Pizza Salad has all the pizza flavor you love, and is a delicious way to get more veggies into your life. The secret to the flavor is an easy vinaigrette you can whip up in minutes!
Why You’ll Love It
It’s comforting. This recipe is perfect for hot summer months, when you don’t want to turn on your oven or order take-out pizza. It has all the flavors of pizza, in a crunchy, refreshing bowl!
It’s easy to customize. Just like making pizza at home, you’re in charge of the toppings. You can add red onion, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, pepperoni, black olives, and any other options you love. Adding in some crunchy croutons or roasted chickpeas will even mimic a pizza crust!
It’s delicious. Once you taste the pizza salad dressing, you’ll want to lick your bowl clean.
It’s quick to prepare. Just toss the dressing ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. You can drizzle it over all of your favorite pizza toppings, without turning on the oven.
Salad Ingredients You’ll Need
You can use any greens you love as the base of this salad, like chopped romaine lettuce or a convenient spring mix. Once you blend together the dressing, all that’s left to do is add your favorite pizza toppings!
For a cheesy salad, feel free to add some shredded mozzarella (or fresh mozzarella) or freshly shredded Parmesan cheese. You can also add some fresh basil or parsley on top, if you enjoy the flavor of fresh herbs, and any extra protein you like.
Prefer a warm salad? Toss some cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and sliced red onion in extra virgin olive oil, then spread them out in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake at 400ºF for roughly 20 minutes, or until they look tender. Let the veggies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then add them to your salad for an extra-comforting meal.
How to Make the Best Pizza Salad
Note: Continue scrolling down to find the printable recipe card with exact measurements.
1. Prepare the dressing.
The dressing for this salad is inspired by my favorite Italian dressing, but with a few more pizza-inspired additions. To a high-speed blender, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and tomato paste.
(The tomato paste is optional, if you don’t keep it on hand, but it does help to add a pizza-sauce-flavor to the dressing.)
Secure the lid on your blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add an extra tablespoon of water, to help make the dressing pour-able. Taste and make any adjustments as needed, then set it aside.
2. Assemble the salad.
In a large bowl, start with a bed of leafy greens. You can use chopped romaine lettuce or spring mix, depending on what you keep on hand. Next, add your favorite pizza toppings!
I tend to add sliced cherry tomatoes, black olives, red onion, pepperoni, and some shredded Parmesan cheese, but you can keep this salad vegetarian by omitting the meat. (You can use vegan Parmesan cheese if you need a dairy-free salad, too.)
When you’re ready to serve the pizza salad, drizzle the dressing over the top, toss it all together, and then dig in.
Store leftover dressing in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can use it over pasta and veggies to make an easy pasta salad, or as a dip for crusty bread. You won’t want to waste a drop after you taste it.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make the pizza salad dressing in a mason jar, too. Just finely mince the garlic, or use a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, so that it will mix evenly into the dressing. Secure the lid on the jar and shake well! In this case, you might not need as much water, since the Parmesan cheese won’t be pulverized, and the final result might not look quite as creamy.
Yes, the dressing is gluten-free! As long as you don’t add croutons, or other gluten-containing toppings, this recipe is an easy gluten-free option to enjoy your favorite pizza flavors.
Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the salad dressing, for an extra spicy kick.
Pizza Salad Dressing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional, but recommended)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 to 6 cups chopped romaine or spring mix
- assorted pizza toppings (cherry tomatoes, black olives, red onion, pepperoni, shredded Parmesan, or any other toppings you love)
- To prepare the salad dressing, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, tomato paste, Parmesan, and 2 tablespoons of water to a high-speed blender. Secure the lid and blend until the dressing looks creamy, about 60 seconds. Add 1 more tablespoon of water, if needed, to help everything blend smoothly, then set the dressing aside.
- To assemble the pizza salad, start with a bed of leafy greens, such as Romaine lettuce or spring mix. Next, add your favorite pizza toppings, like sliced cherry tomatoes, red onions, black olives, pepperoni, and shredded Parmesan cheese. (Any toppings you love will work here.)
- Drizzle the dressing generously over the salad, and toss well. Then it's ready to eat right away! Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. (It makes a delicious bread dip, too.)
If you try this pizza salad recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.