This colorful Healthy Antipasto Salad Recipe is super easy to make and sure to keep you full for hours. It’s made with Italian meats, Provolone cheese, and veggies tossed in a vinaigrette dressing – it’s truly amazing. And best of all – this is my healthy version.
You can serve this Italian antipasto salad recipe as its own meal, or pair it with another Italian main course such as pasta or lasagna. Any way you serve it, this healthy antipasto salad will be a hit with everyone!
What is antipasto?
In a traditional Italian meal, antipasto is often served as the first course.
Antipasto can be served in many ways, but it is often just a platter of ingredients such as olives, cured meats, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, cheese and vegetables in oil or vinegar.
Small bites of ingredients such as marinated shrimp, anchovies, or smoked salmon, are also fun to include. I also like to add nuts to my antipasti for crunch.
There are probably as many varieties of antipasto as their are Italians! See my tips for the best antipasto platter here.
What’s in an antipasto salad?
For today’s recipe, we get to enjoy antipasti in the form of a salad. And seriously folks, this is the best Antipasto salad recipe! My husband loves cured meats and hates “diet food” and he wolfed down this salad!
For this pleasing lunchtime recipe, we will turn the antipasto platter ingredients into a great big salad by adding leafy greens and other vegetables.
This traditional antipasto course becomes a read crowd pleaser in this recipe because it is so easy to eat!
Healthy Antipasto Salad ingredients:
This salad is chock full of good-for-you ingredients that will also keep you full for hours. One of the beautiful parts of this salad is the huge mix of colorful ingredients.
You will need:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Iceberg lettuce
- Grape tomatoes
- Red onion
- Pitted Olives
- Garbanzo Beans
- Giardiniera (bottled or make your own Giardiniera)
- Salami or other Cured meat of your choice
- Turkey Pepperoni
- Provolone Cheese
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the slimmed down antipasto salad dressing
Liquid from the pickled vegetables, red wine vinegar, lemon juice garlic, fresh oregano, crushed garlic, oregano and salt and pepper get whisked together to make the home made red wine vinaigrette dressing for the healthy antipasto salad.
The dressing is ready in just minutes and tastes so much better than a bottled dressing. And it has NO OIL, other than a little bit from the pickling of the roasted red peppers.
Let’s make this Slimmed Down Antipasto Salad!
The salad couldn’t be easier to make. Just combine the salad ingredients in a bowl. Look at those colors and ingredients!
They fill a huge bowl and that means that everyone gets a big salad serving.
Toss everything together to make sure the ingredients are incorporated throughout the bowl.
Then pour over the light vinaigrette dressing and combine well. That’s all there is to this salad!
The taste is amazing. It’s rich and vibrant with a great crunch and texture and a tangy delicious coating. Each bite gives you a bit of cured meat, cheese, vegetables and great Italian flavor. It’s a keeper!
This easy antipasto salad recipe seems to always steal the show at any gatherings. The reason? – It’s absolutely delicious and so full of vibrant colors. Even kids love to nibble on it!
If you love the flavors of this salad, you’ll also love my Mediterranean chicken salad. It has big bold flavors, too.
How do you get bold flavors in an healthy antipasto salad recipe?
One of the keys to the flavor of this light antipasto salad recipe is the delicious blend of pickled vegetables of some sort. They are colorful, vibrant and so full of color.
Also, they are very low in calories! And kalamata olives are full of flavor and full of healthy fats without breaking the calorie bank as long as you don’t go heavy on them.
A healthy salad that’s chock full of protein
It is a fact that protein keeps you full and is beneficial to weight loss. This salad is chock full of protein in lots of ways.
Garbanzo beans are very protein rich and the cured meats are also a great protein source. They also help to keep you full.
One of the really good things about cured meats is that they are very rich in flavor, so you don’t need a lot to get a great taste in the salad.
Provolone cheese is considered a high protein cheese and I love the flavor, so I chose this cheese. Romano, Gouda and Gruyere are also good choices for protein.
Let’s take a bite of antipasti – salad style!
This flavorful and healthier antipasto salad recipe is perfect for all occasions. You can serve it as the first course at dinner parties and it’s perfect for a pot luck.
Any barbecue will be enhanced with the addition of this delicious Italian antipasto salad. The list goes on an on.
Antipasto Salad Nutrition
This healthy Italian antipasto salad is naturally gluten free. The salad serves 8 and works out to 239 calories per serving. It is low in sugar and has a whopping 15 grams of protein.
Keeping this Antipasto Salad Recipe Healthy
One of the best ways to keep this salad healthy is to use lots of vegetables. Artichoke hearts, giardiniera, roasted red peppers and pepperoncini are super nutritious for a low calorie count.
Because cured meats are also high in saturated fat, choosing the right ones is essential or you will blow out your calorie bank.
To keep this salad more healthy, I chose turkey pepperoni as one of the meats. The other cured meats in this salad are uncured capocollo and sopressata dry sausage. Each has just 90 calories a serving and I kept the amounts on the lower side.
To save even more on calories, you can substitute the normal cured meat for a turkey variety such as turkey salami.
Cheese is also high in calories and portion control is the key for me. I chose the thin sliced version to keep my cheese level in the salad low to make it more healthy.
When it is cut into pieces, the thin slices make the cheese go further. (sort of like using mini chocolate chips in oatmeal muffins.)
Salad dressings are the main source of calories in most salads. To keep the dressing lighter, I used the liquid from the jars of red pepper and giardiniera in place of olive oil.
Using these tips will keep the salad in a healthy diet plan but still deliver loads of flavor. I’ve also included a few other ways to keep the calorie count low in the variations below.
Variations on the Slimmed down Antipasto Salad Recipe
Making a healthy antipasto salad recipe at home allows you to control the ingredients and make the salad a bit more to your individual tastes that a store bought one might be. This salad is very easy to adapt to your family’s preferences.
- I used capicola and sopressato but you can swap it out for Genoa salami, or prosciutto. Any cured meat will do.
- Swap out the Provolone for feta cheese or shredded mozzarella.
- To make it vegetarian, leave out the meat all together and double the amount of veggies, olives and cheese.
- For more protein, add some kidney beans
- For Paleo and Whole30, omit the cheese and beans and add more fresh vegetables.
- For Keto – omit the beans and add more cheese and salami.
Pin this healthy antipasto salad recipe for later
Would you like a reminder of this Italian antipasto salad recipe? Just pin this image to one of your cooking boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
For the Salad
- 1/2 head Romaine lettuce, shredded
- 1/2 head Iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup pitted olives, sliced
- 4 ounces of salami or other cured meat (I used 2 ounces of capocollo and 2 ounces of dry sopressata), sliced
- 4 ounces of Turkey pepperoni, sliced
- 1 cup of garbanzo beans, rinsed
- 1/2 cup of Giardiniera
- 1/2 cup of pepperoncini
- 4 ounces of Provolone cheese
- 3 to 4 roasted baby red peppers
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Dash of Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp Fresh oregano
For the Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1/2 cup of the liquid from the giardiniera and peppers jar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk together the liquid from the vegetables with the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic and oregano.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Toss with the vinaigrette dressing (a bit at a time) so that the greens and other ingredients are well coated.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Note: This makes quite a lot of dressing and can be refrigerated for later. Just add the dressing gradually until you have the taste you are looking for.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 944mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g
Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.