Many years ago, I worked as a hostess at California Pizza Kitchen, a large chain restaurant in Southern California. Part of the training requires you to taste some of the most popular menu items. This was clearly my favorite part. I had some of the dishes before but one that was unfamiliar was the Tricolore salad pizza. This pizza was exactly as the name hinted, a salad pizza. The thin crust was dusted with parmesan, baked until bubbly then topped with a fresh mesclun greens salad. It easily because my favorite item on the menu, until I discovered that it was discontinued! Much to my dismay, I was forced to recreate this dish at home. The bright side? Now that I’ve discovered how to make it, I can have my copycat CPK’s Tricolore salad pizza whenever I want!

tricolore pi (7)
tricolore pi (11)

Serves 4


Copycat CPK's Tricolore salad pizza

Makes 2 12 inch pizzas

2 hr, 30 Total Time

Recipe Image
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 package active dry or fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salad
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 cups mixed mesclun greens
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 oz shaved Parmesan


  1. Combine yeast with honey and 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and bubbly.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine flour with salt. Add yeast mixture, oil and remaining 3/4 cup water. Mix until the dough comes together. Transfer to a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Knead 2-3 minutes, until smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Pull down the sides of the dough, tucking under the bottom. Repeat this step 4 or 5 times for each portion. Roll the ball under the palm of your hand into a smooth round dough, about 1 minute. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Flip a baking sheet upside down and heat in the oven for 10 minutes. If using a pizza stone, skip this step.
  5. Gently roll out pizza dough with your hands into a 12-inch circle. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer crust to baking sheet. Mix 2 tbsp water with 2 tbsp sugar. Brush evenly on the crust. Sprinkle cheese, spreading it to the edges of the dough. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Blend garlic with dijon and balsamic vinegar, slowly adding oil in a steady stream until dressing is thick and well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Toss mesclun greens and tomatoes with dressing. Remove crust from oven and top with the salad. Finish with shaved Parmesan. Serve.

**Helpful tips and common mistakes

The trick to perfecting the Tricolore salad pizza is to master the crust. You want a thin, bubbly, airy pizza crust with just the right amount of parmesan.

After preparing the dough, let it rise until doubled in size. Proofing the dough will allow it to become airy when baked. If you’re having difficulty telling if your dough is ready, press lightly into the dough with your index finger. If an indentation remains, the dough is ready.

checking the dough

After working the dough and tucking in the sides, the top of the dough will be smooth while the bottom looks like so (picture below). Roll the dough into a ball to make it completely smooth then let it rest.

bottom of the dough

When rolling out the dough, refrain from using a rolling pin. Ever notice pizza makers at restaurants tossing the dough and stretching it by hand and not with the assistance of a rolling pin? That’s because using a rolling pin can deflate air bubbles which create a bubbly crust. I’m no expert and didn’t dare toss my dough in the air, but gentle stretching and pulling were effective enough to create a crust.

Brush the crust with the sugar water mixture and sprinkle the grated cheese.

If you have a pizza stone, this would be the time to use it! If not, flip a baking sheet over and heat in the 500-degree oven for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and transfer the crust to the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted about 12 minutes. I had to rotate my crust halfway through to prevent one edge from darkening too much.

making the pizza

Top with the fresh salad, top with shaved Parmesan and dive in! I’ll admit, the crust from California Pizza Kitchen was slightly better, but the dish as a whole was a success! Craving satisfied.

tricolore pi (9)


Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


Sharing is caring!