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Antipasto salad mixed in a wooden bowl.
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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!
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Calories 213kcal

Ingredients

For the dressing:

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)
  • whole pepperoncini peppers 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 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 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.

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 1/2 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: 1cup | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 1mg