Combine two Italian restaurant favorites with this Caesar salad pita pizza recipe! Make this 30 minute meal by topping a whole grain pita pizza with a vegetarian Caesar salad tossed with an olive Caesar dressing made from California ripe olives!
“I received free samples of California Ripe Olives mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Ripe Olives and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Pita pizzas were one of those meals that basically kept me alive in college! All it took was 15 minutes to throw together a cheap, easy and tasty dinner.
This Caesar salad pita pizza recipe combines two of my favorite Italian dishes - pizza and Caesar salad! And adds some nutrition with a whole grain crust and homemade Caesar dressing. No, it’s not the same thing as a freshly baked crust, but you know what? It works, especially for an easy weeknight dinner!
As someone who is endlessly fascinated by other cultures cuisine, you know the Mediterranean diet is something I totally get behind. Delicious food? Check. Focus on plants? Check. All the healthy fats? Double check.
Not only that, but Mediterranean food is approachable and enjoyed by most people. I mean, what kind of sick person doesn’t like Italian food? Not someone I want to be associated with! So if that's you, go click that little red circle in the upper left corner of your screen.
The only problem with the Mediterranean diet is that our Americanized version of Mediterranean food is quite different from real Mediterranean food. That’s right, when we talk about a Mediterranean diet, we’re not referring to the menu at Olive Garden. It’s much broader than Italian food, and of course Olive Garden doesn’t exactly represent real Italian food! The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, vegetables (especially green leafies), nuts, less meat, and plenty of healthy fats from olives and olive oil.
There’s always talk of what specific factor in the Mediterranean diet makes it so healthy. Some say it’s the red wine (I like these people). Others claim it’s the fresh, local greens. Still others think it's the emphasis on plants over meat. Most likely, it’s a combination of factors that makes the Mediterranean diet so healthy. But I suppose if you forced me to choose just one thing above the rest, I’d say it's the olives.
Why olives are so healthy for you
California ripe olives are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, the kind that raises the good cholesterol and lowers the bad.
Black olives contain antioxidant vitamin E (.25 mg) which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
1 cup of black olives contains 25% daily value iron, important for the prevention of anemia.
Olives contain a unique set of pytonutrients. One called oleuropein is found exclusively in olives. It's been shown to reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and act as an antioxidant.
Healthy Caesar Dressing Tips
To make a lightened Caesar dressing for this Caesar salad pita pizza recipe, I used plain yogurt and actual olives versus olive oil, which provide a similar creamy texture, but with more olive taste and nutrients. If you like Caesar salad, you’ll LOVE this dressing! Sometimes I find bottled dressing just a bit too mayo-tasting. This one has all the creamy texture, but is packed with a lot more flavor from the parmesan, lemon and olives. You could leave out the anchovy to make it vegetarian, but I highly recommend keeping it in since it adds a ton of Caesar flavor to the dressing.
This olive caesar dressing recipe makes a little extra, so I saved the rest to make a big kale Caesar salad with hard boiled eggs and roasted potatoes to use up some food we had in the house before going on vacation.
This Caesar salad pita pizza recipe has been updated to give you the best content possible!
Caesar Salad Pita Pizza with Olive Caesar Dressing Recipe
Olive Caesar Dressing:
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup plain organic yogurt
1/4 cup California ripe olives
1 anchovy (optional)
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped and washed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup whole California ripe olives
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 whole grain pita breads
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese
First, make the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined. Season with plenty of black pepper. It should have enough salt, but taste and add a little more if desired.
Next, make the pizzas. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Brush mixture lightly over pita breads. Sprinkle pitas with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is lightly toasted.
While pizza is baking, toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Add some dressing and toss to coat.
Top the pita with a big scoop of salad and serve with more dressing.