You know how we’re all kind of obsessed with charcuterie boards right now? Who doesn’t love a selection of savory snacky meats, cheeses, and pickled items, ammiright? Well, the Italian version of that is antipasto and it also happens to make for a really delicious and filling salad. So, if you’re like me and don’t want to eat anything but salads for the remainder of summer, I think you’re going to love this Antipasto Salad.
What is Antipasto?
Antipasto is an Italian appetizer course offering a snacky selection of cured meats, pickled vegetables, cheeses, olives, anchovies and more. The word “antipasto” means “before the meal” so it’s basically an appetizer platter. This gorgeous spread is usually served as part of a formal meal, rather than an everyday spread. You can read more about antipasto here.
So to make an antipasto salad I simply piled all those tasty little bits on top of a bed of greens and added a cheesy Italian dressing. And that’s all I really want in a summer meal. Okay, well, maybe some crusty bread to go along with it. ;)
Antipasto is Flexible, So Get Creative!
The best part about this salad is that it’s so flexible, so you can mix and match the toppings depending on your budget or availability of ingredients. You can use just about any type of salad green that you like, any meat (or no meat), any cheese, and any vegetable. Need some inspo? Here are a few other ingredients that you can swap in or add:
- Roasted red peppers
- Pickled red onion
- Pickled green beans or asparagus
- Green olives
- Marinated mushrooms
- Marinated butter beans
- Any other cured meat or cheese
Antipasto on a Budget
This salad can get expensive quick if you’re not careful! If you’re lucky to live near an ALDI store, they have a great selection of meats and cheeses for antipasto or charcuterie boards (and I was lucky enough to grab my mozzarella on clearance!). Watch for sales on those shelf-stable jarred items (olives, pickled peppers, artichoke hearts) and save them up for making antipasto later. And get to know your deli because a lot of delis will mark down sliced meats and cheeses when they get near the sell-by date.
A lot of these ingredients also make great pizza toppings, so whenever you have leftovers from pizza night, those items can be used to make antipasto the next night!
Make a Half Antipasto Salad, If Needed
The recipe below is for a pretty large salad with 8 servings because it uses whole containers of each ingredient. But it’s easy enough to scale the recipe down as needed. All of the toppings stay pretty fresh when stored separately, so you can make half batches, ¼ batches, or even one salad at a time instead of making the entire batch at once and risking things getting soggy.
And remember, you can change the number of servings in the “servings” box below and the ingredient amounts will auto-adjust for you.
- 8 oz. salad greens of choice $0.99
- 1 12oz. jar artichoke hearts $2.45
- 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.79
- 8 oz. mozzarella $0.99
- 8 oz. salami $3.00
- 1 6oz. jar kalamata olives $1.99
- 1 8oz. jar banana peppers $1.69
- 1/2 red onion $0.40
- 8 oz. provolone $1.79
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil $0.84
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.30
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.12
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
- 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jar (olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar, grated Parmesan). Close the jar tightly and shake or whisk in a bowl until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Cut or slice any meat or cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Drain the olives and any brined vegetables. Thinly slice the red onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half.
- Lay your greens in the bottom of a bowl, then top with your antipasto items. Give the dressing one last whisk or shake, then drizzle over the salad (start with half the dressing and add more as needed). Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing, then enjoy.
How to Make Antipasto Salad – Step by Step Photos
Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jar: ½ cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan. Shake or whisk the ingredients until they are incorporated.
Add your salad greens to the bottom of a bowl. I’m using spinach and I chopped it slightly first to make bite-sized pieces.
Cut your meats and cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the red onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half.
Drain all of your jarred items (olives, banana peppers, artichoke hearts) and add them to the salad. Slightly chop anything that has larger pieces.
Give the dressing one last shake or whisk, then drizzle it over the salad. Start with half the dressing, then add more as needed.
Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing, then enjoy!
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