How to Make an Easy Antipasto Platter for Your Holiday Party


One of my favorite ways to create a crowd-pleasing appetizer for a holiday party is to put together an antipasto platter. The possibilities for an antipasto platter are endless, and you can easily create an assortment of your favorite foods for your guests to pick and choose what they love for a satisfying appetizer.

What is an Antipasto Platter?

Antipasto, which means “before the meal”, is traditionally an Italian appetizer that includes a combination of the following ingredients:

  • Meats that are cured, dried, or deli cuts (such as prosciutto, salami, and pepperoni)

  • Variety of Cheeses, such as Asiago, Provolone, Mozzarella, and Parmesan cubes

  • Pickled/Marinated/Grilled Vegetables, including olives, peppadew peppers, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, radishes and turnips

  • Fresh and dried fruits, like grapes, sliced pears or apples, and figs

  • Assorted sliced bread, crackers, and breadsticks

  • Mixed toasted nuts, like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts

  • Vegetable or bean dips, like hummus, bruschetta or baba ganoush

Antipasto platters are great for entertaining, as they are portable and sit well in room temperature. Depending on how many ingredients are served on an antipasto platter, these can be used for holiday party appetizers or even as a light meal.

Putting Together Your Antipasto Platter

It’s simple to create an impressive antipasto platter to get your holiday party started. To begin, select about 5-10 ingredients that you want to include as part of your appetizer plate. The great thing about an antipasto platter is how you can make this versatile appetizer work for a diverse crowd of palates and dietary needs.

Assembling your ingredients together on a large dish or cutting board can create a festive centerpiece for any holiday table. For a more colorful presentation, select seasonal ingredients that will make your holiday spread pop.

The best part of building an antipasto platter for an appetizer is that you can really create it any way that suits your fancy. Using simple, store bought ingredients can bring this holiday platter together in a matter of minutes. If you’re a busy mama like me, this is exactly the type of quick and easy dish you can assemble in a cinch for entertaining.

While there is not a specific recipe for an antipasto platter, here are some easy tips for putting together a stellar appetizer for your next holiday party:

Start with your serving platter

Since an antipasto platter is served on one large dish, think about the base on which you want to assemble all your ingredients. Using a large cutting board can do just the trick and create a rustic look for your appetizer. For a holiday theme, try a wide silver or gold platter to add some pizzazz to your appetizer.

Assemble your ingredients

Here’s where you can let those creative juices flow! Organize your ingredients on the board, balancing different textures and colors to make the foods look appealing to your guests. Create a more visual impact by rolling your sliced meats, using smaller bowls for marinated veggies, and layering colors around the board.

Add an Unexpected Surprise

Add an interesting and fun element that catches your guest by surprise. This could be a bit of dark chocolate, cheese-stuffed olives, fresh herbs, vegetable spring rolls or sun-dried tomatoes. The possibilities are truly endless.

Prepare and assemble your antipasto platter ahead of time and keep in stored in your refrigerator until your holiday party starts. Keep small serving plates and utensils or toothpicks available with the antipasto platter for easy access for your guests. As you and your guests enjoy the delicious appetizer, you can easily refill food and ingredients as you see them running low on the platter.

Creating a Kid-Friendly Antipasto Platter

Antipasto platters are perfect for the kiddos, too. If you’re having little ones at your holiday party, add in some kid-friendly ingredients that might make the platter a little more enticing and familiar. Most kids love to dip veggies, fruit, and crackers into something, so creating an interactive element can spark their interest in trying something new. Lastly, don’t forget to involve your kids in the making of your holiday antipasto platter. Kids can be helpful with the platting and prep-work that is needed for assembling your appetizer dish.

Holiday antipasto platters make it simple to put together a delicious and versatile appetizer that is fun to eat and easy to enjoy.

What are your go-to appetizers for holiday parties?