Exploding with fresh flavors, this delicious Antipasto Salad is the perfect vegetarian side dish for any Italian meal. It’s easy to make and is filled with bright, colorful ingredients with plenty of texture. This is one of those recipes you’ll want to make on repeat!
Antipasto Salad is effortless to make with just a little chopping. It includes a satisfying mix of greens, chickpeas, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, onion, peppers, fresh herbs, and cheese; all tossed in a simple homemade Italian dressing. This healthy 30-minute salad recipe is great as a light stand-alone main dish or it can be paired with a variety of entrees from pasta to chicken and steak.
Why you should make this recipe
- Incredibly delicious: This antipasto salad recipe is loaded with vibrant colors, bright flavors, and wonderful textures, from crisp vegetables to creamy mozzarella balls and salty, sharp parmesan cheese. So good!
- It’s healthy: This dish is filled with nutrient-rich veggies! It also has plenty of healthy fats from the cheese and dressing to fill you up. The chickpeas provide plant-based protein and for even more protein, you could add grilled chicken or salmon on top. Make it vegan by omitting the cheese. It’s also naturally gluten-free.
- Simple to make: You’ll just need to stir the dressing ingredients, do a little chopping, and then toss everything to throw this together. It can be on the dinner table at a moment’s notice!
Like most salad recipes, this antipasto salad can easily be customized with your favorite ingredients and what you have available. Here’s a note on the ingredients in the recipe, but feel free to get creative and make this salad your own.
- Arugula: We love the peppery, spicy, slightly nutty flavor of arugula in this, but you can use a large head of romaine lettuce or another preferred salad green.
- Fresh basil: Adds a nice herby flavor. You could sub with fresh flat-leaf parsley for a different taste.
- Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, boasts an impressive nutritional profile and add texture and plant-based protein to the recipe.
- Tomatoes: You can use plum, cherry, or grape tomatoes for juicy bursts in every bite.
- Artichoke hearts: Use canned artichokes in water NOT the marinated variety.
- Black olives: We like sliced black olives, but Kalamata olives would also be delicious.
- Red onion: Adds color and a zippy flavor.
- Roasted red peppers: Sweet, tender, and full of flavor.
- Cheese: A combination of mozzarella balls and shaved parmesan cheese is the perfect finishing touch!
- Italian dressing: The vinaigrette is a simple mix of extra-virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, grated garlic, kosher salt & black pepper.
How to make this recipe
There’s nothing too difficult about tossing this antipasto salad together! The only thing that takes a bit of time is cutting up all the vegetables. Here’s the simple process:
- Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients. Stir in the chickpeas.
- Add the salad ingredients: Top with all the remaining ingredients, and nicely arrange them over the top, so you can see a bit of each.
- Serve: Before serving, toss the salad to combine. Enjoy!
- Fresh parmesan cheese: For the best flavor and texture, use freshly shaved parmesan cheese, NOT the stuff in the green can.
- Dressing shortcut: We love this salad tossed with our simple Italian vinaigrette, however, to save time use store-bought Italian dressing or another favorite dressing.
- Change it up: Feel free to swap or add to these ingredients with other Italian-style ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, banana peppers, pepperoncini peppers, prosciutto, salami, croutons, and/or pine nuts.
Frequently asked questions
Authentic Antipasto platters are often served as the first course of an Italian meal. They typically include cured meats, veggies, olives, peppers, and more. This is not an authentic recipe, as it calls for chickpeas instead of cured or pickled meats. If you’d like to make a more traditional antipasto salad, feel free to add salami or pepperoni.
In Italy, antipasto is the singular term, meaning a single appetizer, like a piece of cheese or bread, while antipasti are plural and refer to refers to multiple foods, like a platter with different kinds of antipasti.
Charcuterie boards are more about the meat varieties, whereas antipasti include different types of ingredients, like vegetables and cheese.
In need of some tasty entrees to serve this with? Here are some great pairing options:
- Garlic Butter Chicken Skillet
- Creamy Pesto Salmon
- Lemon Pasta
- Spaghetti Casserole
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Protein you can add over this salad
- Grilled Italian Chicken Breast
- Almond Crusted Chicken Breast
- Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Parmesan Oven-roasted Chicken
- Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Breast
Like most salad recipes, once the salad and dressing have combined, this won’t store well for any length of time. The dressing will quickly start to make the lettuce and wilt. Only dress what you plan on eating and store the salad and dressing separately in airtight containers for longer storage. Both will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
More salad recipes
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Zesty Shrimp Avocado Salad
- Avocado Chickpea Tuna Salad
- Green Beans and Tomato Salad
- Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken Arugula Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Summer Corn Salad
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Easy Antipasto Salad
- 4 cups packed arugula
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves picked
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 cup plum tomatoes halved
- 1 cup canned artichoke hearts drained and roughly chopped
- 1 cup pitted olives halved
- 1 small red onion sliced
- 6 oz roasted peppers drained and chopped
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella balls
- 4 oz shaved parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 garlic clove grated
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients. Stir in the chickpeas.
- Top with all the remaining ingredients, and nicely arrange them over the top, so you can see a bit of each.
- Before serving, toss the salad to combine.