Crisp salads greens are dressed with a tangy vinaigrette and placed on top of a cheezy and crispy crust for a salad pizza that’s heaven in every bite.
I almost always serve a salad with pizza so why not put it on the pizza instead? Salad pizzas aren’t a unique idea but I’ve taken the concept to a new level in my house with several adaptations over the years. I’ve never posted any recipes before but I’ve decided it’s time!
My love for salad pizza started in Trader Joe’s (like many of my food loves) with a bagged salad. I wanted to get my kids to eat more salads. They loved the Southwestern Chopped Salad so I’d serve that often. (Since everything but the cheese is vegan, I’d just set that aside for them to add to their plate and we could all enjoy it.) That’s when it hit me. What if I could get them to try some new salads by putting them on a pizza. I started with the Southwestern Chopped and it was a success. From there, I played around with the Mediterranean Style Salad using hummus instead of pizza sauce. I quickly learned that salad in a bag + store bought pizza dough = easy weeknight dinner.
Over the years, I’ve created my own recipes with custom salad blends and other stand ins for pizza sauce. The possibilities are endless! This recipe is one of my newest favorites. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine.
Why I love Salad Pizza
As I mentioned above, you can keep it simple with a store-bought salad in a bag or gourmet it up like in this recipe with something homemade. This meal is also a winner in my opinion because of the customization options. You can divide the dough into personal sized pizzas and let everyone add their special requests to their salads for the toppings. Same goes for the sauce. You can have a couple of options for every one to mix and match on their own. In this way, I really like that this meal can be interactive, which fosters conversation around the dinner table.
Salad pizzas are also a terrific option for families with mixed dietary preferences. The non vegans can easily add their animal protein of choice separately on their pizza slices or personal pizza. The options for salad / pizza combos allows for a lot of creativity so you can plug this meal idea into your dinner plan and have a different meal every week.
What is a Salad Pizza?
Salad pizza is a type of pizza that combines elements of traditional pizza with fresh salad ingredients. It typically features a pizza crust topped with a variety of salad greens, vegetables, and often a protein, along with dressing for flavor. It usually starts with a pizza crust, which can be traditional wheat-based dough or a healthier alternative like cauliflower crust or a whole wheat crust. Instead of the typical tomato sauce and cheese found on most pizzas, salad pizzas are topped with a variety of fresh salad ingredients.
The toppings often include a mix of fresh vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, and sometimes even avocado slices. These vegetables are typically tossed with a light vinaigrette dressing to add flavor and moisture to the pizza. Other toppings like vegan cheese, olives, and plant proteins may also be included for added texture and taste.
This dinner idea is just the thing if you want something refreshing and light, giving healthier vibes to a traditional “cheat food” such as pizza. They are also a great option for people who want the best of both salad and pizza worlds.
Ingredients for Salad Pizza
Depending on the type of salad and pizza combo you’re going for, the ingredients will vary.
Store-bought dough is an easy option. Let it sit out at room temperature in a bowl on your counter covered with a tea towel for 30 minutes before rolling out into a crust.
Crisp salad greens
We thinly sliced salad gems and radicchio for our blend. Romaine, butter lettuce, red leaf, arugula, spinach and baby gems all provide great options for mixing and matching.
We added sliced red onion to our greens, but additional options could include cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and green onions.
Salad Vinaigrette or Dressing
A simple homemade or store-bought dressing is essential for tossing the greens and layering onto the pizza crust.
How to Make Salad Pizza
- Prepare the pizza crust:
Preheat your oven according to the instructions for your pizza dough.
Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface or a pizza stone to your desired thickness. You can shape it into a traditional round pizza or any other shape you prefer.
Transfer the dough to a pizza peel or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the pizza crust:
Sprinkle your cheeses across the pizza dough or brush the dough with a little olive oil to help it crisp up and prevent it from getting soggy from the salad.
Place the pizza crust in the preheated oven and bake according to the dough’s instructions or until it’s golden brown and cooked through.
- Prepare the salad topping:
While the pizza crust is baking, prepare your salad ingredients.
Drizzle with your dressing and toss together to coat.
- Assemble the salad pizza:
Remove the pizza crust from the oven and let it cool slightly.
Transfer the crust to a cutting board or serving platter and layer the salad on top.
- Serve and add additional toppings
Slice the pizza into pieces and serve immediately while the crust is still warm and crisp.
Add additional toppings to personalize individual slices.
Instead of traditional pizza dough, swap gluten-free dough or cauliflower crusts. Pita bread, naan bread and lavash are some other options for crust stand-ins.
Instead of cheese, replace with pizza sauce, hummus, salad dressing, guacamole or a bean dip. Bake the the pizza dough first. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before spreading on one of the above options.
Meal Prep & Storage Tips
Prep Ingredients in Advance:
- Wash, chop, and prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and any other vegetables you plan to use. Store them separately in airtight containers to keep them fresh.
Store Dressing Separately:
- Keep the salad dressing separate from the salad ingredients and pizza crust. Use small, leak-proof containers or salad dressing containers to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.
Par-Bake the Crust:
- If you’re meal prepping salad pizza for several days, consider par-baking the pizza crust. This means partially baking the crust without toppings until it’s just set but not fully cooked. This can help prevent it from getting too soggy when you add the salad later.
Assemble Just Before Eating:
- Wait to assemble until you’re ready to eat. Place the pizza crust on a plate or cutting board, add the salad toppings, and drizzle with dressing right before serving. This will ensure the crust stays crisp.
- If you must assemble the pizza in advance, try a layering technique to minimize sogginess. Start with a layer of crust, followed by a thin barrier of cheese or a slightly firmer ingredient like tofu, and then add the salad on top. This can help create a buffer between the crust and the wetter salad ingredients.
Keep Ingredients Dry:
- Ensure that salad greens and other moisture-rich ingredients are as dry as possible before adding them to the pizza. Excess moisture can make the crust soggy. You can use paper towels to blot excess moisture from vegetables.
- Once assembled, store the pizza in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Try to consume it within 2-3 days for the best freshness.
Reheat Carefully (if necessary):
- If you have leftover slices and wish to reheat them, do so in an oven or toaster oven to help restore the crispness of the crust. Avoid using a microwave, as it can make the crust soggy.
Salad Pizza Combinations
Salad pizza is incredibly versatile, allowing you to get creative with your toppings and combinations. Mix and match these ingredients or create your own unique combinations based on your preferences.
- Classic Mediterranean Salad Pizza:
- Pizza crust with a thin layer of olive oil or hummus spread
- Toppings: Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, Kalamata olives, Violife feta cheese, and a drizzle of Greek dressing
- Caprese Salad Pizza:
- Pizza crust with a garlic-infused olive oil base
- Toppings: Sliced tomatoes, fresh vegan mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, and a balsamic glaze drizzle
- Caesar Salad Pizza:
- Pizza crust with Caesar salad dressing as the base
- Toppings: Romaine lettuce, roasted chickpeas, croutons, Violife Parmesan cheese, and additional Caesar dressing drizzle
- Roasted Veggie Salad Pizza:
- Pizza crust with a garlic and olive oil base
- Toppings: Roasted bell peppers, zucchini, red onion, cherry tomatoes, arugula, vegan cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette drizzle
- Southwest Salad Pizza:
- Pizza crust with a black bean and avocado spread
- Toppings: Black beans, corn, diced bell peppers, red onion, avocado slices, shredded cheddar cheese, and a cilantro-lime dressing drizzle
- Spinach and Artichoke Salad Pizza:
- Pizza crust with a spinach and artichoke dip as the base
- Toppings: Fresh baby spinach leaves, marinated artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes, shredded vegan mozzarella cheese, and a squeeze of lemon juice
- Taco Salad Pizza:
- Pizza crust with a layer of refried beans or salsa
- Toppings: Seasoned Beyond Meat, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, shredded vegan cheddar cheese, dairy-free sour cream, and a drizzle of taco sauce
- Pesto Veggie Salad Pizza:
- Asian-Inspired Salad Pizza:
- Pizza crust with a sesame ginger dressing base
- Toppings: Sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, red cabbage, edamame beans, sliced avocado, chopped scallions, and sesame seeds
Yes, it can be a healthier option compared to traditional pizza, as it incorporates fresh vegetables and greens. However, the overall healthiness depends on the choice of ingredients and portion size. Using whole wheat or cauliflower crust and opting for lean proteins can make it a nutritious choice.
Yes, you can use store-bought pizza dough for salad pizza. It’s a convenient option for making salad pizza at home. Look for pre-made pizza dough in the refrigerated or freezer section of your grocery store.Buffalo sauce is made with hot sauce so it definitely carries a kick with each bite. You can control the level of spiciness with the amount of sauce you use.
The choice of dressing depends on your taste preferences. Popular options include balsamic vinaigrette, Italian dressing, Caesar dressing, ranch dressing, or even a simple olive oil and lemon juice combination. Choose a dressing that complements your ingredients.
While it’s best to assemble just before serving to maintain the crispness of the crust, you can prep the ingredients in advance and store them separately. Assemble the pizza shortly before eating to keep it fresh.
To prevent the crust from getting soggy, make sure your salad ingredients are as dry as possible before adding them to the pizza. Additionally, you can use a layer of cheese or a barrier ingredient (e.g., hummus, pesto) between the crust and the salad to help keep it crisp.
Yes, you can reheat leftover slices. Use an oven or toaster oven to help restore the crispness of the crust. Avoid using a microwave, as it can make the crust soggy.
Popular salad pizza toppings include mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, olives, tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, vegan cheese, avocado, and various dressings. Mix and match toppings to create different flavor combinations.