This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Italian appetizers often include bread, tomatoes, and cheeses! This collection has all of those things. There is sure to be one (or many) suggestions here that you are going to love!

More Collections: Italian Dinner, Italian Side Dishes, Italian Soups

A collage of different Italian Appetizers.

Antipasto or Appetizer?

Italian appetizers are always hearty and tasty. Whether you are planning an entire Italian-themed dinner, a Homemade Lasagna night, or just need appetizers for a tasting spread, I’ve got you covered!

Antipasto is the Italian term for an appetizer or a dish that precedes the meal.

Serving antipasti (plural) is typically reserved for restaurants and when family comes together to celebrate religious ceremonies, holidays, and other special occasions.

The antipasti are designed to whet the appetite for the meal that will follow. They come in a variety of colors, textures, and tastes as well as in hot and cold forms. A couple classic Italian antipasti include Charcuterie and Bruschetta

Burrata Board with various meats, olives, fruits, vegetables and burrata cheese in olive oil, garnished with mint and basil and served with a side of crostini.

elements of an Italian Charcuterie

You can arrange the board any way you wish. I like to make sure each section of the board has a little of each finger food. 

  • Meats. Place slices of meat around the board keeping each type together. Be sure to already pull apart the meats so that they are easy for guests to pick up. I like to include prosciutto, salami, pastrami, cured sausage, Italian bresaola and candied bacon.
  • Italian cheese. Use both hard and soft cheese. Parmesan cheese, cheddar, brie, gruyere, goat cheese, Italian Piave, and mozzarella cheese.
  • Nuts. Place groups of nuts around the board. Any type will do but some favorites include almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews. They can be raw, roasted, salted, or candied.
  • Fruits. Use both dried and fresh. Be sure the fruit will not be leaking juices into the other ingredients. Any type of fresh uncut berry, grapes, and cherries works. Also dried fruits like raisins, craisins, and dried apricots.
  • Vegetables. Include favorite bite-sized vegetables like baby carrots, broccoli florets, bell pepper, or snap peas. 
  • Olives. Add 2-3 different varieties of olives.
  • Crackers and slices of bread. Pita, small tortillas, grissini breadstick, toasted crostini, baguette, Ritz, pretzels, wheat thins, Triscuts, and parmesan crisps.
  • Spreads. Jams, jellies, honey, Pesto, spicy mustard, ricotta, cream cheese, Hummus.
Wooden board topped with bruschetta caprese.

Caprese is a Classic Italian Flavor

The flavors are traditionally used to make Caprese Salad, but the different elements can be prepared in a variety of ways.

Mozzarella, tomato slices, fresh basil leaves, and olive oil can be used to make everything from Caprese Skewers to Caprese Flatbread.

Classic Bruschetta recipe on a white platter.

Planning Suggestions

These Italian appetizer recipes are great for an “appetizer only” party or to serve before dinner. The following information will help you figure out how many dishes and how much of each you’ll need.

  • For fewer than 10 guests, offer 2-3 different types of appetizers. 
  • For more than 10 guests add another dish for every 5-8 more people. 
  • When appetizers are the main food at an event, plan to serve about 10-12 pieces per person for a two-hour party. Add about 5 more pieces per person for every hour after.
  • If you will be serving dinner, then you will not need as many appetizers. In this case, you’ll only need a total of 3-5 appetizers per person. 

More Planning Tips

Create the perfect spread of Italian finger foods with these additional tips.

  • Use a variety of appetizers and be sure that the flavors are complementary. 
  • Mix and match the warm & cool and sweet & savory. 
  • Do a practice run a couple of weeks beforehand to work out any kinks for new recipes.
  • Offer both ready-made (picked up at the grocery store or your favorite bakery) as well as homemade choices. 
  • Appetizers are an easy way for guests to contribute.
A bowl of pizza salad topped with pepperoni and cheese.

Storing + Serving Info

Keeping appetizers at the right temperature, especially if they are being served during a longer party, is important.

  • Warm. Chafing dishes and crock pots are my go-to tools to keep food warm for an extended period of time. 
  • Cold. First, only set out as many appetizers that will be eaten within an hour and refill as needed. Some appetizers need to be constantly chilled. In this case, I like to place ice in a bowl and then nestle the serving bowl with the food inside. Another idea is to purchase large thin ice packs that fit nicely under serving plates and platters.

Best Italian Appetizers

It’s always a good time for a tasty antipasto! Fried and crispy, or fresh, there are plenty of Italian appetizer recipes to choose from!

Have a few before dinner, or make it the entire meal. There will be no disappointed bellies.

Cheesy Pizza Muffins

These cheesy and delicious pizza muffins make for the perfect appetizer. They’re filled with melty mozzarella, and topped with a yummy garlic butter, more cheese, and mini pepperonis.

1 Pizza Muffin Recipe

Appetizer Pizza Muffin Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
4.86 from 7 votes
Get the recipe

Mozzarella Bites

Fried mozzarella bites are delicious, easy and the perfect party appetizer when served with marinara sauce and sprinkles with fresh herbs. Everyone loves this bite-sized snack!

2 Mozzarella Bites Recipe

Appetizer Mozzarella Bites Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
4.91 from 22 votes
Get the recipe

Olive Garden Breadsticks

Just like the originals, these copycat Olive Garden breadsticks are light and airy on the inside, and flavored with butter and garlic salt on the outside. Try dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can never eat just one!

3 Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

Bread Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours 27 minutes

Recipe Video

4.96 from 64 votes
Get the recipe

Fried Ravioli

Fried ravioli can be made as a side dish or appetizer, and is great with any Italian meal. Crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside, we love serving it with warm marinara.

4 Fried Ravioli Recipe

Main Course Fried Ravioli Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

4.91 from 22 votes
Get the recipe

Tortellini Skewers

Quick + simple pesto tortellini skewers whip up in minutes for a tasty appetizer perfect for any occasion. They are cheesy and delicious!

5 Tortellini Skewers Recipe

Appetizer Tortellini Skewers Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 13 votes
Get the recipe

Mozzarella Sticks

Everyone is obsessed with these ooey gooey homemade mozzarella sticks, breaded with a flavorful coating and fried to a golden perfection.

6 Mozzarella Sticks Recipe

Appetizer Mozzarella Sticks Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 24 votes
Get the recipe

Focaccia Bread

Crisp yet fluffy bread topped with delicious herbs and seasonings. This flavorful focaccia bread is so easy to make, and is perfect for sandwiches, dipping in soups, or enjoying on its own!

7 Focaccia Bread Recipe

Bread Focaccia Bread Recipe
Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 237 votes
Get the recipe

Mini Pizzas

These mini pizzas are bite-sized pizzas topped with cheese, tomatoes, fresh basil and more. They’re perfect for lunch, dinner, or even as an appetizer at parties!

8 Mini Pizzas

Main Course Mini Pizzas
Total Time: 18 minutes
5 from 9 votes
Get the recipe

Italian Meatballs

These homemade Italian meatballs are sure to rival your favorite Italian restaurant. They are juicy, soft, and full of flavor!

9 Italian Meatball Recipe

Appetizer, Main Course Italian Meatball Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 48 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 9 votes
Get the recipe

Pizza Dip

Everyone’s favorite food in dip form! This pizza dip is simple, delicious, and can be customized based on your favorite pizza toppings!

10 Pizza Dip Recipe

Appetizer Pizza Dip Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 25 votes
Get the recipe

Roasted Tomatoes

Juicy roasted tomatoes are the yummiest and easiest appetizer or side dish. Roasting them (with a little olive oil, basil and parmesan) brings out every delicious flavor!

11 Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Side Dish Roasted Tomatoes Recipe
Total Time: 22 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Get the recipe


This yummy homemade bruschetta is simple and perfect for any party! It includes fresh ingredients and is the perfect Italian appetizer!

12 Bruschetta Recipe

Appetizer Bruschetta Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 1 vote

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Deliciously cheesy chicken parmesan sliders make a perfect appetizer, but can hold their own as a main dish too!

13 Chicken Parmesan Sliders Recipe

Appetizer, Main Course Chicken Parmesan Sliders Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 9 votes
Get the recipe

easy Italian Appetizers

Delicious appetizers don’t have to be difficult. These simple bites are perfect for your antipasto platter and whip up in a flash, perfect for a last-minute gathering or if you are just craving some Italian!

Burrata Board

This simple burrata board is a stunning & sophisticated appetizer. It’s easy to assemble, and perfect for any occasion!

14 Burrata Board Recipe

Appetizer Burrata Board Recipe
Total Time: 26 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Get the recipe

Mini Deep Dish Pizza

Mini deep dish pizzas are our new favorite dinner recipe. They’re easy, quick and can be made custom for each person with their favorite toppings!

15 Mini Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

Appetizer, Main Course Mini Deep Dish Pizza Recipe
Total Time: 17 minutes
5 from 11 votes
Get the recipe

Cheesy Garlic Bread

This is by far our favorite garlic bread recipe. It takes minutes to put together and is SO cheesy and delicious. It’s the perfect side dish for any meal, but especially for pasta and Italian dishes!

16 Garlic Bread Recipe

Bread Garlic Bread Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.89 from 36 votes
Get the recipe

Caprese Kabobs

Simple, quick and delicious caprese kabobs take minutes to throw together and are perfect for any party or get together. Perfect antipasto skewers!

17 Caprese Kabobs Recipe

Appetizer Caprese Kabobs Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 12 votes
Get the recipe

Easy Bruschetta

This easy bruschetta is quick, simple and perfect for any party! It takes just 5 ingredients and is the perfect appetizer for any occasion.

18 Easy Bruschetta Recipe

Appetizer Easy Bruschetta Recipe
Total Time: 14 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 28 votes
Get the recipe

Fried Zucchini

Restaurant style fried zucchini is a family favorite! It’s simply addicting, especially dipped in ranch or marinara.

19 Fried Zucchini Recipe

Appetizer, Side Dish Fried Zucchini Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 227 votes
Get the recipe

Pizza Roll Ups

Crazy fast and easy to make, these pizza roll ups are oozing with cheese and pepperoni. They are tiny pockets of big flavor!

20 Pizza Roll Ups Recipe

Appetizer, Main Course Pizza Roll Ups Recipe
Total Time: 22 minutes
5 from 12 votes
Get the recipe

Bruschetta Caprese

Toasted bread rounds are topped with a mixture of juicy tomatoes, ripe avocado, and fresh mozzarella to make this bruschetta caprese. Top it all off with a balsamic glaze!

21 Bruschetta Caprese Recipe

Appetizer Bruschetta Caprese Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Get the recipe

Pizza Salad

Pizza salad is hearty & refreshing. All of the flavors of pizza are served on a bed of greens and topped with a homemade herb dressing!

22 Pizza Salad Recipe

Salad Pizza Salad Recipe
Total Time: 8 minutes
5 from 14 votes
Get the recipe

Our favorite Italian appetizers!

Nothing gets a meal started better than a delicious Appetizer. With so many fantastic Italian appetizer recipes to choose from you’ll want to try them all!

More Collections: Healthy Appetizers, Summer Appetizers, Easy Pasta Recipes

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

So Easy & So Yummy

Get my cookbook!

My new cookbook is the ultimate resource for feeding your friends and family with 200+ simple recipes including videos, tips & more!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. This list of ideas is so helpful! I can’t usually think of any Italian appetizers besides breadsticks, but next time I want to try making Bruschetta and Fried Ravioli. Thanks for the list of ideas!

  2. This is such a great collection of Italian appetizers! My favorites are the mozzarella sticks, bruschetta, and caprese kabobs.

  3. I loooove Italian food…and appetizers. This is a perfect compilation of both! I love that these are all things my kids would enjoy as well. The variety is great!

  4. You can’t go wrong with Italian appetizers – and I love that these are all so easy to make! The caprese kabobs and bruschetta are my favorites!

  5. Out of all the different types of appetizers, Italian appetizers are the best! I love anything Caprese and I love this collection of appetizers because it has different variations on Caprese appetizers – especially adding the avocado on the Caprese Bruschetta!