Jennifer Garner Puts Salad on Her Pizza—and Our Test Kitchen Has Thoughts

In a video posted by Harper’s Bazaar, the actress discussed her love for this unique food combo. Here’s what you need to know to recreate it yourself.

It’s natural to wonder what celebrities, with their access to fully equipped kitchens and the freshest ingredients on the market, are eating on a daily basis. You might assume that a typical menu consists of fancy salads and five-course dinners—but in actress Jennifer Garner’s case, she’s just keeping it real. In an "Everything I Eat in a Day" video posted by Harper’s Bazaar, Garner divulged that she sticks to what’s simple and healthy, and she especially loves cooking for her kids. She also introduced a food combination that you probably wouldn’t think to pair together in one dish: pizza and salad.

Pizza with arugula salad topper and Jennifer Garner on green background

Kritsada Panichgul (Left); Andrew Toth / Contributor / Getty Images (Right) | Design: Better Homes & Gardens

For Garner, breakfast consists of “coffee and more coffee,” but she also enjoys the occasional almond milk cappuccino (relatable). For food, she’s currently into putting together a bowl of full-fat yogurt, fresh berries, and assorted nuts. Her go-to snack is the classic peanut butter on apple slices, and lunch means a big arugula salad with a variety of freshly-picked veggies like sugar snap peas, broccoli, green beans, and peppers. She adds some sweet potatoes or brown rice for a carbohydrate boost and cheese and nuts for protein. 

While these are pretty basic meal options, there’s one thing on Garner’s everyday menu that stood out—when she’s out to eat, her go-to is a slice of pizza with salad on top, folded into a sandwich. At her favorite Los Angeles pizza place, Pizzana, she creates this combination with their Brussels sprouts salad, but it would work with any greens you have on hand.

Pesto-Bacon-Tomato Pizza with Arugula Salad Topper
Kritsada Panichgul

“I love the idea of salad on a pizza,” says Emily Nienhaus, culinary specialist at the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen. “It takes the fresh arugula salad on a pizza to the next level. A few things to make this successful is to keep the salad simple—I would probably just stick to greens, herbs and maybe add some crunch in as well. I recommend chopping the salad finer to make it easier to eat.”

If you’re using Brussels sprouts, kale, or cabbage, Nienhaus recommends shredding the greens first. Another key step is tossing the salad ahead of time with the dressing before topping the pizza to get a good layer of flavor. She also encourages keeping the dressing simple: a nice vinaigrette or olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Garner claimed to be a mediocre chef in the video but said everything she does well is because of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa dishes—like her beef bourguignon and roasted chicken—which she relies on for delicious and easy-to-make meals. She endearingly called her usual dinners "mom food.”

“I do not consider myself a good cook or baker, and I do not have the gift of making anything cute,” Garner said. “But I do like to cook and bake for people I love. It’s the gift of being a mom, you get to train your kids’ palates.”

Overall, eating like Garner really only requires fresh ingredients, a little love, and a willingness to try. So the next time you’re craving a slice of pizza or bowl of salad, why not mix it up and put them together—after all, it’s all about balance.

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