Pizza Toppings    

Let's be honest. You could put just about anything on some pizza dough, bake it, and call it a pizza. The types of toppings you can put on a pizza are endless. Some combinations might not work, but that doesn't mean you can't try them. This is one of the endearing things about pizza. It is a truly customizable food, one that can appeal to all palates, all tastes, all appetites, and all budgets. What you like may not be what your family and friends like, but that is ok. Make your own, however you want, and enjoy it all your own.

If you are in a toppings rut, browse through these lists. Of course, they are not comprehensive--could they ever be? Just as soon as you think you've heard it all, you'll find someone eating nuts on their pizza or sauerkraut or chutney or any number of things that can be spread on a pizza crust.

I have tried to list the classic standards and have added some new ingredients you may not have thought of. So keep an open mind, do some experimenting, and you may be surprised. You may have a new family favorite--or just your own personal specialty. Either way, enjoy your pizza!

Meats
Meats and seafood are usually cooked or cured before being added as a pizza topping. This is done to ensure that the meat is cooked to a safe temperature. It also affects the flavor and texture of the meat. How you cook it can change the flavor, whether roasting, grilling, frying, braising, curing, or smoking. You can add extra flavor to the meat by marinating it before cooking or curing it. Meat should be chopped into bite-sized pieces before adding to your pizza, especially in the case of larger cuts of meat, like chicken breasts, meatballs, etc. Ground meats and sausage should be sauteed first and drained to remove any excess fat.

  • Bacon
  • Barbecued pulled pork
  • Barbecued chicken
  • Beef
  • Cajun flavored chicken
  • Canadian bacon
  • Chicken
  • Chorizo
  • Duck
  • Ham
  • Lamb
  • Meatballs
  • Pancetta
  • Pepperoni
  • Pork
  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Sausage
  • Tasso ham
  • Turkey
  • Venison

Seafood
Seafood is great as a pizza topping. Like meats, seafood is almost always cured, salted, smoked, or cooked before topping your pizza, again, not only to ensure the safety of the food, but to add flavor and improve the texture. Cut the seafood into bite-sized pieces when adding to your pizza.

  • Anchovies
  • Calamari
  • Caviar
  • Clams
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Smoked salmon
  • Tuna
  • Smoked oysters
  • Crayfish
  • Lobster
  • Prawns
  • Salmon
  • Squid

Vegetables
Most vegetables are not pre-cooked before adding on top of your pizza, but you can cook them to add a different flavor or texture. For example, raw, grilled, or caramelized onions all have different flavors and textures that can compliment other ingredients. Experiment to find the best techniques for your own tastes. If you want to use a vegetable that will not do well under the high temperatures of your oven, such as avocado, lettuce, or some fresh herbs, add them once you remove your pizza from the oven.

  • Artichoke hearts, plain or marinated
  • Asparagus, raw or roasted
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Banana peppers
  • Beets, pickled or roasted
  • Bell peppers, different colors, raw or roasted
  • Black beans
  • Black olives
  • Broccoli
  • Butternut squash, raw or roasted
  • Capers
  • Carrots, sliced or shredded
  • Cauliflower, raw or roasted
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Chives
  • Eggplant, grilled or roasted
  • Garlic, raw or roasted
  • Granny smith apples, sautéed
  • Green chilis, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • Green olives
  • Green onions
  • Heart of palm
  • Jalapeno peppers, raw or pickled
  • Kalamata olives
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions, raw, grilled or caramelized
  • Peanuts
  • Peas
  • Pepperoncinis
  • Pineapple, raw or grilled
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Potatoes, boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted
  • Red beans
  • Red onions
  • Refried beans
  • Sauerkraut
  • Scallions
  • Shallots
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Snow peas
  • Spinach
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Trumpet mushrooms
  • Water chestnuts
  • Watercress
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini

Extras & Garnishes
These ingredients are great to add after your pizza has been baked. They add extra flavor, texture, and visual appeal to your pizza. You can try any fresh herbs and spices--I've included some I particularly like on a pizza.

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Bean sprouts
  • Cardamom
  • Chili flakes
  • Chili oil
  • Chives
  • Chutney
  • Cilantro
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Guacamole
  • Hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • Lettuce
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Rosemary
  • Salsa
  • Thyme
  • Walnuts