Salads can be pretty blah and boring, but not anymore! In today’s post, I’ll show you how to make pizza salad and make all of your salad dreams come true!
An introduction to Pizza Salad
Salads usually leave me feeling pretty uninspired and hungry and generally not my go to for lunch. Sometimes the thought of a salad at lunch just makes me sad because they often come out flavorless and boring. Salads are like a sandwich in my opinion, they always taste better when someone else makes them for you. Am I right?!
One week, I accidentally ordered two containers of lettuce instead of our usual one in our grocery order, so salads were a necessity to get through all of the lettuce before it went bad. We had pizza one night and it hit me… Why can’t I turn pizza into a salad?! So the next day, pizza salad was born and let me tell you, there is no going back to the boring salads of yesteryear!
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What is a pizza salad?
I know the words pizza and salad together sound extremely contradictory, but trust me, they actually do work together magically! All that a pizza salad is, is your favorite pizza toppings mixed into your favorite greens with a yummy and simple vinaigrette dressing. There are many directions you could go with this salad, but my version focuses on your traditional Italian pizzeria staples.
What meat do you use in pizza salad?
Well, this is a choose your own adventure salad, I however, love using crispy peppered Salami! Simply take peppered salami and slice it into thin strips. Next, crisp it up in a dry skillet over medium heat until it resembles crispy bacon. I remove it from the skillet just before it is to the crispness that I like and drain it on paper towels until I finish prepping the rest of my ingredients. If you’re not a fan of salami, try pepperoni crisped the same way, shredded lunch meat, Canadian bacon, or even grilled chicken!
What pizza toppings do you use?
I often swap things around in this recipe, but in the original version, I use Kalamata olives and pepperonis! I always have both of these in my refrigerator and simply grab a forkful of each and mince them up nice and small. You could also use things like diced bell peppers, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, or even pineapples for a Hawaiian pizza vibe!
What cheese do you use?
Well, you technically could skip the cheese all together in this recipe, but why would you want to do that?! You could absolutely use the shredded cheese of your choice, but my favorite cheese for this salad is tiny pearl mozzarella balls! They are so cute and bite size and add a really great texture to this salad. Another incredible cheese you could use would be burrata! Hands down my favorite cheese of all time!
How do you make the dressing?
I am a BIG believer in homemade salad dressings, especially when it’s something as simple as a vinaigrette. I don’t use dressings enough to warrant the purchase of a bottle that will inevitably go bad (with the exception of ranch, we always have that on hand). This dressing literally takes less than one minute to put together and tastes SO much better than anything you would buy in a bottle. All you need is balsamic or red wine vinegar, olive oil (I like to use garlic infused – linked below), Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper. I add 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil, 1 tsp of Italian seasonings and salt and pepper to a jar and top with a lid. Simply shake the jar really well for a few seconds and voila! You have homemade vinaigrette in about 45 seconds! I promise, once you get on the homemade salad dressing train, you’ll never go back.
Where is the crust?!
Don’t worry pizza crust, I would never forget you my love. My favorite addition to this salad is my pizza crust croutons!! I love taking pita bread and toasting it in my toaster oven. I take half of the pita and cut it into small cubes and toss in the salad like croutons! These give you not only the flavor of pizza crust but at an incredible chew to the salad! Salads are all about texture, and this is my favorite one!
Here is the recipe!
- Romain Lettuce (chopped)
- Peppered Salami (sliced into strips)
- Mini Pearl Mozzarella Balls
- Kalamata Olives (pitted and diced)
- Pepperocini Peppers (diced)
- Pita Bread (toasted and cubed)
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Begin by washing and prepping all of your vegetables. I like to thinly slice my romain lettuce and spin it dry.
- Add your strips of peppered salami to a skillet over medium heat and cook until crisp (about 3-4 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel to drain.
- Add your vinegar, olive oil, Italian Seasoning, salt, and pepper to a mason jar with a lid and shake vigerously to make the dressing.
- Toss your lettuce, crisped salami, chopped olives and pepperocinis, mozzerella balls, and toasted pita cubes together in a large bowl with your dressing and serve!
Add your dressing a little at a time until desired amount is reached.
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