Why not let this Italian antipasto board appetizer, or holiday antipasto wreath, to become a new traditional treat around the holidays. It’s a delicious party appetizer platter which offers something for every palate, including cheese, deli meats, vegetables and a garlicky herb dressing.
This antipasto tray is not only a classic Italian starter but is also a great menu item for Christmas or Thanksgiving. The selection of tasty, bite-size morsels are arranged in circles, while the rosemary and asparagus work together to offer a cute wreath-like effect.
Italian Antipasto Board Appetizer Ingredients
One of the great things about this traditional, classic Italian starter, is you can mix and match to your heart’s content. Pick and choose the elements you want to use from the suggested list, or come up with your own party appetizer platter ingredients. Don’t forget to bring out an aperol spritz or two!
I like to use plenty of colour in my holiday antipasto wreaths. The deli meats such as salami, capicola and pepperoni contrast with the colour of the cheese.
And then you have cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes. The festive green comes from the addition of asparagus, stuffed olives and fresh rosemary sprigs.
The dressing for the antipasto tray includes olive oil, two kinds of vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, parsley and fennel seeds.
How to Make an Italian Antipasto Board Appetizer
First of all, whisk the dressing ingredients together and then marinate the tomatoes in this mixture for an hour, setting aside some of it as a bread dip.
Blanch the asparagus for a couple of minutes, then let it cool. Arrange the salami slices around the outside of the platter, having each one overlap slightly. Wrap slices of capicola around the asparagus and a piece of gournay cheese. Arrange these asparagus bundles over the salami.
Add the artichokes next followed by the pepperoni. Next arrange the rosemary sprigs and then add the marinated and sun-dried tomatoes, and olives in the middle, before drizzling the dressing on top.
Arrange the parmesan around the outside of the wreath and drizzle more dressing over it. Serve this traditional antipasto tray with bread on the side. There are many great choices for garnishes but sprigs of rosemary are a nice touch.
More Ingredients to Consider
The makings of the best antipasto platters can be found at your local Italian deli or grocery store where you can find high quality Italian food and different kinds of cheeses, meats and marinated goods. If you are planning a cocktail party this holiday season it is a great way to get all you need for all your delicious appetizers. Any of the following could be added to your Italian antipasto board appetizer:
- Fresh mozzarella balls
- Cured meats like Mortadella and Italian meats like hard salami or genoa salami
- Fresh basil
- Nuts like marcona almonds
- Pickled red onion or pickled garlic cloves
- Fig jam, olive tapenade or Sicilian orange marmalade
- roasted red bell peppers, sweet cherry peppers, or peppadew peppers
- Smoked salmon
- Boiled egg slices
- Red seedless grapes
- Anchovies or marinated mushrooms
- Provolone cheese or hard cheese like parmigiano reggiano
- …and anything else you want on there!
Is an Antipasto Tray the Same as a Charcuterie Board?
No, although they are similar. Technically ‘charcuterie’ is a French word for cooked meat and cheese is not a traditional component of such a platter. However, in reality a lot of people do add cheese to their boards to add variety.
Antipasto, on the other hand, is an Italian term and it is traditionally a selection of both cold meats and cheeses, although there are other themes for this party appetizer platter. Some people might like a seafood-based platter, for example, or one with fresh fruits. It is the traditional first course of an Italian meal or dinner party.
Regardless depending on where you live outside of Europe, different the words may be used differently or combined to be an antipasto charcuterie board. However you say it, an Italian antipasto platter is the perfect appetizer!
You might like to do a completely different take on your wreath appetizer by adding some soft cheeses like brie along with cranberry (also festive!) and baking it in the oven. There are so many charcuterie board ideas to experiment with! You could add some appetizers like these anitpasto skewers to your platter, too. Try this pineapple cranberry brie crescent ring appetizer if you like the sound of that. Maybe pair it with some cocktails like this Italian Margarita or a Cranberry Orange Prosecco Punch.
Holiday Antipasto Wreath FAQs
Once prepared, you can cover the platter with plastic wrap. That way it should be good for a day or so in the refrigerator. Don’t add bread or crackers to the platter else they are going to get soggy. With meat and cheeses you won’t want to keep it at room temperature too long.
I love this fancy bamboo large serving platter, but you can use anything from a metal tray to a wooden chopping board or cheeseboard, or even a ceramic or china large platter. Don’t forget to offer utensils, as well as small plates and napkins.
You don’t even have to serve slices of bread, although you can if you wish. Other good choices include chips, flatbread crackers or mini breadsticks.
If you’re just making this Italian appetizer platter as a snack to go with festive cranberry margaritas, you might want to serve the meats, cheeses and veggies just as they are, else people might get too full for the main course.
Italian Antipasto Board Appetizer Recipe
Italian Antipasto Board Appetizer
- ½ Cup cherry tomatoes
- 9 Ounces salami peppered, thinly sliced
- ½ Bunch asparagus
- 6 Ounces capicola
- 6 Ounces cheese gournay
- 1 Can marinated artichoke hearts 12 Ounce can
- 9 Ounces pepperoni sliced
- rosemary fresh
- ½ Cup olives blue cheese stuffed
- ½ Cup kalamata olives
- ¼ Cup sun dried tomatoes
- 6 Ounces parmesan cheese romano
- ½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ Cup wine vinegar rose
- 3 Cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- ½ Teaspoon oregano
- ½ Teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ Teaspoon parsley
- ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
- Combine olive oil, rose wine vinegar, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, oregano, fennel, parsley, and black pepper in a bowl and whisk.
- Marinate tomatoes in the dressing for 1 hour. Set aside ¼ cup to use as dip for bread.
- Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus (2 minutes) Then drain and set aside to cool.
- Use a circle shaped platter or wooden cutting board as a base for the wreath. Lay the peppered salami slices in a circle around the outer rim of the platter in a shingle pattern.
- Slice the asparagus into 3” spears. Slice the capicola into 3” wide sections. Add 2 teaspoons of gournay cheese to the center of each slice. Place 3 to 4 asparagus in the center, then tightly wrap with the capicola. Lay the capicola wrapped asparagus in a starburst pattern over the peppered salami.
- Slice the marinated artichokes into quarters and place between the asparagus.
- Slice the pepperoni into thin rounds, then place at the base of the asparagus. Create a circle with the pepperoni.
- Arrange the rosemary over the pepperoni in a shingle pattern to create a wall in the center of the platter. Fill the center with sundried tomatoes, blue cheese stuffed olives, marinated tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Drizzle dressing over the top.
- Thinly slice parmesan and place in a starburst pattern around the outer edge of the wreath.
- Plate any extra ingredients and drizzle with dressing. Serve with sliced bread.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
An Italian antipasto board appetizer is a thrilling, inviting sight for anyone coming to your holiday party. You can rustle up this fun holiday antipasto wreath in minutes to add charm to your festive table. It is full of Italian cheese, a variety of meats, fresh herbs, fruits like fresh figs and sometimes a variety of breads. This is the perfect antipasto platter it is a great option for a family gathering and part of a delicious holiday meal.
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
This looks so good! I could eat this all by myself 🙂
This antipasto board was the perfect Christmas activity for my tweens to put together for our holiday open house. It was a hit!
So easy and it looked fabulous. This is my new go-to appetizer.
I just made this for a get-together. I thought there was no way mine would come out as nice as yours, but it looks pretty close! Thanks for the great directions and photos. I got so many compliments!
This really took me back to when I used to live in Italy – made this for a happy hour, and served with some Aperol Spritz, and it was so good!
Sooo good – that dressing OMG. We loved it!!