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Healthy Italian Appetizers: An Italian Tagliere Feast


Healthy Italian Appetizers - Full Italian Board

As I’ve mentioned before, one of our favorite Sunday Dinner traditions at Casa Caponigri is aperitivo and apericena. The Italian, Mediterranean diet offers so many options for healthy Italian appetizers – from cheeses to cured meats or dried fruits, to crostini and roasted vegetables. Everywhere you go in Italy, there is an abundance of healthy Italian appetizers to choose from. Below, I spotlight my famed Tagliere; an Italian board full of great healthy Italian appetizers.

Healthy Italian Appetizers on Lisa’s Italian Tagliere


Healthy Italian Appetizers - Fruits, Vegetables, and Spreads

Healthy Italian Appetizers, from left to right:

  • Dried Genoa Salami
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Walnuts
  • Dried Figs (in the ramekin)
  • Caprese Salad: Stack or line up fresh tomato, fresh basil, Italian mozzarella bufala from Italy, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil


Healthy Italian Appetizers - Meats and Cheeses


  • Dark Purple Grapes
  • Crostini: Take any type of Italian or baguette bread and cut diagonally. Brush with extra virgin olive oil and salt, then broil for 2-3 minutes until toasted. Serve with cheeses, meats, and other spreads.
  • Layered Red and Green Pesto Goat Cheese Spread: In a small bowl, mix 8 ounces of goat cheese with 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the cheese mixture at the bottom layer of any type of glass jar (you can use ceramic, but I prefer glass because you can see the pretty layers). Spread 1 layer of imported basil pesto on the goat cheese. Top the pesto with another layer of goat cheese, then add one layer of red sun-dried tomato pesto from Italy. Top with goat cheese, then repeat steps until full. [Optional: sprinkle with pine nuts or fresh basil.]
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Fresh and Dried Apricots
  • Marinated Artichokes: Toss two 12 ounce jars of quartered artichoke hearts with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Bacon Wraps: Take one large date (I prefer medjool dates) and slice down the middle to remove the pit. Stuff with a 1/2 teaspoon of mascarpone cheese, then wrap in a 1/2 slice of bacon. Once wrapped, secure with a toothpick. Brown in a frying pan until the bacon is crispy on the outside.
  • Mixed nuts (in a ramekin)
  • Honey: To drizzle on top of the Pecorino Romano
  • Prosciutto Crudo
  • Crostini
  • Italian Herb-Infused cheese wheel: Make a wheel of soft Piemontese or other soft cheese, then roll in Italian herbs. I used dried oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and orange zest.
  • Goat Cheese Log: On a small plate, roll an 8 ounce log of goat cheese in Italian herbs. You can buy a pre-made mix, or make your own with dried oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and lemon zest.
  • Cashews
  • Prosciutto Cotto
  • Dried Dates
  • Italian flat bread crackers
  • Fig Jam (in ramekin to put on any of the cheeses): I recommend the Chiaverini or Casa Giulia brands.


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  • Lisa Caponigri

    Lisa Caponigri is the author of This is Sunday Dinner and Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, published by Sterling Epicure. Both of Lisa's cookbooks brim with her memories of living in Italy, both as a child and as an adult raising her own family, anecdotes about her family, regional and seasonal Italian specialties, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday Dinner on the table, every Sunday of the year. She has developed a line of prepared foods and sauces called Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Lisa debuted on HSN and has appeared on QVC. She has also appeared on a variety of television programs, including Seattle's New Day Northwest, Good Morning Toronto, Chicago's WGNLunchbreak, and New England Cooks, to name a few. Lisa is frequently consulted as an expert in Italian lifestyle and food. Lisa Caponigri lives in South Bend, IN and travels frequently to Italy to research the latest in "la dolce vita". Visit to learn more about Lisa!

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