Antipasto salad brings the essence of Italian dining right to your kitchen. This dish is a celebration of colors, textures, and flavors, ideal for moms looking for a quick yet impressive meal option. Fresh, crunchy vegetables like romaine lettuce and grape tomatoes provide a vibrant base, while rich mozzarella cheese, and a variety of olives add depth and variety. The tangy and robust Italian dressing ties everything together. This salad is not just about convenience; it’s about enjoying a wholesome, flavorful meal that appeals to both adults and kids. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner, a weekend family lunch, or even as a festive side dish for gatherings.

Why You’ll Love Antipasto Salad

  • Make-Ahead Friendly: Can be prepped ahead for convenience, with dressing added just before serving.
  • Quick and Easy: Ready in under 30 minutes, perfect for busy schedules.
  • Flavorful: A delightful combination of Italian flavors in every bite.

Close up view of an antipasto salad.

Ingredient Notes

Overhead view of the raw ingredients needed to make an antipasto salad.
  • Grape Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes can be used as an alternative.
  • Salami: Substitute with prosciutto, pepperoni, ham, or a vegetarian alternative.
  • Mozzarella Cheese Balls: Cubed cheddar Swiss, or Provolone cheese are great alternatives.
  • Olives: Use any variety of olives you enjoy.
  • Artichoke Hearts: If unavailable, try marinated zucchini or eggplant.
  • Pepperoncinis: Substitute with banana peppers for a milder taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called antipasto salad?

Antipasto is a traditional Italian dish that has been around for centuries. Literally, the word “antipasto” is derived from the Latin root “anti” which means “before” and “pastus” which means “meal.”

Translation? The “antipasto” course simply refers to the dish that precedes all others. Now you know!

What is the difference between antipasto and antipasti?

Antipasti is simply the plural form of antipasto. You may have seen “antipasta” floating around, which is an informal way of referring to antipasto. It could also mean “before the pasta.” Stick with antipasto and you can’t go wrong.

Is this salad gluten-free?

Yes, as long as you ensure that the meats and other ingredients are gluten-free.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Definitely! Simply remove the meat and you’ve got yourself a vegetarian antipasto salad recipe. You can replace it with chickpeas or bulk up your salad with even more veggies. Refer to the list below for some ideas!

Can I add more veggies?

Certainly! You can load up your salad with even more vegetables if you’d like.

Some of our favorites include:
Marinated mushrooms
Roasted red peppers
Chopped asparagus
Baby spinach
Fresh bell peppers

Should antipasto be served cold?

We recommend that you store your salad in the fridge for about 1 hour before serving it. We love this dish served cold! 

Make Antipasto Salad a Complete Meal With…

We opted to serve our salad over a bed of lettuce for a light lunch or appetizer. You can also serve it over pasta for a heartier dish. That way, you can serve it as a side or even as an entrée! The choice is yours.  

Looking for great pairings? We’ve got you covered:


  • Dressing too tangy? Add a bit more sugar to balance the flavors.
  • Salad too dry? Drizzle a little extra olive oil or increase the dressing amount.
  • Cheese clumping together? Toss the cheese with a bit of olive oil before adding to the salad.

Tips From the Chef

  • Chop the ingredients into uniform sizes for a balanced bite.
  • Add the dressing just before serving to keep the salad crisp.
  • Let the salad chill in the fridge for flavors to meld together.
Overhead view of an antipasto salad in a serving bowl with wooden spoons.

Make-Ahead & Storage Instructions

If you’re preparing the salad in advance, store the undressed salad components in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This step ensures the vegetables remain crisp and fresh. Keep the Italian dressing in a separate container or jar, also refrigerated. This separation prevents the salad from becoming soggy.

When ready to serve, simply dress the salad with the well-stirred or shaken dressing for a fresh, flavorful experience. These storage methods allow the salad to stay fresh for up to 3 days.

More Salad Recipes

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

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