Pizza Toppings Ranking: (17+ Unique Pizza Toppings Ideas Included)

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Have you ever wondered why such a huge chunk of the world’s population considers pizza their ultimate comfort food? Besides affordability and ease of preparation, it also has a lot to do with the fact that pizza is one of the most customizable dishes out there.

You can never run out of possible pizza toppings since there are so many combinations. Whether it’s America’s all-time favorite pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, and bell peppers, or the super controversial pineapple, the sky is the limit when it comes to pizza toppings.

The rule of thumb when choosing pizza toppings is to make sure that the flavors complement each other and don’t clash too much. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the most popular pizza toppings of all time.

So, whether you’re just looking to spice up your usual order or trying something new, you’ll be able to find something here that will make your taste buds go wild.

The Topping Talk: Defining the Art of Pizza Garnishing

Don’t take the phrase “anything can be a pizza topping if you are brave enough” seriously. Just because you theoretically can put anything on a pizza, it doesn’t mean you should. There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to pizza toppings.

The first is that you should stick with traditional toppings like pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and olives. These are tried and true crowd-pleasers that will never let you down. The second is that there are no rules when it comes to pizza. If your heart tells you to put pineapple or chicken tikka masala on a pie, go for it!

supreme pizza toppings

By my own admission, I am a traditionalist when it comes to pizza. I like my pizzas simple, with pepperoni as the primary topping and maybe some olives or mushrooms added for good measure. I strongly believe that pineapple belongs on pizza only if you are in Hawaii or high—and even then, it’s debatable.

As a general rule of thumb, if you are going with multiple toppings, here are three things to keep in mind to avoid ending up with a disaster –

  • The combination of ingredients should complement each other and not fight for attention. While the pineapple may be sweet, the spicy sausage will overpower any sweetness. In addition, the acid in tomatoes can dull some flavors more than others.

So if you are going to put tomato on your pizza, it is best to keep it simple and avoid adding other acidic foods such as peppers or olives at the same time.

  • Hear me out; too much cheese is a thing. While I do like my pizza with copious amounts of cheese, drowning it in cheese can make the pizza heavy and greasy. If you are going to add a lot of wet toppings to the pizza, choose low-moisture mozzarella. Trust me; you will thank me later.
  • You also want to make sure that your pizza has enough sauce. If there is too little sauce, the pizza will be dry and unappealing. But if you go overboard with the sauce, it will run off of the pizza and onto your plate instead of staying put on top of the cheese.

Also, please do yourself a favor and check the seasoning of the sauce before putting it on your pizza. I have had too many pizzas ruined by the oversalted sauce. It’s painful.

Most Popular Toppings for Pizza Around the Globe

The choices are practically unlimited when it comes to pizza toppings, but some are more popular than others. The most-ordered pizza toppings around the world include:

A Meat Lover’s Paradise: Exploring Protein-Packed Toppings

Pepperoni: The Classic Choice

Flavor Profile: Pepperoni has a robust and savory flavor with a hint of spiciness. It adds a slightly smoky and salty taste to the pizza, making it a favorite among many.

Texture: When cooked, pepperoni becomes crispy around the edges while maintaining a slightly chewy texture in the center. This provides a delightful contrast to the overall pizza experience.

Complementary Toppings: Pair pepperoni with sliced black olives, mushrooms, and green bell peppers for a well-balanced combination of flavors and textures. The saltiness of olives complements the spiciness of pepperoni, while the mushrooms add an earthy note.

Preparation Tips: Thinly sliced pepperoni is the traditional way to go, allowing it to crisp up nicely when baked. Place the pepperoni under the cheese to prevent it from burning. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can opt for a lower-spice variant.

Origins: While it has Italian roots, pepperoni, as commonly known on pizzas, is more of an American adaptation with a distinct flavor profile that has become a pizza staple.

Pepperoni Pizza
Pepperoni Toppings on a Pizza

Pepperoni has been consistently voted as the top favorite pizza topping in the United States, as well as in many other parts of the world. It is a type of spicy Italian sausage that is typically made from a mixture of pork and beef, and it is known for its bold, savory flavor.

It can elevate a classic NY slice with its spicy kick and satisfying meaty texture.

This combination is often associated with the traditional Neapolitan pizza, which originated in the city of Naples and is considered by many to be the quintessential Italian pizza.

Sausage Varieties: From Classic to Italian

Flavor Profile: Sausage brings a savory and seasoned taste to your pizza. It’s often mildly spiced, providing a satisfying depth of flavor that melds well with other ingredients.

Texture: With a hearty and meaty texture, sausage adds a substantial bite to each slice. The crumbled or sliced form ensures an even distribution, enhancing the overall pizza experience.

Complementary Toppings: You should try pairing it with caramelized onions and green peppers. The sweetness of the onions complements the savory notes of the sausage, while the green peppers add a fresh and slightly tangy crunch.

Preparation Tips: Crumbled or thinly sliced, depending on your preference, sausage benefits from pre-cooking to ensure it’s fully cooked and contributes its flavorful juices to the pizza. Opt for a quality Italian sausage for an authentic taste.

Origins: Sausage is a classic pizza topping with Italian origins. Its rich flavor and substantial texture have made it a beloved choice in various pizza styles.

Sausage is traditionally made of pork, but you can easily find sausages out of chicken and turkey as well. Like pepperoni, sausage also brings tons of umami flavor and a delicious, fatty mouthfeel to the pizza.

Sausage Pizza
Delicious pizza with Sausage

It pairs well with a variety of other pizza toppings, such as onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

Italian Sausage

  • Flavor Profile: Italian sausage, my personal favorite, boasts a robust flavor profile with a perfect blend of herbs and spices. It brings a touch of garlic, fennel, and paprika, creating a savory symphony that elevates any pizza to a whole new level.
  • Texture: What sets Italian sausage apart is its delightful texture—juicy, crumbly, and oh-so-satisfying. The slightly coarse grind adds a hearty bite, making each mouthful a savory journey of taste and texture.
  • Complementary Toppings: My go-to combination involves pairing Italian sausage with roasted red peppers and fresh basil. The sweetness of the peppers complements the savory richness of the sausage, while the basil adds a fragrant, herbaceous note.
  • Preparation Tips: For the best results, use a good quality, mild, or hot Italian sausage, depending on your heat preference. Crumble it generously over the pizza, allowing the flavors to meld during baking, creating a pizza that’s a true celebration of Italian flavors.
  • Origins: As a nod to its Italian roots, this sausage variety captures the essence of traditional Italian cuisine, making it a must-try for anyone seeking an authentic pizza experience.

A spicier cousin of regular sausage, Italian sausage is also made from pork and contains a high amount of fat and spices, such as fennel seed, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano, and black pepper. It can be cooked on the grill or baked in a casserole dish.

Italian Sausage Pizza
Delicious pizza with Italian Sausage

Italian sausage is often paired with peppers and onions on pizza for a spicy kick. It’s one of the key ingredients in Chicago deep-dish pizza, where it beautifully complements the richness of the sauce, cheese, and thick crust.

BBQ Chicken: A Tangy Twist

Flavor Profile: Tangy and sweet, BBQ chicken adds a zesty kick to your pizza.

Texture: Juicy, tender chunks of chicken provide a satisfying contrast to the crisp crust.

Complementary Toppings: Pair it with red onions and cilantro for a burst of freshness and a hint of sharpness.

Preparation Tips: Precook the chicken with a smoky BBQ sauce glaze for maximum flavor impact.

Origins: A fusion favorite, BBQ chicken pizza perfectly balances American BBQ with the classic pizza base.

If you are looking for a delicious combination of sweet, smoky, and tangy flavors to the pizza, you need to give this topping a try.

BBQ Chicken
Delicious Combination BBQ Pizza

Grilling the BBQ sauce marinated chicken allows the sauce to caramelize and develop a rich, complex flavor. When added to a pizza, BBQ chicken provides a tasty contrast to the cheese-loaded base.

Bacon: Crispy Delight

Flavor Profile: Smoky, salty, and irresistibly savory, bacon adds a bold flavor punch to your pizza.

Texture: Crispy when cooked, bacon provides a satisfying crunch with every bite.

Complementary Toppings: Consider pairing it with caramelized onions and mushrooms for a rich and hearty combination.

Preparation Tips: Precook the bacon slightly before adding it to the pizza to achieve that perfect crispiness.

Origins: Originating from America, bacon has become a universal pizza favorite, known for enhancing the overall taste with its smoky goodness.

The crunch, the umami, the smokiness – what’s not to like about bacon as a pizza topping? It’s no secret that bacon makes everything better. And pizza is no exception. The smoky, salty flavor of bacon pairs wonderfully with the tomato-based sauce found on many pizzas.

Bacon
Bacon Combination Toppings Pizza

Moreover, it adds an extra crunchy texture to each bite. When combined with other toppings like cheese, onions, and bell peppers, bacon can add a delicious umami component that enhances the overall flavor profile of your pizza.

Cured Ham: A Slice of Tradition

Flavor Profile: Delicately salty and subtly sweet, cured ham imparts a mild, savory essence to your pizza.

Texture: Thinly sliced and slightly chewy, cured ham offers a tender contrast to the pizza’s other textures.

Complementary Toppings: It pairs exceptionally well with pineapple (yes, on a Hawaiian pizza), adding a tropical sweetness that complements the ham’s saltiness.

Preparation Tips: Add the cured ham towards the end of the baking time to preserve its delicate texture.

Origins: With roots in Italian and Spanish culinary traditions, cured ham brings a touch of European sophistication to your pizza.

Cured Ham pizza
Cured Ham Toppings on Pizza

Commonly referred to as “prosciutto,” in Italy, cured ham is one of the most popular pizza toppings. It has a delicate, smoky taste that pairs well with thin-crust pizzas.

If you are looking for something mild enough not to overpower the sauce but has a presence of its own, try topping off your next pizza with cured ham.

Beef: Hearty and Flavorful

Flavor Profile: Beef contributes a bold and savory taste to your pizza, with its rich umami flavor standing out. The natural juices of beef add depth, enhancing the overall taste experience.

Texture: Whether ground or thinly sliced, beef provides a hearty and substantial texture. The choice between ground beef or slices allows for versatility in creating different pizza styles, from classic to gourmet.

Complementary Toppings: When combined with sliced bell peppers and red onions, the sweet and slightly tangy notes of the vegetables complement the savory beef, creating a well-balanced and flavorful pizza.

Preparation Tips: Browning the beef before adding it to the pizza ensures it’s fully cooked and brings out its robust flavor. This step also prevents excess moisture, contributing to a perfectly textured crust.

Origins: While beef itself is a global ingredient, its incorporation into pizza reflects the adaptability and fusion of culinary traditions worldwide. From traditional Italian beef toppings to modern variations, beef remains a versatile and beloved pizza ingredient.

The iconic meat lover’s pizza is incomplete without seasoned beef. It’s important to use a lean cut of beef that will cook quickly and evenly, like sirloin or top round. Beef should be sliced very thin and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Beef pizza
Beef Toppings on Pizza

The key to cooking beef properly is to use a hot pan and cook it quickly on each side. You can also use hamburger/ground beef patties if you have some lying around in your fridge. The strong flavor and meaty texture of beef make it a great fit for thick-crust pizzas.

Meatballs: Miniature Wonders

Flavor Profile: Bursting with savory goodness, meatballs bring a seasoned, meaty flavor that adds a distinct touch to your pizza. The blend of spices in the meat mixture enhances the overall taste.

Texture: Meatballs, when sliced or halved, offer a hearty and substantial texture. The combination of a slightly crispy exterior and a juicy interior provides a satisfying bite.

Complementary Toppings: I like to pair meatballs with ricotta cheese and fresh basil. The creamy richness of ricotta complements the meatballs, while basil adds a bright and herbaceous note.

Preparation Tips: For an extra boost of flavor, you can brown the meatballs before placing them on the pizza. This adds a delightful caramelization and ensures they are thoroughly cooked.

Origins: With roots in Italian cuisine, meatballs on pizza showcase the beloved tradition of combining flavorful meats with pizza.

Meatballs are easy to make at home and can be a flavorful addition to your homemade pizza. You can also buy frozen meatballs for a quick fix for your pizza cravings at ungodly hours.

Meatballs pizza
Pizza with Meatballs

Meatballs and chunky tomato sauce are a match made in heaven. It’s very filling too, so you will need only a couple of them for a standard 12-inch pizza.

When added to a pizza, spinach provides a tasty contrast to the richness of the cheese and the sweetness of the sauce. It also adds a satisfyingly crunchy texture to the pizza.

This green vegetable has a mild flavor that pairs perfectly with cheese and tomatoes. It’s also very healthy and loaded with vitamins.

So, if you want to have your pizza and have it too, top it off with spinach and pair it up with ricotta, feta or goat cheese, or gorgonzola if you want something a bit more decadent and unconventional.

Anchovies: Salty Sensations

Flavor Profile: Anchovies deliver a bold and distinctive flavor, intensely briny with a hint of umami. While not for everyone, their unique taste adds a layer of complexity to the pizza.

Texture: These tiny fish, when properly distributed, impart a delicate and slightly chewy texture. They dissolve into the melted cheese, creating a savory contrast.

Complementary Toppings: If you’re adventurous, pair anchovies with Kalamata olives and capers. The combination of these salty and tangy ingredients amplifies the overall flavor profile.

Preparation Tips: For an optimal experience, scatter the anchovies sparingly across the pizza to ensure their robust flavor doesn’t overpower the other toppings. Consider adding them during the last few minutes of baking.

Origins: Anchovies are a traditional topping used mainly in Italian and Greek pizza variations. While polarizing, anchovies bring authenticity and a burst of oceanic essence to the pizza.

Anchovies
Delicious Combination Anchovies Pizza Toppings Pizza

A lot of people swear by anchovies on pizza because they apparently add a delicious combination of salty, savory, and slightly briny flavors to the pizza. Anchovies are small, silver-colored fish that are often salted and packed in oil, and they are known for their strong and distinctive flavor.

However, if you are not used to the smell and saltiness of anchovies, save the experiment for another day and dish.

Pulled Pork: Succulent and Savory

Flavor Profile: Pulled pork introduces a heavenly combination of smokiness and sweetness to your pizza. The slow-cooked, seasoned pork imparts a rich, barbecue-inspired flavor that’s downright indulgent.

Texture: The tenderness of pulled pork, with its melt-in-your-mouth quality, contrasts beautifully with the crispness of the pizza crust. Each bite is a delightful journey through layers of flavor and texture.

Complementary Toppings: I highly recommend pairing pulled pork with caramelized onions and jalapeños. The sweet and savory notes of the onions balance the smokiness of the pork, while the jalapeños add a spicy kick.

Preparation Tips: Slow-cook the pork with a flavorful rub to enhance its taste. Shred it finely for even distribution on the pizza, ensuring every slice boasts the full impact of the pulled pork’s succulence.

Origins: While pulled pork itself has roots in American barbecue, its fusion with pizza demonstrates the culinary innovation that defines modern pizza-making. The combination of smoky pulled pork and traditional pizza elements creates a mouthwatering, cross-cultural experience.

Pulled Pork pizza
Pulled Pork Pizza Toppings

Pulled pork is made by slow-cooking pork shoulder or butt until it is tender and easily shreddable, and it is typically seasoned with a BBQ sauce or other spice blend. I love how this topping manages to shine without clashing with other toppings. It also lends a rich mouthfeel and juiciness to the pizza, which can be especially nice when paired with a crisp crust.

The Veggie Vault: A Celebration of Plant-Based Toppings

Basil and Mozzarella: A Timeless Duo

Flavor Profile: Basil and mozzarella, a timeless duo, create a symphony of fresh, herbaceous flavors and creamy richness. The aromatic basil adds a fragrant, slightly peppery note, while the mozzarella provides a mild and gooey indulgence.

Texture: The tender basil leaves offer a burst of freshness, complementing the gooey and stretchy consistency of the melted cheese.

Complementary Toppings: For a classic Margherita experience, tomatoes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil are a perfect match. The juicy sweetness of ripe tomatoes enhances the fresh flavors of basil and mozzarella, while the olive oil adds a luxurious finish.

Preparation Tips: When using fresh basil, add it after the pizza comes out of the oven to preserve its vibrant color and aroma. As for mozzarella, use fresh, high-quality buffalo mozzarella for the best melting and flavor.

Origins: Inspired by the iconic Margherita pizza, the combination of basil and mozzarella is deeply rooted in Italian culinary traditions. This pairing represents simplicity at its finest, showcasing the quality of each ingredient.

Basil and Mozzarella Pizza
Pizza with Basil and Mozzarella Toppings

Basil has sweet, herby undertones, while mozzarella is traditionally made from water buffalo milk. These two ingredients are commonly used together on pizza because they complement each other well and add a fresh, crisp taste that is pleasing to many palates.

Black Olives: A Touch of Mediterranean

Flavor Profile: Black olives bring a briny and slightly salty kick to the pizza, adding a burst of savory intensity.

Texture: Firm and smooth, black olives provide a satisfying bite that complements the overall pizza experience.

Complementary Toppings: I enjoy them with feta cheese and red onions. The tanginess of feta and the sharpness of red onions balance the olives’ richness.

Preparation Tips: Slice them thinly for an even distribution, ensuring every bite captures the essence of their distinct flavor.

Origins: With Mediterranean roots, black olives lend a touch of authenticity and a burst of flavor to both traditional and modern pizzas.

Black Olives pizza
Pizza With Black Olive Toppings

Black olives have been used as a topping for centuries and can be found on pizzas from Italy, Greece, and North America. Black olives are often thought of as a delicacy due to their unique flavor profile and high-quality ingredients.

The majority of black olives are made from ripe black olives that have been preserved in oil and spices.

This process helps to preserve the flavor of the olive while also giving it a unique texture. I love them because they add an extra salty flavor that accentuates the taste of a simple yet soul-satisfying Neapolitan pizza.

Jalapeño: Spicing Things Up

Flavor Profile: Jalapenos deliver a fiery and vibrant heat, adding a spicy kick that elevates the pizza’s overall flavor profile.

Texture: Sliced or diced, jalapenos offer a crisp and crunchy texture, providing a delightful contrast to the cheese and other toppings.

Complementary Toppings: I prefer pairing jalapenos with pepper jack cheese and sliced red bell peppers. The combination intensifies the heat while balancing it with sweet and smoky notes.

Preparation Tips: For an extra punch, leave the seeds in. Thinly slice jalapenos for a more even distribution across the pizza.

Origins: Originating from Mexico, jalapenos have become a global favorite for spice lovers, infusing pizzas with a zesty and bold character.

Here’s the thing. Jalapeño is my #1 go-to veggie pizza topping of all time. I know it’s not even nearly as popular as the other names mentioned in this roundup. But here’s why I feel jalapeño, well, picked jalapeño to be more specific, is an ideal pairing with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Jalapeño pizza
Delicious Jalapeño Pizza

First is the heat, obviously. It levels up the pizza with just the right amount of heat for me.

Second, I love the acidity of the jalapeño. It adds a tangy flavor that complements the sauce and cheese very well.

Mushrooms: Earthy Goodness

Flavor Profile: Mushrooms bring an earthy and savory flavor, adding a depth that complements the overall pizza ensemble.

Texture: Sliced or sautéed, mushrooms contribute a tender yet substantial texture, creating a satisfying mouthfeel.

Complementary Toppings: I often pair mushrooms with spinach and goat cheese. The earthiness of mushrooms combines well with the mild bitterness of spinach and the creamy tang of goat cheese.

Preparation Tips: If using fresh mushrooms, sauté them briefly to enhance their flavor and remove excess moisture. Thinly slice for a consistent distribution.

Origins: A versatile topping, mushrooms have a global presence in pizzas, from classic Italian to contemporary creations, adding an umami richness to every slice.

A lot of people can’t stand the texture of mushrooms. I don’t get along with these people very well. Mushroom is the closest thing to the meat we will ever get. It’s packed with umami, which paired naturally well with the sauce’s sweetness and the cheese’s creaminess.

Mushroom pizza
Delicious Combination of Mushroom Pizza Toppings

It can elevate a basic pizza with its delicious combination of earthy, umami, and slightly nutty flavors.

The only thing I don’t like about mushrooms is that it’s very hard to cook. It has a tendency to get soggy and rubbery if you don’t know how to cook it right. But if you do, it’s pretty much the perfect pizza topping.

Onions: Layers of Flavor

Flavor Profile: Onions contribute a sweet and pungent flavor, adding complexity and a hint of natural sweetness to the pizza.

Texture: Whether caramelized, thinly sliced, or diced, onions offer a versatile texture that can range from tender to crispy, depending on preparation.

Complementary Toppings: I enjoy pairing onions with blue cheese and bacon. The sharpness of blue cheese complements the sweet onions, while bacon adds a savory and salty dimension.

Preparation Tips: For a milder flavor, go for caramelized onions. For a more pronounced taste, thinly sliced raw onions. Experiment to find the texture and intensity that suits your preference.

Origins: With a global presence, onions have been a culinary staple for centuries.

For those who like to keep their toppings simple, onion is the way to go. It’s a classic pizza topping that goes great with any kind of cheese. The sweetness of the onion complements well with the saltiness of the cheese and helps to cut through all that richness.

onion pizza
Delicious Combination of Onion Pizza Toppings

It has a mild flavor but packs quite a punch when it comes to texture. Slightly charred onions also add a hint of sweetness to the pizza, which helps to cut through the saltiness of all that cheese.

Spinach: A Green Twist

Flavor Profile: Spinach adds a mild and slightly bitter taste, infusing the pizza with a fresh and leafy essence.

Texture: Whether wilted or fresh, spinach provides a tender and delicate texture, creating a vibrant contrast to heartier toppings.

Complementary Toppings: I often pair spinach with sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. The sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes complements the mild bitterness of spinach, while feta adds a creamy and tangy element.

Preparation Tips: Wilted or fresh, spinach should be evenly distributed. If using fresh, consider adding it after baking to preserve its vibrant green color and delicate texture.

Origins: Spinach pizzas are quite popular all over Italy as well as here in California.

Spinach is often overlooked in favor of more traditional pizza toppings, such as pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms. However, I would argue that spinach is an equally compelling topping for pizza because it adds a delicious combination of mild, slightly bitter, and slightly sweet notes to the pizza.

Spinach pizza
Spinach Pizza Toppings

When added to a pizza, spinach provides a tasty contrast to the richness of the cheese and the sweetness of the sauce. It also adds a satisfyingly crunchy texture to the pizza.

This green vegetable has a mild flavor that pairs perfectly with cheese and tomatoes. It’s also very healthy and loaded with vitamins.

So, if you want to have your pizza and have it too, top it off with spinach and pair it up with ricotta, feta or goat cheese, or gorgonzola if you want something a bit more decadent and unconventional.

Bell Peppers: Colorful Crunch

Flavor Profile: Bell peppers bring a sweet and crunchy flavor, offering a burst of freshness and vibrant sweetness to the pizza.

Texture: Sliced or diced, bell peppers contribute a crisp and juicy texture, adding a delightful crunch to each bite.

Complementary Toppings: I love pairing bell peppers with grilled chicken and mozzarella. The sweet crunch of the peppers complements the savory chicken and the creamy melt of mozzarella.

Preparation Tips: For a more robust flavor, consider roasting the bell peppers before adding them to the pizza. Sliced thinly, they ensure an even distribution across the pizza.

Origins: Bell peppers are widely popular as a pizza topping in various cuisines, including American, Italian, and Mediterranean.

Bell Peppers pizza
Popular Bell Peppers Pizza Topping

Bell peppers are a popular pizza topping because they’re sweet and have a pleasing crunchy texture. They are also good for adding color to your pizza, which makes it look more appetizing. When roasted, bell peppers also bring a delicious hint of smokiness to the pizza.

Baby Corn: Little Bites of Joy

Flavor Profile: Baby corn contributes a mild and slightly sweet taste, offering a unique and delicate flavor to the pizza.

Texture: Whether sliced or left whole, baby corn adds a crisp and crunchy texture, providing a satisfying contrast to other toppings.

Complementary Toppings: Pair baby corn with mushrooms and a drizzle of garlic-infused olive oil. The mild sweetness of baby corn complements the earthy flavor of mushrooms, while garlic oil adds a savory kick.

Preparation Tips: Slice baby corn thinly for even distribution, or leave them whole for a distinctive look. Add them during the last few minutes of baking to maintain their crispness.

Origins: Baby corn is a popular topping in Asian-inspired pizzas, adding a unique twist to the traditional pizza experience.

Baby corn is a small, immature variety of corn harvested before it has matured. The natural sweetness of the corn pairs well with spicy ingredients like pepperoni and Italian sausage, while the crunchy texture adds an interesting textural dimension to the pizza.

Baby Corn pizza
Pizza with Baby Corn Toppings

Baby corn is also a great way to add more vegetables to your pizza, which can be helpful if you are trying to eat healthier or lose weight.

Sun-dried Tomato: Intense Flavor Burst

Flavor Profile: Sun-dried tomatoes offer an intense and tangy burst of flavor, adding a sweet and slightly smoky dimension to the pizza.

Texture: Chewy and concentrated, sun-dried tomatoes provide a robust texture that stands out among other toppings.

Complementary Toppings: Combine sun-dried tomatoes with artichoke hearts and goat cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired medley. The tomatoes’ tanginess complements the artichoke’s earthy flavor, while goat cheese adds a creamy and tangy note.

Preparation Tips: If using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, pat them dry before adding to prevent excess moisture. Slice or dice them for an even distribution of their intense flavor.

Origins: Sun-dried tomatoes have gained popularity in Mediterranean and gourmet pizza variations. Their concentrated flavor adds a sophisticated touch to both traditional and modern pizza creations.

Sun-dried Tomato
Sun-dried tomatoes Toppings on a pizza

Sun-dried tomatoes have a rich, tangy flavor that pairs well with many different types of pizza. They can be sliced thin or chopped into larger pieces, depending on your preference.

Sun-dried tomatoes also add a hint of sweetness to the pizza, which helps balance out the salty flavors from cured meat and cheese.

Artichoke Hearts: A Gourmet Choice

Flavor Profile: Artichoke hearts contribute a mild and slightly nutty taste, imparting a unique and savory element to the pizza.

Texture: Tender and meaty, artichoke hearts add a satisfying bite, creating a delightful contrast to softer toppings.

Complementary Toppings: I enjoy pairing artichoke hearts with spinach and feta cheese. The mildness of artichokes complements the bitterness of spinach, while feta adds a creamy and tangy finish.

Preparation Tips: If using canned or marinated artichoke hearts, drain them well before placing on the pizza. Slice or quarter them for even distribution.

Origins: Artichoke hearts are often found on gourmet and Mediterranean-inspired pizzas.

Although not very common, artichoke hearts on a pizza was a revelation to me. I went to a high-end office lunch once where I had artichoke and spinach pizza with mozzarella and goat cheese. I wasn’t sure what to expect but long story short, the combination worked for me.

Artichoke Hearts
Combinations of Artichoke Hearts Pizza Toppings

Artichoke hearts have a meaty texture and a mild flavor, which allows them to blend seamlessly into any type of pizza sauce. You can add thinly sliced artichoke hearts directly onto your pizza or saute them in a pan with oil before adding them.

Pesto: Aromatic and Rich

Flavor Profile: Pesto introduces a burst of herbaceous and garlicky goodness, adding a vibrant and aromatic layer to the pizza.

Texture: Smooth and velvety, pesto provides a luscious coating, elevating the overall pizza experience with its rich and creamy consistency.

Complementary Toppings: I recommend pairing pesto with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The bright acidity of tomatoes complements the herby pesto, while mozzarella adds a creamy and melty texture.

Preparation Tips: Drizzle pesto generously over the pizza after baking to preserve its fresh flavors. Consider mixing it with a touch of olive oil for a smoother spread.

Origin: Pesto is a staple ingredient in Italian cuisine, originating from Genoa in northern Italy

Pesto pizza
Pesto Pizza Toppings

Pesto is an iconic Italian sauce that is made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil. It’s usually served over pasta but can also be used to top pizza for an extra flavor boost.

You can use store-bought or homemade pesto, depending on your preference and available time. Its bright, herbaceous, and nutty flavor and creamy texture will go well with the saltiness of meat toppings.

Pineapple: The Sweet Controversy

Flavor Profile: Pineapple brings a sweet and tangy twist on a regular pizza.

Texture: Juicy and succulent, pineapple adds a burst of tropical flavor, creating a surprising and refreshing textural element.

Complementary Toppings: Ham and bacon for the classic sweet and savory dance of flavors.

Preparation Tips: Slice pineapple thinly to ensure even distribution and prevent overpowering bites. I like to grill the fruit slices to caramelize the sugar for added depth.

Origin: The origin of pineapple on pizza traces back to the creation of the Hawaiian pizza, allegedly in Canada.

I deliberately kept this one for the end. Objectively speaking, the combination of pineapple and pizza is one that you either love or hate. The sweet, fruity, and mildly smoky flavor of grilled pineapple works well with savory ingredients like ham, pepperoni, and sausage.

Pineapple pizza
Sweetness Combinations of Pineapple Pizza Toppings

The sweetness of the pineapple can also be used to balance out spicy ingredients like jalapenos or red peppers. Love it or hate it, this topping has become a symbol of culinary chaos. Try it before you knock it.

Cheesy Overload: A Cheese Lover’s Dream

Quattro Formaggio is a popular Italian-style pizza that uses four different types of cheese. The combination of mozzarella, parmesan, gruyere, and gorgonzola creates an irresistible flavor profile that goes well with meat toppings.

Many pizzerias also use robiola, pecorino romano, gaot cheese, and emmental on their quattro formaggi pizzas. If you’re looking for a cheese lover’s dream meal, this is it.

Innovating Veggies: Non-Traditional Toppings for the Adventurous

Veggie toppings on pizza have become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people look to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets.

This trend is driven by a variety of factors, including concerns about the environmental impact of meat production, the health benefits of eating more vegetables, and the growing availability of high-quality vegetarian and vegan options at pizzerias.

Veggie Pizza Topping

In addition, many people simply enjoy the flavor and texture that vegetables can add to a pizza. Common veggie toppings on pizza include mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, olives, and tomatoes, but the options are endless and can include any vegetables that you enjoy.

Below, I have listed some of my favorite veggie pizza combinations. Feel free to experiment with these options or come up with your own variations!

Roasted Red Peppers: A Smoky Surprise

Roasted red peppers have a mildly sweet and smoky flavor that pairs extremely well with a variety of other ingredients, such as mozzarella cheese, olives, and onions. To roast red peppers, you can place them on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven until the skins are blackened and blistered.

Once they are cool enough to handle, you can peel off the skins, remove the seeds, slice the peppers into strips, and sprinkle on the crust.

Butternut Squash: A Sweet Autumnal Treat

Another unconventional pizza topping on this list can take you by surprise. Its mellow nuttiness and jammy texture can do wonders when put on a light and airy pizza crust.

To roast a butternut squash, place the cubes on a baking sheet and toss them with olive oil, salt, and any other seasonings you like. Roast the squash in the oven until it is tender and slightly caramelized. It is also loaded with vitamins and fiber, making it a healthy addition to your diet.

Broccoli & Sun-dried Tomatoes: A Crunchy Combo

Roasted broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes are the perfect combination or zing and freshness. Roasting the broccoli brings out its natural sweetness and enhances its texture, while the sun-dried tomatoes add a tangy and slightly chewy contrast.

To roast the broccoli, you can toss it with olive oil, salt, and any other seasonings you like and then roast it in the oven until it is tender.

Grilled Eggplant: Velvety and Rich

Soft and smoky grilled eggplants are delicious on their own, but putting them on a pizza? Yep, it makes sense, especially on a thin and crispy crust. The textural contrast combined with the rich mouthfeel of eggplant creates a symphony of flavors in your mouth.

To grill eggplant for your pizza, you can first slice it into thin rounds and brush both sides with olive oil. Place the eggplant rounds on a hot grill and cook them until they are tender and slightly charred on both sides.

Grilled Zucchini: Light and Flavorful

Grilled zucchini is another great way to add some color, crunch, and fiber to your pizza. You can slice it into thin rounds or long strips, brush both sides with olive oil, and place it on a hot grill. Cook the zucchini until it is tender but not mushy.

If you like, you can add some garlic and herbs to the olive oil before brushing it on the zucchini.

America’s Choice: Top Toppings at Renowned Pizza Chains

Curious to see what toppings are most popular in the U.S.? I’ve got you covered

To get a better sense of the most popular pizza toppings in America, I analyzed data from popular pizza chains. I looked at which toppings were most frequently ordered by customers over a five-year period. Here are some of the results:

Domino’s Delights: The Crowd Favorites

  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms

Pizza Hut’s Picks: A Slice Above

  • Pepperoni
  • Extra cheese
  • Black olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh garlic
  • Onion
  • Green peppers

Marco’s Must-Haves: The Crave-Worthy Selections

  • Italian sausage
  • bacon
  • Ham
  • Signature three cheeses
  • Mushroom
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Pineapple

Papa John’s Preferred: The Signature Tastes

  • Canadian bacon
  • Beef
  • Sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Green peppers
  • Red peppers
  • Golden corn

Hunt Brothers Pizza: Hometown Heroes

  • Pepperoni
  • Italian sausage
  • Black olives
  • Jalapeño
  • Mushrooms
  • Banana peppers

Jet’s Pizza: Jet-Setting Toppings

  • Bold pepperoni
  • Grilled chicken
  • Steak
  • Bacon
  • Red onions
  • Fresh spinach
  • Ground beef

Costco’s Cult Classics: Bulk Baking Brilliance

  • Pepperoni
  • Black olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Italian sausage
  • Pineapple

Pizza Topping Trivia: Answering Your Most Craved Questions

What are the five most common pizza toppings?

According to a survey by the American Pizza Community, the five most common pizza toppings are:

  1. Pepperoni
  2. Sausage
  3. Mushroom
  4. Onion
  5. Green pepper

These toppings are popular because they are widely available, easy to prepare, and pair well with cheese and tomato sauce, which are the two other main components of a pizza. Additionally, these toppings are fairly versatile and can be used on a variety of different pizza styles and crusts.

What goes on at an Italian Pizza?

The traditional Italian pizza has a thin crust topped with tomato sauce, buffalo milk, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.

You can also add a variety of other toppings, like prosciutto, porcini mushrooms, Italian sausage, mushroom, spinach, anchovies, etc., on a traditional Italian pizza.

What not to put on a pizza?

There are certain ingredients that you should not put on a pizza. These include but are not limited to the following:
1. Lettuce
2. Canned tuna
3. Kimchi
4. Egg
5. Any raw seafood

Wrapping Up the Pizza Party

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world and for a good reason. It’s easy to make, inexpensive and can be customized to fit anyone’s tastes.

Most people are familiar with the standard pepperoni and cheese pizza, but if you want something a little more interesting or adventurous, there are plenty of other toppings that will satisfy your inner gourmand.

Mahi Bose

A memorable family trip to Italy at 15 sparked my passion for pizza-making. Fellow enthusiast Tim and I started this blog to share homemade pizza tips - from inventive toppings to perfecting crust. We've got all the saucy secrets you knead to know (pun intended) to become a pizza pro, too!

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