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Is Drew Barrymore’s ‘Pizza Salad’ Worth Trying?

The star’s been going viral for her unique pizza preparation.

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Drew Barrymore’s signature bright and sunny energy is enough to make us try anything she suggests — even the weird stuff. Despite her preternaturally good vibes, a recent social media post by the actress and talk show host has proven somewhat controversial. In a video posted to her TikTok and Instagram accounts, Barrymore introduced something she calls “pizza salad” — and to be honest, we’re not quite sure how to feel about it. 

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So what exactly is ‘pizza salad’ anyway?

So glad you asked. It’s a pretty literal name, referring to the process of removing the toppings from a pizza and enjoying them on a salad instead of a carb-laden crust. As Barrymore explains, “If you’re trying to, like, not eat the bread… I just take the top of the pizza and a little salad, which has basically all the same toppings as the pizza, and then I make a pizza salad.” She demonstrates the preparation with a green pepper and olive pizza (fresh out of the box, no less) and a salad that already has cucumbers, olives, and tomatoes. The actress uses a fork to slide the cheese/tomato sauce/pepper/olive mixture off the pizza, then mixes it onto her plate of salad and adds dressing. 

How does it taste?

According to Barrymore, “It’s actually really crunchy and delicious.” She says, “you get the satisfaction of eating pizza” but can enjoy it even if you’re gluten intolerant or low-carb. It seems that the combination of hot pizza toppings and a cold salad might be a little strange in terms of texture. Would the crisp lettuce get soggy? Would the cheese and tomato sauce, without the foundation of pizza crust, collapse into a congealed shadow of its former self? It’s hard to know. But one thing is clear: this dish raises a lot of interesting questions.

What do people think of it?

The pizza salad video has been viewed over three million times on TikTok, and has predictably brought in a lot of mixed reviews. “I’m sure people are going to be like, ‘How dare you do this to a pizza?’” Barrymore acknowledges, “I get it.” There are many comments from people expressing disgust and disbelief that anyone would “ruin” a perfectly good pizza — but there are also some comments supporting Barrymore’s always-positive attitude, as well as users (some jokingly, some not) saying they might just try the unconventional pizza preparation for themselves. And lest you think the actress is trying to position herself as some sort of infallible health guru, she does, in fact, also take a bite of the actual pizza at the end of the video.

Should you try this wacky dish?

If you want to, go for it — though ideally you’d try this low-carb take on pizza while enjoying a pie with your friends and family, who can finish off the leftover bread. After all, it’s a shame to let a good pizza crust go to waste. There are also other ways to get the experience without being so literal: The Pioneer Woman has a recipe for “salad pizza” — a pizza topped with a tasty Italian salad that includes artichokes, roasted peppers, and a variety of sliced meats. It would be easy to adjust the recipe, halving the amount of crust or doubling the amount of salad and serving half of it in a bowl.

A more minimalist take is a Caprese salad, which gives you the tomato, cheese, and basil flavor of pizza without any of the bread. A “repurposed pizza topping pasta salad” from the blog Budget Bytes has carbs, but is lighter than a classic pizza. And there’s always cauliflower crust pizza, which has recently become more popular as people have embraced the keto diet. Finally, Panzanella, a traditional Tuscan salad made with stale bread, tomatoes, and mozzarella, is another variation on the theme that isn’t quite as carb-forward as a regular pie.

Whether you’re eating your pizza in salad form or in the traditional way, the most important thing is enjoying every bite. We could all benefit from channeling Drew Barrymore’s lust for life (and food) as she excitedly exclaims, “pizza salad!” and eats the divisive dish with a smile.

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