Pizza toppings 101: From Traditional to Trendy and Tasty!

  • By: Mike
  • Date: January 26, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Welcome to my guide to pizza toppings! I’m the one you can always turn to when you want advice on the tastiest pizzas you may not have thought of.

And I can tell you, pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world, but it can sometimes be hard to choose the right kind of topping that takes your pizza to the next level.

Before we get into what kinds of toppings are out there and which ones go best with each kind of pizza, let’s take a look at what makes a good topping.

If a topping is too heavy, it could make the pizza soggy, and if it’s too light, it can make the pizza taste bland. All topping options need to keep a balance of flavor, texture, and flavor profile.

spicy pizza toppings

Traditional Toppings

Now let’s look at some of the most popular pizza toppings out there! Toppings range from classic favorites, like pepperoni and mushrooms, to more unusual ingredients like artichoke hearts and arugula.

Toppings can be as classic or as creative as you want them to be. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the most popular toppings:

  • Pepperoni: This classic topping is always popular. Pepperoni is made from cured and spiced pork, which adds a spicy and smoky flavor to your pizza. It’s also a great topping to use if you want to make a meat lover’s pizza.
  • Mushrooms: Whether they’re canned, fresh, or sautéed, mushrooms are an excellent and versatile topping to add to pizzas. Mushrooms add a woodsy, earthy flavor to your pizza and give it a unique texture that makes it stand out.
  • Ham: Ham adds a salty, smoky flavor to your pizza, and it pairs well with more acidic toppings, like tomatoes or olives.
  • Green Peppers: Green peppers add a subtle sweetness, and they have a crunchy texture that adds a nice contrast with some of the creamier toppings.
  • Onions: Onions are a great way to add a tasty kick to your pizza. The sweetness of the onions complements salty ingredients, like bacon or sausage, and the flavor is much more subtle than garlic.
  • Sausage: Sausage adds a hearty kick to your pizza. It’s also an excellent source of protein and is a great choice for anyone who loves a thick and chewy pizza.
  • Bacon: Bacon bits are a classic topping that adds a salty and smoky flavor to your pizza. They can be used to give your pizza a unique texture and flavor, or simply to add some crunch.
  • Olives: Olives are a great topping to add if you want to give your pizza some Mediterranean flavor. Olives add a tangy taste and a light and crispy texture to your pizza.
  • Artichokes: Artichoke hearts are a great way to add flavor and texture to your pizza. They add a mild but distinctive flavor, and they work well with subtle toppings, like onions and mushrooms.

Trendy or “Wild” Pizza Toppings

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger, but, below are the best trendy and wild pizza toppings that, yes, people love!

  1. Truffle oil: This luxurious topping adds a rich, earthy flavor to pizza and is a popular choice for gourmet pies. Get some here.
  2. Shrimp: Shrimp adds a touch of seafood to pizza and can be paired with a variety of flavors to create unique and delicious pies.
  3. Fried Egg: This topping adds a richness and creaminess to pizza, making it a popular choice for breakfast pizzas.
  4. BBQ chicken: BBQ chicken adds a smoky and sweet flavor to pizza, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a little bit of heat.
  5. Blue cheese: This strong and tangy cheese is loved by many for its intense flavor and is often paired with sweet or spicy toppings to balance out the flavor.
  6. Pineapple: Pineapple adds a sweet and juicy contrast to the salty and savory flavors of pizza toppings, making it a popular choice for those who like a bit of sweetness on their pies.
  7. Prosciutto: This cured meat adds a salty and smoky flavor to pizza, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a bit of charcuterie on their pies.
  8. Mango: Mango adds a sweet and tropical flavor to pizza, making it a popular choice for those who want to add a bit of a tropical twist to their pies.
  9. Peaches: Peaches add a sweet and juicy flavor to pizza, making it a popular choice for those who want to add a bit of a fruity twist to their pies.
  10. Balsamic glaze: This sweet and tangy glaze adds a burst of flavor to pizza, making it a popular choice for those who like to add a bit of acidity to their pies.

Types of Pizza and Topping Combos

Now let’s look at some of the different types of pizzas and which toppings work best with each one.

  • Margherita Pizza: This classic Italian pizza is usually served with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. To get the best flavor and texture, use thinly sliced tomatoes and top the pizza with some freshly shredded basil for extra flavor.
  • Pepperoni Pizza: A classic favorite, pepperoni pizza is perfect for anyone who loves a classic tomato sauce flavor. Top your pizza with plenty of pepperoni slices, and don’t forget to add a little extra cheese.
  • Vegetarian Pizza: For a vegetarian pizza, top it with plenty of vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, onions, and olives. You can also top it with vegan cheese or use a pesto or olive oil base.
  • Hawaiian Pizza: While Hawaiian pizza is traditionally topped with pineapple, you can also get creative with this pizza and top it with any combination of ham, bacon, or pineapple.
  • Barbecue Chicken Pizza: For a delicious barbecue flavor, top your pizza with grilled chicken, red onion, and jalapenos. You can also top it with barbecue sauce if you want to give it an extra kick.
  • Prosciutto Pizza: Prosciutto adds a salty, but not overpowering, smoky flavor to your pizza. This pizza is best topped with some thinly sliced prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, and fresh arugula.

Final Bite

Now that you know more about some of the common toppings out there and which ones go best with different types of pizzas, it’s time to start experimenting and exploring new topping combinations.

When it comes to pizza toppings, there are no rules – just keep an eye on the balance of flavors and textures, and most importantly, have fun!

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