Antipasto Salad with Dressing Recipe - Italian Cuisine

Antipasto Salad with Dressing

Antipasto Salad with Dressing Recipe - Italian Cuisine
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 0 minutes | Servings: 6


Antipasto Salad with Dressing
Antipasto Salad with Dressing

Antipasto Salad with Dressing is a vibrant, flavorful dish that combines a variety of textures and tastes to create a perfect starter or a light meal. This recipe brings together the rich, savory flavors of artichoke hearts, pepperoni, cheeses, and olives with the fresh crunch of celery, onions, and peppers, all dressed in a robust and herby vinaigrette. It's a versatile dish that can be customized to suit any palate, making it a favorite for gatherings, potlucks, or a simple family dinner.


The concept of antipasto originates from Italy, where it traditionally serves as the first course of a meal. Antipasto, meaning "before the meal," typically consists of a variety of cold foods such as cured meats, olives, peperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses, and vegetables in oil or vinegar. The history of antipasto is deeply rooted in Italian dining culture, dating back to medieval times when these flavorful appetizers were served to create anticipation for the meal to come. This Antipasto Salad with Dressing is a modern take on the traditional antipasto, transforming it into a hearty salad that can stand as a meal on its own or complement any main dish.




How to prepare


  1. Toss all ingredients (except dressing) in a large bowl.
  2. Add dressing and toss.
  3. Transfer everything to a large bowl.
  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  5. Serve with sliced Italian bread.


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all the above antipasto dressing ingredients until well blended.
  2. Pour the dressing immediately over the antipasto salad.
  3. Then follow the salad directions.
  4. Add garlic.


  • For a vegetarian version, omit the pepperoni or use a plant-based substitute.
  • Add grilled vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers for extra flavor and texture.
  • Incorporate different cheeses like mozzarella balls or shaved Parmesan for variety.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Antipasto Salad with Dressing turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Drain the canned ingredients well to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.

- For the best flavor, allow the salad to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

- Use a high-quality olive oil in the dressing for a richer taste.

- Customize the salad by adding or substituting ingredients based on your preferences or what you have on hand.

- To make this dish vegetarian, simply omit the pepperoni or replace it with a vegetarian alternative.

Serving Suggestions

This Antipasto Salad with Dressing can be served as a standalone meal or as a starter. It pairs well with crusty Italian bread, a glass of chilled white wine, or a light, citrusy beer. For a complete meal, serve alongside a simple pasta dish or grilled chicken.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the marination of the salad ingredients with the dressing. Allowing the salad to sit in the refrigerator lets the flavors meld together, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

Substitute artichoke hearts with marinated mushrooms for a different flavor profile.

- Use any type of olives you prefer or have available.

- Replace red wine vinegar with white wine vinegar or lemon juice in the dressing for a different acidity.

Make Ahead Tips

This salad can be made up to a day in advance. Prepare the salad and dressing separately and store them in the refrigerator. Toss them together an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Antipasto Salad in a large, shallow bowl to showcase the colorful ingredients. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil for an elegant finish.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this salad with a light, crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon complements the flavors well.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This salad is best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It is not recommended to freeze this salad. No reheating is necessary; simply bring the salad to room temperature before serving if it has been chilled.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of this Antipasto Salad with Dressing contains approximately 300-350 calories, making it a satisfying yet light option for a meal or appetizer.


This Antipasto Salad with Dressing is relatively low in carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those following a low-carb diet. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this dish are the artichoke hearts, chickpeas, and cannellini beans. One serving of this salad contains approximately 15-20 grams of carbohydrates.


The fats in this salad come mainly from the olive oil in the dressing and the cheese. Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated fat, beneficial for heart health. The total fat content per serving is approximately 20-25 grams, with a significant portion being healthy fats.


This salad is a good source of protein, thanks to the cheese, chickpeas, and cannellini beans. The pepperoni also adds protein but can be omitted or substituted for a leaner protein source if desired. Each serving contains roughly 10-15 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

The Antipasto Salad with Dressing is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C from the tomatoes and peppers, Vitamin K from the greens, and various B vitamins from the beans and chickpeas. It also provides minerals such as potassium, iron, and calcium.


This recipe contains common allergens such as dairy (cheese) and may contain gluten depending on the type of pepperoni and bread used. Individuals with food allergies should modify the recipe accordingly or ensure that all ingredients used are free from allergens.


Overall, the Antipasto Salad with Dressing is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals. It's a nutritious option that can be adjusted to meet different dietary needs and preferences.


The Antipasto Salad with Dressing is a versatile, flavorful dish that combines the best of Italian antipasti in a refreshing salad form. With its mix of vegetables, proteins, and a tangy dressing, it's a crowd-pleaser that's also nutritious. Whether you're looking for a light meal or a hearty appetizer, this salad is sure to delight.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is one that will always stay with me. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Maria in her cozy kitchen. Maria was a master in the art of cooking, and I always admired her skill and creativity when it came to preparing delicious meals.

As we chatted and sipped on some homemade lemonade, Maria suddenly got up and went to her bookshelf. She rummaged through her collection of cookbooks and pulled out an old, tattered notebook. "I have something special to show you," she said with a twinkle in her eye.

Maria opened the notebook and flipped through the pages until she found a recipe for Antipasto Salad with Dressing. She explained to me that this recipe had been passed down to her from her grandmother, who had learned it from a dear friend many years ago. Maria had made some tweaks to the recipe over the years, adding her own touch to it.

As I watched Maria prepare the salad, I was captivated by the colors and textures of the ingredients. The vibrant red tomatoes, the crisp green lettuce, the tangy olives and artichokes – it was a feast for the eyes. Maria carefully arranged the ingredients on a large platter, drizzling the homemade dressing over the top.

When it was time to taste the salad, I was blown away by the explosion of flavors in my mouth. The salty olives paired perfectly with the creamy mozzarella, while the tangy dressing brought everything together. I knew right then and there that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen.

After thanking Maria for sharing the recipe with me, I hurried home to recreate the Antipasto Salad. I gathered all the ingredients – fresh tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, salty olives, tangy artichokes, creamy mozzarella – and set to work. I followed Maria's instructions to a tee, making sure to let the flavors meld together in the fridge before serving.

When I finally sat down to taste my creation, I was transported back to Maria's kitchen. The flavors were just as vibrant and delicious as I remembered, and I knew that this recipe would become a favorite among my family and friends.

Over the years, I have made the Antipasto Salad countless times, each time adding my own twist to it. Sometimes I swap out the olives for sun-dried tomatoes, or add some grilled chicken for a heartier meal. But no matter how I prepare it, the salad always brings back fond memories of that day in Maria's kitchen.

I have shared the recipe with many people over the years, passing on the tradition that Maria started. And each time I make the Antipasto Salad, I am reminded of the power of food to bring people together, to create memories, and to nourish both body and soul.

So here it is, my dear friends and family – the recipe for Antipasto Salad with Dressing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have, and that it brings a little taste of Italy into your own kitchen. Buon appetito!


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