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These Italian appetizers are crowd-pleasing starters to any Italian-style meal! Pick from bruschetta, crostini, caponata and more.

Italian appetizers, Italian appetizer recipes

Making an Italian-style dinner and need some starters? Try these easy Italian appetizers, bursting with Mediterranean-style flavors! This list contains both traditional Italian appetizer recipes like eggplant caponata and Caprese salad, as well as Italian-inspired or Italian American recipes like antipasto skewers or tomato bruschetta. Every single one of them we’ve developed, tested and approved in our home kitchen. Mix and match these fresh, seasonal appetizer recipes to fit your menu!

And now…easy Italian appetizers to pair with your meal!

More Italian recipes

Want more inspiration from this flavorful cuisine outside of Italian appetizer recipes? Here are some favorite ideas to pick from:

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20 Great Italian Appetizers: Caponata & More!

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


Caponata is an Italian appetizer bursting with flavor! Eggplant and Mediterranean vegetables make a tangy, garlicky spread that’s perfect over crusty bread.


  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (2 medium)
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 14-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Basil, for garnish
  • Toasted pine nuts, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cut the eggplant into small cubes, about ½ inch by ½ inch. Dice the celery. Slice the red onion. Dice the red bell pepper. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the eggplant, celery, red pepper and red onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 3 to 5 minutes until the eggplant and onions are browned and softened.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, capers, and salt. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring once, until very tender. Taste and add another pinch or two of salt. Serve warm, garnished with chopped basil and toasted pine nuts. Or, chill for up to 1 day and serve cold or at room temperature (the flavors taste even better after refrigerating).
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Italian appetizers, Italian appetizer, Italian appetizer recipes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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