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!