No Italian dinner menu is complete without this easy Antipasto Salad. It takes just 15 minutes to assemble the entire pepperoni-spiked salad, even including the flavorful homemade vinaigrette!

Antipasto salad mixed in a wooden bowl.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Antipasto Salad Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for antipasto salad.

Ingredient notes

  • Red onions: Substitute sweet onions if desired. A full cup of onions may sound like a lot, but the sharp raw flavor chills out after a few minutes of marinade time in the vinaigrette.
  • Grape tomatoes: 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes may be substituted for the grape tomatoes. Seed your tomatoes if desired.
  • Black olives: Not a fan or can’t find black olives? Substitute Kalamata olives or your favorite green olives instead. I leave them whole, but feel free to cut them in half or slice them thin.
  • Mini pepperoni: If mini pepperoni is MIA in your supermarket, swap in 5 ounces (about 1 cup) of regular-sized regular or turkey pepperoni, quartered.
  • Pepperoncini: I suggest sticking to whole pepperoncini peppers; not only are they are easier to avoid for anyone who doesn’t like them, but they also pack just enough zip (the pre-sliced version tends to taste a bit different, although still delicious).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the red wine vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and oregano, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper).
Red wine vinaigrette in a clear glass bowl.
  1. To the bowl with the dressing, add the onions and let marinate for at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes. To assemble the salad, in a large bowl add lettuce, tomatoes, olives, pepperoni, and mozzarella. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove onions from the dressing and add to the salad. Drizzle with additional dressing to taste and toss to combine. Garnish with pepperoncini.
Antipasto salad ingredients in a wooden bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 8 cups of Antipasto Salad, enough for at least 8 (1-cup) servings (or 4 large lunch-sized portions of 2 cups each).
  • Storage: Once you add the dressing, leftovers won’t keep well. Aim to only pre-dress what you know you (and your crew, if you’re sharing) will eat at one sitting.
  • Make ahead: The red wine vinaigrette can be stored covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days in advance. All the vegetables can be prepped 1 day in advance. Store the washed lettuce wrapped in a damp paper towel in the refrigerator.
  • Mix up your mix-ins: Dress up your Antipasto Salad with a can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained), diced cucumber, sliced fresh mushrooms, blanched asparagus, or some toasted sunflower seeds.
  • Olive Garden Copycat: To make this chain favorite, substitute a bag of iceberg lettuce with carrots and red cabbage for the romaine, omit the pepperoni and mozzarella, add your favorite croutons, and garnish with Parmesan cheese table-side. And mix up a batch of this Italian salad dressing. It tastes just like the restaurant version; unlimited breadsticks optional, but recommended!
Antipasto salad in a white bowl.

More Italian favorites

Antipasto salad mixed in a wooden bowl.

Antipasto Salad

No Italian dinner menu is complete without this easy Antipasto Salad. It takes just 15 minutes to assemble the entire pepperoni-spiked salad; yes, even including the light yet flavorful homemade vinaigrette!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Calories 213

Ingredients 

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced (1 cup or 4 ounces, see note 1)
  • 1 heart romaine lettuce shredded (4 cups packed or 8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes halved (10 ounces, see note 2)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pitted black olives (see note 3)
  • 1 (5 ounce) package mini pepperoni (see note 4)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
  • Pepperoncini to taste, for garnish (see note 5)

Instructions 

  • To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and oregano, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper).
  • To the bowl with the dressing, add the sliced red onion and marinate at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes.
  • To make the salad, in a large bowl add lettuce, tomatoes, olives, pepperoni, and mozzarella. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove onions from the dressing and add to the salad. Drizzle with additional vinaigrette to taste and toss to combine. Garnish with pepperoncini.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Red onions: Substitute sweet onions if desired. A full cup of onions may sound like a lot, but the sharp raw flavor chills out after a few minutes of marinade time in the vinaigrette.
  2. Grape tomatoes: 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes may be substituted for the grape tomatoes. Seed your tomatoes if desired.
  3. Black olives: Not a fan or can’t find black olives? Substitute Kalamata olives or your favorite green olives instead. I leave them whole, but feel free to cut them in half or slice them thin.
  4. Mini pepperoni: If mini pepperoni is MIA in your supermarket, swap in 5 ounces (about 1 cup) of regular-sized regular or turkey pepperoni, quartered.
  5. Pepperoncini: I suggest sticking to whole pepperoncini peppers; not only are they are easier to avoid for anyone who doesn’t like them, but they also pack just enough zip (the pre-sliced version tends to taste a bit different, although still delicious).
  6. Yield: This recipe makes 8 cups of Antipasto Salad, enough for at least 8 (1-cup) servings (or 4 large lunch-sized portions of 2 cups each).
  7. Storage: Once you add the dressing, leftovers won’t keep well. Aim to only pre-dress what you know you (and your crew, if you’re sharing) will eat at one sitting.
  8. Make ahead: The red wine vinaigrette can be stored covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days in advance. All the vegetables can be prepped 1 day in advance. Store the washed lettuce wrapped in a damp paper towel in the refrigerator.
  9. Mix up your mix-ins: Dress up your Antipasto Salad with a can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained), diced cucumber, sliced fresh mushrooms, blanched asparagus, or some toasted sunflower seeds.
  10. Olive Garden Copycat: To make this chain favorite, substitute a bag of iceberg lettuce with carrots and red cabbage for the romaine, omit the pepperoni and mozzarella, add your favorite croutons, and garnish with Parmesan cheese table-side. And mix up a batch of this Italian salad dressing. It tastes just like the restaurant version; unlimited breadsticks optional, but recommended!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 7gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 189mgPotassium: 83mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 361IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 150mgIron: 1mg
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    1. Hey Paul! I just emailed it to you. Sometimes it gets lost in spam. If you don’t see it, please let me know. So sorry about that, and thanks for letting me know.

  1. So delish! Antipasto anything is my favorite! Salads, subs, wraps…YUM! And that red wine vinaigrette has got my mouth watering ;)5 stars

    1. It’s a salad that doesn’t feel like a salad! I always order these when I go out to restaurants. :D Or when I USED to go out to restaurants, pre-kids ha ha. Have a great week Patty and thanks!