Cannot decide what Italian appetizers to serve? Why don’t you start with these recipes for classic antipasti? You can never go wrong with these traditional recipes!
Vegetarian? Hot? Cold antipasti? It can be overwhelming choosing which one to try.
Well, let’s keep it simple then and start with the authentic Italian appetizers.
It does not matter what you’re looking for; you will surely find a favorite (or more!) in this list of antipasti recipes.
CHECK OUT THE REST OF MY ITALIAN CUISINE SERIES!
- Authentic Italian Cookies
- Best Italian Street Food Recipes
- 20+ Easy Italian Desserts & Pastries Recipes
- Authentic Italian Bread Recipes
Definition of antipasti
Antipasti is the plural form of antipasto, which refers to the first course in a traditional Italian meal — yes, it’s the same as what we call appetizers or starters in English.
Although it varies per region, antipasti typically includes cured meat, olives, vegetables; served with some bread or breadsticks.
It is quite normal for these traditional Italian appetizers to be available as snacks or street food, which is a perfect example.
When served as an antipasto, these meatballs are excellent with marinara sauce and some green olives on the side.
Depending on which part of Emilia-Romagna, you would typically see different kinds of bread served with their cured meat.
You would see tigelle, gnocco fritto, and this flatbread with no yeast.
You’ll probably end up making a sandwich with it, and with a glass of wine — you’re good to go. 🙂
Light and refreshing, this Florentine vegetable soup tastes like summer in a bowl.
The slight sweetness of the yellow peppers (with a hint of fruitiness) makes this antipasto an excellent way to start any meal.
You can either serve it with bread or just add some croutons to the soup.
Tuscan dishes, including their cured meats, are always more intense in flavor compared with most of the other regions.
It’s the primary reason why this no-salt bread, while others find it bland, is perfect for their cuisine — the bread makes the rest of the dishes shine.
This antipasto is so simple to make but packs a punch of flavor.
You’ll get the taste of the sea from the mussels, complemented by the wine’s acidity and the freshness of the parsley leaves added at the end.
You can use bread to soak up any remaining sauce, but nah, I prefer to spoon (or drink) it like soup. Yum!
It’s the vegetarian version of meatballs without skimping on its deliciousness.
Eggplant, parsley, and Parmigiano Reggiano, you will taste all of these in every bite of this traditional Italian appetizer.
They’re great with marinara sauce, or on their own — and no, they are not oily at all!
No, not breadcrumbs — you use bread. Bread that is at least a day old. Just like eggplant meatballs, you combine almost the same set of ingredients.
But this time, the stale bread absorbs all the mixture’s flavors and helps keep them together.
Take some caution though, make sure they’ve cooled down a bit before you start eating them. Yep, I learned my lesson the hard way. 🙁
It’s similar to breadsticks from the north but with some white wine added to the dough and prepared quite differently.
I’ve found more variety of flavors with these Italian crackers than breadsticks, though. Taralli Pugliese comes with fennel, black pepper, olives, or turmeric (I kid you not!).
Regardless of what your preference is, they are all excellent with cured meats.
This easy Italian appetizer is also excellent as a side dish for grilled meat or fish.
The colors and flavors of summer vegetables all combined in one dish, with a bit of Calabrian flare — chili.
Feel free to tone down (or amp up) the amount of spice, though. That’s the beauty of preparing it at home.
Made from chickpea flour, this vegetarian appetizer can easily be turned into a sandwich for a light meal.
While it does take time to prepare it at home because you need to wait for the chickpea dough to solidify before frying the fritters, they are definitely worth it.
Just sprinkle some sea salt on them and serve. Simply delicious.
Excellent use of leftover risotto, but with added meat this time.
This authentic antipasto comes in either round or cone-like shape, and sometimes the filling would vary — although it’s filled with ragu traditionally.
Depending on the size, eating a couple of them as an appetizer will probably mean you have to skip the dessert. 🙂
So, which ones have you tried, and which of these traditional Italian appetizers would you like to try next? Let me know!