Antipasto Salad

$16.92 recipe / $2.12 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 3 votes
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You know how we’re all kind of obsessed with charcuterie boards right now? Who doesn’t love a selection of savory snacky meats, cheeses, and pickled items, ammiright? Well, the Italian version of that is antipasto and it also happens to make for a really delicious and filling salad. So, if you’re like me and don’t want to eat anything but salads for the remainder of summer, I think you’re going to love this Antipasto Salad.

dressing be poured over a serving dish full of antipasto salad

What is Antipasto?

Antipasto is an Italian appetizer course offering a snacky selection of cured meats, pickled vegetables, cheeses, olives, anchovies and more. The word “antipasto” means “before the meal” so it’s basically an appetizer platter. This gorgeous spread is usually served as part of a formal meal, rather than an everyday spread. You can read more about antipasto here.

So to make an antipasto salad I simply piled all those tasty little bits on top of a bed of greens and added a cheesy Italian dressing. And that’s all I really want in a summer meal. Okay, well, maybe some crusty bread to go along with it. ;)

Antipasto is Flexible, So Get Creative!

The best part about this salad is that it’s so flexible, so you can mix and match the toppings depending on your budget or availability of ingredients. You can use just about any type of salad green that you like, any meat (or no meat), any cheese, and any vegetable. Need some inspo? Here are a few other ingredients that you can swap in or add:

Antipasto on a Budget

This salad can get expensive quick if you’re not careful! If you’re lucky to live near an ALDI store, they have a great selection of meats and cheeses for antipasto or charcuterie boards (and I was lucky enough to grab my mozzarella on clearance!). Watch for sales on those shelf-stable jarred items (olives, pickled peppers, artichoke hearts) and save them up for making antipasto later. And get to know your deli because a lot of delis will mark down sliced meats and cheeses when they get near the sell-by date.

A lot of these ingredients also make great pizza toppings, so whenever you have leftovers from pizza night, those items can be used to make antipasto the next night!

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 it’s 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.

Salad tongs in a half stirred antipasto salad with bread and dressing on the side
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Antipasto Salad

5 from 3 votes
This super hearty antipasto salad is full of cured meats, cheeses, and pickled vegetables for an extra flavorful and filling salad.
dressing being poured over the antipasto salad
Servings 8
Prep 15 mins
Total 15 mins

Ingredients

Salad

  • 8 oz. salad greens of choice ($0.99)
  • 1 12oz. jar artichoke hearts ($2.45)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes ($1.79)
  • 8 oz. mozzarella ($0.99)
  • 8 oz. salami ($3.00)
  • 1 6oz. jar kalamata olives ($1.99)
  • 1 8oz. jar banana peppers ($1.69)
  • 1/2 red onion ($0.40)
  • 8 oz. provolone ($1.79)

Italian Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil ($0.84)
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.30)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.04)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard ($0.12)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar ($0.01)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan ($0.22)

Instructions 

  • Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jar (olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar, grated Parmesan). Close the jar tightly and shake or whisk in a bowl until the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Cut or slice any meat or cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Drain the olives and any brined vegetables. Thinly slice the red onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half.
  • Lay your greens in the bottom of a bowl, then top with your antipasto items. Give the dressing one last whisk or shake, then drizzle over the salad (start with half the dressing and add more as needed). Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing, then enjoy.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1saladCalories: 535kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 23gFat: 45gSodium: 2130mgFiber: 4g
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Close up of antipasto salad in a bowl with a fork

How to Make Antipasto Salad – Step by Step Photos

Italian dressing ingredients in a jar

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or jar: ½ cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan. Shake or whisk the ingredients until they are incorporated.

Chopped spinach in a serving bowl

Add your salad greens to the bottom of a bowl. I’m using spinach and I chopped it slightly first to make bite-sized pieces.

salami, onions, mozzarella, and tomatoes added to the salad bowl

Cut your meats and cheeses into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the red onion and slice the grape tomatoes in half.

provolone, olives, peppers, and artichokes added to the salad bowl

Drain all of your jarred items (olives, banana peppers, artichoke hearts) and add them to the salad. Slightly chop anything that has larger pieces.

dressing being poured over the antipasto salad

Give the dressing one last shake or whisk, then drizzle it over the salad. Start with half the dressing, then add more as needed.

Antipasto salad being tossed with metal salad tongs

Toss the salad until everything is coated in dressing, then enjoy!

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Comments

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  1. I love dishes like this because they are so flexible, frugal, and can clean out your fridge. I call them my “day before payday” recipes. These recipes include soup, salad bar, cheese fondue and dippers, rice and beans, pork fried rice. I am definitely adding this recipe to the list.

  2. I add hard-boiled egg bits for added protein. I love salads that you can throw together like this and the dressing is incredible. What are some other veg I could add to this mix to balance out the salt and acid?

    1. You can honestly add just about ANY vegetable to this, so pick your fav’s. :) There’s also a bulleted list of ideas in the text above the recipe that you can browse for inspiration.

  3. I made this for a family dinner and it was a hit. I used smoked gouda instead of provolone, pickled red onions (what I had on hand), and added some diced roasted red peppers. It was a great change up to the usual salad offerings at our family dinners.

  4. Is it really a dollar for 8 once of mozzarella ball ? here in qc canada it’s like 2-3$ per 100g, it’s really bothering me as i love them a lot but cannot justify their cost.

    1. Not usually. Scroll up to the paragraph titled “Antipasto on a Budget” for some tips about making this more budget conscious and why my mozz was $0.99. ;)

  5. I’ve been doing something similar for years–in our case, a cold plate, more than a salad, but with torn or sliced salad greens as an edible bed, but I plan to implement the full salad treatment you’ve demonstrated. I usually limit it to a single meat, a single cheese, 3-4 veggies, and a few pickled condiments with dressing or sauces on the side. This is also an opportunity to use cold leftovers such as sliced meat, and cooked veggies as well as raw. Rotisserie chicken can find a place here, too. Raw green beans or asparagus are deliciously crunchy additions. Crusty bread is wonderful, but whole grain crackers can work, too.

  6. This is one of our favorite summer meals, but I never thought of adding artichokes! Brilliant.

    And I have a prep secret I’ll share bc I’ve been making your recipes since 2010 and you’re a food staple in our household!

    I use scissors to make this. So I cut everything right into the bowl (ok, not onions, but I often leave those out because they don’t agree with me). I cut up the meat and cheese, and halve the tomatoes and mozzarella with my best pair of kitchen shears right into each bowl, and never even dirty the cutting board! Easy summer meal with even easier cleanup!