This Italian Antipasto Platter is the perfect appetizer. Grab a large plate or board, and load up with your favorite Italian meats, cheeses, and accompaniments. It's perfect for a dinner party during the holiday season or any time of year!
There are few things we love more than a well-thought-out grazing platter. Fill it up with Italian meats, cheeses, and accompaniments, and you're in for a real treat! We're sharing our tips and tricks for the best platter.
You may also like this fall charcuterie board or these steak appetizers with sweet potato and blue cheese!
🍅What is antipasti?
Antipasto or antipasti is the traditional first course of an Italian meal. The word antipasto (antipasti is plural for antipasto) translates to "before the meal", referring to before a formal Italian meal.
Generally, it's served as a large platter similar to a charcuterie board full of Italian appetizers, meats, marinated veggies, olives, cheeses, bread, and crackers.
❤️Why we love this platter
- The easiest way to feed a large crowd - With a variety of options on this platter, you have something for everyone! Add your favorite ingredients and the favorites of your guests, there's something for everyone, and it's a great way to fill up hungry guests for a cocktail party or gathering.
- Easy to source ingredients - Raid your pantry before shopping at your local grocery store, because although you can find everything you need there, you probably already have a lot of ingredients on hand!
- Make ahead - You can prep the platter a day in advance, cover it, and store it in the fridge to save time on the day you're hosting guests.
- Customizable - There's no real rules to this platter, simply add what you love and have fun with it! We'll share our top tips for making the perfect antipasto platter.
Here are the ingredients we used for this platter. You can find more information for substitutions below.
- Cured meats - Use a variety of meats. Cured Italian pork meats are the most common. We used a mixture of 3 different types of salami, plus lots of prosciutto, and capocollo.
- Cheeses - A variety of Italian cheeses. We opted for a couple of soft cheeses, including these marinated mozzarella balls, some whipped ricotta, and some provolone cheese. Parmesan, asiago, pecorino, or Romano cheeses also work really well here as hard cheeses. Use a variety of cheeses, at least 3, for a well-rounded platter.
- Marinated artichoke hearts
- Breads and crackers - We served this platter with crispy bread sticks, a fresh French baguette, focaccia and crostini.
- Roasted red peppers
- Tomatoes - Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. We do recommend using fresh tomatoes for a fresh element, as most other veggies on the platter are marinated or pickled.
- Pepperoncini peppers
- Honey - For something sweet to add to salty bites.
- Olives - Use a variety of olives like green olives, Italian olives like Castelvetrano olives, or Greek olives like Kalamata olives.
- Garnish with fresh herbs - We love adding fresh basil and oregano to the board. Not only does it fill out empty spaces on the board with bright pops of green, but these herbs accompany all the ingredients really well.
Visit the recipe card for the full quantities and nutritional information.
✨Substitutions & variations
Here's a few suggestions on additional flavors to try, or simple variations to this sauce.
- Add fresh fruits like fresh figs, grapes, orange slices, and other seasonal delights that pair well with Italian meats and cheeses.
- Add more veggies, it's never a bad idea! Crispy cucumbers, green or red bell peppers, sweet cherry peppers, peppadew peppers, marinated garlic cloves, sun-dried tomatoes, and marinated mushrooms are all great choices! You may also love these confit cherry tomatoes.
- Add more meats like deli slices of roast turkey, chicken, or roast beef for more options. Pepperoni, crispy prosciutto or pancetta would also be great.
- Add dipping sauces like walnut pesto for a yummy addition that pairs perfectly with all the flavors.
- Put any wet ingredients into small containers. For example, we placed olives, marinated mozzarella, whipped ricotta, honey, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and pepperoncini peppers in small bowls to keep the board tidy.
- Make crostinis. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Add slices of bread to a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until crispy and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through until the bread is golden brown and crispy.
Add ramekins to the board with any wet ingredients. (Image 1)
Arrange meats around the ramekins. (Image 2)
Add crackers, bread, and crostinis. (Image 3)
Add remaining ingredients, including cheese and tomatoes. (Image 4)
Add finishing touches, including herbs to garnish the board. Serve with Italian wines. Enjoy!
✨Tips & tricks
- Make it beautiful. We eat with our eyes first, antipasto platters should be just as pretty as they are delicious! Arrange things in an artful way for a stunning presentation.
- Use a variety of items. The more the merrier, and the more likely everyone will find something they love.
- Slice meat thin. Or buy it pre-sliced for easy prep!
- Prep in advance. You can arrange your platter, and keep it on a large fridge safe platter in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours in advance.
- Allow items to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before digging in. Right out of the fridge everything will be a little cold, so if the items sit for a few minutes at room temperature, it makes for a more pleasant experience.
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💭Frequently Asked Questions
Store leftovers with like items (for example, meats with other meats, cheeses together, olives together, etc.) in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You should include around 8-10 ounces of meat, cheese, veggies, and accompaniments per person, plus lots of bread and crackers.
To prepare the platter in advance, simply arrange items on a fridge safe platter, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours in advance.
More Recipes To Consider
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Italian Antipasto Platter
- large wooden board
- serving spoons
- 16 ounces salami
- 12 ounces prosciutto
- 6 ounces capicola
- cherry tomatoes
- roasted red peppers
- artichoke hearts
- pepperoncini peppers
- 1 French baguette
- 1 loaf focaccia
- crispy breadsticks
- Add ramekins with items that are wet to the board. Arrange meats and cheeses around them.
- Add bread, crackers, crostini, and tomatoes. Garnish with herbs and serve!
- This board can be made one day in advance and stored in the fridge with plastic wrap. Leftovers will keep in the fridge, covered for 2-3 days. Store like items together, for example, cheese in one container, meat in one container, and fruit in another. Do not freeze leftovers.
- Serve 8-10 ounces of meat, cheese, olives, and accompaniments per person. Make sure to include bread in addition to that figure.
- We're unable to provide nutrition facts for this recipe as it is impossible to know how much of everything will be eaten and enjoyed.
- Our suggestions are merely a guide. Please use your favorite meats, cheeses, and accompaniments.
- Try to 3-5 varieties of each item on the board if possible.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.