An Antipasto Wreath bursting with Christmas cheer is here! Salty Italian meats, soft cheeses, juicy veggies, and fresh herbs are arranged and displayed in the most colorful, festive way!
This antipasto recipe is Instagram-worthy, drool-worthy, and the absolute best way to begin your holiday meal!
An easy recipe that looks and tastes amazing… What could be better for the hectic holiday season??
There’s nothing better than a plate full of simple finger foods that everyone loves!
Everyone can grab a bite and enjoy some time chatting and laughing before dinnertime!
You can make a more substantial dish with all of these ingredients (plus some noodles) with this pasta salad recipe.
Or, keep the skewers and add something extra with these sun-dried tomato meatball poppers!
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Black Olives & Green Olives – It’s actually the green olives that are especially bitter, salty, and abrasive in flavor – that’s because they’re unripe.
It’s nice to get a mixture of taste and texture between the two. Plus, the green olives help keep everything on the skewer!
- Basil – My antipasto appetizer is all about visuals, so the basil has to be fresh and leafy – no room for dried herbs here.
- Grape Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes work, too. You really just need a smaller tomato that can fit on the antipasto skewers and is similar in size to the rest of our ingredients.
- Mozzarella Balls – Cubes of mozzarella work, too, but those cheesy little balls are so cute and look like ornaments on your antipasto wreath!
- Fresh Rosemary & Dill – These are more for show than for flavor – leafy and green like a Christmas wreath! And because of this, we can’t go with dried this time.
Antipasto Recipe Substitutes
- The Meats – A traditional antipasto recipe is usually made with Italian meats like prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, or soppressata.
But you know what? You could even use deli meat, and it would be perfectly tasty!
- The Cheeses – Mozzarella is soft, mild, and terrifically tasty. It complements meat and vegetables so well!
Provolone is your most similar solid substitute – we can’t really get ricotta or feta on a skewer, can we?
But, again, any cheese you can cube and like to eat works too!
- The Veggies – You don’t need to stop with the olives and tomatoes! Squash, bell peppers, and – though they don’t really suit the Christmas wreath appetizer color scheme – mushrooms would fit the bill.
In fact, don’t hesitate to omit the meat entirely for a wholly veggie version of this antipasto recipe.
Tips for Your Holiday Antipasto Wreath
- A Gorgeous Glaze – There’s nothing like a dab of balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil to bring a salad together!
This holiday appetizer is no exception – while everything isn’t tossed in a bowl, these are still your basic salad ingredients.
- Pass The Bread, Please! Your guests will appreciate a plate with sliced French baguette, crackers, or lightly baked Italian bread to enjoy with their meat and cheese.
- Order is Key – I didn’t choose the order of ingredients just because of the colors!
We alternate between hard, soft, and somewhat flimsy foods to help them stick to the skewer.
At the very least, you need an olive, tomato, or cheese at the bottom to keep everything from slipping right off.
Antipasto Wreath FAQ
Well, the word “antipasto” literally translates to “before meal” — so the first item on the menu before the main course! As a result, it usually refers to a salad served before your meal.
It has a different modern day meaning, of course! It’s an Italian salad with meats, cheeses, olives, tomatoes, and a rotating selection of herbs and veggies.
So, next you might wonder, “What is the difference between antipasti and charcuterie?” You’ll generally find some extras on a charcuterie – pieces of bread, crackers, nuts, and fruit, for example. A charcuterie also traditionally does not include cheese!
You can store your wreath entirely assembled if prepared the day or morning before serving – if you have a ton of fridge space, that is!
I would personally recommend storing the skewers in layers, then assemble your wreath just prior to placement on the table.
Either way, it will last for up to 3 days in the fridge.
The most important kitchen item you’ll need on hand is a good skewer! Wooden is best.
A nice cutting board or charcuterie board for serving will complete your display! A wider rim that leaves room for some tomatoes and herbs for garnish is even better.
Finally, small serving bowls for bread or extra ingredients are never a bad idea.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Holiday Appetizer Recipes
- wooden board
- cocktail skewers
- 5 cups pitted black olives, (50 olives)
- 50 fresh basil leaves
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes
- 50 mozzarella balls, See Notes
- 5 cups pitted green olives, (50 olives)
- Italian hard salami
- Fresh rosemary, for garnish
- Fresh dill, for garnish
- Start by setting up an assembly line with all of the ingredients and the cocktail skewers.
- Thread each cocktail skewer with the following: one black olive, basil leaf, tomato, salami slice, mozzarella ball, and one green olive. As you thread the ingredients onto the cocktail skewers, push them down to make room for the next ingredient.
- Repeat making skewers until all ingredients are threaded onto skewers.
- To Form the Antipasto Wreath
- On a large round platter or wooden board, arrange previously assembled antipasto skewers in a circular pattern.
- Garnish the outer rim of the wreath with additional tomatoes, pepperoncini, fresh dill, and fresh rosemary.
- Serve and enjoy!
Mozzarella balls are a great substitute for cubes of mozzarella. If you have leftovers, disassemble the wreath and place the individual skewers in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published November 2022
Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.