If your New Year’s resolution involves eating more veggies, you’ll want to bookmark this Loaded Antipasto Salad. Rich meat, crisp veggies, and soft cheese are combined with a Homemade Italian Dressing that’s to die for. This salad is a complete meal and a great recipe to feed the entire family.
Antipasto originated in the Medieval Ages as an appetizer. If you know anything about Italian history, you’ll remember they were famous for 4-5 course dinners! The goal of antipasto was to whet diner’s appetites for the remaining courses.
Each region had its own antipasto platter based on crops, imports, etc. This delicious salad combines the best flavors of traditional antipasto in one decadent bowl. Serve it as a fun side dish or as the main course. You can’t go wrong either way!
Loaded Antipasto Salad Ingredients
This Loaded Antipasto Salad contains simple ingredients found at most grocery stores. You can spice things up by including some of our more gourmet suggestions, but here are the basic things you need.
The salad featured in the photos uses Romaine lettuce. I love this variety because it’s dark, mild, and crisp. You can use any dark greens you’d like including arugula, micro greens, spring mix, and spinach.
Iceberg lettuce is always an option but may get lost amid other potent ingredients.
A sprinkle of powdered parmesan adds excellent flavor and a little texture. If you’re not into powdered cheese, you can always substitute freshly grated parmesan.
Jarred roasted peppers.
Grocery stores are full of fabulous shortcuts now, including jarred roasted peppers. This ingredient adds smokiness to the salad and a burst of beautiful color.
Pickled red onions.
These tangy red onions are another shortcut ingredient. You could always make your own, but most stores sell a variety. Pickled onions add great zest to salads, sandwiches, and dips.
There’s no denying that mozzarella pearls make any salad cuter. These bite-sized cheese balls add richness to every bite without overpowering the other ingredients. If you prefer more cheese, you can use mozzarella slices or cubes.
This variation of salami is less spicy than others, making it pair well with other ingredients. Hard salami usually has a strong garlic flavor, one of the top ingredients in Italian food. I recommend chopping your salami, so the salad is easy to eat.
You can use prosciutto if you have a gourmet store in your area.
Pepperoni is spicier than salami, adding a significant variation of flavor. I love mini pepperonis because they’re just the right size for salads and add visual interest. Bonus: Kids love all things mini, so you know dinner will go down without a complaint.
Bright tomatoes give the salad a burst of juiciness. Cut the tomatoes in half, so they are evenly distributed throughout the Antipasto Salad.
Canned artichokes give the salad rich depth. Be sure to drain the artichokes well before adding them to the salad. You can get artichokes marinated in oil or stored in water; both are delicious.
If you want to save time, go with a store-bought vinaigrette. That being said, making your own is easy as pie. I combined olive oil, balsamic reserve, salt, pepper, garlic, and mustard until smooth. That’s it!
How to Make Loaded Antipasto Salad
This salad is ready to eat within minutes. It’s great for those nights when you need dinner on the table, pronto! This salad is incredibly refreshing in the Summer, but you can enjoy it all year round. Here’s how this delicious meal comes together.
Step One: Make the Vinaigrette
To make the vinaigrette, combine olive oil, mustard, balsamic reserve, salt, pepper, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Set aside while you assemble the rest of the salad.
Step Two: Prep the Veggies
Chop the lettuce and artichokes, halve the cherry tomatoes, and slice the hard salami. Place the lettuce, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, salami, parmesan, roasted peppers, pickled onions, mozzarella pearls, and pepperoni in a large mixing bowl.
If you’d like to make this recipe dairy-free, eliminate the parmesan, meat, and mozzarella pearls. Increase the amounts of the other ingredients accordingly.
Step Three: Finish and Serve
Drizzle all the ingredients with your homemade vinaigrette and toss to coat. If desired, let marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving. You can top this salad with croutons or eat it as is. Enjoy!
Storing Leftover Loaded Antipasto Salad
Leftover Loaded Antipasto Salad will get soggy within a day or two. If you want to salvage leftovers, serve the salad and vinaigrette separately. You can also place the salad ingredients in a mason jar and pack the vinaigrette separately in your lunch box.
The vinaigrette will last about 2 weeks when kept in a covered container. Pro tip: Syrup bottles work great for easy dispensing!
You can add leftovers to a wrap for a healthy lunch or put them in scrambled eggs.
Want More Easy Dinners?
If you like this Loaded Antipasto Salad, you’ll love the following recipes.
- Easy American Goulash. This simple goulash is one of the most comforting recipes out there. If you’re a fan of one-pot recipes, this will be your new favorite. Serve it with a side salad and bread for a complete meal.
- Easy Slow Cooker Chili. Chili is an American classic. This recipe is the basic variation; no fuss is needed. Serve it with tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheese. Midwesterners would argue that cinnamon rolls are an automatic side dish, but that’s open to interpretation.
- Burrito Bowls. These burrito bowls are a simple dinner that you can customize to fit each person’s preferences. Rice, quinoa, guacamole, cheese, salsa, and sour cream are all great serving options. If you let the kids assemble their bowls, it’s sure to be an all-around hit.
- Cauliflower Chickpea Curry. If you want an exotic meal, try this healthy curry. It features chickpeas, giving it Greek fusion. This dinner is as beautiful as it is tasty.
What’s your favorite salad? Do you consider salad a complete meal? Let us know in the comments!Print
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons mustard
¼ cup balsamic reserve or balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 clove of freshly minced garlic
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
½ cup canned artichokes, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup hard salami, chopped
2 tablespoons powdered parmesan
⅛ cup jarred roasted peppers, drained
⅛ cup pickled red onions, drained
½ cup mozzarella pearls
½ cup mini pepperoni
- In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, balsamic reserve, salt, pepper, and garlic until smooth. Set aside.
- Chop the lettuce and artichokes, halve the cherry tomatoes, and slice the hard salami.
- Place the lettuce, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, salami, parmesan, roasted peppers, pickled onions, mozzarella pearls, and pepperoni in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle all the ingredients with your homemade vinaigrette and toss to coat.
- If desired, let marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving. You can top this salad with croutons or eat it as is. Enjoy!