Antipasto Platter Recipe – Love and Lemons

This antipasto platter recipe is a crowd-pleasing party appetizer! It’s loaded with flavorful Italian ingredients like cheeses, olives, and fresh veggies.

Antipasto platter

Let’s make an antipasto platter! This Italian appetizer spread is one of my favorite things to serve when I’m hosting family and friends.

Everyone (kids included!) loves trying the different snacks and bites on the board—cheeses, veggies, olives, nuts, and more. Often, folks enjoy grazing so much that there’s no need to serve a larger meal.

As a host, I think an antipasto platter is the ideal party food. I can use a mix of store-bought and homemade components, and I can prep all the homemade ones in advance. When guests arrive, I just assemble the platter and serve.

I’m sharing my best tips for building an antipasto platter below, along with the components I like to include. Choose a few to make a board for your next gathering. I promise it’ll be a hit!

Olives, pepperoncini, marinated gigante beans, artichoke hearts, marinated mozzarella, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, radicchio, cheese, and crostini on countertop

What is antipasto?

Antipasto is the Italian word for an appetizer. It literally means “before meal.”

In Italy, antipasti (the plural of antipasto) are small bites that are served before dinner with a glass of wine or a cocktail. These snacks are intended to increase one’s appetite before the meal. Traditional Italian antipasti include cured meats like prosciutto and salami, cheeses, fresh fruit, olives, bruschetta, focaccia, and more.

In the US, we often use the term “antipasto” to refer to Italian-inspired dishes that include cured meats, cheeses, and/or marinated vegetables. I can’t say that this antipasto platter is exactly what you’d be served in Italy. However, it certainly draws inspiration from Italian antipasti. I hope you enjoy!

Antipasto Platter Ingredients

I love to include these components on an antipasto platter:

  • Italian cheeses – I always include a hard cheese like Parmesan as well as one or two softer ones, such as fontina or provolone cheese. These marinated mozzarella balls are also perfect for an antipasto platter!
  • Marinated gigante beans – I marinate these creamy white beans in olive oil with sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and herbs. Hearty and flavorful, they’re a great addition to an antipasto platter. Make them a day ahead for the best flavor.
  • Tangy, briny things – I like to use a mix of olives, pepperoncini, and canned or jarred artichoke hearts.
  • Fresh vegetables – Anything seasonal is fair game! Some of my favorites are cherry tomatoes, radicchio leaves, and fresh or roasted red peppers.
  • Almonds – For crunch! Toast them to bring out their nutty flavor.
  • Honey or jam – These sweet spreads pair nicely with the rich cheeses. Any type of jam works here, but I especially like tart cherry or fig.
  • Crostini – These crisp bread slices are a great vehicle for the cheeses and marinated beans. Crackers work too!

Note that you don’t need everything mentioned here make a tasty appetizer board! For a simple—but still delicious—antipasto platter, choose just one item from each of these categories. Simplify more by skipping the marinated beans.

Italian antipasto platter

How to Build an Antipasto Platter

To build an antipasto platter, start by placing some components in individual small bowls. If you like, you can put everything in its own bowl, but you don’t have to. You should put anything that’s sticky, wet, or oily in its own dish, such as

Arrange these dishes on your serving platter, and then fill in the gaps with items that can go directly on the board. These include

  • hard or semi-hard cheeses,
  • fresh vegetables,
  • nuts,
  • and crackers or crostini.

Tip: Slice some cheese before you place it on your serving platter so that guests don’t have to slice it themselves. Instead of slicing the Parmesan, break it into bite-sized pieces.

Optional, but extra-pretty: Garnish your board with fresh herbs like parsley or basil before serving.

Buon appetito!

Serving Suggestions

An Italian antipasto platter pairs perfectly with an aperitivo, or pre-dinner drink.

Uncork a bottle of wine, or make a festive cocktail like an Aperol spritz.

Homemade lemonade is a lovely non-alcoholic option. Tip: Add a splash of sparkling water to make it fizzy!


More Appetizer Platters and Boards

If you love this antipasto platter, try one of these platters or boards next:

Want more appetizer ideas? Check out these 50 Easy Appetizer Recipes!

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