Antipasto Skewers

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Fun and festive Antipasto Skewers --- who needs salad?

I make these colorful and fun Antipasto Skewers all the time ~ everybody gets their own personal antipasto selection right on a stick ~ from Game Days to the Holidays, these are everybody’s favorites!

Fun and festive Antipasto Skewers --- who needs salad?

I’ve made these Antipasto Skewers for a couple of different parties this year and I thought you might like to do them yourselves sometime.  They were big hits, and we ended up making them at home with the leftover ingredients for many nights afterwards.  They work well for gatherings because they can fill in for either the appetizers or a salad course, and they’re portable!  No more messy salad bowl on the buffet table.  If you do the job right the colors really pop and the flavors can be quite adventurous.  I like to thread on little hot chili peppers here and there so you never know when you’re going to get a zippy bite — I’m a little mischievous when it comes to my skewers 😉

A rainbow of antipasto ingredients threaded on skewers for a quick and healthy appetizer

The hardest part about assembling these easy skewers is opening up all the little jars and containers!   I make them an hour or two before I need to serve them, cover the tray with a damp towel and put it in the fridge to keep everything fresh.  The sky is literally the limit for what you can skewer up.  I like to stick with classic antipasto type stuff, like cured meats, olives, cheeses, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, pickled things, and peppers.  That way everything tastes good together.  I added some basil leaves for a pop of fresh green.  You can make all the skewers the same, but I think that’s kind of boring, so I layered mine willy nilly, and no two are alike.  It’s fun to pick your skewer and see what you get!

Colorful and healthy Antipasto Skewers

You’ll find lots of these ingredients at the regular grocery store.  Check out the olive bar if your store has one, they often have interesting bite sized antipasto type things.  Specialty stores like international markets, gourmet stores, delicatessens, and wine and cheese shops, often have unusual items.  Trader Joe’s is a good source, too.

Healthy a vibrant Antipasto Skewers can be an appetizer or a light meal, depending on how large you make them

Be sure to get pitted olives, of course.  Choose one cheese that you can cut in chunks, and then grab some marinated mozzarella balls.  Then go up and down the aisles keeping your eyes peeled for interesting stuff.  Look for color and texture variation.  I got a can of jumbo black olives, some marinated tomatoes, little stuffed peppers, pepperoncini, lots of fresh basil and cherry tomatoes, and an assortment of Italian meats like salami and prosciutto.  I even found some little balsamic pickled onions, tiny marinated mushrooms, and a container of roasted garlic cloves.  The mild sweetness of the cheeses and meats offsets the tanginess of the pickled stuff — and there’s an occasional spicy bite in there too — so the whole thing is an adventure to eat.

A tray of Antipasto Skewers --- an easy appetizer for a party

This is one of those posts that is more of an inspiration than a formal recipe.  Keep everything bite sized, and use what you like.

Healthy a vibrant Antipasto Skewers can be an appetizer or a light meal, depending on how large you make them

Reader Rave ~

I have been making these skewers since you first posted them! I’m making a bunch today for New Years Eve, I just leave off the basil and they stay perfect in the fridge. I do cover them with a damp towel . I’ve made it a point to track down every ingredient you used in yours, and everybody loves them, thank you!”  ~Jen

A tray of Antipasto Skewers --- an easy appetizer for a party
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4 from 3 votes

Antipasto Skewers


  • fresh mozzarella balls marinated
  • cheddar or smoked Gouda cheese cut in small cubes
  • fresh basil leaves
  • pitted olives
  • pepperoncini
  • pickled onions
  • sliced dill pickles or gherkins
  • cherry tomatoes
  • canned or marinated artichoke hearts
  • assorted Italian cured meats like salami pepperoni, and prosciutto
  • anything else you can find!
  • wooden or metal skewers I used 8 inch wooden skewers


  • pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze optional


  • Open all your containers and set up a work assembly line. Have a hand towel nearby as your hands will get a little bit oily.
  • Drain cans that need to be drained, and spoon out some of the ingredients so you have easy access.
  • Be sure to leave enough room at the bottom of each skewer so that people can pick them up easily. I like to start with something dry like a cherry tomato for ease of handling.
  • You can make all the skewers alike, or thread them randomly. Fold the basil leaves in half, and then in half again if they are large. If they are small they can go on as is.
  • Fold sliced round meats like salami the same way as the basil. For prosciutto cut it and then roll or fold until it becomes a neat little package.
  • If anything is too large, cut it so that it is roughly the same size as everything else. I cut artichokes in half or even in quarters. I sliced larger marinated peppers in half. Just use your judgement, and don't worry if some things hang out a little, that's part of the charm of these skewers!
  • Lay the finished skewers out on a tray or a baking sheet, and cover with a damp cloth. Refrigerate.
  • It's best to use within an hour or two. If possible, transfer the skewers to a clean serving tray right before serving. If you like, you can drizzle the skewers with the pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze at the last minute.


  • If you’re feeding a crowd, make these up to a couple of hours ahead, but no more.  You want everything to be fresh.  Cover with a damp towel and put in the refrigerator.  The basil will definitely wilt if you make these too far in advance, so leave it off if in doubt.
  • Use thin, cocktail type skewers, mine were 8″ bamboo, like these.  Grilling skewers will be too thick.
  • Keep an eye toward color variation, so your skewers aren’t drab.  Yellow or orange cherry tomatoes, bright red stuffed peppers, the white mozzarella, and the basil really help bring the skewers alive visually.
  • These aren’t meant to be finger food, your guests will need a plate, and a fork.




don’t forget to pin these Antipasta Skewers ~ your friends will thank you!

colorful antipasto skewers


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  • Reply
    December 30, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I have been making these skewers since you first posted them! I’m making a bunch today for New Years Eve, I just leave off the basil and they stay perfect in the fridge. I do cover them with a damp towel . I’ve made it a point to track down every ingredient you used in yours, and everybody loves them, thank you!

  • Reply
    Juanita Michael
    April 28, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I love the recipes you share! Thank you very much!

    • Reply
      October 17, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      thanks so much Juanita <3

  • Reply
    August 27, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Wow very nice. Just saw these when looking for some ideas on what to put on the antipasto skewers I’m taking to work next week. I like all the different combinations and that each one is different. I really like the hot chili peppers. I thought about making a balsamic drizzle and perhaps bringing in some italian dressing as a drizzle for those that might want it. Thanks for the idea. They look great.

    • Reply
      August 28, 2016 at 7:48 am

      I truly love these, Will, I make them often for company. One word of caution is don’t make them too big if they are to be used as a light appetizer, the one complaint I’ve gotten from friends is that they don’t want to eat dinner after gorging on these!

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    December 5, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Oh, thanks for adding this to my round-up, Sue – love it! I’ve got a party to go to tomorrow night and these are going with me!!

    • Reply
      December 5, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Thanks Robyn, seriously, these are my go-to party appetizer now, I’ve made them so many times, with whatever I find that day, and they always turn out so pretty and delicious, enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    October 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I do make antipasto skewers all the time – but never thought to use those little onions or little spicy peppers. I am going to do so! Love the added savory, spicy taste! Olive bars just make me happy.

  • Reply
    October 22, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Oh! So pretty and clever! Love the variety and you’re right, the sky’s the limit as to different additions to the skewers! Also I liked the idea of squirting them with balsamic glaze!

  • Reply
    Shari Kelley
    October 21, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    These are just beautiful, Sue! I love all of the different colors and flavors you have included on the skewers. Pinned them for the next time I need an appetizer. Thank you!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I want this for dinner! I’m much more of a grazer and this looks like a terrific appetizer or even a fun idea for a meal!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    October 21, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Boy I sure missed the invite to that party – those look great. The colors are so appealing and the photos are great! Sharing, pinning, drooling!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Oh Yum! I pinned and can’t wait to try them . . . in a Bloody Mary! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    October 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    What a cool idea ! Love this!

  • Reply
    Abbe @ This is How I Cook
    October 21, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I want the one with the gherkin. No, the olive. No really, with the stuffed peppadew! What fun and definitely doing. That way I don’t have to wash a lot of little dishes!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Haha — I couldn’t remember the name peppadew, thank you Abbe!!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Terrific idea and I’d love to get that zippy bite 🙂 The sky is the limit with these skewers. Perfect party food!

  • Reply
    Carolyn Selheim-Miller | Boxes and Jars
    October 21, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I love making these! They’re especially great if you’re doing a buffet-style meal…also a great thing to have at a bloody mary bar!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Bloody Mary bar….now you’re talking!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    October 21, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I just started a kitchen remodel this week and I need to make up a platter of these skewers for quick and easy dinners while I’m without a kitchen sink, oven, and range! (Yikes!) Thanks for the inspiration :). Love these for holiday parties too!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2015 at 9:40 am

      I’m sooooo jealous of your kitchen re-do Laura — I can’t wait to see what wonders come out of the new space 🙂

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    October 21, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Olive bars can be so great, can’t they? Lotta good stuff in the one at my local store. This is such a great idea — wonderful way to make this sort of mix a bit easier to eat. Thanks!

    • Reply
      October 21, 2015 at 9:39 am

      I’m an olive bar junkie — I especially love those stuffed cherry peppers!

  • Reply
    Michelle | A Latte Food
    October 21, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I love skewers! They’re just so much fun! This version looks so delish! I could eat them all!