Quick Easy Antipasto Salad 

Perfect for Picnics at Home

This perfect for picnics Quick Easy Antipasto Salad will soon be a cherished family favorite, whether your picnic is at home or shared with your sweetie under the boughs of a weeping willow at your nearest beach. The day may be hot and dreamy  but this salad with its teasing tang will have everyone up and ready for a game of Frisbee or beach volleyball. It’s the bite that counts!

But you can tone it down with the milder form of Giardiniera so little kids and those with delicate tongues will not be too alarmed. Choose your favorite cured meats and sausage or add in a new taste choice and see who notices, alternate cheeses, serve on a different green for fun, whichever way you pick, it will be perfect.

What's Giardiniera, you ask?

Giardiniera, sounds so Italian I could be in Tuscany, is...well...Giardiniera is essentially pickled vegetables in a vinegar or oil sauce. It comes in hot or mild versions and with various vegetables. Select your favorite kind for this recipe. But you don't have to call them pickled vegetables.

Antipasto Salad, of which there are many versions, fills the tummy with hearty goodness, is easy to serve on piles of good for you greens, and is so flexible you'll enjoy preparing it, saving time (it really is quick and easy) and money with it, and you're allowed to pretend you're eating in a vineyard in Italy.

Even with cooking the pasta, maybe 15 minutes for that, this recipe like most salads comes together quickly. Prepare all the ingredients ahead of time if you want to; toss it together last minute.

Antipasto Salad just screams out, Take Me to the Picnic. Well worth having a picnic just to keep this salad happy. Even if it’s in the middle of your family room floor. Be sure to fly an Italian flag and, kiss your fingers to your lips and say, Che buono, every few mouthfuls. (I think it means How delicious!)

Sorry, I’m reading Maeve Bincy’s Evening Class right now and I’m beginning to think in Italian! Maybe you’ll want to take an evening class in Italian, too, after eating our Quick Easy Antipasto Salad.

Quick Easy Antipasto Salad 


16 ounce package of pasta shells

Vegetable & Meat Medley (Vary as you wish)

32 ounces giardiniera  or mixed pickled vegetables (hot or mild)
1 pound fresh broccoli
½ pound mozzarella cheese, cubed
½ pound hard salami, cubed
½ pound deli style ham, cut in chunks
½ lb. pepperoni, sliced and cut in chunks
1 large green pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces.
6 ounces ripe olives, drained


½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup liquid from the above jar of Giardiniera


  1. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Rinse and drain. 
  2. Cut everything up into bite sized pieces, not too big, but not diced small.
  3. Reserve ¾ cup of the Giardiniera liquid for the dressing and drain the rest.
  4. Combine the ingredients of the vegetable & meat medley and then mix in the cooked pasta.
  5. In a small bowl, using a whisk, mix together the dressing.
  6. Pour over the salad and toss to coat evenly.
  7. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serve over lettuce, romaine chunks, or iceberg,   Take it up a notch with Provolone cheese, extra olives on the side are always nice.

Learn more about the traditions of Antipasto at Whole Foods Market.

Che buono, friend!

Hope you loved Quick Easy Antipasto Salad!
If you share it so others can love it, too, we'll appreciate it. Thanks!

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