Classic Italian Pinzimonio Recipe + Appetizing Variations

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the classic Italian pinzimonio, but then you couldn’t quite figure out what food this is. A healthy addition to your party buffets, dinner appetizers, and righteous snacks, our pinzimonio recipe is bound to conquer the taste buds of your friends and family.

Always based on finely sliced raw veggies and a tasty sauce, there are several ways you can adapt the dips to meet your taste, especially if you have children and don’t want to use black pepper or spices that are too hot.

Enjoy my Italian pinzimonio recipe and let me know if you try it!

Image: Veggies for the Italian pinzimonio.

How and when to serve the Italian pinzimonio

In Italy, we serve our pinzimonio as an appetizer or, more rarely, as a raw vegetable side dish. The most virtuous of us, enjoy classic Italian pinzimonio as a snack either mid-morning or mid-afternoon when the appetite bites but it’s too early for lunch or dinner.

Of course, pinzimonio is a fantastic dish to add to any buffet you are organizing in your house or at a party, whether it’s meat-based, with seafood, or plant-based.

Ingredients for the classic Italian pinzimonio recipe

  • Olive oil. If you are to serve true classic Italian pinzimonio, the oil can only be extra-virgin olive oil, better if cold-pressed.
  • Vinegar. Either white wine vinegar or balsamic. For my usual pinzimonio recipe, I like good-quality balsamic vinegar.
  • Salt. Just a pinch or to taste.
  • Black pepper. To taste but it doesn’t need to be too much. Better if freshly ground.
  • Seasonal veggies raw. Finely sliced and crunchy to dip in the sauce.
Image: Sauce for the classic Italian pinzimonio.

Variations of the classic Italian pinzimonio recipe

Different sauces for pinzimonio

The classic pinzimonio sauce is simply made with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and a few drops of vinegar. This is a very healthy dish, fully raw and fully plant-based, so if you like it, to avoid getting bored, you can use every time a different sauce.

As I said earlier, you can choose between white wine or balsamic vinegar, but this is not the only variation you can delight your guests with.

To the classic pinzimonio recipe sauce, you can add a teaspoon of your favorite mustard. This will make it slightly tangy, perfect if you like spicy food.

Other tasty variations of the original Italian pinzimonio dip can include cream cheese, herbs, and spices.

For example, try to add to your favorite cream cheese a pinch of salt and a mix of herbs such as fresh mint, oregano, parsley, and thyme. I usually prefer fresh herbs because I feel they give a much stronger flavor but if you don’t have them, you can totally try the dried ones.

If you like a zesty taste, add half an orange or half a lemon freshly squeezed to a bowl with mayo or olive oil and fresh mint or spices like black pepper or turmeric.

As a healthy variation, sometimes I swap salt for miso or good-quality soy sauce, both fermented soy products.

While you can cut and prepare the veggies beforehand, even in the morning for the evening, I suggest you prepare your pinzimonio sauce not too much in advance as it might change the flavor. I would say an hour before serving is the right amount of time to allow the ingredients to blend together.

Image: Sliced fennel for Italian pinzimonio.

Different veggies for pinzimonio

The veggies for the classic pinzimonio should always be the ones in season, so depending on the month you are serving this dish, the vegetables you’ll choose will be different.

In summer, you can use raw zucchini, radishes, sweet bell peppers, and cucumbers. In spring, I love having my pinzimonio with raw artichokes, while in winter, I usually enjoy it with sliced fennel. Veggies like carrots and celery are good any time of the year.

You can also dip cherry tomatoes in your pinzimonio sauce, better if small so you don’t need to cut them in half.


Pinterest image with three photos of veggies and sauce and a caption reading "Classic Italian pinzimonio. Visit to learn more."

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