antipasto salad with traditional italian ingredients with greens


This grand antipasto salad is one of Ricky’s traditional “go to” recipes for a large gathering. Recently there has been a trend toward putting antipasto out as a display of appetizers, individually. But we are giving you this antipasto salad recipe as we know it; with mixed greens in a super deluxe salad, loaded with a selection of ingredients many of which are often associated with Italian food. A crowd pleaser every time!

Of course antipasto salad is not for celebrations alone. Pick some of your favorite greens and add-ins for an easy and delicious dinner or lunch.

Here’s what YOU WILL NEED:

platter of antipasto salad made with fresh lettuces grape tomatoes olives and other brined vegetables and deli meats
Iceberg lettuce
Romaine lettuce
Grape tomatoes
Red onion
Kalamata olives
Black olives
Roasted red peppers
Genoa salami

About the ingredients

Make sure you are using the freshest lettuce possible. If you are serving this at a get together, it will probably be sitting out for a while. Limp lettuce sells this salad short. Fresh crisp lettuce makes all the difference in taste, texture and appearance.

Cherry or grape tomatoes are best for this salad. Sliced fresh tomatoes can weep and look limp and less appealing after sitting out. Slices can make your lettuce soggy too. On the other hand, the smaller tomatoes, left whole, stay fresh and firm. They add a beautiful splash of color too.

This is not a make ahead dish. You will want to build your salad as close to serving time as possible.

This display shows some of our favorite add-ins for our antipasto salads. You can leave out or substitute any of the ingredients. There aren’t any rules.

This is WHAT TO DO:

Prepare your vegetables

Rinse and dry the fresh vegetables. Rip the greens rather than cut them.

Slice the red onion. If you are going for appearance, you can slice the whole onion in slices to make onion rings like the ones on our antipasto.

Cut up the meats

Slice the pepperoni.

Cut up the other deli meats to your liking. Smaller cuts like we have pictured on ours, makes it easier for everyone to get a delicious variety. Or, you can roll up whole slices of deli meats and place them along the sides of the serving platter so people can choose their favorites.

Drain the bottled ingredients

With a slotted spoon, scoop out the brined vegetables; the pepperoncini, olives and roasted red peppers from their bottle or container and drain.

We are ready to assemble

It’s entirely up to you how fancy you want to make your antipasto salad. We are showing you our super-duper show-stopper so you can use it as an example if you want to make a splash.

We mixed the lettuces together and covered the platter with them. Then we added the other ingredients one by one, spread evenly over the lettuces. You are literally creating a feast for the eyes and the tummy. Like a painting, each extra color adds to the wow factor. Have fun with it. You can’t go wrong.

We used a large platter to build our display, but I have many large fancy wide top shallow bowls that antipasto salad looks great in too. You can see one of them in our TOMATO SALAD post. But, in the end, it is just a salad and you can mix it all up in an everyday big bowl and serve it just like that. It tastes just as good. 😋


If you are putting this salad out for a get together it is best to leave it undressed. Have your dressings available on the side. Ricky makes a delicious dressing of olive oil and brine from the pepperoncini for his antipasto. A cruet of olive oil and another with red wine vinegar for people to add when they serve themselves is perfect. I think it is a good rule of thumb to keep the dressing light so it compliments the meats and vegetables in the salad, like a simple vinaigrette or Italian dressing. A heavy dressing such as ranch could easily disguise the the many varied flavors in the salad.

Antipasto salad served in a white bowl with a green tablecloth
antipasto salad with traditional italian ingredients with greens

Antipasto Salad

A traditional Italian salad, often found at special occasions, made with a variety of lettuces, fresh and brined vegetables, and Italian deli meats.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, meatless meal, pot luck, Salad
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 10
Calories 298 kcal


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 pound kalamata olives
  • 1/2 pound black olives
  • 1/2 pound roasted red pepper or small bottle
  • 1/2 pound pepperoncini or small bottle, brined small peppers
  • 1/4 pound salami genoa
  • 1/4 pound capicola italian ham
  • 1/2 pound pepperoni (1) 8 ounce stick


  • Rinse and dry the fresh vegetables
  • Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the bottled vegetables and drain
  • Slice the pepperoni
  • Serve family style with all the ingredients mixed together in a large bowl or use al large platter, cover it with mixed greens and add the ingredients one by one to make an attractive display.

Dressing Suggestion

  • Olive oil mixed with some pepperoncini brine, olive oil and red wine vinegar mixed or in cruets, Italian dressing. It is best to use a mild light dressing to highlight the flavors of the various ingredients.


We have listed this as a 10 person recipe. That is our guestimate if you are serving your antipasto salad as a meal on its own. If it is a side dish at a gathering it will feed many more.


Calories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 13gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 1927mgPotassium: 575mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 6491IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 2mg
Keyword dinner, easy dinners, fancy salads, holiday side dish, Italian salad, lunch, pot luck dish, salad for a gathering, salads with meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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