Life is short, so my advice is…
- Buy the shoes
- Take the trip
- Pick your battles
- Skip the commercials
- EAT THE PIZZA
There is nothing like a slice of hot and cheesy pizza fresh outta the box (pepperoni and black olives, please!) but when you need a boost of vegetables in your day, shouldn’t they at least taste like pizza? Pizza Salad to the rescue!
Salad that Tastes Like Pizza
Salad that tastes like pizza is a salad I can get on board with. Plus this salad has some serious staying power. Mixed greens are tossed with your favorite pizza toppings plus fresh basil, mini mozzarella cheese pearls, parmesan cheese, Italian Vinaigrette, and homemade gluten-free croutons. Because what is pizza – even as a salad – without a little carb action? The crunchy croutons take the place of pizza crust in this recipe and they are just to die.
This gluten free salad is just plain FUN to eat!
Pizza Salad Topping Ideas
The toppings are what make pizza salad so delicious and customizable. Your only limit is your imagination, but you can’t go wrong with these topping ideas:
- Chopped pepperoni
- Sliced black olives
- Chopped bell peppers
- Browned Italian sausage
- Sliced cherry tomatoes
- Shredded cheese
- Sliced mushrooms
- Sliced red onions
Can Pizza Salad Be Made Ahead of Time?
Pizza Salad is a great recipe to meal prep for. Chop all the topping ingredients ahead of time then combine with the fresh lettuce, herbs, and dressing when its time to eat. The gluten free croutons can be made several days ahead of time as well. Be sure to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
How to Make Pizza Salad
Step 1: Make the Gluten Free Croutons
You can use whatever gluten free bread you have on hand to make GF croutons. I always have a loaf of Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White Bread in the freezer. Whatever brand you go with, cut a couple slices into thirds horizontally then vertically to create cubes.
Next, brush or mist a half sheet pan with extra virgin olive oil then add the cubes and toss with extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and regular salt. Bake for 16-20 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring halfway through, or until the croutons are brown and crispy. Croutons = done!
Step 2: Assemble the Pizza Salad
To a bed of lettuce (I used Spring Mix but use whatever you like best,) add your toppings. For these photos I went with cherry tomatoes, pepperoni, black olives, mozzarella cheese pearls, freshly grated parmesan cheese, the croutons, and a drizzle of your favorite Italian Vinaigrette. I recommend and am obsessed with my Italian Vinaigrette. Oh, if you want an extra punch of pizza flavor, sprinkle a bit of dried oregano on top before digging in. Trust me. :)
However you top it, I hope you love this delectable Pizza Salad – enjoy!
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Pizza Salad is a fresh and filling entree salad packed with pizza flavor. Homemade gluten-free croutons add a satisfying crunch.
- 9-10oz Spring Mix lettuce (or your favorite blend)
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 3/4 cup lightly-packed fresh basil, chopped (or more or less)
- 8oz mozzarella cheese pearls
- 4oz pepperoni, chopped
- 4oz sliced black olives, drained
- Italian dressing
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- pinch dried oregano
- For the Homemade Gluten-Free Croutons:
- 4 cups cubed fresh gluten-free bread
- 3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- pinch salt
- For the Homemade Gluten-Free Croutons: Preheat oven to 325 degrees then lightly spray or brush a half sheet pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add bread cubes then drizzle with 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and toss with fingers to coat every cube in oil (add up to 1 more Tablespoon oil if needed.) Add Italian seasoning, garlic salt, oregano, and regular salt then toss to combine and spread the bread cubes out evenly. Bake for 16-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until croutons are deep golden brown. Set aside to cool. Can be done a day ahead of time - cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
- Divide lettuce, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, black olives, and croutons between four plates then top with Italian dressing, fresh parmesan cheese, and dried oregano before serving.
- I recommend dressing this salad with my Best-Ever Italian Vinaigrette >
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.