There’s something about Italian food that brings people together. Lots of our family celebrations seem to involve pizza, pasta, and generous servings of antipasto salad like this classic favorite. It’s a copycat of a salad served at Buca di Beppo, one of our favorite restaurants for birthdays, graduations, and other special occasions. Packed full of yummy veggies, plus pepperoni, two kinds of olives, and three kinds of cheese. This is far from being a plain, ordinary salad.
To make this chopped salad, start with a mix of romaine and iceberg lettuce. Layer on sliced cucumbers, Roma or grape tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, green and black olives, sliced pepperoni or salami, diced provolone, and crumbled feta and gorgonzola cheeses.
I am not the biggest fan of using raw onions in recipes, the flavor tends to dominate the entire dish. However, I like to add red onion in this specific Italian salad. In order to reduce the overwhelming flavor, thinly slice and soak the onion in cold water for 30 minutes before adding them to the salad.
The dressing I use for this chopped antipasti salad is my Better-Than-Olive-Garden Copycat Italian Dressing. People love this salad, and it’s terrific as an entree salad or side salad for a big family dinner. I added Lemon Grilled Chicken and baked potatoes for an easy menu everyone loved.
Chopped Antipasti Salad (Buca di Beppo Copycat)
- 1/4 of a large red onion thinly sliced
- 1 small head romaine lettuce
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce
- 1 small cucumber peeled and sliced, slices cut in half
- 2 cups grape tomatoes or diced Roma tomatoes
- 3/4 cup sliced pepperoncini
- 3/4 cup black olives
- 3/4 cup green olives
- 8 oz. sliced pepperoni or salami slices cut in half
- 1/2 cup diced provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- Slice the red onion and put the pieces in a small bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Wash and dry the lettuce and tear into bite-sized pieces. Place in the bottom of a large salad bowl.
- Layer the rest of the ingredients on top of the lettuce.
- Toss before serving.
- Dress with Better-Than-Olive-Garden Copycat Italian Dressing or your favorite Italian dressing.