Grilled Chicken Antipasto Salad

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Super Easy Grilled Chicken Antipasto Salad Recipe is a fresh, hearty lunch packed with grilled chicken, pepperoni, cheese, olives, tomatoes and artichokes for a low carb salad everyone loves! 

salad with green and black olives, cheese, tomatoes, chicken, and pepperoncini peppers
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Hearty Chicken AntiPasto Salad

When I’m hungry and craving something delicious, fast, I tend to opt for a simple tried and true salad – my favorite Grilled Chicken Antipasto Salad. This salad is salty, tangy, hearty – but won’t weigh you down – and is keto/paleo and low carb diet compliant!

Chicken antipasto salad combines the hearty appeal of grilled chicken with the rich variety of traditional Italian antipasto, including olives, cheeses, and marinated vegetables, over a bed of fresh greens. This colorful and nutritious dish is dressed in a tangy vinaigrette, making it a delightful fusion of flavors that’s perfect for a light lunch or a sophisticated starter.

Lately I’ve been making big batches of my top-rated recipe for the Best Grilled Chicken Tenders Ever and saving them in the fridge to throw in salads on the go – it is the perfect easy lunch for my husband and I to take into our offices for busy days. I love to toss them in Italian Chicken Salads whenever I can for lunch – and this easy chopped chicken salad is bursting with some of my favorite Italian inspired Antipasto ingredients!

salad with green and black olives, cheese, tomatoes, chicken, and pepperoncini peppers

How to Make Grilled Chicken Antipasto Salad

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Mixed Greens (3 cups) – Mixed greens provide a fresh and crisp base that contrasts beautifully with the savory toppings in a chicken antipasto salad.
  • Grilled chicken breasts (2) – Grilled chicken breasts add lean protein and a smoky flavor, elevating the salad to a hearty meal.
  • Pepperoni (1/2 cup) – Thinly sliced pepperoni introduces a spicy and slightly oily component, adding depth to the salad’s flavor profile.
  • Mozzarella cheese (1 cup) – Mozzarella cheese, with its mild and creamy taste, brings a delightful texture and balances the stronger flavors.
  • Kalamata olives (1 cup) – Kalamata olives offer a burst of briny flavor, enhancing the Mediterranean essence of the dish.
  • Marinated red pepper (1/2 cup) – Marinated red pepper adds a sweet and tangy element, contributing both color and a soft, succulent texture.
  • Feta (1/2 cup) – Crumbled feta cheese injects a salty and tangy bite, complementing the other ingredients with its rich and crumbly texture.
  • Cherry tomatoes (1/4 cup) – Cherry tomatoes provide juicy pops of sweetness, brightening the salad with their vibrant color and fresh taste.
  • Pepperoncini peppers (1/4 cup) – Pepperoncini peppers introduce a mild heat and a pickled tang, adding a zesty twist to the salad.
  • Black olives (1/4 cup) – Black olives contribute a subtle bitterness and a firm texture, enriching the salad’s array of flavors.
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp) – Olive oil serves as the base for the dressing, lending a smooth and fruity undertone that ties the salad components together.
  • Red wine vinegar (2 tbsp) – Red wine vinegar adds a sharp and tangy acidity, balancing the richness of the oils and cheeses.
  • Lemon juice (1 tbsp) – A squeeze of lemon juice brings a refreshing citrus note, enhancing the overall freshness of the salad.
  • Banana peppers (4-8) – Sliced banana peppers offer a sweet heat and a crunchy texture, adding another layer of complexity to the dish.

Use this Method

Make Dressing. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil to make the light dressing. 

Combine Ingredients. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients but dressing and toss well. If making ahead of serving, do not dress salad until it will be eaten. Salad can keep fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day (if you want to prep this salad ahead of time, leave lettuce out of the mixture as it will wilt after 1 day – other ingredients can safely be stored for up to 3 days.) 

Dress and Enjoy. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately. 

salad with green and black olives, cheese, tomatoes, chicken, and pepperoncini peppers

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Antipasto Salad

Separate wet and dry ingredients: Since this salad relies on a lot of antipasto ingredients (marinated olives, peppers, etc) – it is best to keep those ingredients from the lettuce/greens, chicken, and dry ingredients – or they will get mushy, soggy, or too-tart. I like to drain the olives, pepper strips, and

Keep meats Separate: I like to chop and bag my chicken and pepperoni to bring to a party – they take on too much of the acidic, tart taste from the olives and pepper strips when together too long.

Keep Lettuce Separate: This one is the most important – lettuce and many greens are so temperamental you don’t want to add them into the mix too early – too much oil, acid, moisture, or heat will make it wilt. If you separate nothing else, keep greens separate until serving!

Crumble/grate your cheese fresh: If you don’t want to deal with the cheese at the party, simply crumble or shred it at home and keep it in a separate bag/container so it doesn’t get mushy and wet from the salad ingredients.

salad with green and black olives, cheese, tomatoes, and pepperoncini peppers

FAQs

What type of chicken is best for antipasto salad?

Grilled or roasted chicken breast is ideal for antipasto salad because it’s lean, flavorful, and can be easily sliced or cubed. Marinating the chicken before cooking can add extra flavor.

Can I make chicken antipasto salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the components of the salad ahead of time. However, it’s best to assemble the salad close to serving time to maintain the freshness and crispness of the vegetables and greens.

How can I make my chicken antipasto salad more authentic?

Incorporate traditional Italian antipasto ingredients such as marinated artichoke hearts, olives, roasted red peppers, and slices of Italian meats like salami or prosciutto. Adding a variety of Italian cheeses, such as mozzarella balls or shaved Parmesan, can also enhance the authenticity.

What are some vegetarian options for chicken antipasto salad?

For a vegetarian version, you can substitute grilled vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or portobello mushrooms for the chicken. Marinated tofu or chickpeas can also add protein to the salad.

How long can I store chicken antipasto salad in the refrigerator?

If stored in an airtight container, the salad can last in the fridge for 2-3 days. Note that the texture of the greens may wilt over time, so it’s best enjoyed fresh.

Is chicken antipasto salad healthy?

Chicken antipasto salad can be quite healthy, as it’s packed with lean protein from the chicken and a variety of nutrients from the vegetables. To keep it lighter, be mindful of the amount of dressing and high-calorie ingredients like cheeses and cured meats.

How do I keep the salad from getting soggy?

To prevent sogginess, keep the dressing separate until just before serving, and avoid over-marinating the vegetables. If making ahead, store the salad components separately and assemble them when ready to serve.

salad with green and black olives, cheese, tomatoes, and pepperoncini peppers

What to Enjoy with Antipasto Salad

Crusty Bread: A loaf of freshly baked crusty bread, like a baguette or ciabatta, is perfect for sopping up the dressing and complements the textures in the salad.

Sparkling Water: A refreshing glass of sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime can cleanse the palate between bites, enhancing the salad’s flavors.

White Wine: A crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio pairs beautifully with the tangy and savory notes of the antipasto salad.

Pasta Dishes: A light pasta dish, perhaps with a lemon and olive oil dressing or a fresh tomato basil sauce, can complement the salad without overpowering it.

Grilled Vegetables: Vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers, grilled to perfection, can add a smoky depth to the meal alongside the salad.

Fruit Platter: A platter of fresh fruits like melon, berries, and grapes can offer a sweet counterpoint to the savory and tangy flavors of the salad.

Cheese Board: A selection of Italian cheeses, such as mozzarella, provolone, and Parmesan, can complement the salad’s flavors and add a rich textural element to the meal.

Herbal Iced Tea: A glass of iced tea flavored with herbs like mint or basil can provide a refreshing and aromatic accompaniment to the salad.

Thinly Sliced Prosciutto: Adding prosciutto can enhance the antipasto theme, offering a salty and savory dimension that pairs well with the chicken and vegetables.

Olives and Pickled Vegetables: A side of assorted olives and pickled vegetables like artichokes and pepperoncini peppers can enhance the Mediterranean vibe of the dish.

Try these other favorites: Creamy Avocado Steak Salad, Fig and Honey Fruit Salad with Chèvre and Pine Nuts, Scallop & Pepper Antipasti Salad, Corn and Black Bean Pasta Salad with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Dressing, Tropical Mango Noodle Salad, and Low Carb Taco Stuffed Avocados.

Try these other Italian favorites:

picture of chicken antipasti salad in a bowl

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salad with green and black olives, cheese, tomatoes, and pepperoncini peppers

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A Low Carb Grilled Chicken Antipasto Salad with olives, tomatoes, and spinach.
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Grilled Chicken Antipasto Salad

Super Easy Grilled Chicken Antipasto Salad Recipe is a fresh, hearty lunch packed with grilled chicken, pepperoni, cheese, olives, tomatoes and artichokes for a low carb protein packed salad that everyone loves! 
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Keyword antipasti, chicken, main dish, main dish salad, olive, olive pasta, salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 630kcal
Author Courtney ODell

Ingredients

  • 3 cups lettuce spinach, kale, iceberg, romanie – your choice of greens
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts diced into 1″ cubes
  • ½ cup pepperoni slices cut in half
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 cup kalamata olives whole or sliced, your preference
  • ½ cup marinated red pepper cut into strips
  • ½ cup feta crumbled
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup pepperoncini peppers
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives

For the Dressing

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil to make the light dressing. 
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients but dressing and toss well. 
  • If making ahead of serving, do not dress salad until it will be eaten. Salad can keep fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day (if you want to prep this salad ahead of time, leave lettuce out of the mixture as it will wilt after 1 day – other ingredients can safely be stored for up to 3 days.) 
  • Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 1282mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 9g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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