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25 Best Pizza Toppings and Recipe Ideas

There are no wrong answers when it comes to pizza toppings.

But if you need some inspiration for your next pizza party, I’ve got a few tasty ideas to help get you started.

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Homemade Pizza with Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil

I love any and all pizza toppings – yes, even pineapple!

That said, some toppings are better than others, and some are more universally loved.

So, if you’re serving friends at a Friday night get-together, why not go for something unique, like caramelized onions and pulled pork?

And then, for the kids, you can’t go wrong with cheese and pepperoni!

25 Best Pizza Topping Ideas to Make at Home

Any list of pizza toppings could go on forever.

After all, you can put anything you want on a pizza. From meats and cheeses to herbs, spices, and fruit, the sky’s the limit. 

And that doesn’t even include breakfast pizzas and dessert pizzas!

So, I’ve stuck to my favorite savory pizza toppings to keep things simple. And I’ve also limited myself to just 25 options. 

But who knows?! I might have to make a part two – there are certainly enough to choose from!

Pepperoni Slices in a Wooden Chopping Board

1. Pepperoni

Pepperoni is one of the – if not the – most classic pizza toppings ever (behind cheese, of course).

It’s what you go for when you don’t know what people like or if you need to please a crowd.

Everyone loves pepperoni. And those who don’t can easily pick them off and have cheese.

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It’s pretty much the perfect pizza. 

Fried Sausage with Onions

2. Sausage

Sausage is another terrific pizza topping because there are just so many to choose from!

Hot, mild, links, crumbles, smoked, vegan, chicken…I could go on and on. And no matter what you choose, sausage is meaty, salty, and always a hit.

I happen to love Conecuh sausage slices with lots of onions and mature cheddar.

But my family prefers Andouille with peppers. What’s your fave?

Shredded Cheese in a Wooden Chopping Board

3. Cheese 

Most people assume pizza will come with cheese. But did you know the first pizzas didn’t even have cheese?

Of course, it’s pretty much a staple these days.

However, the kind of cheese is entirely up for debate. The go-to is mozzarella for its mild flavor and stringing texture.

I’ve also found Parmesan-based Alfredo sauce pizzas are becoming increasingly popular. Serve them with thin onion slices and plenty of bacon…yum!

Really, you can’t go wrong with any kind of cheese.

Mature cheddar is always a great option because it melts well, is budget-friendly, and is super tasty.

But so is ricotta, Provolone, Gouda, and goat cheese! 

So go wild and find something that makes your mouth water!

Sauteed Mushrooms in a White Bowl

4. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a bit hit or miss on pizzas.

If they’re not prepped right, they can be soggy and sad. But when they’re done right, they’re earthy and delicious with everything from pepperoni to chicken.

The trick is to precook them in oil with herbs and spices for a few minutes. That way, they won’t turn watery on the pizza (and they get some extra flavor, too!).

Use button mushrooms, oyster, portobello, or shiitake. Either way, they’re a yummy addition you’ll love.

Crispy Bacon in a White Container

5. Bacon

Bacon is a super common and delicious ingredient on pizzas.

It’s usually thin enough to cook from raw but also works well if it’s been precooked (it depends on how crispy you like it).

Plus, you can go for thick-cut, bacon bits, Canadian, smoked, or crumbles. All delicious and all family faves.

Better yet, since it’s so flavorful, you don’t need a lot to make a difference.

Grilled steak on a black board

6. Steak

Steak isn’t a common pizza ingredient, but it sure is a delicious one. But, of course, there’s a bit of a prohibitive cost factor.

Generally speaking, if you’re spending a lot of money on a nice ribeye, you want it at its best. And on pizza, it’s more likely to overcook.

But, if you use a cheaper cut, marinate it until tender, then add thin strips, you’ll have one helluva pizza on your hands.

Add Provolone, green peppers, and onions for a tasty Philly cheesesteak pizza! Or try it with feta and balsamic glaze for something more punchy.

Caramelized Onions in a pan

7. Onions/Caramelized Onions

People put onions on pizza all the time. And whether they’re raw or caramelized, they add a lot of flavor.

They also add crunch when they’re raw, which makes a nice change to the soft dough and melty cheese.

I love red onions on BBQ chicken pizza because they’re peppery and colorful. But you can’t beat caramelized onions with…well…anything!

Green, Yellow and Red Pepper Slices in a bowl

8. Peppers

Traditionally, people add green peppers to pizza. But those aren’t the only ones that taste good.

You can also add banana peppers, red peppers, jalapeños, serranos, poblanos…you get the idea. 

Different varieties will give your pizza distinct flavors. And they’re a fabulous way to add a little heat!

Sliced Grilled Chicken with Lemon on a plate

9. Chicken

Chicken is another lesser-used but super tasty pizza topping. And it’s growing in popularity!

As mentioned, I like BBQ chicken pizza with red onions. And I also adore chicken parm pizza with ricotta cheese and fresh herbs!

Other fun options include buffalo chicken pizza, roasted garlic chicken pizza, and Thai chicken pizza.

Leftover rotisserie chicken is my go-to since it’s super flavorful and juicy. But grilled chicken is another superb option.

BBQ Sauce in a Small Container

10. BBQ Sauce

Since chicken and BBQ sauce go hand-in-hand, I wanted to list this next.

It’s most commonly found on BBQ chicken pizza, but you can use it with lots of other toppings, including ground beef, pulled pork, and roasted veggies. 

It provides a nice sweet-n-savory flavor that most people enjoy. And it’s extra scrummy paired with ranch dressing!

Green Pesto in a Small Container

11. Pesto

If marinara sauce isn’t your thing, try pesto instead! It’s flavorful, fragrant, and fun. 

Pesto pizza is zestier and zingier, with plenty of color and freshness. Add some chicken, onions, and fresh mozzarella, and you’re all set.

If pesto alone is too herby for you, try mixing it with ricotta or cream cheese. It’ll mellow it out nicely.

Fresh Lean Ham with Arugula Leaves

12. Ham 

Ham and pepperoni with extra cheese – that was my dad’s go-to pizza order when I was a kid.

My grandmother, on the other hand, loved ham and pineapple.

Ham is a pretty versatile pizza topping because it pairs well with both sweet and savory ingredients.

It also adds a nice dose of salty meatiness without being overpowering.

And while it has a similar meaty saltiness, it’s much leaner than bacon, with fewer than half the calories.

Fresh Pineapple Chunks in a White Bowl

13. Pineapple

Speaking of pineapple: let’s settle this debate once and for all.

Yes, pineapple deserves a place on pizza if you like it there. If you don’t, then don’t add it!

It’s as simple as that. 

Personally, I love pineapples on pizza. Their juicy sweetness is the perfect complement to the other savory ingredients. 

Ham and pineapple are the most common pairing on Hawaiian pizza. However, you can mix it with just about anything, including seafood.

It’s ideal for anyone that enjoys sweet and salty.

Seafood: Shrimp, Prawn, Fish and Octopus with Lemons

14. Seafood 

Unless you live on the coast, you probably don’t eat a lot of seafood on pizza. And no, I’m not just talking about anchovies. 

You can put all kinds of different seafood on pizza, from mussels and clams to salmon and scallops.

I enjoy a nice mix – frutti di mare – or just spicy garlic shrimp.

Homemade Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce

15. Pulled Pork

If you love BBQ, try pulled pork and BBQ sauce on pizza. It’s ridiculously good.

Notoriously tender, pulled pork has a ton of flavor. Better yet, it’ll stay nice and juicy on the pizza with just a few deliciously crispy edges.

Add some onions and plenty of cheese, and this might just be your new favorite homemade pizza recipe.

Black Olives in a Wooden Bowl

16. Black Olives

It’s not super common to only have black olives on pizza. Instead, it’s best paired with other tasty toppings.

They’re salty and bold and work well with chicken, beef, veggies, and more.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try Deadpool’s go-to order: pineapple and olives. “Sweet and salty!”

Fresh Organic Green Spinach

17. Spinach

Adding spinach to pizza is a great way to get more fiber, iron, and other nutrients.

I’ve even added some to the dough for a bigger boost of goodness.

Of course, the easiest option is to mix frozen spinach with the sauce. Or chop some fresh leaves and scatter them on the top once it comes out of the oven.

You’ll barely taste it on a supreme or loaded veggie pizza. So why not give it a try?

Fresh Green Kale with Oil

18. Kale

Kale is another leafy green veggie that’s an easy pizza add-on. And you’ll hardly know it’s there on a loaded or supreme pizza.

That said, it’s best if you prep it beforehand.

I like to rub it with seasoned oil to help soften it (it can be quite rough on the tongue otherwise).

Then, give it a quick sauté, so it’s not too crunchy and bitter.

I like it with mushrooms and goat cheese. But it also pairs nicely with sausage, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Artichoke Hearts in a Wooden Bowl

19. Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke hearts on pizza are downright delectable.

I think they work best on pizzas with white sauce instead of marinara. But you can enjoy them on either type.

They pair well with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, basil pesto, and onions. And they aren’t bad with various meat toppings, either.

However, they really shine on veggie and vegan pizzas

Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

20. Tomato and Basil

Anyone can make a pizza with dough, sauce, and cheese. But if you want to take your pizza to the next level, add fresh tomatoes and basil

Trust me, this simple combination adds big flavor. Plus, it’s easy to customize depending on your preferences. 

Use them on their own for something simple, or throw on meats and other veggies. Either way, it’ll be a hit.

Sun Dried Tomatoes in a Black Bowl

21. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I know pizza sauce is already tomato-heavy, but sun-dried tomatoes bring so much more to the table!

They’re chewy, flavorful, smoky, and colorful. Plus, they even smell incredible!

Slice them thin and add chicken and goat cheese. Or go for mushrooms and peppery arugula. Yum!

Sliced Chorizo Salami

22. Chorizo

Like steak, chorizo doesn’t often find its way onto a pizza.

However, I recently tried a chorizo and goat cheese pizza with caramelized onions, and oh my goodness! It’s one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.

The chorizo adds saltiness, smokiness, and a hint of spice. Paired with tangy goat cheese and sweet caramelized onions, it’s unbelievably good. 

Homemade Prosciutto with Pears

23. Prosciutto

Believe it or not, prosciutto isn’t just for charcuterie boards. It also tastes phenomenal on pizza.

It’s salty, and the edges get perfectly crispy. 

If you like ham, pepperoni, and bacon, you’ll love prosciutto, too.

Homemade Ground Beef in a Skillet

24. Beef

I love ground beef, but it doesn’t do much for me on pizza. Not alone, at any rate.

Even so, it’s a common ingredient on a supreme or meat lover’s pizza. It’s thick, meaty, juicy, and ups your pie’s protein count.

I wouldn’t recommend using it alone, though – it just isn’t bold enough.  

But on a sloppy joe pizza? It’s pretty darn irresistible!

Truffle Oil in a Small Container

25. Truffle Oil 

If you haven’t tried truffle pizza, run to the nearest Home Goods (Home Sense if you’re in Canada) and buy a bottle now.

Truffle oil is fragrant, delicious, and powerful – a little goes a long way.

Just a dash will make your pizza rich, earthy, slightly nutty, and just a touch sweet.

It’s difficult to describe, so try it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. 

25 Best Pizza Toppings and Recipe Ideas

There are no wrong answers when it comes to pizza toppings. But if you need some inspiration, I’ve got a few tasty ideas to help get you started.

Ingredients

  • Pepperoni

  • Sausage

  • Cheese

  • Mushrooms

  • Bacon

  • Steak

  • Onions/Caramelized Onions

  • Peppers

  • Chicken

  • BBQ Sauce

  • Pesto

  • Ham

  • Pineapple

  • Seafood

  • Pulled Pork

  • Black Olives

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Artichoke Hearts

  • Tomato and Basil

  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • Chorizo

  • Prosciutto

  • Beef

  • Truffle Oil

Directions

  • Select your favorite type of pizza.
  • Try a fun and exciting new recipe.
  • Enjoy!
Pizza Toppings

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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