Hasselbaink, who was on the coaching staff at Championship side Nottingham Forest, has signed a one-year deal with the remit of taking the former UEFA Cup Winners' Cup runners-up back up to the top flight.
The 41-year-old told Antwerp's website: "This was a very attractive proposition to begin my career as a coach.
"Our first goal is to go to for promotion and then continue to build.
"Antwerp is a wonderful club that for several years has been performing below expectations, it is a sleeping giant.
"Our hard work starts today."