Re-imagine a classic antipasto tray as a flavor-packed side: Antipasto Salad. This version has tangy salami, tender mozzarella pearls, juicy tomatoes, and a quick and easy homemade dressing to pull all the tasty Italian flavors together.

Large white bowl full of  a tossed Italian antipasto salad.

Easy Antipasto Salad Recipe

You are going to love this colorful and flavorful Italian-style salad! Everyone adores a classic antipasto platter, a traditional first course of an Italian meal that typically includes cured meats, cheeses, olives, and other tasty little bites to whet the appetite.

It’s the perfect appetizer, and so it only makes sense that all those same ingredients would work together beautifully as a side dish or hearty salad you can devour straight out of the bowl.

The flavors and textures here are a perfect mix and match situation. You’ve got:

  • Crisp, crunchy romaine.
  • Hearty, tangy dry salami.
  • Creamy pearls of mozzarella cheese.
  • Juicy tomatoes, briny olives, and other add-ins to your liking.

I love making a big batch of this salad to go with our family pizza night!

You can also serve this for a simple main dish, possibly paired with a loaf of Italian bread or focaccia. It also makes a terrific and filling side salad to accompany Italian dressing chicken, grilled cheese, or your favorite soup or sandwich. There’s no wrong way to antipasto!

Ingredients & Substitutions

Labeled overhead image of Roma tomatoes, romaine hearts, chopped dry salami, mozzarella pearls, roasted red peppers, quartered artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, and a simple salad dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, and sea salt, all in prep bowls and ready to mix.

Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need, as well as possible substitutions. Full amounts are noted in the printer-friendly recipe card below.

  • Romaine lettuce. My first choice in this salad is romaine for its crunch, but green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, spring mix, or a spring mix and baby spinach combination all work well, also. I’ve yet to try it with arugula but suspect that would also be tasty, owing to its strong texture and peppery kick.
  • Salami. You can chop up a chub of dry salami for this, or simply cut or tear rounds of pre-sliced Genoa salami from the deli section. Again, there’s no wrong way. You can also leave out the salami for a vegetarian option.
  • Mozzarella. The creaminess of fresh mozzarella adds so much here. Grab the water-packed mini fresh mozzarella pearls if possible, or chop or tear a brick into bite-sized pieces.
  • Artichoke hearts. I buy these canned, then drain well but do not rinse before adding to the salad.
  • Roasted red peppers. Another high-flavor, time-saving jarred ingredient.
  • Olives. Kalamata are our all-time favorite, but use black olives, green olives, no olives, as you wish.
  • Tomatoes. Roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes are firm, juicy, and available year-round in most of the United States, making them a good option here. Of course in the summer toss in any vine-ripened favorite you have.
  • Dressing: extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, and sea salt. This is the simplest vinaigrette but adds so, so much. Lemon juice makes a good swap for the vinegar. Of course feel free to swap in your favorite bottled Italian dressing, or a more involved homemade Italian dressing with fresh Parmesan cheese and garlic if you like.

Related: Everyday Italian Salad


The beauty of most salads is their adaptability, and this is no exception.

  • Use pepperoni instead of salami for a subtle extra kick.
  • Swap the mozzarella for provolone cheese, or use Parmesan or Pecorino for an extra bit of tang.
  • Add extra vegetables. Of course feel free to add any typical salad extras you like: chopped cucumbers, red onions, sliced mushrooms, shredded carrot, pepperoncinis, raw bell peppers, other veggies, croutons, etc. They may not be traditional but they will still be tasty!
  • Leave out the salami for a meatless antipasto salad.
  • Leave out the salami and use a dairy-free mozzarella to make a vegan antipasto salad.
  • Add pasta to bulk this up for a full meal, to feed a crowd, or to contribute to a potluck. Antipasto pasta salad is always a hit.
  • Add herbs for an extra punch of flavor. Fresh basil, fresh oregano, or fresh thyme all go well.

How To Make Antipasto Salad

  1. Chop and toss together all salad ingredients: lettuce, tomato, olives, salami, cheese, peppers, artichokes.
  2. Whisk or shake together dressing in a small bowl or jar. This is the simplest dressing but has really great flavor for something so quick and easy!
  3. Pour dressing over, toss, and serve.
White bowl with lettuce, tomatoes, salami, and mozzarella added in sections.

Chop the tomatoes in any way that you like. I do find it pleasant to scrape out some of the seeds and juices so they don’t make the salad too soggy.

Close up of dressing being poured out of a small jar onto an antipasto salad.

Add dressing to taste, of course! You may prefer more or less, and can always add an extra drizzle to individual portions.

If presentation matters, it can help to reserve a few pieces of salami, olives, artichokes, and so forth to dot on the top after tossing. They do tend to sink to the bottom of the bowl.

Overhead view of a large serving bowl with antipasto salad surrounded by extra mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and salami.

Make-Ahead Tips

All the salad ingredients can be chopped or prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge, even tossed together if you like. The dressing can also be whisked together up to 1 week ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Add to the salad and toss just prior to serving.

Small bowl with a helping of Italian antipasto salad.

Related Recipes

Craving an Italian salad dressing you can make once and enjoy all week? This homemade Italian salad dressing with fresh Parmesan can’t be beat!

Interested in more always-appropriate salads? A 5-minute Parmesan arugula combination, this kale blueberry mix, a strawberry spinach salad, and apple cabbage slaw are some of our favorites that always hit the spot.

If you try this Antipasto Salad recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

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Antipasto Salad

Re-imagine a classic antipasto tray as a flavor-packed side: Antipasto Salad. This version has tangy salami, tender mozzarella pearls, juicy tomatoes, and a quick and easy homemade dressing to pull all the tasty Italian flavors together.


For the Salad:

  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce from 2-3 hearts
  • 6 ounces sliced salami or pepperoni
  • 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella pearls
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup quartered jarred or canned artichoke hearts drained, see note
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives any type, see note

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • big pinch sea salt


  • Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • In a small jar or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, and sea salt. Dip a piece of lettuce into the dressing and taste it; add more vinegar if you want the dressing tangier, more salt if you want it saltier, more herbs if you want it more flavorful, etc.
  • Pour dressing on top of salad and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!


  • Salami: Feel free to use either hard salami cut into slices then cubed, or a soft salami or pepperoni that you can cut or fold into small pieces.
  • Artichokes: I like using marinated artichoke hearts for this salad if possible, because they have more flavor with no extra work, but plain artichoke hearts from a can are good in a pinch and will take on flavor from the salad dressing you add.
  • Olives: We love Kalamata olives best, followed by green olives, then black olives. If your grocery store has an olive bar, just pick your favorites from there; otherwise, we love the jarred olives sold with oils or other condiments in most stores.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 380 kcal, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 16 g, Fat: 32 g, Saturated Fat: 10 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 52 mg, Sodium: 1401 mg, Potassium: 353 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g, Vitamin A: 4837 IU, Vitamin C: 18 mg, Calcium: 243 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!