Party Antipasto Salad

Party Antipasto Salad

This easy Party Antipasto Salad, loaded with a large selection of Italian meats, cheeses, olives and marinated vegetables, will seriously impress guests. Whether served at your own dinner party or taken to a potluck or backyard barbecue, this traditional Italian first course salad, with its variety of flavors, textures and colors, is always a crowd pleaser.

Party Antipasto Salad
Party Antipasto Salad

You will love the salad recipe as it can easily be cut in half if you are serving it to a small group of friends or doubled or even tripled if you are serving it to a large crowd at a party. If you don’t care for one of the Italian cured meats that I have suggested, substitute another cured meat, perhaps hot capicola. Want to add a pasta, by all means do so. One thing I would suggest though, save a bowl of the salad for yourself or your family for the next day, it is delicious. Served along with a loaf of crusty bread, I know that it certainly makes my husband very happy.

Party Antipasto Salad

  • 2 or 3 slices, about 1/2 in. thick of mortadella, cubed
  • 2 or 3 slices, about 1/2 in. thick of sopressata or other hard salami, cubed
  • 2 or 3 slices, about 1/2 in. thick of picante (sharp) provolone, cubed
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 pint carton cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 14 oz. cans baby artichoke hearts, drained well and cut in half
  • 1 12 oz. jar marinated mushrooms, drained
  • 1 c. pitted green olives
  • 1 c. pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 7 oz. jar cocktail onions, drained
  • 1 16 oz. jar deli sliced roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 15 oz. can garbonzo beans (chick peas), drained

Italian Vinaigrette

  • juice of 1 lemon or 1/4 c. red wine vinegar, whichever you prefer, adjusting to your taste, if necessary
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the Italian Vinaigrette by combining the lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, basil, salt and pepper in a jar. Top with a lid, shake and taste to adjust for seasonings, if necessary. An alternative vinaigrette that you might prefer would be my Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette which you can find here.

Put all the remaining antipasto ingredients in a large bowl, mix gently then add the vinaigrette. Mix everything well and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours then serve.

****

I made the antipasto salad to take to a party of 50 people. The hosts had prepared roasted pork tenderloins and eggplant parmesan. Other guests brought appetizers, salads, sides and desserts. When making a dish for a large group, please don’t feel that you need to prepare a serving for each guest. There are usually so many different dishes that everyone wants to try and each person will probably just take a small portion of each. When trying to determine how much to make for this group of 50, I felt the quantity in this recipe was appropriate…even keeping a little for my husband and I to enjoy the next day. That is what you see in the photographs. If I was serving this as a plated first course, I would say it would serve 8 to 10, perhaps with leftovers.

Antipasto Salad
A Small Bowl Of Antipasto Salad

I must admit that this can be an expensive dish if you are preparing it for a large crowd. You can certainly cut down on the amount of meat and add pasta such as tortellini or a sturdy green such as romaine. If you add greens to the recipe, make sure that you don’t add the salad dressing or toss until right before serving.

Antipasto Platter
Antipasto Platter

An antipasto platter like the one above, can be found at many Italian family gatherings, they make a presence on our table often. A trip to your local deli counter plus a stop at the produce counter can provide you with a delicious first course that is not only simple to put together but your guests will enjoy as well. The next time you entertain, for either a small gathering at your home or for a large crowd, think about a traditional Italian antipasto salad or platter, you can’t go wrong with either one.

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142 thoughts on “Party Antipasto Salad

  1. A lovely salad for a party – lots of my favourite things! My most usual starter for family and friends is an antipasti platter … I have a great Italian deli nearby and can go and buy a few lovely things to put out on a large plate, sometimes with a homemade thing or two.

    1. Hi Kay, It sounds like we entertain much the same. If I’m doing a small party, I like to make my own marinated mushrooms, roasted peppers, etc. myself like you and put them on a platter like in my last photo.

  2. Preparing antipasti is a great way to be creative as there are so many tasty things from which to choose. Our tini time often has a mini version.

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment Jo, thank you. I do enjoy my Villeroy and Boch plates, I tend to use the medium lemon ones for appetizers and salads and the fruit ones for desserts.

  3. I would be in my element if you served this up for me but my husband is not a mozzarella fan 😒 Have a good weekend Diane

    1. Hi Diane, If I was sharing this antipasto with the two of you, I would just leave out the mozzarella. Actually, we could serve it to him as is and he could pick out the mozzarella and give it to you. 😀

  4. Neat salad — I’ve made something similar in the (distant) past, and really enjoyed it. And I sometimes order something similar at restaurants. I’d definitely add capicola to the mix, as you suggested — love that stuff! 🙂

    1. Hi John, Don’t you just love capicola…one of my favorite Italian meats but some people think it is a little too spicy. I usually serve it when I make an antipasto platter so that each person can choose exactly what they like.

    1. You are right Penny, an antipasto salad is perfect for summer picnics and they are just around the corner. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Deb, for your nice compliment. It seems you have been having a lot of cloudy days lately…hopefully you can have an outdoor get together when the weather is a little better.

  5. That would be beautiful on a big sideboard with lots of Italian foods! My only change would be to use fresh mushrooms that I cooked/marinated myself. I find canned ones aren’t as good. But then it wouldn’t be an instant production.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. Hi Mae, The antipasto salad is ideal for an Italian dinner, especially a buffet like at the party we attended. I agree it is easy to marinate mushrooms yourself, that is what I did in the last photo where I prepared all the ingredients myself. When time is limited, on the other hand, there are some good brands of jarred one.

  6. I’m having a couple over for dinner tomorrow night and had no idea what to make for an appetizer. Well, not anymore. This is perfect! I love everything about it. Thanks!!!

  7. This is an absolutely perfect dish. In my mind, I see this as a salad but also as a main served with grilled salmon or chicken. I wouldn’t change a single ingredient. I love going to big group meals where there are loads of different foods to try and I’m betting your salad was a smash at your group dinner. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Judi, When trying to make a dish for a party of 50, I thought this was a good way to go. When I’m entertaining couples at a dinner party at home, I usually make a platter. I’m glad you like the vinaigrette, thank you.

  8. Such great party food! I always love how fun and colorful antipasto platters and salads are — and SO packed with flavor, too!

  9. I’m powerless against a platter of marinated vegetables. The mushrooms and artichokes alone make my mouth water! It definitely sounds like a winning combination for any gathering.

    1. Hi Sheryl, This was a fun party and with so many people, there were lots of different dishes to try. Knowing that the two main courses were Italian, I thought the antipasto salad was a good choice to make.

  10. I really like the ingredients that you selected for your antipasto salad and platter, Karen! You’ve reminded me that antipasti salads and platters aren’t for holidays only! Oh, I couldn’t help but notice and want to comment on: we have the same love for French Garden pattern of dishes (Villeroy & Bosh)!

    1. Hi Ros, Don’t you just love the French Garden pattern…I’ve had mine for years. I think an antipasto salad or platter is a nice choice when serving friends any time of the year. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  11. I’ve made antipasto platters before, but I’ve never combined in the way you’ve presented here. What a great salad! We have a wonderful small Italian grocery near us that frequently pulls me in! I am sure I will have an occasion in the near future to make this very tasty salad. 🙂

    1. I’m glad I could give you a new idea for using Italian deli meats and cheeses Debra. The salad is a nice change from your typical platters.

  12. I am late to write a comment: I did not know what to say 🙂 ! Why is this ‘party’? As I have very busy work days, if I do not make Szechwan stirfry I am likely to make a pretty plate like this for my lunch . . .grab a bottle of wine and take 30 sunlit minutes sitting in the garden . . . :)_ !

    1. Hi Eha, Of course, this antipasto salad doesn’t have to be only for a party. With the amounts I used in my recipe, it made a great dish to take to the party we were invited to.

    1. Hi Claudia, You are right…if serving an antipasto to several picky eaters, a platter is definitely the way to go. That way they can take a little of this and a little of that.

  13. What a fantastic salad! So many of my favorite things in there: from the cheeses to the meats to the artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, and olives! I could nosh on this forever.

    1. I totally agree with you Carolyn, an antipasto salad can definitely be eaten in so many different ways. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  14. You know this makes me think of a salad I pulled together in high school with tuna and artichokes and some other ingredients. My mom said it was “kind of like a tuna antipasto” and I really didn’t know what she meant. Perhaps I’ll try to reprise it–that would be two posts in a row where you inspired me 🙂

    1. Inger, I’m always happy to learn that my recipes are inspiring and it is so kind of you to let me know…thank you so much. I thank you to for trying the white beans and passing along that recipe as well. I’ll be on the lookout for a tuna antipasto in your future.

  15. I love to make an antipasto salad like this for holiday meals. I usually use a separate compartmental serving platter dish, like the one in your last photo, as I find some of my guests like to take more, or less, of some ingredients.

    1. I agree with you Pat, a compartmental platter is a great way of serving antipasto. For the antipasto salad that I took to the buffet, I needed something much larger…a deep, disposable aluminum casserole pan. 🙂

  16. Karen, this looks great. I have never had picante provolone. I’m going to look for it. Love your point about how much to take to a party. If I made enough for all 50 people, I think that would take me from ‘guest’ to ‘co-host!’

    1. Hi Jean, I’m happy you like the looks of the antipasto salad. Picante provolone is aged a little longer and has a sharper taste and more flavor than regular provolone. I’m glad you liked my comment on how much to prepare for 50…your way of putting it is perfect. 🙂

  17. This looks like the perfect summer salad, each bite a sensation on its own. The presentation is lovely too, so many colours and textures. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.

    1. Thank you Eva, The party antipasto salad did seem to be a hit with the guests. I think it was just the reason you mentioned…it is filled with lots of flavorful bites.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Anna and Liz. I hope the party antipasto salad is a hit with your guests…it seemed to be popular at the party I took it to.

  18. This looks delicious and I like the idea of bringing it to a party. I agree it’s hard to determine how much to make, but when everyone is bringing something you don’t have to go overboard. This looks so refreshing and light, you have me craving it and making plans to bring it along with me to parties this summer!

    Jane

    1. Thank you for your compliment Jane, It is hard to figure out what dish to take to a party, especially for a large group. I thought the antipasto salad was good and was easy to take in the car. I could see you serving it at one of your gatherings at the lake.

  19. There is nothing like a good antipasto salad for a party. I have an antipasto platter from Italy like the one you have pictured above and I love it. I see you are doing lower-carb recently from your recent recipes. Me, too!

    1. Hi Becki, Yes we have been trying to eat less carbs when we can. I wouldn’t part with my antipasto platter, it has served a lot of friends over the years. I’m glad you like the salad and thank you for stopping by…it is nice to reconnect. 😀

  20. I love a good antipasto platter – combining everything into a delicious salad is a terrific idea. It looks hearty and delicious.

    1. Thank you Pam. Yes, I usually make an antipasto platter when cooking for friends at home. When I was asked to bring an appetizer for 50, the party antipasto salad seemed to be the answer and everyone seemed to like it.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Cathy. BTW, I can’t seem to comment on your blog now but want you to know I loved your answer to my question of how you picked Tunisia to visit. It is the same reason we went on a cruise last year…had never done it. 😀

    1. Thank you Bobbi, The party was still going strong when we left…no telling what time it ended. I can tell you that the guests had made a big dent in it the last time I looked. 🙂

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment Kelly. I think most people enjoy an antipasto salad, there is a little something for everyone’s taste.

    1. Thank you Amy, the party antipasto salad does look nice with all the different colors of the various ingredients…I’m glad you like it.

    1. Thank you Susan, It seems that a lot of us think the same way about the antipasto salad. It is one of the reasons I suggested saving a bowl for yourself if you take it to a party. 😀

  21. Beautiful. Antipasti is my favorite thing to eat, so of course I love this salad. I’ve made something similar as a pasta salad as well. Such fabulous flavors.

    1. I’m a salad eater like you Mimi and my husband is too when I add all the meats and cheeses. Adding pasta is a great idea, especially if you are serving a large group. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Scarlett for your nice compliment. I guess me making you hungry with the antipasto salad is the same as you making me want to cross the pond to visit London again. 😀

    1. Hi Sandra, Yes it is an annual party that we are invited to every year. You can always count on good food and a lot of it. You are right, the antipasto salad is great for a pack and go lunch or picnic…I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

    1. Hi Fran, Trying to figure out a dish for 50 is a bit of a challenge when you know it has to be packed up and taken in a car. The party antipasto salad was a great answer and easy to prepare. Thank you, I’m glad you like the salad with its combination of cheeses.

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m sorry to be responding so late to your lovely compliment on the antipasto salad, thank you. I hope if you got a chance to make it that you enjoyed it as much as we do.

    1. I’m very sorry to be responding so late to your compliment on the antipasto salad Liz. I’m glad that you like the dish and it would indeed be good for summer entertaining.

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