Bold, briny, and beautiful, these antipasto skewers are a crowd-pleasing appetizer that are so easy to make! All you need are some vegetables, cured meat, fresh herbs, and cheese!
If you’re a fan of food on a stick, like chicken kabobs, vegetable kabobs, or shish kebabs, you need to try these antipasti skewers. With fresh and marinated vegetables, cured meat, creamy cheese, and robust herbs, these appetizer skewers are a delightful hand-held appetizer for your next potluck.
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Like tapas in Spain, or mezze in the Middle East, antipasti (plural of antipasto) are Italy's way of setting the stage for dinner. They are Italian appetizers that may include any number of foods, depending on the region, from fresh and marinated vegetables, to olives and pickles, to cured meats and farinata (chickpea pancakes). Some may even include seafood like shrimp or anchovies.
Antipasti are carefully selected for their color and texture to help stimulate the appetite and evoke all five senses!
I love the idea of a loaded, cornucopia-type antipasto and cheese board like this one or a quick burrata plate with prosciutto when I have guests over. But, like my Greek salad skewers, these beautiful and festive appetizer skewers are a great way to present antipasti as easy-to-handle finger food to feed a crowd. Plus, they require fewer ingredients.
To make these antipasto skewers, you'll need some mini wooden skewers and a few of your favorite antipasti. I like to soak the skewers beforehand to avoid splinters, but this is not a necessary step.
When selecting which antipasti go on my skewers, I keep in mind: color, texture and flavor. I typically add one meat such as prosciutto, but you can keep it all vegetarian if you like. Let’s get into what you’ll need for the perfect antipasto kebabs!
Ingredients you’ll need for this antipasto recipe
For my antipasto skewers, I use a combination of one vegetable, one or two marinated options, cheese, meat, and a fresh herb. Here’s what you’ll need to make this antipasto:
- Cured meat such as prosciutto di parma, salami, or pepperoni. Cut into smaller pieces and roll or fold the meat to fit easily on a skewer.
- Cheese such as baby mozzarella balls or any firm mild cheese, cut into cubes.
- Fresh cherry tomatoes. Cherry or grape tomatoes are ideal here given their size.
- Marinated vegetables such as artichoke hearts. You can also try marinated mushrooms, marinated baby corn, or roasted red peppers (check the olive bar at your local grocery store for some delicious marinated veggies).
- Olives. Use pitted olives you enjoy (I like kalamata olives here, which are just enough briny but not too bitter).
- Fresh herbs such as basil leaves, mint, or large flat leaf parsley. Fresh herbs are a great way to add a pop of color and flavor.
How to assemble antipasti skewers
There is no right or wrong way to thread the antipasto through the skewers. Simply pay attention to size, color, and shape, alternating between fresh and marinated ingredients to make it more interesting.
When making these antipasto kebabs, I like to start with the fresh herb, then add the meat slices as a hefty base to thread the rest on top. From there, alternate the rest of the ingredients, ending with the olive (the smallest item) at the very top of the skewer.
Once you put together one skewer with the antipasti of your choice, try to follow the same pattern as you make the others. This keeps things looking consistent and pretty. Arrange the delicious Italian skewers of antipasti on a platter or board, and to finish, you can sprinkle a little dried oregano with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, or perhaps a bit of balsamic vinaigrette. Totally optional.
Serve cold or at room temperature – antipasti taste better at room temperature.
You can easily make these antipasto skewers your own. Here are some ideas:
- Use different vegetables – Add some cucumber or bell peppers for more crunch.
- Add shrimp – Not a fan of cured meat? Use some cooked shrimp instead. (Cook the shrimp as you would for my grilled shrimp – it takes just 5 minutes.)
- Switch up the cheese – A mild option like provolone is a good option. If you aren’t too fussed about keeping things totally Italian, you could also use cheddar or gouda cheese.
- Make it vegetarian – Skip the meat altogether and add more vegetables (fresh or marinated!).
- Add tortellini! – Many antipasto skewer recipes call for tortellini (personally, I love a tortellini salad, but these skewers are hefty enough and do not really require the pasta addition).
These pretty party appetizer skewers are a great make-ahead option. You can assemble the skewers and arrange them on a platter even one night in advance. Cover and refrigerate until your guests arrive! If you do make these antipasto skewers ahead, just don’t drizzle any vinaigrette or olive oil on top – save that for just before you serve them.
Leftovers and storage
These skewers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days if stored in airtight containers. Eat leftovers as is, or take apart the antipasto skewers for a sort of antipasto salad!
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Easy Antipasto Skewers
- 10 mini wooden skewers
- 10 leaves fresh basil, mint, or flat-leaf parsley
- 10 pieces prosciutto di parma (2 inches in length each), rolled or folded
- 10 pieces preserved artichoke hearts
- 10 mini mozzarella cheese balls, or any firm enough mild cheese
- 10 pitted Kalamata olives
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- pinch dried oregano for garnish
- extra virgin olive oil, optional
- Soak mini wooden skewers in water for one hour. Pat dry before using.
- Skewer the antipasto ingredients beginning perhaps with the basil or parsley, followed by the larger pieces like prosciutto or artichoke hearts. Place the Kalmata olive at the very top of the skewer. If you have more basil or parsley leaves, alternate them on the skewer.
- Arrange skewers on a serving platter or slate board. If you like, finish with a sprinkle of dried oregano and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- To make more skewers: You can easily double or triple this recipe if you need to serve more people. You'll just need to have more of each of the ingredients to prepare more skewers.
- Serving suggestion: Antipasti will taste better at room temperature, but can also be served cold.
- Variations: You can switch up the meat to your liking or add cooked shrimp instead of meat. Keep it vegetarian by leaving out the meat altogether and simply adding more vegetables, like chopped cucumber or bell peppers. And if you don't have mozzarella, any firm, mild cheese will work well.
- How to store leftovers: These appetizer skewers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Visit our Shop to browse Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils (like the EVOO used in this recipe) and all-natural and organic spices.
*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2018 and has recently been updated with new information and media of readers' benefit.
This recipe with the 6 ingredients is perfect for me. I use low fat or low salt salami (which I always have in the house) as the meat with fresh basil from the garden for the herbs.
These look great. What are some side dishes I could serve?
Hi, Melinda! You can click here to find all of our side dishes! So many options! Enjoy!
I’m new to your website and it looks delightful! I am hosting a party for a large crowd and I’m doing a buffet. I’m going to include your cheese board and antipasti skewers along with other a couple of other sides and salads. I was hoping you could suggest a hot dish that I could serve along side the rest? I’m not a bad cook (obviously my own opinion ?) and I would like something that can be made or at least part made a day or two in advance. I was thinking chicken as it appeals to most people.
I’m looking forward to browsing through and trying out your delicious looking recipes.
Hi Anne! Thank you so much for stopping in. And I'm sorry I wasn't able to get to your question earlier. I have so many chicken recipes here on the blog, a couple popular ones come to mind. Greek Chicken & potatoes and this cilantro lime chicken. Enjoy!
How do you make the mini mozzarella balls? (sorry, I've never done that before!)
Hey Debbie, the mozzarella is available at the grocery store in the cheese section...you do not need to do anything to prepare it, it is available this way 🙂
Love this appetizer! Super easy with tons of flavor. They were a huge hit! Definitely making them for every party.
Such a great appetizer for any party! Holiday, game day, pot luck! Definitely tucking this one away.
Just curious - why do you have to soak the skewers, if you're not cooking them? Isn't that the only reason to soak skewers? So they don't burn when grilled or cooked? Is there a reason they're being soaked in this recipe?
Hi Trinette. Great question. I soak them because I don't want them to start splitting and get into the food. It's not necessary if you don't want to do that, but I also find that it makes it easier to work with.
The food is really good I'm like mediterranean food
Thank you! Enjoy!
Making antipasto skewers today for family chili dog fest, will post after what everyone thought!
Enjoy! Hope everyone loves them.
Yum would be great for BBQ's too!
Where can I purchase sumac!
Sumac is not needed for the antipasto skewers, but it is available at spice shops like Penzey's for example, if you have one near you. Mediterranean or Middle Eastern grocery stores will usually carry sumac. I have also occasionally found it at World Market or places like Whole Foods. Otherwise, I buy on Amazon. Here is a link with a bunch of options, although you may want to look for smaller quantities
Thanks for the info!!
Just saw (and pinned) this on Pinterest. What a cute, quick, easy, delicious idea! And all the flavors I LOVE! Can't wait for our next gathering to try these! Thank you for the great idea!
Deb, thanks so much for stopping in! I'm into antipasto, and this is such a simple and functional way to share them with others. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note.
Our guests have already left but we'll have friends over tonight to watch the fireworks, party and ring in the new year. I think these skewers are great. They only require one hand!
Happy New Year!
Maureen, Happy New Year, friend! I wish you an awesome 2015.
this recipe sounds wonderful thanks for sharing
Thank you, Renee! Happy New Year.
I usually make a killer antipasto platter on NYE.. as it's easy to nibble as the night goes on. I definitely will be adding these antipasto skewers to my platter tomorrow, thanks for the incredibly delicious idea!
Great, Thalia! Happy New Year!
My hubby loves Italian sandwiches and I often find him sneaking them when I'm not around. This is a less carby alternative that I think would be perfect when he gets that craving. Thanks for sharing.
Lynn, thank you for stopping by! I am all about antipasto, and I found that this is such a convenient way to serve and consume them. Happy New Year! Please stay in touch.
These would make an amazing NYE appetizer Suzi! Great flavors and festive look! Pinning! Have a Happy New Year's Eve!
Thank you for pinning, Mira! Happy New Year!
Great, Beth Ann!
I make a similar skewer but need to add some of the extras you have on yours. Yum.