This colorful, Italian Antipasto Salad is perfect for lunch and so easy to make!
Italian Antipasto Salad Recipe
This simple antipasto salad for one is made with chopped romaine hearts, shredded mozzarella, olives, prosciutto, turkey pepperoni, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, pepperoncini and Giardiniera. It’s a quick salad that is gluten-free and requires no cooking, which makes it perfect to whip up or pack for lunch. If you like this salad, you will probably love my Italian Sub Broccoli salad which has all my favorite Italian hero filings in a salad. And if you want something to feed a large crowd, check out this post on how to make an antipasto platter and/or charcuterie board.
Once in a while, when we order take-out from our local pizzaeria and I prefer to have a salad, I usually get the antipasto salad. But don’t be fooled, sometimes those salads can be more calories than the pizza! So I created my own, lighter Antipasto salad which is so easy, chances are you probably already have most of the ingredients.
What is Antipasto Salad?
Cold antipasto is a traditional first course of an Italian meal, which consists of a variety of cold meats, cheeses, olives, roasted peppers, and a variety of colorful vegetables that have been pickled in vinegar known as Giardiniera and pepperoncini. This can also be served as an appetizer or side dish.
What’s in a good antipasto?
The list of items are endless here. Here’s some additional ideas to add to your antipasto:
- marinated mushrooms
- roasted peppers
- green olives, black olives, kalamata olives, blue cheese stuffed olives
- jarred artichoke hearts or marinated artichokes
- cured meats like salami, prosciutto, sopressata
- cheese options like provolone cheese, parmesan cheese, fresh mozzarella, mozzarella pearls
- fresh basil
How to make antipasto salad as a main dish
Load this up with all your favorite antipasto ingredients. You can also add some pasta to make this an antipasto pasta salad. Add roasted peppers, stuffed olives, your favorite meats and cheese, serve it over lettuce and you have a meal. You really don’t need to add a lot of oil or dressing to this salad because the pickled vegetables add a ton of flavor. I make the quick homemade Italian dressing by using some of the vinegar from the jar of the pepperoncini, and just add a touch of extra virgin olive oil and fresh cracked pepper.
Antipasto Salad Variations
This salad is so adaptable to anyone’s taste.
- I love proscuitto but you can swap it for turkey pepperoni, ham or turkey for leaner options, or use Genoa salami or soppressata.
- You can leave the meat out altogether and add chickpeas, marinated artichoke heats, more cheese and olives.
- Sometimes I also add shredded carrots and sliced mushrooms, whatever you like.
- Swap the mozzarella for provolone.
The real trick to get the bold flavors is from the pepperoncini and Giardiniera. Both are sold jarred in Italian section of the supermarket and add a lot of flavor to the salad.
I made this salad for one, but it can easily be multiplied for 2 or 4. One thing to note is that this salad is not low in sodium because of the meats, olives and cheese. So if you’re watching your sodium, opt for low sodium ham, cheese and make your own pickled vegetables.
More Salad Recipes You Will Love:
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Kale Salad with Quinoa and Cranberries
- Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- Vegan Caesar Salad
- Chickpea Salad with Cucumbers and Tomatoes
- 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 thin slice red onion
- 4 green pitted olives, or black
- 1 pepperoncini, sliced
- 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, sliced (homemade, or buy packed in water)
- 1/4 cup Giardiniera, I used Victoria brand
- 1/3 cup cucumbers, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup Polly-o part skim shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 oz 4 turkey pepperoni, sliced thin
- 2 slices Prosciutto, Di Parma, sliced
For the vinaigrette:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar or vinegar brine from pepperoncini
- fresh black pepper
- Place the lettuce on a large dish and top with meats, vegetables and cheese.
- In a small bowl add vinegar or brine from pepperoncini, add black pepper and whisk in oil.
- Drizzle over salad and enjoy!
50 comments on “Antipasto Salad”
I forgot how much I love pickled vegetables! My father who passed away over 20 years ago loved Giardiniera. This was a wonderful easy salad and it brought back many fond memories to boot. What’s not to love? Thanks Gina for another keeper!
Happy memories are the best!!
Love this salad!
I hate olives, what can I substitute with?
Loved how quick it was to prepare. Great, bold flavors!
This looks fabulous, and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you so much for the lower sodium tips!!
Wow! This salad was fantastic! Really easy to make (hello! open jars…add to plate…) and really flavorful. I made the dressing with the pepperoncini brine. I didn’t think it would enough dressing, but it was perfect. I can’t wait to make this one again (tomorrow!)
Look very good, but Giardiniera i dont know this product. It’ look like mixed vegetables but iis it sweet or sour ? I dont think we have that here but i can try to find something similar.
Monique, I found this with other items like jarred peppers, olives, etc. I had never heard of it either, so I googled a picture so I knew what I was looking for. 🙂
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I love love love this salad but I don't understand the points. 2oz of prosciutto alone are 6pts. And roughly how many slices is 2oz. I don't have a scale and was curious. Thanks.
Eating it now for lunch! Another great recipe thanks Gina!!
Delicious! Something different than the usual salad but so good. My husband loved it.
Yum, yum, yum! Loved by the whole family (ages 5-45). Thanks for yet another winning recipe!
I can't find the Giardiniera at Publix. What section is it in? I checked the canned veggies and the pickles/olives section. Is it at specialty stores only?
We buy ours at local Italian markets, and since we have a Little Italy section in our city, we have a number of them. Our neighborhood grocery carries it, but that also may be due to having many Italian citizens here. To cut down the sodium content, I drain the "juice" and even rinse the vegetables in water. The flavor is not as strong without the juices, but it is still there. I add a tasty low calorie Italian dressing to the antipasto (Newman's or Ken's).
This is GREAT. I'm eating as I type. Had everything but the Giardiniera, but still wonderful. My question to you is where are the 19.5g of carbs coming from? As I look at all the ingredients, seems like all of them have 1g or no carbs at all. Can you help?
This looks great!!! I noticed there were cauliflower in the picture but I didn't see it in the recipe? Do you cook the cauliflower before adding it to the salad or just put it in there raw? Thanks
The cauliflower is in the Giardiniera. 🙂
Yes, thanks Kelly! In the Giardiniera
Looks delicious! Going to have to make this. Maybe will post about it on my blog.
I am eating this as I type, and it is amazing! I love that eating skinny can be so delicious. Especially looking forward to this for the summer. We spend a lot of time at the pool, and I'm always looking for skinny food that are easy to pack. This is a winner!
Great! Thanks Krista, so glad you liked it!!
Fabulous recipe, Gina! An antipasti platter is a Christmas staple in my family, but I love that I can enjoy a lighter, easier version of it year-round with your recipe. Thanks!
that dressing looks so fresh and flavorful!!! I love making my own dressings
Turkey pepperoni? where do you find it?
I always see it in the supermarket where the salamis and cheese are.
I just found it at Vons/Safeway
this looks amazing and i've got to try it!
This looks absolutely fantastic. I've become such an avid reader of your blog- it seems like everything you post it just my taste. Thank you so much for this blog!
You have such a gift. Your instructions are so clear, pictures are works of art and the food combinations have broadened my family's eating habits.
I have started making your recipes over the last few months. Every one has been a winner. In fact, my husband, who tends to be a picky eater – when he asks what is for dinner and I say something from Skinny Taste – he eats every bit and comes back for seconds – and eats stuff he has avoided for years!! This falls into the "miracle" column of my life book!!
Thank you for your wonderful web site. I personally don't like to cook, but your site has helped me produce success after success so the process of getting to a good meal is acceptable (that with a glass of red wine while I am working!!) 🙂 I really value a talent like yours.
Aww, that is so wonderful, you made my day!!!
Hey! I make this too! It's great with garbanzo beans 🙂
Looks delicious! Love the idea of using the pepperoncini juice in the dressing. YUM!
Looks really fresh and delicious!
I have made a salad similar to this for many years. I like the idea of using the brine from the pepperoncini in the dressing. That's a great idea!
I have been looking everywhere for that type of bowl that the salad is in. where did you get them or have you had them for a while?
the bowls look more shallow than deep which I love…
I bought them in Home Goods last year but haven't seen them again.
Pottery barn has similar bowls that they call soup bowls as part of the coupe collection. Pretty inexpensive.
must try for me !!! must be so healthy 🙂
Perfect to take for lunch .. adding to my favs!
Looks so healthy and colorful!
This looks perfect for a lunch of a busy mom with 3 kiddos.. I can pre chop and pre portion a couple of days worth then just throw it together… I cant wait.. I have everything but the Giardiniera.
Beautiful colors and salad!! Love the photos!
I am so making this tonight to go with my leftover pasta!
You can even through cooked pasta into the salad! Enjoy!!