There’s nothing better than watching a guest’s eyes light up when they see a beautiful antipasto platter! And since it’s made ahead of time, it’s equally wonderful for anyone hosting since it allows them to relax and engage with their guests.

Large antipasto platter with meats, cheeses, olives, and pickled vegetables.


The Italian antipasto platter is a wondrous thing!

With an array of items to choose from, including pickled veggies, crackers, salty cured meats, olives, and more, there’s something here for everyone!

There is one thing I’d like to address here though: You do not need to be a food stylist to create a beautiful antipasto board.

There are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way and I’m thrilled to share them with you here so you can build the best antipasto platter ever.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: salami, figs, stuffed cherry peppers, cured meats, breadsticks, mozzarella balls and assorted cheeses, pickled mushrooms, red roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Cheese. Pick at least 3 cheeses with varying flavors and textures. I used provolone, Parmigiano Reggiano, and marinated fresh mozzarella balls.
  • Meat. I love to offer a selection of cured meat on my antipasto platter. I used Genoa salami, prosciutto, bresaola, coppa, and hard soppressata.
  • Pickled vegetables. I selected and assortment of pickled pepperoncini, pickled cherry peppers stuffed with prosciutto, and roasted red peppers. Feel free to add others, such as pickled green beans or pickled Italian eggplant.
  • Marinated vegetables. Artichoke hearts, lupini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and marinated mushrooms are all great choices, but feel free to choose others!
  • Olives. I used an assortment of red, green, and black oil-cured olives but use any combination you’d like.
  • Fresh ingredients. When I can find them, I love to use fresh cherry tomatoes on the vine. They make for a beautiful presentation. I also used fresh oranges to scatter about. If you can find them with their leaves on, even better! Fresh grapes would also be great here.
  • Dried fruit. I used dried figs to fill in gaps on my antipasto board, but any dried fruit such as dried apricots or dates would also work well.
  • Crackers. I used grissini, or long Italian breadsticks but taralli or other crackers would also be great.
  • Garnish. Fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, or thyme make for a beautiful presentation.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Building an antipasto platter or charcuterie board may look intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here I’ll walk you through how to build the best-looking (and tasting) antipasto platter ever!

Closeup shot of antipasto platter with meats, cheeses, olives, pickled vegetables, lupini beans, and breadsticks.
  • Select a board. The board does not need to be anything fancy and you don’t need to spend a ton of money. I’ve found some of the best deals on boards at Home Goods and Home Sense. They’re also a great place to find Italian ingredients such as breadsticks and marinated or pickled veggies. Get one that’s large enough to hold a good assortment of food. The one I use is 16″ by 24″.
  • Gather your ingredients. Use my recipe ingredients as a starting point and feel free to tweak to your own liking. I try and follow this ratio when selecting items: 7 types of vegetables (pickled or marinated), 5 types of meat, 3 types of cheese, 2-3 types of olives, and 2-3 fruits or fresh vegetables.
  • Pick a centerpiece. I like to pick a large bowl and use that as a centerpiece around which to build. For this antipasto board, I used a wooden bowl that I filled with fresh mozzarella balls.
  • Stagger small bowls. Fill a variety of smaller bowls with your pickled and marinated items and stagger them around the board.
  • Place your cheeses. I cut about half of each block of hard cheese and placed them on opposite sides with their tips pointing toward the centerpiece.
  • Roll and place the meat. Depending on the type of meat you’re using, you can either roll it up (works well for salami), or shape into a flower or nest (works well for prosciutto). Place the meat around the board in various areas.
  • Fill in any gaps. Use your fruit and vegetables to fill in any gaps. If using dried figs, you may wish to cut them in half as I’ve done here for an even better presentation.
  • Garnish. While garnishes are optional, they do add great color. I used rosemary but parsley and/or basil would work well too.
  • Serve! I recommend building the antipasto platter before your guests arrive so you can just kick back and enjoy yourself, however, you can also make ahead. Cover the board in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator, then remove 30 minutes before serving. Consider serving with some Italian aperitivo cocktails, such as the Aperol Spritz, Hugo Spritz, or Bellini.
What’s the difference between an antipasto platter and a charcuterie board?

Antipasto platters and charcuterie boards are very similar in that they both include cured meat and cheese. The main differentiator is that antipasto platters tend to be heavier on the vegetables, especially pickled or marinated Italian-style vegetables. Charcuterie boards will often include jams, honey, berries, and dark chocolate in addition to the meat and cheese.

Appetizer board with cured meats, cheeses, pickled vegetables, figs, and olive oil.

More for your antipasto platter

If you’ve enjoyed this Antipasto platter or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

We strive to satisfy a number of learning styles.  If you are someone who prefers to learn by watching, you can find most of our recipes on YouTube and our Facebook Page.

How to build the best antipasto platter

5 from 8 votes
Prep: 45 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
From cured meats to pickled veggies, crackers, olives, and more, there's something here for everyone!

Ingredients 

Cured meats

  • 6 ounces Genoa salami
  • 3 ounces prosciutto
  • 3 ounces bresaola
  • 3 ounces coppa
  • 3 ounces soppressata

Cheese

  • 8 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano sliced
  • 8 ounces mild provolone sliced
  • 12 ounces marinated mozzarella balls

Olives

  • 8 ounces Sicilian green olives
  • 8 ounces oil-cured black olives

Pickled vegetables

  • 6 ounces stuffed cherry peppers
  • 6 ounces red roasted peppers
  • 6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
  • 6 ounces marinated mushrooms
  • 6 ounces lupini beans
  • 6 ounces marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 6 ounces pepperoncini

Fruits and vegetables

  • 6 ounces figs
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes

Instructions 

  • Use the amounts as a general guideline since the size of your board will dictate how much you can fit. A large board (at least 16×24") is recommended.
  • Place olives, mozzarella balls, and pickled vegetables into small bowls or dishes so that they don't leak onto the ingredients and board. Slice at least half of the provolone and parmesan to make it easier for your guests.
  • Form the prosciutto into flower shapes, fold or roll the remaining cold cuts to give height, and arrange them in sections on all sides of the board.
  • Place cutters, spreading tools, and toothpicks around the board so that it is easy for guests to serve themselves.
  • To make the board more festive garnish with cherry tomatoes and rosemary or other herbs. Enjoy!

Notes

  • There is no right or wrong for your antipasto board. Use the best quality ingredients you can find while focusing on a variety of meats, cheeses, and pickled items.  
  • Set up the board right before your guests arrive so that is at peak freshness and looks amazing.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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16 Comments

  1. Happy New Year 2024 to you and your family ❣️ I love watching you make All Your Delicious recipes❣️ I Love Italian Food and Enjoy Your Recipes very Much❣️ Blessings in 2024❣️Yummy 😋

  2. Good morning Jim,

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your beautiful family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. I love your site ; please keep posting your wonderful recipes.

  3. 5 stars
    I’m first generation Italian and now that my parents have passed I find myself using your recipes quite often. They are easy to follow and always turn out great. Thank you and Buon Natale!

  4. 5 stars
    Haven’t done it as yet, but will!

    Every one of your recipes I have done has turned out great!!

    Your format is the best, so please keep it up. Many thanks,
    Bob Seyfried

  5. 5 stars
    Hello Jim,

    This came just in great timing because I decided to do a charcuterie platter for the first time, and want to use similar ingredients to your antipasto board. Thanks for the wonderful ideas! Merry Christmas to you, Tara and family!😊❤🎄

  6. 5 stars
    Great to finally understand the difference between antipasto and charcuterie boards. Thanks for explaining what ratios should be as I tend to be heavy on fruit and should probably cut back on, in favour of meats. It is difficult to find quality Italian ingredients here in Texas. I splurge when I go home to Utah and shop and ship. (I know! Weird to think that, right? But heavy Italian and Greek base, too . Lucky them!!) Enjoy the site and the storehouse of knowledge.

  7. 5 stars
    Jim, all your recipes have become family favorites. Thanks so much, but this ‘recipe’ is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

  8. 5 stars
    outstanding! looks beautiful. I forgot about lupini beans . Don’t see them in Dallas area but on the hunt.

    1. Hi Saundra, thanks for the comment! If you can’t find them locally, they are available on Amazon although they are so much more expensive there than in grocery stores. Jim purposely didn’t add them to this Amazon shop because the price is so much more.