My version of a classic Italian Antipasto Salad! Plenty of pepperoni and cheese on a bed of crunchy vegetables topped with a homemade red wine vinaigrette.

Antipasto Salads kind of feel like anti-salads to me.

In a good way! In the best way possible, actually.

While they contain loads of vegetables, they typically have a few “fun” ingredients such as pepperoni and cheese that make them SO much better than any other salad.

Italian Antipasto Salad ingredients in a clear bowl.

Pin Now To Save!PIN IT

Because not nearly enough salads have olives these days. And somehow there are as many as, or more, toppings than lettuce in an Antipasto Salad. And who doesn’t love toppings?!

I started with a bed with green leaf lettuce and added mini pepperonis (mini pepperonis are available in my part of the world, so I try to use them whenever possible out of deference to those less fortunate… hi Australia!).

Italian Antipasto Salad in a clear bowl.

I also LOVE black olives (or any olive) and lots of thickly-shredded mozzarella cheese. Juicy tomatoes and thinly sliced onions tie up any loose ends. After all, to qualify as a “salad” I’m aiming for 50% vegetable matter.

Let’s not forget a few obligatory pepperoncini, too.

The simplest red wine vinaigrette make a perfect dressing. Just 5 ordinary pantry ingredients whisked together and you’re set to go! A good red wine vinaigrette doesn’t need anything else.

Italian Antipasto Salad in a clear bowl with some being scooped out.

Italian Antipasto Salad ingredients in a clear bowl. o Salad! Plenty of pepperoni and cheese on a bed of crunchy vegetables topped with a homemade red wine vinaigrette.

Antipasto Salad

My version of a classic Italian Antipasto Salad! Plenty of pepperoni and cheese on a bed of crunchy vegetables topped with a homemade red wine vinaigrette.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 8 servings
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.

Notes

  1. Red onions: Substitute sweet onions if desired. 1 cup of onions may sound like a lot, but you temper the harsh raw flavor 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: Substitute Kalamata olives or your favorite green olives if desired. I prefer to leave them whole, but you can cut them in half or slice them.
  4. Mini pepperoni: 5 ounces (about 1 cup) regular-sized pepperoni, quartered, may be substituted for the mini pepperoni. Or, use turkey pepperoni.
  5. Pepperonicini: I prefer whole pepperoncini peppers because they are easier to avoid for anyone who doesn't like them. And, the pre-sliced variety have a different (but still delicious) taste.
  6. Yield: This recipe makes 8-9 cups salad, enough for at least 8 servings at a party or 4 generous lunch servings.
  7. Storage: Once you add the dressing, leftovers won't keep well.
  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. More mix-ins: Get creative with a can of chickpeas, 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 real thing!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 7gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 189mgPotassium: 83mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 361IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 150mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!
Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

    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!