheeses and pickled vegetables like artichoke hearts, pepperoncini and different types of olives. They are often reserved for special occasions, such as family reunions, celebrations after religious ceremonies, special gatherings of friends, or romantic dinners.

    So how about taking this antipasto concept and creating a salad on a bed of lettuce, along with a super simple homemade Italian dressing… And then, Antipasto Salad is born.

    Ingredients Needed

    This Italian Antipasto Salad recipe is packed with veggies, cured meats and cheese. It's great as an appetizer, side or main course.

    Just get your favorite antipasto ingredients and load it up in bowl. Today I am using:

    • Romaine lettuce – I like romaine, but you can use any of your other favorite lettuce or salad greens on hand.
    • Genoa salami – Genoa salami is great in this salad. Feel free to use any of your favorite salami. I purchase Genoa Salami either at the deli counter, or they often have it pre-packaged with the specialty deli meats.
    • Pepperoni – Buy good quality pepperoni, normally available at the deli counter or with the specialty deli meats. You can buy it in log form and slice it yourself, or buy thick pre-cut slices.
    • Prosciutto – Silky and salty, it goes great along with the other cured meats.
    • Mozzarella balls –  They are also called mozzarella pearls. You can use plain mozzarella balls, or the marinated variety. They add creamy, soft, delicious texture to the salad.
    • Provolone cheese – Cubed. This is a little hardier than the mozzarella balls.
    • Cherry tomatoes – Sliced in half, my favorite that goes in lot of my recipes.
    • Artichoke hearts – Jarred and marinated. I use quartered artichoke hearts that come perfectly cut for you. Just drain and then they go straight in your salad bowl.
    • Olives – I used half black olives and half green olives. You can play with any type of your favorite olives here.
    • Pepperoncini – Slice up and add into the salad for a sweet and spicy combination. They are slightly sweet, but mostly tangy with a little heat.
    • Sweet drop red peppers – They are my favorite sweet tiny peppers out of the antipasto bar. You can skip if not available.
    • Fresh basil leaves – Optional.
    • Italian dressing – Extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, sugar, red chili flakes.

    How to Make the Best Antipasto Salad

    This Italian Antipasto Salad recipe is packed with veggies, cured meats and cheese. It's great as an appetizer, side or main course.

    1. Make a quick homemade Italian dressing: I like to start by making the dressing first. That way, while I’m putting together the rest of the salad, the flavors have time to mix and mingle. I just mix all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar, cover it up, and give it a good shake.

    2. Assemble Salad: I put my lettuce in a big bowl as the base, then I arrange all the other salad ingredients on top. After that, I drizzle on as much dressing as I like and give it a good toss.

    It’s best to serve it right away, but if you want to prep ahead, just cover the salad with cling wrap and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Just remember to add the dressing right before serving if you’re making it ahead of time.

    Tips and Tricks
    • For lazy days: The homemade Italian dressing only takes a couple of minutes to make, but you can use a store-bought Italian Dressing if you want a shortcut.
    • Customize ingredients: The antipasto salad ingredients and measurements are simply suggestions. Once you load your salad bowl with lettuce, use the antipasto ingredients in whatever ratios you prefer. Some like it less meaty, or some might like it more cheesy.
    • Use other ingredients: I like to try different cured meats, olives, cheeses, roasted red peppers or banana peppers. I can see cucumber, chickpeas, corn, roasted veggies or rotisserie chicken going very well in this salad.
    • I Dress the salad right before serving
    • Turn this into Antipasto Pasta Salad: I simply add my favorite cooked pasta (like rotini or penne) into the mix.
    This Italian Antipasto Salad recipe is packed with veggies, cured meats and cheese. It's great as an appetizer, side or main course.

    There you go, try my Mediterranean inspired salad, with strong Italian roots. Wow your company with this charcuterie style salad, with its varied flavors and textures.

    Go raid your favorite antipasto salad bars for short cuts, or buy your favorite meats and olives from your favorite deli. Make this happen tonight. Get some bread, get some wine, and you are all set for one wonderful evening.

    Antipasto Salad, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    bowl of antipasto salad atop the Gypsy Plate

    Try these other great salad recipes!
    Mexican Street Corn Salad
    Tortellini Pasta Salad
    Spanish Pipirrana Salad
    Thanksgiving Kale Salad
    Hawaiian Chicken Salad
    Cowboy Caviar
    Balela Salad
    Gado Gado

    featured image for antipasto salad recipe post

    Antipasto Salad Recipe

    Yield: 8 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 15 minutes

    My Italian Antipasto Salad recipe is packed with veggies, cured meats and cheese. It's great as an appetizer, side or main course.


    Homemade Italian Dressing

    • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning
    • salt to taste
    • pepper to taste
    • sugar or honey to taste
    • pinch of red chili flakes


    • 1 large head Romaine lettuce, washed and cut into large chunks (about 8 cups)
    • 4oz Genoa Salami, chopped
    • 4oz sliced pepperoni
    • 4oz prosciutto
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
    • ½ cup black olives
    • ½ cup green olives
    • 2 tablespoons chopped pepperoncini
    • 8oz fresh mozzarella balls
    • 4oz provolone cheese, cut into bite sized cubes
    • 2 Tbsp sweet drop red peppers (optional)
    • a few fresh basil leaves (optional)


    1. Make the Italian dressing: Mix all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar, cover and shake it well, or whisk it till properly blended in a bowl. Refrigerate to allow flavors to blend till ready to use.
    2. Arrange the lettuce pieces in a large bowl or platter. Layer all the salad ingredient on the bed of lettuce.
    3. Drizzle on your desired amount of the dressing, toss gently (see note). Serve immediately.


    1. Leftovers: If you plan on storing leftover antipasto salad, do not toss the salad with the dressing, or else the lettuce will become soggy and wilted. Instead, store the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers. Store the salad in an airtight container for about 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
    2. This antipasto salad recipe is great to prep ahead. You can prep all of the ingredients ahead of time and layer it in a bowl. Simply wrap it and store in the refrigerator until served. Add in the dressing right before serving.
    3. Leftover marinated vegetables and cheese can be made into an Antipasto Pasta Salad using rotini, penne, or any large pasta shape.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 8 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 521Total Fat 45gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 30gCholesterol 63mgSodium 1534mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 20g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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