How To Make Antipasto Salad:
The Best Antipasto Salad Dressing
The best dressing for antipasto salad is Italian dressing naturally! Now, Ive enjoyed my fair share of tasty bottled dressings, but I promise, nothing tastes as fresh and fabulous as your own Homemade Italian Dressing and it takes MINUTES to whisk together using pantry ingredients!
This easy Homemade Italian Dressing is a balanced tangy and testy blend of olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried herbs and spices and the best part Parmesan Cheese! It elevates this antipasto salad to a whole new level because after all, a salad is only as good as its dressing so use the best! This Italian Dressing also keeps for 2 weeks in the refrigerator so you can make it ahead of time.
How To Store It
Store the Antipasto Salad in a glass container for up to 4 days in the fridge. As it marinates in the dressing, it will get even more flavorful!
Such a delicious way to use garden veggies and pantry ingredients.
Play around with different versions of the salad to create your own unique blend!
Use what you have on hand!
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All The Best Antipasto Salad Ingredients
Crisp, crunchy romaine lettuce is the base for this hearty, meaty, main dish salad recipe. Antipasto salad is a great main meal in the summertime when you dont want to turn on the oven and even standing over the grill sounds like just too much work. To gather the ingredients, youll make a pit stop in produce, but most of the antipasto salad ingredients will come from the olive bar and / or the pickled stuff aisle, or whatever you call that aislemaybe the condiment section? The greatest aisle of them all? Anyway, we digress. Yes, if youve ever wanted to just absolutely go to town in the condiment department, this antipasto salad recipe is your chance! This recipe asks only that you load up on marinated artichoke hearts, olives of all kinds, pepperoncini , fresh mozzarella balls, and so on. Once youve done thatoh, and grabbed your favorite salami, tooyoure ready to make a salad! Heres all youll need to make this fabulous salad:
What To Eat With Antipasto
There is no right or wrong way to eat antipasto salad, giving you the freedom to incorporate it into your meal however you please.
We love to serve it as a light main course, a hearty appetizer, or as a side dish. If you prefer to have antipasto as a side dish, it can be nicely paired with grilled chicken, pizza, Italian sausages, or flatbread for a wholesome eating experience.
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Perfect For Sundays Antipasto Salad
I am so excited to share this Antipasto Salad. Its great for a Sunday Dinner. It feels so indulgent and delicious. What makes it so wonderful is that it is easy to assemble. It has quite a few ingredients, but it doesnt take much time. Its the perfect for a celebration salad that you can enjoy any time of the year.
What to put into your Antipasto Salad
To start your antipasto salad, you want to choose your greens. You can use any that you would like. We used slightly softer lettuce baby romaine and arugula. For more flavor, we also added radicchio. It has a strong flavor, so I like thin slices of it. This makes every bite totally balanced and tasty.
For the toppings, I brought in some saltier flavors with California green olives, salami, pepperoncini, peppadew peppers, and . I love a salad that is more savory, and these deep, beautiful flavors blend perfectly. Once you have your toppings, we can add in cheese. This is a celebration antipasto salad, so Im not holding back in this department. I used Manchego, grated parmesan, mozzarella pearls, and parmesan crisps on top. It sounds like a lot, but with all of the toppings in this salad, it perfectly complements them.
What Dressing To Use on Your Salad
Our antipasto salad is great with just red wine vinegar and Marinated Onion oil. But because we are celebrating with this salad, I decided to add my Charred Scallion Dressing too. You dont need much, but the little bit of creaminess was the perfect final touch.
How To Make The Best Antipasto Salad
This antipasto salad is easy to make and tastes spectacular. I especially love that you dont have to deal with cooking any protein! Heres how easy it is to whip up:
- Make dressing. Youll want to start off by making your homemade Italian dressing very first so the flavors have time to build and blend. Plus, no one likes warm dressing! To make, simply whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and all the seasonings together in a bowl or add to a mason jar, cover and shake.
- Make croutons. While the dressing is chilling, make the croutons and chop the salad ingredients. These croutons are snackable DElicious and so easy to make! Simply add cubed bread to a baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil then sprinkle with Italian herbs and spices toss until evenly coated. Spread bread into an even layer onto baking sheet and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden. Then try not to eat every last one before adding them to the salad.
- Assemble Salad: Add lettuce to a large bowl followed by the rest of the salad ingredients. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine OR dress individual plates if expecting leftovers. Serve immediately.
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Whats In An Antipasto Salad
- Romaine: Chopped and made as the base to this Italian salad.
- Green Olives: These typically come from a can and are halved leaving a tangy and zesty flavor to the salad.
- Black Olives: Medium sized olives are best and taste amazing in this salad. They are soft in the salad with a hint of flavor.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Slice in half and add fresh tomatoes and brighten this salad up.
- Mini Pepperoni: Slice up and add into the salad for a sweet and spicy combination.
- Jarred Roasted Red Peppers: Just like they sound, a little spicy. Too much spice, leave out what is best for you and your family.
- Genoa Salami: Thinly slice salami that is chewable and ready to eat once served.
- Mozzarella Cheese Balls: These mozzarella cheese balls are one of my favorites for texture and adding to the salad.
- Artichoke Hearts: Canned and comes perfectly cut for you. Just drain and add right to the salad without the work.
- Provolone Cheese: Squared and squishy just the right amount of texture in between all the crunchy.
Lemon Olive Oil Dressing:
- Olive Oil: A light additive to the dressing that is drizzled over top of the salad.
- Lemon Juice: Zesty and fresh flavor of lemons just adds the right amount of sweetness to this salad.
- Italian Seasoning: Add in the Italian seasoning for a savory salad dressing.
How To Make Antipasto Pasta Salad
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Recipe Notes And Helpful Tips
- The dressing can be mixed up to 24 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Use fresh mozzarella, pearls, balls or cubes. If you cant find exactly what you are looking for buy a chunk and cut it into cubes.
- Top the salad with fresh basil ribbons for an over the top finish.
- Use an excellent quality Italian salami. I am very fortunate to have a grocery store within driving distance with a fair selection of quality cheese and cured sausages.
- If smoked marinated artichoke hearts are available they add flavor, depth, and texture.
- Other ingredients to add or substitute in the salad are pepperoni, black olives, green olives, red onion, Parmesan cheese, red peppers, or Provolone cheese.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How To Prep Ahead Antipasto Salad
This antipasto salad recipe is great to prep ahead. You can prep all of the ingredients ahead of time or just the dressing, croutons or salad ingredients. To prep ahead:
- Salad ingredients: can be chopped 24 hours in advance and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. I will add the vegetables to separate paper towels, fold up the paper towels around the contents and place in sandwich bags this keeps excess moisture away from the veggies to keep them fresh.
- Croutons: can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time and stored in a resealable plastic bag with as much air removed as possible or in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Dressing: can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If making ahead, take care not to use fresh garlic or herbs because they will only last a day or so in the refrigerator.
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A Creamy Lemony Antipasto Salad Dressing
Ahh yes. Whats a terrific salad without a killer dressing? We love to make dressings from scratchits really the only way to go. It takes seconds to do, and fresh, homemade salad dressings are always, always, always betterand better for youthan store bought salad dressings. No weird homogenized or hydrogenated ingredients or stabilizers here. Nope! Just Parmesan cheese, mayo, olive oil and plenty of lemon juice for a creamy, zingy, delectable dressing thatll make this antipasto salad into your familys new forever favorite. Heres everything youll need to make it:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese. The one and only Parmigiano Reggiano!
Garlic. Try grating it with a microplane so that itll really meld into the dressing.
Herbs: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder
Whats The Difference Between Antipasto And Antipasti
The main difference between antipasto and antipasti is that antipasto is served before the main course. Its the start of the meal.
Antipasti just means you have a variety of Italian meats, cheese, and marinated veggies. If you make a cheese boards, you might just have a spread of antipasti.
Really, though, you could consider this keto salad either one!
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Strategically Tossing Your Antipasto Pasta Salad
Believe it or not, there is even a method to the madness of tossing this salad. After the pasta has been thoroughly rinsed and feels cool to the touch, blot the pasta with a paper towel to absorb excess water that didn’t drain. Now, we toss.
First, add the pasta to your serving bowl, then use a wooden spoon to gently break apart any clumping.
Next, add the peppers and onion to the pasta and toss until well combined.
Now, add the salami, olives, and cheese and toss again until well combined.
Whisk the dressing well before pouring over the salad. Evenly distribute dressing over the salad and use two wooden spoons to toss ingredients thoroughly. If you’re not sure how to distribute the dressing evenly, pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss. Then pour the rest of the dressing and toss again. I know it seems like an extra step, but the last thing you want is all of the dressing seeping to the bottom of the bowl.
Isn’t it a beauty? Mangia!
Antipasto Pasta Salad Recipe
Bring this Antipasto Pasta Salad Recipe to your next BBQ party and everyone will ask for the secret recipe.
A perfect summer side dish, this antipasto salad is loaded with fresh veggies, homemade Italian dressing, and perfectly cooked pasta.
Serve at your next summer party with grilled chicken, or meat, and a berry and goat cheese salad.
Why I love this recipe
This Italian pasta salad recipe is light and fresh with plenty of flavors from the marinaded olives and artichokes to the creamy mozzarella balls, crisp bite of the arugula, and sweet ripe cherry tomatoes.
The added crunch from the pine nuts is just enough texture to make this an all around WINNING pasta salad recipe that will be a huge hit whenever you serve it.
Looking for more delicious Italian summer recipes? Find ideas here: 30 BEST Italian Inspired Summer Recipes.
This was inspired by my other pasta salad recipes. Perfect recipe for your next summer gathering, baby shower, or wedding celebration.
- Optional Italian seasoning or dried herbs
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Homemade Antipasto Salad Dressing Recipe
When making an Antipasto, you need the best fresh meat and cheese. You also use superb olives and vegetables, along with herbs coming straight from a garden. They are the elements that make the best antipasto recipe, in turn, a perfect antipasto.
Same goes for a fresh salad. It also requires an equally delicious and fresh dressing on top. It contains low carb and high in proteins.
This antipasto salad dressing is the dressing you need to make a wonderful antipasto salad platter. In it, you can use fresh parsley and purple basil right out of a garden. The intoxicating aroma of these little leaves alone will make the flavours and freshness of the salad.
For this recipe, you will need to do some prepping. Mincing and chopping the garlic, parsley and fresh basil takes only minutes to do and the little effort is so well worth. Together, all the ingredients make an excellent dressing perfectly suitable for an antipasto salad recipe with lettuce or without it.
Also, why top a perfect salad with some bottled dressing when a more tasty, fresh and healthy dressing can be made at home with quite an ease. So, enjoy!
How To Serve Antipasto Salad
You have two options for arranging and serving the Antipasto Salad:
- Antipasto Salad Platter : create a bed of Romaine lettuce in a large bowl and top with the salad ingredients, keeping them separate from each other dont dress the salad. This presentation resembles an antipasto platter and is more buffet-style. It allows individuals to pick and choose what ingredients they would like to add to their salad. Let individuals dress their own salads with the homemade Italian dressing.
- Antipasto Salad Misto: misto means mixed in Italian, and refers to exactly that you will mix all of the salad ingredients togethering a large bowl. If you dont expect leftovers, you can drizzle the salad with desired amount of dressing. If you do expect leftovers, keep the dressing and the croutons on the side.
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Homemade Italian Salad Dressing
This homemade Italian salad dressing is so simple to put together and marries with the flavors of this salad perfectly. Homemade Italian Salad dressing combines simple tangy red wine vinegar and lemon juice with dijon mustard and olive oil with Italian herbs and seasonings for a simple homemade dressing recipe.
I don’t know why I don’t make homemade salad dressings more often. This dressing was so simple and used ingredients I have on hand. Start by mixing the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and mustard together in a small jar. To the vinegar and oil add Italian herb seasonings, onion powder, garlic salt, and cracked pepper. Shake to combine and pour over the salad.
Toss the antipasto salad to coat completely with the Italian dressing. Serve with croutons or keep them off if you are eating keto or low-carb. This salad is the perfect keto salad to eat!
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 its 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.
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products we use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Is Antipasto Salad Healthy
Filled with fresh vegetables, protein, and healthy fat, yes, our antipasto recipe is a healthy salad.
Nutritionally, each serving of this antipasto salad contains 154 calories, 3,3 g of saturated fat, and 282 mg of sodium. These amounts are all within the healthy limit of the current USDAs Dietary Guideline without compromising the dishs deliciousness.
Antipasto Salad Recipe Tips
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