Eating pizza? Don’t forget to add a fresh, tasty salad to complement this popular party food. While pizza is undeniably delicious on its own, pairing it with a bright, crunchy salad can take your meal from simple to sensational.
The acidic and crunchy components of salad help cut through the richness of cheese and crust. This contrast of flavors and textures makes salad an ideal complement to pizza’s savory decadence.
Choosing the right salad to go with your pizza ensures that your meal is nutritious, balanced, and full of flavor. Read on for 15 salad ideas that pair perfectly with everyone’s favorite cheesy, saucy pie.
Why Eat Salad with Pizza?
Before diving into salad recipes, let’s look at why salad just works so well alongside pizza:
- Nutrition – Pizza is not the most nutritious food out there. Pairing it with a vitamin-packed salad helps create a more balanced meal. Leafy greens provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals your body needs.
- Texture – Crisp lettuce or vegetables contrast nicely with hot, soft, cheesy pizza. The crunch makes for an appealing texture combination.
- Flavor – Bright, tangy dressings and sharp veggies help cut through the rich flavors of pizza. Acidic components like lemon juice, vinegar, and tomato make salad the perfect flavor balance.
- Satiety – Eating just pizza can leave you feeling hungry soon after. Adding a salad provides volume and fiber to help you feel pleasantly full.
- Appearance – A salad alongside pizza simply looks more appetizing than pizza alone on a plate. Vibrant vegetables make for a pretty presentation.
Now that you know why salad complements pizza so perfectly, let’s get into the recipe ideas!
15 Salads to Serve with Pizza
1. Italian Salad
This straightforward salad combines pizza’s Italian flavors – tomatoes, basil, onion, and olive oil. Toss together chopped romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion slices, fresh mozzarella balls, torn basil leaves, and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. The tomatoes mimic the sauce on a Margherita pizza.
2. Caesar Salad
A Caesar salad is a no-brainer pairing with pizza. It contains some of the same beloved ingredients – romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, and garlic. Toss chopped romaine with Caesar dressing, croutons, and shaved parmesan. The creamy, garlicky dressing pairs wonderfully with tomato sauce.
3. Greek Salad
Italian pizza meets Greek salad for a delicious fusion. Combine chopped romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, and feta cheese. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and salt and pepper. The briny olives and feta cheese complement pizza’s savory flavor.
4. Arugula Salad
Peppery arugula gives a pleasant spicy kick to balance pizza’s richness. Toss baby arugula with thinly sliced red onion, shredded carrot, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. The lemon brightens up any pizza topping combination.
5. Tuscan Kale Salad
Lacinato kale and peppers give this salad a fun twist on pizza toppings. Massage chopped kale with lemon juice and let sit. Toss with roasted red peppers, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Hearty kale stands up well to thicker, cheesier pizza.
6. Green Salad with Onions
For a super simple salad, combine sliced green onions and mixed greens. Toss with your choice of dressing – balsamic vinaigrette complements classic pepperoni pizza. Quick to make but still adds freshness.
7. Flaky Spring Salad with Dill Dressing
This bright, herby salad pairs nicely with white pizza. In a bowl, combine shaved brussels sprouts, asparagus, peas, and tarragon. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper for the dressing. The lemon and dill cut through the richness.
8. Lemon Garlic Roasted Salad
Charred lemons give this salad a unique flavor. Roast halved lemons and garlic cloves with oil over high heat. Squeeze roasted lemon juice over torn romaine, toasted almonds, and parmesan. The charred lemon amps up lemon flavor to balance heavier meat pizzas.
9. Pesto Potato Salad
Potatoes on pizza? Potatoes in salad? Yes, please! Boil small potatoes until fork tender. Toss with pesto, halved cherry tomatoes, shredded basil, and red wine vinegar. The herby pesto dressing complements pesto or margherita pizzas.
10. Roasted Beet Goat Cheese Salad
Sweet, earthy beets contrast nicely with pizza’s savory vibe. Roast beet wedges at 400F until tender, about 40 minutes. Toss with mixed greens, goat cheese crumbles, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette. The goat cheese pairs with white pizza.
11. Lemony Green Salad with Radicchio & Pepitas
Bitter radicchio and tart lemon brighten up this salad. Combine radicchio, arugula, and endive, then toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and toasted pepitas. Radicchio’s pleasant bitterness helps cut through rich meats and cheese on pizza.
12. Spinach Artichoke Dip Salad
Here’s a fun twist on a classic pairing! Sauté chopped artichokes and spinach, then toss with mayo, sour cream, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and pepper. The spinach artichoke dip flavors work wonders with a meaty pizza or white pie.
13. Family-style Caesar Salad
For a crowd, serve pizza alongside a hearty Caesar salad in a large bowl for sharing. Chop 2 heads romaine and toss with garlic croutons, shaved parmesan, and prepared Caesar dressing. Let guests serve themselves – it will go fast!
14. Cacio E Pepe Brussels Sprouts Salad
Shredded brussels sprouts and peppery arugula combine for a slaw-like salad. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, toasted pine nuts, parmesan, and plenty of ground black pepper. The cheese and pepper mimic cacio e pepe pasta.
15. Simple Italian Salad
As mentioned earlier, it’s hard to go wrong with an Italian-themed salad alongside Italian-style pizza. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, onion, olives, pepperoncini, parmesan, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Let the delicious Italian flavors speak for themselves!
Tips for Picking the Perfect Pizza Salad
With so many enticing salad options, choosing can be tricky. Keep these tips in mind when selecting a salad to complement your pizza:
- Match the theme – Italian salads pair best with Italian-style pizza. Greek salads match Mediterranean pies, etc.
- Go for contrasting textures with crispy and crunchy veggies.
- Pick a bold dressing like Caesar, Greek, or balsamic to stand up to pizza flavors.
- Vinegary components like olives, onions, and peppers help cut richness.
- Add cheese to salads for extra creaminess. Shaved parmesan is a great addition.
- Meatless pizzas pair well with hearty greens like kale, arugula, or spinach.
- Keep salad toppings simple – don’t compete with complex pizza toppings.
Time to Dig In!
There you have it – 15 salad recipes primed for pairing with your favorite pizza. From Greek to Caesar, easy to gourmet, you’re sure to find a delicious salad match on this list.
Vibrant vegetables, tangy dressings, and crispy components make salads the perfect complement to tasty pizza. They make meals feel fresher, healthier, and more balanced. Plus, who doesn’t love having leftovers to savor for another meal?
The next time you’re enjoying pizza for dinner, lunch, or even breakfast, serve up one of these tasty salads on the side. Your tastebuds will thank you!
Now grab a slice, scoop up a forkful of greens, and get ready to enjoy a truly stellar meal. Pizza and salad never disappoint!
Here are some frequently asked questions about what salad goes with pizza:
What are the benefits of eating salad with pizza?
Eating salad with pizza helps add more nutrients and fiber to your meal. The greens, vegetables, and other fresh components in salads provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Salad also adds volume so you feel full and satisfied. The crunch of salad contrasts with the soft doughy crust.
What dressing pairs best with pizza and salad?
Bolder, brighter dressings work well with pizza’s rich flavors. Great choices include Italian vinaigrette, Caesar, Greek, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice-based dressings, and pesto. Stay away from creamy ranch and blue cheese dressing.
Should I choose leafy or veggie-based salads?
Both work well! Leafy salads like spinach, kale, romaine, and arugula add color and nutritious greens. Veggie-based salads with tomatoes, onions, olives, etc. mimic pizza toppings. Combine greens and veggies for the best nutrition and flavors.
What salads should I avoid with pizza?
Steer clear of salads with very creamy dressings, like ranch, blue cheese, avocado ranch, etc. These dense, rich dressings overpower the pizza flavors. Avoid salads with too many components that compete with complex pizza toppings. Keep it simple.
Should I add cheese to my salad?
Yes! Adding shaved parmesan, crumbled feta or goat cheese, mozzarella balls, etc. gives your salad extra creaminess and texture to pair with the melted cheese on pizza.
How can I make a salad feel like more of a meal?
Boost your salad’s heft and heartiness by adding proteins like grilled chicken, beans, hardboiled eggs, nuts, or seed. Hearty greens like kale also help make your salad more of a meal versus a side dish.
What’s your favorite salad to eat with pizza?
Personally, I love a classic Italian chopped salad paired with margherita or pepperoni pizza. The tomatoes, basil, vinegar give the right Italian flavors. Caesar salad, Greek salad, and kale salad are other excellent choices depending on your pizza topping preference. Try a few combinations to find your perfect pizza salad pair!
What Salad Goes with Pizza?
- Italian Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Greek Salad
- Arugula Salad
- Tuscan Kale Salad
- Green Salad with Onions
- Flaky Spring Salad with Dill Dressing
- Lemon Garlic Roasted Salad
- Pesto Potato Salad
- Roasted Beet Goat Cheese Salad
- Lemony Green Salad with Radicchio & Pepitas
- Spinach Artichoke Dip Salad
- Family-style Caesar Salad
- Cacio E Pepe Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Simple Italian Salad
- Choose Your Salad
- Prep the Salad
- Make the Dressing
- Toss the Salad