This antipasto platter is a combination of Italian meats, cheeses, vegetables and breads, all arranged to create a fabulous appetizer display. The perfect showpiece for any gathering, and it takes just minutes to put together!
When I’m entertaining, I like to put out a variety of snack options including mini pizzas, little smokies and this impressive looking antipasto tray. The best part about this platter is that it feeds a large crowd and can be customized to your tastes!
What is antipasto?
Antipasto is traditionally thought of as the first course of an Italian meal, and contains an assortment of cold items such as cured meats, cheeses, olives and vegetables. The contents of an antipasto offering can vary depending on what region of Italy you’re in. This dish is typically served as a family style platter rather than a passed appetizer.
How do you make an antipasto platter?
Start by collecting your favorite varieties of cured meats, Italian cheese, marinated beans, pickled or roasted vegetables and olives. Arrange the items on a large platter. You can add bowls of dips and spreads such as bruschetta or olive tapenade. Finally, add an assortment of bread options such as breadsticks or sliced focaccia. Garnish with fresh herbs, then serve and enjoy.
Antipasto Platter ingredients
There’s no wrong way to make an antipasto platter, here are some great options to get you started!
- Meats: Offer a selection of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, coppa, capicola and sopressata. You can also use prosciutto and mozzarella cheese rolls for a unique touch.
- Cheese: Some great cheese options include fresh mozzarella balls, gorgonzola, parmigiano reggiano, asiago or fontina. I like to marinate my mozzarella balls in olive oil, fresh herbs and red pepper flakes for extra flavor.
- Vegetables: I like to use an assortment of fresh, roasted and pickled veggies. Some of my favorites include roasted red bell peppers, grilled eggplant, pepperoncini, cherry peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, grilled or marinated mushrooms, roasted tomatoes pickled garlic cloves and crudites such as cucumber, cherry tomatoes and carrots. I also like to add a bowl of marinated beans if I can find them in the deli section.
- Olives: I visit my grocery store’s olive bar and purchase an assortment of black and green olives.
- Bread: You can include fresh bread options such as baguette or ciabatta slices, hard breadsticks, crostini or flatbread.
- Extras: Mix things up with some unexpected additions like almonds, figs or fresh berries.
Is charcuterie the same as antipasto?
Charcuterie is similar to antipasto in that both items contain cured meats. That being said, antipasto platters typically stay within the realm of Italian ingredients, whereas charcuterie may include ingredients from other regions of the world. Charcuterie boards traditionally consist primarily of meat and cheese, where the Italian antipasto also contains a lot of veggies.
Make ahead directions
The great thing about this platter is that you can assemble it in advance, tightly cover and chill, then take it out of the refrigerator right before your guests arrive. I recommend assembling your platter no more than 8 hours in advance. You can add everything to the platter except the bread, as it is more likely to become stale in the fridge. Remove your platter from the fridge about 20 minutes before you plan to serve it to take the chill off.
This is a no-cook appetizer that is SO easy and fun. It’s a beautiful addition to any gathering, and happens to taste just as good as it looks!
More amazing appetizer options
Antipasto Platter Video
- 1 1/2 pounds assorted cured meats such as salami, prosciutto, pepperoni and coppa
- 1 pound cheese sliced or cubed, such as provolone or asiago
- 1 cup small mozzarella balls bocconcini, plain or marinated in olive oil and herbs
- 1 cup olives
- 2 cups grilled and/or pickled vegetables such as pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, marinated beans
- 1 cup raw vegetables cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumber
- 2-3 cups assorted breads focaccia, breadsticks, crostini
- fresh herbs for garnish
- sauces such as bruschetta or olive tapenade optional
- Arrange all the ingredients on a large platter. If using the sauces, place them in small bowls. Garnish with fresh herbs, then serve.
- If you want to make this dish ahead of time, assemble everything on the platter except the bread products and fresh herbs. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, uncover, and add bread and herbs. Let stand for 20 minutes, then serve.