This easy antipasto salad recipe turns a classic antipasto platter into a crowd-pleasing appetizer with a mix of charcuterie, Italian pickles, olives, semi-hard cheese, and a bright and peppery Dijon vinaigrette.
Antipasto salad is an appetizer-meets-salad situation with so many talents. First and foremost it’s a sure hit!
Everyone loves antipasto, from skewers, sandwiches, platters—you name it. It’s hard to top the perfect combination of savory Italian charcuterie, fresh tomatoes, crisp and spicy pickles, briny olives, tangy artichoke hearts, and creamy cheeses.
Second, the simple Italian salad gives you so much vibrant flavor, color, and texture and you barely have to do anything—it’s mostly just opening a few jars and whisking together an easy Dijon vinaigrette. And you can make everything the night before, so it’s perfect for dinner parties or quick and healthy lunches.
It’s no wonder everyone seemingly has their own antipasto board. And while many load theirs with tons of meat, my antipasto salad recipe takes a lighter touch. There's just enough meat to allow the delicious marinated vegetables to shine, which is the perfect balance in my opinion. It’s a flavor party in every bite!
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Ingredients for Antipasto Salad
This recipe uses simple pantry staples and ingredients that are easy to find at just about any grocery store. You’ll need:
- Dijon Vinaigrette: I use my go-to Dijon vinaigrette recipe with Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar or lemon juice), Dijon mustard, shallot, kosher salt, black pepper, and high quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Cured meat: Salami and mini pepperoni bring just the right amount of peppery, savory flavor without overpowering. I also like their springy texture and small size, but any cured meat you like will work well here, like Prosciutto, Coppa, or Bresaola to name a few.
- Olives: The mix of buttery Castelvetrano and bold-tangy Kalamata olives is a perfect balance for me—it’s the same combo I use in my olive tapenade. You can swap in any whole olive variety that speaks to you.
- Giardiniera: If you have homemade giardiniera on hand by all means use it! A good store bought jar is great though too. I prefer mild, but if you’re a spice person feel free to add the extra heat.
- Greens: Many antipasto salad recipes don’t include greens but I like a bit of crunch and freshness. I use a combination of romaine and spring greens, but you can leave them off or substitute with any crisp, mild salad green like little gems or butter lettuce.
- Tomatoes: Keeping everything small makes for a perfect bite, so halved cherry tomatoes work best. You can use any small variety that stays firm when ripe, like grape or quartered Roma or campari.
- Marinated artichoke hearts: It wouldn’t be antipasto without tangy artichoke hearts! I like the slight herbal note of the marinated jars, but any preserved artichokes you have on hand works.
- Cheese: Provolone and baby mozzarella or ciliegine add creamy richness to complement the bolder flavors without competing. Any semi-hard whole blocks of cheese you like, such as cheddar or gouda, would also work well.
How to Make Antipasto Salad
This recipe is essentially three steps: make the dressing, mix everything together, then dress the salad and serve. Here’s how it’s done:
- Make the Dijon Vinaigrette. In a small mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup Champagne vinegar, 1 to 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon minced shallot. Add ½ tablespoon water, season with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (about ½ teaspoon each) and whisk to combine. Continue whisking as you drizzle in ½ cup of olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Set aside for now.
- Prepare the fixings. Grab a big serving platter or bowl and add the ingredients as you prep them. Start with 3 cup’s worth of chopped romaine hearts and/or spring greens. Halve 1 cup of cherry tomatoes. Cube 6 ounces of provolone cheese and 8 ounces of salami.
- Mix. To the bowl, add ½ cup each of pitted Castelvetrano and Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, and mini pepperoni. Add 1 cup each of giardiniera, quartered artichoke hearts, and baby mozzarella balls. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
- Dress. Just before serving, pour about half the dressing over the salad and give everything a good toss to coat. Taste and add more dressing if you’d like (cover and store any remaining dressing for up to 1 week). Serve immediately.
What to Serve with Antipasto Salad
Antipasto salad is a year-round hit. It's one of those salads you can make over and over again and no one will complain. It’s a heartier meat and cheese-filled salad, so I like it best with Italian-style vegetarian dishes alongside. Roasted acorn squash, sheet pan gnocchi with roasted vegetables, ribollita (Tuscan white bean soup) and stuffed portobello mushrooms all come to mind.
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- 3 cups chopped hearts of romaine or spring greens (I like mixing a bit of both)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives or black olives
- 1 cup mild Giardiniera
- 1 cup quartered marinated artichoke hearts
- ½ cup pepperoncini
- 6 ounces Provolone cheese, cubed
- 1 cup baby mozzarella balls or Ciliegine
- 8 ounces salami, cubed
- ½ cup mini pepperoni
- Dijon Vinaigrette, about ¼ cup or more to taste
- Mix. In a large serving bowl or platter, combine the lettuce and/or spring greens, tomatoes, olives, giardiniera, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, provolone cheese, mozzarella, salami, and mini pepperoni. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve (up to 1 day).
- Dress. Just before serving, pour about half of the vinaigrette all over the salad and toss. Taste and add more vinaigrette if needed, then serve immediately.
- If you’d like to make this salad a bit more showy, you can serve it as a composed salad–think Niçoise Salad-style. Use the lettuce as a bed and build everything else in groups, then pour the dressing over top and don’t toss.
- Have leftovers? Use to make Antipasto Skewers or an Antipasto Chicken Sandwich (you can tweak the recipes according to what you have).
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