Arugula Pizza was love at first bite! The creamy alfredo sauce, garlic and rosemary are simply divine topped with fresh peppery raw arugula salad, with balsamic and shaved Parmesan cheese!
This post contains affiliate links. I originally published this recipe on April 15th, 2015. I have updated the recipe and content to share it with you again today.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Arugula Pizza RecipeIngredient Notes For This RecipeHow to Make Arugula PizzaFAQs and Expert TipsMore Homemade Pizza Recipes:
Why We Love This Arugula Pizza Recipe
I have yet to meet a pizza I didn’t like! From pizzeria standards like Greek Pizza to more far-out gourmet combinations like Roasted Cranberry and Chevre Flatbread Pizza or White Pizza with Potatoes. I love them all! But arugula pizza holds a special place in my heart.
When I first laid eyes on an arugula pizza, while out to eat with my Italian language buddy for the semester that I was studying in Florence, I instantly fell in love. Arugula Pizzas combined two of my favorite things: pizza and salad. That’s because Italian arugula pizza is like a pizza with a salad on top!
They’re like the OG Pizzalad (or Pizz’alad) that everyone suddenly went crazy over a few years ago. Yeah, well, silly us, Italians have been eating salad on their pizzas forever!
My easy version of this homemade pizza is made with store-bought pizza dough and purchased alfredo sauce as a shortcut so that it can come together in under 30 minutes. I amped up the flavor with chopped fresh rosemary and I added on creamy Fontina cheese- one of my favorite melting cheeses!
While the pizza is baking- and that sauce and cheese are melting into a gloriously creamy base. I whipped up a simple yet boldly flavored raw arugula salad to top off the pizza.
The salad is dressed with raw garlic, balsamic and olive oil which compliments the nutty peppery arugula perfectly. I finish it all off with a little shaved Parmeiganno Regianno. The salty parmesan, bright and crunchy greens and creamy sauce are simply amazing!
Ingredient Notes For This Recipe
Pizza Dough: You can make your own homemade pizza dough if you have the time, but if not there are great store-bought pizza crusts and doughs available. My favorite white flour pizza dough from scratch takes a while, or you can use homemade wheat pizza dough. Or just purchase it like I did today and this dinner can be on the table in less than 30 mins. If you have time, let the dough come to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour to let the dough relax.
Alfredo Sauce: My favorite that I have tried is Rao’s. I like the slightly yeasty taste of the sauce with the cheese and arugula. I like their regular Alfredo sauce- not the garlic. rust me, the raw garlic in the dressing is plenty! Find shelf-stable alfredo with other cream-based pasta sauces in most grocery stores or look for refrigerated alfredo sauce with refrigerated pesto and pizza dough in the deli department.
Rosemary: This gives the purchased sauce a little ooomf that makes it a little special. You only need a little bit, as rosemary is a strong herb. Fresh oregano (or dried) are good alternatives. You can use a little more fresh oregano- go up to 1 teaspoon.
Fontina Cheese: I have made this pizza with different cheeses over the years: from smoked mozzarella or smoked gouda to freshly shredded mozzarella. But my favorite is Fintina cheese. It is not only a great melting cheese, but it has a slight nuttiness to it that is so good with the nutty flavor of arugula. They’re a match made in heaven!
Raw Arugula: You’ll need about 3 cups of loosely packed fresh raw arugula for the topping. Wash it and spin it dry. Arugula is sometimes called rocket or roquette.
For the Dressing: The dressing for the arugula is made with a simple combination of raw garlic mashed into a paste with kosher salt. Then it is simply whisked with a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. While the arugula pizzas I ate in Italy did not include a dressing, I find that without a tomato sauce or marinara to provide any acidity, I find that the tangyness of the balsamic dressing helps to balance the creamy white sauce.
Parmesan Cheese and Pepper: To finish off the pizza, I add on shaved Parmesan cheese and a little black pepper.
If you think of it, pull the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before rolling it out so that it has time to warm up and relax. It will stretch out much easier!
How to Make Arugula Pizza
Tip: Set your oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat it to 450 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, make sure to heat it up for at least a half hour before baking your pizza.
Step 1: Shape the Pizza Dough
I have found that with relaxed dough the easiest way to shape it, without deflating the crust along the edges, is to work it by hand on a lightly floured surface.
Dip your hands in a little all-purpose flour and you can pick up the dough and let it drape over your knuckles, working quickly, as you turn the dough it will stretch into a wider and wider circle. I like to pinch along the edges too to keep the center from getting too thing.
You can also lay it on the greased pizza pan and press it out toward the edges (like I am doing in the picture) which is a little slower, but it won’t be as likely to rip in the center.
If you are not comfortable with working it by hand, you can always roll it out with a rolling pin on a slightly floured surface. Then transfer it to parchment or your pizza pan.
Step 2: Add Sauce And Cheese
Spread the alfredo sauce over the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2-inch or so edge along the crust. Sprinkle rosemary over the pizza and top with the shredded cheese (Fontina.)
Transfer the pizza to the preheated oven to bake. If it is on parchment, you can slide it onto the oven rack using a flat (rimless) cookie sheet or pizza peel. Or you can slide the pizza directly onto the pizza stone if you are using that. Bake the pizza until the edges are puffed and browned and the cheese and sauce are golden. This will take about 8 to 12 minutes.
Step 3: Make Arugula Salad
While the pizza is baking, make the dressing and salad.
Chop the garlic, and then sprinkle it with a little salt. Using the side of your knife, mash the garlic into a paste with the salt. (Photo 3a)Scrape it up and place it in a mixing bowl.
Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil to the bowl and whisk until it is combined.(Photo 3b)
Just before topping the pizza, add the arugula to the dressing and toss it to coat.(Photo 3c)
Step 4: Top Pizza with Arugula
The key to arugula pizza is to wait until you are ready to serve to add the arugula mixture on top. You don’t want it to wilt too much. Of course, it will wilt some, but if you can time it well, try to minimize that by adding the salad on top at the last minute.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes! Arugula, like other leafy greens is high in Vitamin K, Potassium and Vitamin A. It is low in calories and provides dietary fiber too so it is a great low-calorie addition to pizza.
We love leftover cold pizza. This is not a good candidate for reheating because the arugula wilts. That said, my daughter prefers hot leftover pizza so she went ahead and reheated her slice in the air fryer. She said she didn’t mind the wilted arugula. Store leftover pizza on a plate covered with plastic wrap. Keep refrigerated up to two days.
You can prep ahead by shredding the Fontina and shaving the Parmesan cheese. If you like, you can also make the balsamic dressing- though it is such a small amount, a little more than a tablespoon, so you’ll want to use a rubber spatula to make sure that you scrape it out of the bowl and into a jar for storage- and then scrape it back into the bowl to toss the arugula. Keep refrigerated
Yes. You can bake this arugula pizza on a pizza stone but it is important to keep in mind that pre-heating it is essential for making the crust crispy. We suggest preheating it for at least 30 minutes before adding the pizza on top.
Normally I always suggest a salad as a side dish for pizza, but in the case of arugula pizza, you pretty much already have a salad on top of the pizza so here are some other ideas for what to serve with it:
These Cheddar Roasted Tomatoes are a yummy option as is a classic summertime Heirloom Tomato Salad.
If you are short on time, try halving fresh cherry tomatoes and tossing them with cucumbers, a little fresh basil and a little olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper for a simple non-lettuce salad.
My Simple Cucumber Salad or this Chopped Greek Salad are two other no-greens salads that would be great with this arugla pizza recipe.
Variations To Try:
I love adding thin slices of prosciutto to my arugula pizza. In my asparagus pizza recipe I add it on too before baking- so if you need more instructions on how to do that check out that recipe.
Bacon is also really yummy on a pizza with arugula. Cook and crumble a few slices, and add it onto the pizza on top of the cheese layer.
Instead of creamy alfredo sauce, you can add fresh arugula on top of a tomato sauce-based margherita or Caprese pizza which are variations of simple tomato and cheese pizza. One is made with canned San Marzano tomatoes and the other is a fresh tomato pizza with mozzarella and basil. Both are delicious when served with fresh arugula on top. No need to dress it in balsamic- the tomatoes add enough tang.
Substitute equal amounts of pizza sauce for the alfredo for an easy swap.
Instead of shaved Parmesan, use crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese.
Skip the dressing and drizzle on balsamic glaze instead. This is a little messy and my family preferred the dressed greens better, but the tangy flavor is still yummy!
More Homemade Pizza Recipes:
20-Minute Zucchini Ribbon Pita Pizzas
Pizza with Roasted Grapes and Rosemary
5-Ingredient Grilled Pesto Pizza
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~Katie
Arugula Pizza Recipe
Author: Katie Webster
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 5 servings
This Arugula pizza is made with a thin layer of alfredo cream sauce and melted fontina cheese with a little sprinkle of fresh rosemary. Once the pizza is baked it is topped with a refreshing raw salad of arugula tossed with a simple balsamic garlic dressing. It is like a salad on top of a pizza!
16 to 20 ounce ball pizza dough
½ to 1/3 cup alfredo sauce
½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
5 ounces shredded Fontina cheese
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (or to taste)
3 cups fresh baby arugula
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/8 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper to serve
Arrange oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Lay a large sheet of parchment paper on a rimless cookie sheet or pizza peel. Roll pizza dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch (or larger) circle or rectangle. Lay on parchment.
Spread alfredo over the pizza dough. Sprinkle with rosemary. Top with cheese.
Carefully slide the parchment off the cookie sheet directly onto the oven rack. If necessary pull edges of the parchment to arrange it so that it doesn’t slope on the edges. Alternatively bake the pizza on a pizza pan brushed with a little olive oil.
Bake until the dough is browned, puffed and the cheese is melted and starting to brown, about 8 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife on the cutting board. Scrape the garlic paste into a medium mixing bowl. Add oil and vinegar and whisk to combine. Add arugula and toss to coat in the dressing.
Remove the pizza from the oven by sliding it onto the cookie sheet (use an oven mitt or tongs to grasp hold of it.) Transfer to a cutting board.
Scatter the arugula salad on top. Season with pepper and top with Parmesan. Cut into 8 pieces and serve immediately.
Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 10 minutesCategory: Main CourseMethod: BakedCuisine: Italian
Serving Size: 1 slice
Sugar: 1 g
Fat: 10 g
Carbohydrates: 26 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 11 g
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