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Chopped Antipasto Salad

If I had to pick my top five salads, this is one of them. The Chopped Antipasto Salad is salty, creamy, crunchy, and filled with delicious textures and colors. It’s enveloped in a simple, naturally sweet balsamic dressing that perfectly balances the flavors. Serve this salad as a main dish and is also equally suitable for a starter. But you can bet that I eat this every time I make an Antipasto platter. I use up whatever is left over and left in the fridge, and it’s divine!

top view of chopped antipasto salad in blue platter with breadsticks

In Los Angeles, the birthplace of the chopped salad, so many restaurants serve variations of chopped salads. My favorites are any type of  Asian chopped salad, any variation of an Italian chopped salad, Southwestern-style chopped salads, and anything with kale in it. The chopped salad is part of the DNA of the L.A. dining scene, like a delicious breakfast burrito or a good L.A. street-style hot dog.

What is an Antipasto Salad?

This chopped salad is unique in that it combines the freshness of chopped romaine with a variety of bite-size antipasti. I use three different kinds of cured meats, two kinds of cheeses, and a huge variety of roasted and pickled vegetables. I also add some fresh tomatoes and sometimes my Marinated balsamic onions if I have them handy. It’s a bowl full of the favorite flavors of an Antipasto platter, made even more delicious with the addition of some fresh ingredients. 

Three main ingredients make an Antipasto Salad unique: marinated or pickled vegetables, a selection of meats, and cheeses. The antipasti-to-lettuce ratio is about 70/30. I used a small head of romaine and a lot of veggies, meat, and cheese in my salad. That in itself sets this crave-worthy salad apart from typical salads.

What’s in a Chopped Antipasto Salad? 

Let’s dig into the ingredients! This Chopped Antipasto Salad features the following ingredients. Still, the sky is the limit, as you can mix and match ingredients to your liking. With simple swaps, this salad can easily be vegetarian or vegan. There are no exact measurements for this salad. But typically the ingredients fall into 1/2-1 cup each. You can adjust as you go.

Chop the salad ingredients into smaller, similar-sized pieces. Cut the fresh romaine lettuce into pieces that are easy to handle with a fork. Chop the rest of the ingredients into more uniform sizes to ensure that each forkful has a little bit of everything. 

close up of chopped antipasto salad

My version features:

  • Marinated mozzarella balls, the small Ciligiene size
  • Calabrese salami
  • Capocollo
  • Prosciutto
  • Red cherry peppers 
  • Grilled, marinated artichokes 
  • Olives 
  • Italian giardiniera 
  • Roasted red peppers, cut into strips 
  • Pan Roasted mushrooms (quick recipe below) or marinated jarred mushrooms
  • Balsamic grilled vegetables or use frozen or from the deli section of the grocery store* (see note below)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Parmesan cheese

NOTE: Many grocery stores carry Mediterranean vegetable blends in the frozen food aisle. Target carries an eggplant, zucchini and red pepper mix as does BJ’s.

Pan Roasted Mushrooms

Saute 8 ounces of cleaned mushrooms with one clove of sliced garlic. Add oil to a pan, add mushrooms and sauté. Second, add 1/4 cup of dry white wine or water and cook until wine or water evaporates. Add extra virgin olive oil as needed. Pan roast for about 10 more minutes until tender. Remove from heat. Serve these pan-roasted mushrooms warm or at room temperature.

How to prepare the ingredients

If you are grilling the Balsamic vegetables and preparing the pan roasted Mushrooms (recipe above). Start with the vegetables first.

The key feature of a chopped salad is the size of the chop. I usually chop my ingredients to about 1 inch in size. I slice meats, cheeses, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and romaine thinly.

  • The meats and cheeses can be rolled up and then sliced to create “ribbons” of meats and cheeses.
  • Mozzarella balls do not have to be sliced, but if you use larger-sized fresh Mozzarella, tear it into smaller bite-sized pieces.
  • The cherry peppers, artichokes, and giardiniera can be chopped lengthwise.
  • Mushrooms should be quartered, and balsamic grilled vegetables should be cubed.
  • Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes should be halved.
  • Romaine lettuce leaves should be washed, dried, and sliced thin.
  • Fresh basil can be rolled into a cylindrical shape and sliced into ribbons or chiffonade.
  • Parmesan cheese should be freshly shredded. I suggest using a fine shred for the Parmesan cheese.

Once all the ingredients are prepared, add them to a large bowl. Chopped Antipasto Salad has many flavors and textures, and it is perfectly balanced with a simple Balsamic dressing. It is made with only five ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

Simple dressing for Antipasto Salad

As mentioned, an epic salad like this only needs a simple dressing to marry all the flavors. This one is super easy and you likely have all the ingredients in your pantry.

  • Good Balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup
  • Good extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup
  • Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons
  • Pinch of dried, Italian herbs
  • Minced garlic, 1 small clove
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, add the vinegar, mustard, dried herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Use a small whisk to thoroughly combine the Dijon mustard with the vinegar. Finally, slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Adjust seasoning as needed.

This is just enough to dress the salad and bring all the flavors together. Add half of the Balsamic dressing to the bowl with the chopped salad ingredients. Toss gently and adjust the dressing as needed.

How to test salad dressing for seasoning

You’ve made salad dressing, now how to test for salt or seasonings? The best way to test salad dressing is to dip a piece of lettuce into it and taste it. After all, a great way to get the full effect of the flavor of the dressing is on the actual vegetable that you are dressing. If you taste it right out of the bowl or jar, besides the pucker of the flavor being so concentrated, you don’t get a true sense of where you might need to adjust for optimum flavor.

Serving ideas for this Chopped Antipasto Salad

This is the perfect salad for simple grilled chicken or steak like a mouthwatering Grilled Tri-Tip or for pizza or pasta night. It’s so good friends! Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe? Make sure to mention us or tag us on Instagram or Pin this recipe for later.  All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com

chopped antipasto salad on blue platter

Chopped Antipasto Salad

Ana P @ Claudia’s Table
May 1, 2024
The Chopped Antipasto Salad is salty, creamy, crunchy, and filled with textures and color. It's enveloped with a simple, naturally sweet balsamic dressing that perfectly balances the flavors.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Assembly 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 567 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large platter or bowl

Ingredients
  

Chopped Antipasto Salad

  • 1/2 cup Marinated mozzarella balls the small Ciligiene size
  • 1/2 cup Calabrese salami sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup Capocollo sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup Prosciutto sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup Red cherry peppers sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichokes grilled
  • 1/2 cup Olives, Italian whole, pitted
  • 1/2 cup Italian giardiniera chopped
  • 1/2 cup Roasted red peppers cut into strips
  • 1 cup Pan Roasted mushrooms (recipe below) quartered or marinated mushrooms
  • 1 cup Balsamic grilled vegetables cubed
  • 1 small head Romaine lettuce washed, dried and sliced thin
  • 1 cup Cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup Fresh basil sliced thin or torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly shredded

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup Good Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Good extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Pinch Italian herbs of dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Chopped Antipasto Salad

  • Chop ingredients to about 1 inch in size.
  • Slice meats, cheeses, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and romaine thinly.
  • The meats and cheeses can be rolled up and then sliced to create “ribbons” of meats and cheeses.
  • The cherry peppers, artichokes, and giardiniera can be chopped lengthwise.
  • Mushrooms should be quartered, and balsamic grilled vegetables should be cubed. (pan-roasted mushroom recipe below)
  • Fresh basil can be rolled into a cylindrical shape and sliced into ribbons or chiffonade.
  • Fresh tomatoes should be halved.
  • Parmesan cheese should be freshly shredded. I suggest using a fine shred for the Parmesan cheese.
  • Mozzarella balls do not have to be sliced, but if you use larger-sized fresh Mozzarella, tear it into smaller bite-sized pieces.
  • Once all the ingredients are prepared, add them to a large bowl.

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • In a small bowl, add the vinegar, mustard, dried herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Use a small whisk to thoroughly combine the Dijon mustard with the vinegar.
  • Finally, slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • This is just enough to dress the salad and bring all the flavors together.
  • Add half of the Balsamic dressing to the bowl with the chopped salad ingredients.
  • Toss gently and adjust the dressing as needed.

Optional: Pan-roasted mushrooms

  • Saute 8 ounces of cleaned mushrooms with one clove of sliced garlic. Add oil to a pan, add mushrooms and sauté. Second, add 1/4 cup of dry white wine or water and cook until wine or water evaporates. Add extra virgin olive oil as needed. Pan roast for about 10 more minutes until tender. Remove from heat. Serve these pan-roasted mushrooms warm or at room temperature.

Notes

For homemade Balsamic Grilled Vegetables, follow this link
 

Nutrition

Calories: 567kcal

Nutritional information is calculated online and should be used as a guide.

Keyword antipasto, antipasto salad, chopped Italian salad, chopped salad, Low carb salad

All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This is a simple and delicious salad with an extraordinary array of colors,textures and flavors.
    An easy to follow recipe makes this dish easy for anyone to prepare.