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Italian Antipasto Chopped Salad is loaded full of the delicious cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Then it’s all tossed in a tangy dressing to lock in all the flavors. Yum!
My Italian half does the happy dance whenever I make this Italian Antipasto Chopped Salad. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures that will have you loving every bite. Plus, it goes so well with so many dishes from pasta to pizza. We like to enjoy the antipasto with American Flatbread Pizza.
Growing up, I was surrounded by great home-cooks when growing up. Italian home-cooks. I had the great privilege of having a big Italian family on my father’s side. The gatherings were usually held in a basement or garage- God forbid you sit on the good furniture. Evidently, the good furniture was always covered in plastic. And they always involved a lot of food and someone pinching my cheeks. The “aunt’s” and “nanny’s” were round, had set hair, and typically had mustaches that would prickle you when giving hugs.
At times they were overwhelming, mainly because I have a horrible memory for people’s names. So, I usually struggled, trying to figure out with ‘aunt’ I was talking to. But, it still was the best! Big platters of food filled the tables. Courses were to be had! Be sure you save room for dessert.
Now, my immediate family is much smaller, but that doesn’t stop me from cooking giant quantities of food. I love to make giant vats of pasta sauce, big batches of cookies, and large cheeseboards for every sort of gathering. Besides, that, a salad also is a great option when I am invited over someone’s house.
Italian Antipasto Chopped Salad
This Italian Antipasto Chopped Salad is great for a family dinner or for a big gathering. It scales up easily. And people will love you for bringing it. Of course, I love the traditional antipasto that I grew up with. Its layers of meats, various hard cheeses, and pickled vegetables that were all dressed in a tangy dressing brings me back to our family gatherings. It was a great way to kick off the meal. Now, I’ve put my own spin on it, to make a chopped salad. It changes it’s traditional preparation, but all of the flavors you love are still there. Plus, I’ve added a few more things to it, such as chickpeas, to amp up the flavors and textures.
Besides the fact that I just love how delicious this salad is, I love that it is so simple. There is very little work involved in making it. I’m all for big flavors without doing much work.
The majority of the work is in quickly chopping the ingredients, like the lettuce, cucumber, red onion, and mozzarella cheese. Shoot, you can even skip cutting up the mozzarella if you get those itty bitty mozzarella balls, like I did.
At least, the rest of it is just opening up some cans and containers, then combining it all together and dressing it with some extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Once you take a bite, you’ll love this salad. The combination of flavors certainly wakes up your taste buds. From the salty meats, spicy peppers, zesty onion, the creamy cheese, and vinegary dressing… you’ll have perfect bite.
You’ll have to be careful so that you don’t get too full on salad and end up skipping your entree.
Salad and Pizza for Dinner
I really enjoy pairing our Italian Antipasto Chopped Salad with pizza. The salad is a fresh way to kick off a delicious pizza dinner. The vinegary tang from the dressing contrasts so well with the richness of the pizza. We pick up our American Flatbread pizzas at our neighborhood Publix.
We’ve become hooked on their pizzas because the flavor are so good. Plus, we appreciate how it’s made with delicious organic ingredients. The crust is made from only organically-grown wheat. The sauce is made of organic ingredients like carrots, celery, onions, red wine, and olive oil.
The Tomato Sauce & Three Cheese is our go to because the kids love cheese pizza. Basically, you can’t go wrong with the combination of mozzarella, Padano, and Parmesan cheeses. Truly delish!
TheUncured Pepperoni & Uncured Bacon flatbread pizza is topped with uncured bacon and uncured pepperoni. Not stopping there, there is a 2 cheese blend of mozzarella cheese and white cheddar cheese.
Now, my favorite is the Revolution flatbread pizza. I really love the all the fresh mushrooms, and onions, and fresh herbs that are generously sprinkled over the Asiago cheese pizza.
Besides the awesome flavors and it’s affordability, I really like that it only takes a few minutes in the oven. The pizza cooks in just 6 minutes because the flatbread crust is so thin. That certainly helps my family when everyone is so hungry for dinner. Be sure to get American Flatbread Pizza during your next Publix shopping trip. Locate a store near you HERE.
Where is Antipasto Salad from?
Antipasto Salad is of Italian origin. It goes all the way back to medieval Italy.
Why is it called Antipasto Salad?
Antipasto basically translates to ‘before the meal’. The name has Latin origins from ‘ante’– for before and ‘pastus’ – for food.
What is in Antipasto Salad?
The basic ingredients of an antipasto salad are cured meats, cheeses, olives, artichokes hearts, anchovies, and pickled vegetables. That is all dressed in an oil and vinegar dressing. Antipastos will have distinct regional tastes as differing climates, traditions and customs will impact the salad. The meats, cheeses, and fish will vary depending on where you are in Italy.
How to store this Italian Antipasto Chopped Salad?
You can easily meal prep this by making a very large batch. Plus, the flavors get better on day two. But, you don’t want to prepare it all in advance, otherwise the dressing will make the lettuce soggy. I suggest preparing the ingredients, then storing them in separate containers. As well, hold off on dressing it until you ready to enjoy it. Otherwise, that will make the lettuce soggy. Alternatively, you layer the salad in a large mason jar. The toppings are combined with the dressing, then added to the jar. Lastly, the lettuce is added so it stays fresh on top of the other ingredients.
More Delicious Italian Recipes
For the Salad
- 1 1/2 heads romaine lettuce, very finely chopped
- 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 14 ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained
- 1 small red onion, very finely sliced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 English cucumber, finely chopped
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
- 4-6 ounces Genoa salami, chopped
- 4-6 ounces pepperoni, chopped
- 1/3 Cup sliced roasted red peppers
- 1/2 Cup ounces olives
- 1/2 Cup cherry peppers/pepper drops (sweet pickled peppers)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
- Arrange a bed to romaine in a large serving bowl.
- In sections. arrange the rest of the ingredients on top of the lettuce, with the cheese in the center.
- When serving, drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the salad.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1381Total Fat: 109gSaturated Fat: 40gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 60gCholesterol: 229mgSodium: 4805mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 14gSugar: 11gProtein: 65g