Holiday Antipasto Wreath – A fun and festive Christmas or New Year’s Eve appetizer recipe idea that’s so FAST and EASY to make! Skewered salami, mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs, and more come together to form the wreath. Mix-and-match the ingredients based on your favorites. You can prep it ahead of your party or event and when your guests see this, I guarantee everyone’s eyes will light up!
Easy Holiday Antipasto Wreath Recipe
If you’re looking for a fun, easy, no-cook, fuss-free holiday appetizer recipe, this is the one for you!
During the holiday season, I am a big fan of taking as many shortcuts as I possibly can when throwing Christmas parties, my New Year’s Eve party, or hosting holiday events.
And that’s where this antipasto wreath comes in because with one trip though your favorite grocery store, you’ll be able to pick up everything you need. And then all you need to do is assemble the wreath with charcuterie-type ingredients, which takes 20 minutes, tops.
Served with other great holiday appetizers, snacks, and Christmas season treats, this antipasto wreath made with fresh mozzarella pearls, hard salami, green and black olives, tomatoes, fresh herbs and drizzled with balsamic glaze is sure to impress your guests and party attendees!
Trader Joe’s In Your Area?
If you have one in your area, you can pick up nearly all the ingredients you need for the wreath, at prices usually much better than other supermarkets in my experience. This is not sponsored, I am just trying to save you money!
Also during November and December is when they have ALL the amazing seasonal finds which then disappear until next year. For me, their Hot Pepper Jelly, White Chocolate Chips, Cranberry Chevre Goat Cheese are all seasonal MUSTS for me. I’ve been told at some TJs the pepper jelly and white chips are not seasonal, but in San Diego they are.
Ingredients in a Christmas Antipasto Wreath
There’s extreme flexibility in the antipasto wreath appetizer recipe with regard to the ingredients. Mix-and-match, add, or omit ingredients based on your preferences.
Here are the basic fridge and pantry ingredients I incorporated:
- Green olives (pitted)
- Black olives (pitted)
- Sliced hard salami
- Mozzarella balls or fresh mozzarella
- Cherry tomatoes
- Balsamic glaze
- Fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnishing
- Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnishing
- Serving skewers, about 4-5 inches
- Large serving tray, serving platter, or large cutting board
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
Ingredients Substitutions and Flavor Ideas
There are tons of ingredients swaps and substitutions you can make:
Cheese: Fresh mozzarella pearls or fresh mozzarella balls, sometimes called ciliegine, are great. Also try hard cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano. Soft cheese fans can also add some brie. Make sure it’s not extremely creamy and will stay intact at room temp. You can add whatever various cheeses you enjoy from a smoked Gouda to white cheddar.
Vegetables: Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes are a given, but marinated artichoke hearts, sweet cherry peppers, peperoncini, kalamata olives, marinated mushrooms, small pickles, are just a few other ideas. With regard to the olives, make sure they’re pitted but stuffed is also a nice touch.
Meats: There are so many different types of salami which is a safe bet, but prosciutto is great, soppressata, coppa, or whatever Italian inspired protein you love. High quality deli turkey or chicken slices are also an option.
Herbs: Chances are you probably have fresh rosemary or thyme on hand from other holiday cooking. And if you have fresh basil on hand, I highly recommend it. Mint can also work.
For Drizzling: I always drizzle with balsamic glaze but if you want to spritz some olive oil, flavored olive oil like basil-infused olive oil, or even a chili-infused oil to add some spiciness!
How to Make an Antipasto Wreath Appetizer for the Holidays
There’s no right or wrong way to build the antipasto skewers for your Christmas wreath appetizer! Here’s what I did and it only takes about 20 minutes of prep time, or total time.
- Add 2 slices of salami, 1 mozzarella pearl, 1 cherry tomato, and 2 olives per skewer.
- Repeat until you’ve made about 20 skewers, although this is dependent on how many people you want to serve.
- Arrange a layer of of skewers into a circle on your serving platter.
- Arrange a second layer on top of the first layer.
- Add or tuck in the fresh herbs as desired.
- As close to the time that you plan to serve the wreath, that’s when you’ll want to drizzle it with balsamic glaze.
- Serve and enjoy! It’s nice to set out a small bowl, or a few little bowls, in various areas for folks to dispose of their skewer.
Note that it’s nice to make some vegetarian skewers (no meat). And not everyone likes olives, so you may want to not include meat (or olives) on every skewer. It’s great to mix-and-match and not make them all uniform!
Want To Make Your Wreath Ahead of Time?
You can! After Step 1, you can place the skewers in gallon sized plastic bags or large airtight storage container and refrigerate for up to 12 hours or so – basically you can prep the night before your event.
Don’t crowd the bags or containers and try not to have the food overly piled up so it doesn’t get squished. After all, you’re going to serve this to your guests and so you will want things to look their best!
How Many People Will This Feed?
That’s a great question! This ‘recipe’ is the epitome of flexible and so you’ll be able to feed about 10 people if you follow the recipe in the recipe card section (below).
That takes into account that everyone is going to eat about 2 skewers.
Because after all, you’re not just going to serve this wreath at your Christmas party or your New Years event!
What To Serve With The Best Antipasto Wreath
If you’re like me and can make a meal out of a literal smorgasboard of appetizers, then I’ve got you covered with these other easy, crowd-favorite snacks, apps, dips, and drinks!
It should go without saying, but you’ll want plenty of crackers, crostini, sliced baguettes or your favorite type of carbs to accompany the antipasto first course as your holiday party!
- Cheese Ball Wreath
- How to Make A Meat and Cheese Board
- Spanish Inspired Charcuterie Board
- Pineapple Cheese Ball
- Jalapeno Cheese Ball
- Cranberry Brie Bites
- Cranberry Baked Brie
- Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
Sliders and Sandwiches
- Ham and Cheese Sliders
- Pepperoni Pizza Sliders
- Turkey and Cheese Sliders
- Roast Beef Sliders
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Crockpot Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- The Best Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Creamy Baked Onion Dip
- Spicy Chorizo Queso Dip
- Easy Pizza Dip
- Cheesy Baked Mexican Street Corn Dip
- Baked Sticky Honey Garlic Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs
- Crockpot Grape Jelly Meatballs
- Air Fryer Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
- Pink Holiday Cocktail
- Sparkling Christmas Punch
- Winter Pomegranate Punch
- Santa’s Magic Potion
- Sugar Cookie Martini
Same Concept – With Less H oliday Vibes
If you want to make this seem NOT as ‘Christmas-ey’ and use it for a girls-night-in or a date-night-at-home, you definitely can by simply not arranging the skewers in a wreath shape, and just lay them on a serving platter. Use a bright or seasonally appropriate tablecloth for some color. Omit the fresh rosemary and thyme, and use basil or mint instead. Consider using multi-colored grape tomatoes, not just red ones.
Christmas Antipasto Wreath FAQs
Yes you can. In fact, you can skewer everything the night before a Christmas party or New Year’s Eve party. Keep the skewers in large airtight containers or gallon sized ziptop bags and then just fan them out on in a wreath shape on a large serving platter before your event begins. Drizzle everything with balsamic at the last minute.
Technically you could, but I wouldn’t because balsamic vinegar is very thin and bitter, just like all vinegar.
Balsamic glaze on the other hand is much thicker because it’s been boiled, reduced in volume so it’s thicker, and sugar has been added so it’s craveworthy and wonderful!
I have a recipe for Homemade Balsamic Glaze, sometimes called balsamic reduction. All you need is vinegar + brown sugar. However, Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze is a staple in my house! Or use any other favorite brand of balsamic glaze.
I suggest something disposal (wooden or plastic) that’s about 4 to 5 inches long, although you can technically use any size. I like to use these decorative bamboo knot skewers since this is a holiday appetizer recipe after all and I want to be fun and festive!
Yes to all of the above. As written the recipe serves about 10 people, if the average is 2 skewers consumed per guest. So you can just double (or triple) or halve the recipe, as needed.
Pin This Recipe
- 20 green olives, pitted (or pitted and stuffed)
- 40 slices hard salami
- 20 cherry or grape tomatoes
- 20 fresh mozzarella pearls or balls, or ciliegine
- 20 black olives, such as Kalmatta, pitted or pitted and stuffed
- Balsamic glaze, as desired
- Fresh rosemary Sprigs, optional for garnishing; as desired
- Fresh thyme sprigs, optional for garnishing, as desired
- Fresh basil, optional for garnishing, as desired
- To each skewer, I add a green olive, fold the salami in half and then in half again and skewer it, add a tomato, mozzarella pearl, black olive, another piece of folded salami; and repeat. Tips – For the skewers, I use these decorative bamboo skewers, although you can use something less decorative, or even plastic, but you'll want them to be disposable. You can add the food in any arrangement or pattern. You don't have to make all the skewers exactly identical. I find it's helpful to have some meatless, some without olives, and some with extra cheese, etc. Jump to Step 3 if you're not making this ahead of time for an event or party.
- Make Ahead – If you're assembling the skewers ahead of time, you can stop now, place them in large ziptop plastic bags or large airtight storage containers, seal, and refrigerate for up to 12-18 hours. Take them out and carry on with Step 3 before your event or party begins.
- Arrange a layer of skewers into a circle on your serving platter, tray, or cutting board.
- Arrange a second layer on top of the first layer, loosely placing them and arranging as desired.
- Tuck in the fresh herbs for garnishing, as desired around the wreath.
- Before serving, evenly drizzle with balsamic glaze* (and/or olive oil) and serve with crackers, toasted bread, baguette slices, or your favorite carbs for charcuterie.
- This recipe is best consumed after assembly and after it sits out for an event or party. Although if you have extra skewers, they'll keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5-7 days, provided they weren't super saturated with balsamic glaze or olive oil.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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