Learn how to build the ULTIMATE Antipasto Platter in this post. It is so simple to make, with a little something for everyone, and the perfect food to put out at a party. It is a huge crowd pleaser - cheese, meat, pickles, crackers, vegetables and fruit.
We love to host a dinner party, especially around Christmas time. Whilst this wouldn't be the main meal, we love putting something like this together to put out with drinks when guests arrive. Whilst we are busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm, our guests can mingle and nibble on this platter.
Antipasto translates to "before the meal" and it's the perfect dish to share. It is always made up of a selection of meats, cheeses, olives, pickles and various breads and crackers. It's really easy to adapt and use your favourite ingredients, or things you know your guests will love.
Why you will love it
- Quick - This antipasto platter is ready in just 15 minutes. Nothing to cook - just assemble it all on the board.
- Adaptable - A great way to use up leftovers in the fridge, as pretty much anything goes on this.
- An easy way to get your dinner party started - Have this out as your guests arrive and they can just pick up it whilst they have a drink and you get the main meal ready.
How to Make an Antipasto Platter
Cheese - Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to an antipasto platter, so try to use as many different cheeses as you can fit on your board. We like a chunky hard cheese, like a Parmesan and a soft cream cheese for balance. You can then add a soft creamy goats cheese and a blue cheese for lots of added flavour. Why not add your favourite mature cheddar and some mozzarella balls too?
Cured Meat - Arrange some slices of cured meat around the platter next to the cheese. This makes it easy for your guests to pick up and add to bread with the cheese. Choose a few different meats, so you can arrange them in different ways - folded, swirled, roses etc. We added prosciutto and salami, but other hams would work.
Fruit and vegetables - The meat and the cheese can get a little heavy, so add some fruit to cut through it. Figs go really well with cheese and they look beautiful on a platter. Other fruit that works well is apple or pears and grapes.
Pickles and Preserves - Aren't cheese and pickles just the perfect combination? Anything goes here - olives, roasted red pepper, chillies, mushrooms, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes.
Chutney - Your guests will appreciate a chutney/jam to go with the meat and cheese. We usually make a batch of our Christmas Chutney that everyone loves, but you can use your favourite. A spicy tomato or caramelised onion goes down well.
Bread - Now you have all those meats and cheeses on the platter, you need something to pile them on top of. We add some slices of ciabatta, bread sticks and some black pepper crackers. You could also add our Melba Toast or Bagel Crisps.
Frequently Asked Questions
You don't want to make it too far in advance, because the cheese will start to sweat and then bread and crackers will dry out. But you can assemble the platter 30 minutes before your guests arrive so everything is nice and fresh. The cheese is best when it is at room temperature anyway.
You need to make sure it is big enough for the amount of guests you have. You could use a chopping board or pizza board if you only have a couple of guests. But you might want to invest in a large party sized platter. You could even use a baking tray and having the sides means that nothing would fall off the edges - that is handy if you are transporting it.
If there is anything leftover (not usually a problem that we have), then wrap up the cheeses individually and the meats and put them back in the fridge. Put all the pickles back in their jars and cover the chutney with some foil. The crackers will probably be a bit stale by that point.
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How to Make an Antipasto Platter
- Selection of cured meats
- Cheese - (hard and soft options)
- Fruit and vegetables, such as: cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, figs, grapes
- Pickles and Preserves, such as: olives, roasted red pepper, chillies, mushrooms, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes
- Different breads and crackers
- Arrange all the items on a large serving board and enjoy.
- Make sure the dry ingredients (bread, crackers) aren't next to the wet ingredients (fruit, veg) or they might get soggy.