Antipasto Salad with Lupini Beans

This Italian antipasto salad recipe with lupini beans is packed with protein and bursting with Mediterranean flavors enveloped in a sweet and zesty balsamic & olive oil dressing!

You can make this show-stopping antipasto salad with minimal effort! Serve it paired with Italian focaccia bread and a glass of red wine for a delicious Mediterranean style meal!

Lupini bean antipasto salad in a large party platter.

Although it’s supposed to be an appetizer (antipasto is Italian for before the meal) Daniel and I love it so much we often make a meal out of it.

I like to add lupini beans to our low-carb antipasto salad for extra protein without the heaviness of the cured meats. They are often served in Italy as snacks or as part of an antipasto assortment, combined with olives.

Ingredients and alternatives

You’ll love the sheer versatility of this salad! I give exact amounts of every ingredient on the recipe card at the bottom of the post to make the salad like you see in the photos here, but you should really just pick and choose what you like!

The flexible ingredient list below includes items commonly found in traditional Italian antipasto. You have endless opportunities to customize the flavor to your heart’s content – you can have a different salad every day!

Gathered ingredients for lupini bean antipasto salad.

Fresh and marinated vegetables

This Italian salad is made with lupini beans, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and garlic-stuffed olives (pick your favorite olives, or use a mix). We also added cherry tomatoes and raw red onions for a crunchy bite.

Other great marinated options are pepperoncini (you can use banana peppers), mushrooms, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes.

The salad is served on a bed of leafy greens. Choose whatever you prefer: Iceberg lettuce, frisee lettuce, romaine hearts, mixed greens, radicchio, arugula, etc.

Italian cheeses

You can choose from several Italian cheeses for this recipe. We like to add Provolone piccante (sharp). It’s a stronger, aged version of provolone.

If you’re not into funky cheese, substitute Provolone dolce (sweet), which is a younger, milder, and sweeter version.

Other Italian cheeses that fit nicely with the flavors of this recipe are and Parmesan, Grana-Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, Fontina, and mozzarella balls or bocconcini, either fresh or marinated.

Although feta is a Greek cheese and not traditionally served as antipasti, it is often added to antipasto platers in the US and it pairs really well with the other ingredients. Feel free to try it if you like!

Cured or smoked meats

I added two types of Italian deli meats: Salami and Mortadella (Italian Bologna). I got large pieces and chopped them into bite-size pieces myself, as I prefer this style of presentation over the slices.

Also often served as antipasti are thin slices of Bresaola (air-dried and salted aged beef) or Prosciutto (Italian dry-cured ham).

Lupini beans antipasto salad with Italian dressing.

How to make

  1. Drain the liquid from the marinated vegetables, olives, and lupini beans. Slice the cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Form a bed of salad greens in a large salad bowl or shallow platter. Neatly spread the antipasti options on top, arranging the ingredients in rows or divided into separate mounds.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle the Italian dressing (recipe below) over the antipasto salad. Enjoy!

Italian vinaigrette dressing recipe

This simple homemade Italian dressing coats the ingredients with a delicious blend of herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, adding depth and richness to the antipasto salad.

I made a vinaigrette similar to the one in my Arugula and Balsamic Salad recipe, swapping the lime juice for lemon (the sweeter taste works with the salty cured meats) and added garlic to make the flavor pop amongst the richer ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons
  • Balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
  • One clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon

Instructions

Just add all the ingredients to a mason jar, close the lid, and shake well to combine. Or you can also whisk the ingredient together in a bowl.

Drizzle immediately over your lupini bean antipasto salad, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Be sure to shake or whisk well before using.

Ingredients for Italian vinaigrette dressing in mason jar.

Hot tips & FAQ

What do lupini beans taste like

Sweet lupini beans do not taste like any other beans. Ready-to-eat out of the jar, they have slightly salty taste complemented by a buttery and nutty flavor. They have a delicious firm texture with a satisfying bite.

Their texture is more similar to peanuts than to beans, which makes them a deliciously addicting salty snack.

Speaking of peanuts, if you are allergic to them you might experience allergy to lupini beans as well. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor before trying lupini beans for the first time.

How to make lupini beans less salty

This is a great tip if you find your lupini beans to be too salty straight out of the jar: drain them, then soak them in cool tap water for 20-30 minutes.

The fresh water will remove the excess salt from the lupini beans. Repeat the process as needed until they are no longer salty.

Can you eat lupini bean skin

Yes, you can eat lupini bean skins. The skins or shells of lupini beans are similar to those of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), but thicker. They are edible and contain fiber, so they are safe to consume. I personally enjoy them.

Some people may find the skins to be tough or chewy. If so, you can simply remove them before eating or incorporating them into recipes. Lupini beans can easily pop out of their shells when squeezed.

Prep ahead and storage

There are several ways you can prepare this salad ahead of time. The secret for keeping the lettuce greens crisp is to avoid moisture.

Prepare earlier in the day: Thoroughly drain marinated vegetables and lupini beans. Arrange them on lettuce with the other ingredients in the morning, serving later on the same day for crisp salad leaves.

Prepare more than one day ahead: Keep ingredients separated to prevent wilting. Chop cured meats, cheese, onions, and veggies, and drain marinated ingredients. Divide in airtight containers or zip bags and refrigerate for up to 3 days before assembling.

Dress salad just before serving: For the vinaigrette, prep ahead by adding all ingredients to a mason jar and refrigerating for up to 7 days. Shake well to combine before serving.


Lupini beans antipasto salad with Italian dressing.

Lupini Bean Antipasto Salad

5 from 3 votes
This colorful low-carb antipasto salad recipe with lupini beans is an easy crowd-pleaser with customizable ingredients!
Author: Pris Frank
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8

Ingredients
 

Lupini bean antipasto salad

  • 8 ounces (226 g) leafy greens chopped romaine hearts, iceberg or frisee lettuce, arugula or radicchio
  • 1 ½ cup (360 g) ready-to-eat lupini beans drained
  • 6 ounces (170 g) Mortadella Bologna chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, or rolled-up slices
  • 6 ounces (170 g) salami sliced thick and cut into triangles, or thin slices
  • 8 ounces (226 g) sharp provolone cheese (or your choice of Italian cheese) chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup (202 g) marinated artichoke hearts drained and quartered
  • 1 ½ cup (226 g) cherry tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup (40 g) red onions cut into thick slices
  • ½ cup (90 g) garlic stuffed olives or your favorite olives
  • 4 ounces (114 g) roasted red peppers drained and cut into bite-sized pieces

Balsamic & olive oil dressing

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano you may replace basil and oregano for Italian seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Drain all liquid from the marinated vegetables, olives, and lupini beans. Slice or chop the cured meats, cheese, and vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  • Form a bed of salad greens in a large salad bowl or shallow platter. Neatly spread the antipasti options on top, arranging the ingredients in rows or divided into separate mounds.
  • Add all the dressing ingredients to a mason jar, close the lid, and shake well to combine. Or whisk them together in a bowl.
  • Drizzle the antipasto salad with the vinaigrette dressing just before serving.

Notes

Ingredient alternatives
  • Marinated veggies: Pepperoncini or banana peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes or pickled onions.
  • Cheeses: Provolone dolce (sweet), Parmesan, Grana-Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, Fontina, and mozzarella balls or bocconcini, either fresh or marinated.
  • Cured meats: Add Prosciutto or Bresaola instead of either Salami or Mortadella.
To keep the salad fresh longer: Be sure to drizzle the vinaigrette dressing just before serving to keep the greens crisp. You can store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 395kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 20gFat: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gNet Carbohydrates: 5g
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!

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