If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my first two years of college, it’s that balance is key. Trying to juggle a full course load, extracurriculars, part-time jobs, and a social life, without completely neglecting every self-care practice in the book, can be a real struggle. 

However, finding balance in college is totally possible. Lucky for you, I'm about to show you how to reclaim your social life via some epic 'za and a little green that goes a long way. All you need to do is channel your inner chef and prepare this filling dorm-cooked meal featuring California Pizza Kitchen’s Crispy Thin Crust frozen pizza and a fresh, nutrient-packed salad. 

Alyssa Cronin

Meet, your communal dorm kitchen. Not every dorm has them, but I bet that one of your new homies has access to one on campus. #youngscrappyandhungry 

Getting in the kitchen will break your heads-down-studying rut and convince the other peeps on your dorm floor that you're pretty cool and you should hang. Plus, being adventurous in the kitchen is a skill we should all embrace. Aka it's time to say "nah" to the same meals over and over again. Between the zesty marinara, salami, and fresh fruit, you'll forget you're even in your dorm. 

While the prep for this dynamic meal is simple, the flavors are anything but. CPK’s Sicilian and BBQ Chicken frozen pizzas taste straight-up gourmet, and they're perfect for sharing. Not to mention, this avocado citrus salad pairs well with BOTH pizzas, balancing out your plate with bright, refreshing flavors and that fruit and veg we all need. Check out the recipe below, and never settle for an average evening in the dorms again.

Avocado Citrus Salad & Pizza Dinner

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:17 mins
  • Total Time:27 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Easy


  • 1 CPK Frozen Crispy Thin Crust Pizza - Sicilian Recipe
  • 1 CPK Frozen Crispy Thin Crust Pizza - BBQ Recipe Chicken
  • 6 cups spinach
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
pizza, cheese, tomato
Alyssa Cronin
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400º so you can cook the pizzas while you're prepping the salad. Once the oven is ready, remove the packaging from the pizzas and place them directly on the oven rack for 17 minutes.

    Alyssa Cronin
  • Step 2

    Once the pizzas are in the oven, start making your salad by adding the spinach to a large bowl.

    basil, lettuce, salad, vegetable, spinach
    Alyssa Cronin
  • Step 3

    Slice the avocado and strawberries, and add them, along with the slivered almonds, to your salad.

    pepper, tomato, lettuce, spinach, basil, vegetable, salad
    Alyssa Cronin
  • Step 4

    To prepare the citrus dressing, squeeze the juice of the orange into a small bowl. Do the same with the lime. Add honey and mix everything together with a spoon until smooth.

    lemon, coffee, sweet, juice, tea
    Alyssa Cronin
  • Step 5

    Toss the salad in the citrus dressing.
    #SpoonTip: Add the dressing gradually to avoid soggy spinach.

    salad, vegetable
    Alyssa Cronin
  • Step 6

    Remove the pizzas from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes before serving.

    ham, sauce, dough, mozzarella, crust, salami, tomato, cheese, pepperoni, pizza
    Alyssa Cronin

You can get all of these ingredients at your local grocery store (including the pizzas) and as long as you take advantage of that common room kitchen stove, preparing this recipe is as dorm-friendly as it gets. You'll probably even have some ingredients on hand, like an orange you grabbed from the dining hall, or honey, if you’re a regular tea-drinker.

Invite your floormates to feast with you, and you’ll be their new favorite neighbor as soon as they smell that pizza. Not only will this meal satisfy your pizza cravings, but getting creative in the kitchen can also be a great way to de-stress and make the most of a study break. Achieving hero status on your floor is a pretty good incentive too.

This post is sponsored by Balance Your Plate with Nestlé.